After a few trial runs in the UK, our trip started in earnest in Canada.
The beginning was in Montreal, the departure point for a journey to our home in New Brunswick. Three years later, we returned to our home country to end our journey by cycling across the U.S. border, into the western province of Alberta and all the way to Rimouski, Quebec.
This page includes entries from both ends of the trip – the beginning and the last leg back to Montreal.
Started the day off fairly late, around 11am, after spending a night with the Bourdan family in St. Bruno. What great hosts they were, Michael, his wife Dianne and daughter Mariane. They picked us up from the Montreal airport the day before, fed us a wonderful supper, gave us a warm place to sleep off
Between a late start and headwinds most of the day, we didn’t get as far as we’d have liked. We decided it would be a good idea to reorganise our panniers and write down what was in each one, to save us from rooting around each time we wanted something, so that took quite a
Today was our “ouch” day. We knew it was coming, even though we hoped it wouldn’t, and today it hit. Every muscle ached. Our legs felt like lead. It took what seemed like ages to go a few kilometers. Despite the pain, it was a good excuse to make plenty of stops and that is
Another day where we really pushed our limits, from the flats of Batiscan, over rolling hills of apple orchards and up some steep climbs on the approach to Quebec. The endless fields of corn are now behind us, in favour of the historic city of Quebec. We didn’t quite make it into the heart of
An update on the last few days is needed. Haven’t written much because it was really worrying what was happening with Friedel’s ankles, so much so we thought the trip might be over at one point. After reaching Quebec City, we spent two nights in the area, one at a B&B in Cap Rouge and
A slightly longer day for us, but not too hard a one as we were on the Rail Trail all day, which means no traffic and a very gently graded slope. After the first 20km, a lot of today’s ride was downhill so we made quite good time! This part of the trail is fantastic,
Started the day by continuing down the rail trail, which is about 132km overall. The south half of the trail really didn’t live up to the standard set by the north half though, which was better signed, in better condition and had more facilities. The lower bit of the trail was partly paved but this
Started out the day a bit late, after sleeping in at the campground, then using their wireless internet to update the site. Finally got on the road around 10am, braced for a very hilly ride to Grand Falls. We had read many trip reports about Northern New Brunswick and expected it to be one hill
Awoke very early in the morning, probably because of where we’d camped and being hyper-aware of every sound and movement around us. After spending our money saved on a campground on a Tim Hortons breakfast (2 double doubles and 2 toasted bagels) we headed out on the rail trail towards Florenceville. Alas, the rail trail
After a restful night’s sleep in the grounds of the Beechwood power station, we set out reasonably early. Did a bit of maintenance on our bikes before leaving though, as the dusty NB trail had really left its mark on our chain, gears, wheels. Everything was covered in a fine powder. I think it’s safe
Our first cloudy day in ages dawned, but at least it wasn’t raining. The cool day was in some ways a bit of a relief from the constant heat, although the headwinds weren’t quite so welcome. We started what was probably the hilliest day of our tour yet. It started out flat from Woodstock but
A bit of a short day for us, as we were headed to stay with a friend in Fredericton, New Brunswick’s capital city. And a good thing too as the rain didn’t leave us for most of the day. We thought we’d escaped early in the morning. There was no mist on the tent all
The last few days of our Montreal to Sackville journey passed smoothly, although we failed to keep detailed journal entries, possibly because of a couple longer-than-usual days. We left Fredericton late on the morning of the 21st, having slept in after a night with a friend spent staying up late, chatting and playing games. Despite
After just a few days of rest, we had the idea to get on the road for a quick trip to the Island, since the weather looks pretty good for the week-end. We ended up taking the NB Trail again, from Sackville to Port Elgin, where the trail started to deteriorate badly and where forced
A short day’s ride to New Glasgow mostly on the Rail Trail. Getting off the trail at Hunter River and following road, route 13, up to New Glasgow. Where we setup at the Highland Campgroud site, letting the tent dry out, and having a bit to eat. We then left for North Rustico, for a
Getting a early start to the day we headed back to the catch the trail, stopping at a local bakery for some snacks and a quick coffee. Once on the trail we started to make good time, stopping and meeting a trail warden, who we interviewed. After finnally getting back to Borden, and across the
630km Lakeside to Cochrane The Rocky Mountains loom in front of us as we pedal up the western side of Flathead Lake to the tune of a steady stream of jumbo-sized RVs rumbling past. There’s no doubt about it. North Americans like their cars big and their campers even bigger. Motorhomes the size of a
253km Cochrane to Winfield and a ride to Edmonton To call or not to call. We sat under a picnic shelter, hiding from the pouring rain and wind, in the hamlet of Winfield, debating this very question. A few days ago, Andrew’s sister Marlene, who’s been the most dedicated member of our support crew since
Canadians of a certain vintage know those words well: the theme tune to the Littlest Hobo television show, where a German Shepherd goes from town to town, helping people out of crises. We grew up on this homegrown version of Lassie and today we couldn't get the song out of our head as we put bags back on our bikes after an extended break and hit the road one more time.
394km Vegreville to North Battleford They say the winds blow from west to east in Canada. Cyclist after cyclist told us this. “It’s just the way things are,” they said. With this knowledge in hand, our trip towards Saskatoon had begun with the expectation of nothing less than tailwinds. Fools. What fools. Both them and
135km North Battleford to Warman Under a darkening sky in the farming town of Radisson, we were just packing a bottle of wine into our bags and getting ready to make a run for the campground when a wiry man in his 70s rolled up and blocked our way with his own bicycle. “Where are
555km Warman to Dauphin What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and found you’d won a million dollars? Since the earliest days of our trip, we’ve asked this question of everyone we spend an evening with. “Camels. I’d buy camels,” said a nomad in Morocco, explaining that camels were the gold standard in
675km Dauphin to Baudette “Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed Nothin’ seems to fit Those raindrops are fallin’ on my head, they keep fallin’ So I just did me some talkin’ to the sun And I said I didn’t like the way
923km Cedar to Garson We’ve heard a lot of bad things about the Trans-Canada Highway through Northern Ontario. Wild truckers. Plenty of traffic. No shoulders. “They’re all true,” says one cyclist we meet in Michigan. “I stuck a hacksaw out the side of my bike to make the cars give me more room. You should
993km Garson to St. Bruno The end of our round-the-world trip happens so quickly, we barely see it coming. In the logical part of our minds we know it’s getting closer. Anyone can see that on a map. But emotionally the last pedal strokes towards the point where we began feel much the same as
672km St. Bruno to Rimouski Our circuit around the world ends in St. Bruno but the next morning, after Michael has gone to work, we carry on as if nothing has changed at all. We eat our breakfast of cereal and fruit, lug our bags downstairs and load them on the bikes like we’ve done