Sometimes I have some crazy ideas and perhaps this was one of them. With Ron’s full support I might add so neither of us could complain about what was transpiring. But I mean who goes on vacation to exercise?
Before leaving home we booked for a full day bike rental with the concept we were going to ride in the Gatineau Hills. And ride we did! And climb. Then climb some more! The downhill on the way back was amazing and for the first time ever I didn’t ride the breaks. My top speed was 61/hour!
The funniest part of the day occurred during our lunch break at the Champagne look out. At this point, from down town Ottawa, we have biked 28 km’s. A mini van pulled in and 5 people piled out to groans and the statement “we finally made it”. Ron and I cracked up laughing. They made it! Cause like it’s so hard to drive up the hills!
The lookout was pretty amazing but I must admit I never did get my sense of direction straightened out. Ron, of course, was point man on leading the way. The weather certainly cooperated and although there were some clouds we never had any rain while biking so that was a big win.
Gatineau became a park in 1938 but prior to that people lived in it. We stopped at the estate of William Lyon Mckenzie King. He had a summmer home up there starting in 1903. Turns out my memory wasn’t very good either as Ron has a clear recollection of stopping for tea and biscuits there in 1991 during our 10th anniversary trip. I’m pretty sure I was there but can’t seem to pull back those memories. It was, for me, the first time down east in the fall and I just remember the amazing colours of the trees.
No big long bike trip would be complete without a beer stop and luckily we managed to find the brewery on our way back. It’s a bit tough when all of the signage is in French. Without subtitles. So it was a combination of good map reading and a lucky spot of the umbrellas on the deck that helped us find it. The beer was amazing but I just had a half pint so as not to consume too many calories. According to Ron’s app he burnt 2800 and I brunt 1441 on mine. Interesting difference when the mileage, top speed and time was so close. Whatever, I figured I earnt the snack!
Then it was through the city and back downtown. It’s a very bike friendly city but it was commute time so it was pretty darn hectic. If it had been pre Europe rides or before I joined the Pedal Wenches the story might have had tears or a breakdown but I handled it all just fine.