Thursday, June 20, 2002 (Day 1)
8 :00 A.M.: A beaming sun awaits Andre at Pro Gym Serge
Moreau in Montreal, Quebec -corner Hochelaga and Bennett
for the official takeoff. His loved one and friends are
there to wish him well in the realisation of his
life-long dream. In that little laps of time, Andre is
shaken by an entire array of emotions. Then, its
takeoff, from now on theres no looking back, Andre
knows he must concentrate on the road ahead if hes
to make it back home on time.
Always on the 138, North-Shore of the St-Lawrence, and
heading for Quebec City, Andre passes Three-Rivers at
2:15 P.M. and arrives at his first campground in Newville
in the outskirts of Quebec at 7 :00 P.M. There, he spends
the night. His odometer indicates a brand new 232 km.
Friday, June 21 (Day 2)
Early to rise, our cyclist takes on the Quebec Bridge
before grabbing some breakfast and heading for route 132.
Aside from the 30-minute torrential downpour, the
temperature turns out to be pretty decent. Some 261 km
later, he heads for St-Antonin on route 185 (some 20 km
east of Riviere-du-Loup) where he settles for the night.
Saturday, June 22 (Day 3)
Although the day is filled with hills and head winds, our
cyclist still manages 218 km. Taking a well-deserved
break at Perth-Andover NB. The campground is wonderful
and so are the peoples.
Sunday, June 23 (Day 4)
Still more hills ahead and three flat tires.
Nevertheless, a good 190km is reached on a magnificent
road. With a downpour in the horizon, Andre welcomes a
motel in Fredericton NB where a hot bath and some shuteye
Monday, June 24 (Day 5)
Today Andre covers 219 km from Fredericton to Sackville
NB near Nova-Scotia. With a pit stop in Moncton, he
purchases six inner tubes. More rain on the way, a motel
is a must!
Tuesday, June 25 (Day 6)
A superb road and 237 km later, Andre reaches Antigonish
(N.S.) via route 104. Finally, a pleasant nights
sleep in a campground thats fit for a king.
Wednesday, June 26 (Day 7)
Andre awakes to a magnificent day and covers 201 km. He
reaches Sidney North at 5:30 P.M. At 11:30 P.M. he takes
the ferry over to Port-aux-Basques (Newfoundland). Hoping
to gain a day, our traveler allows himself a nap on the
ferry. There are only four days left to make it to the
airport on time.
Bras D'Or, NE
Thursday, June 27 (Day 8)
The first landing post indicates 905km to St-John,
Newfoundland. The place is covered with mountains such as
those found in Eastern Township. Its cloudy and
quite nippy, with snow-covered mountaintops in the
horizon. With an afternoon of downpour and 226 km later,
Andre reaches Corner Brook Nfld. Its now time for
yet-another well-deserved rest. The total mileage so far
is 1784 km in just over 8 days.
Friday, June 28 (Day 9)
Catching up on lost time, Andre covers 265 km today
reaching Grand Falls Windsor NFld. The temperature is
rather cool but mild. Only 414 km separate him from the
Saturday, June 29 (Day 10)
Overcast skies and cold drizzle awaits Andre today, but
he manages yet another 218km to Port Blanford, NFld. The
night is spent in a fine motel after having dried off the
tent and the rest of the equipment.
Sunday, June 30 (Day 11)
Although the morning starts off overcast, the rain lets
up in late afternoon. Getting ever so close to St-John
now, our cyclist locates a dainty cabin near a splendid
lake where he proudly settles for the night, knowing
another 231 km are behind him, adding up to 2498 km in 11
Monday, July 1st (Day off)
Canada Day, Andre has a quick look around St-John,
Newfoundland and makes his way to the airport at around
11:00 A.M. Departure time to Vancouver, BC is 4:15 P.M.
with a transfer in Toronto at 8:25 P.M. and an estimated
time of arrival in Vancouver at 10:45 P.M. After such a
late arrival at the airport, Andre decides the airport is
as good a place as any for some shuteye. Today marks
Andre and Dianes get-together anniversary. Five
years already - congratulations to both of them!
Tuesday, July 2 (Day off)
What a weird feeling; Andre leaves the airport with his
bike. He makes it to Horseshoe Bay Marina and hops on the
ferry to Nanaimo - Vancouver Island. On board, he makes
an American acquaintance and visits the area. After a
brief 80 km, he opts for a scenic Provincial campground
near the ocean in Rathtrevor Beach, BC for a rest.
Wednesday, July 3 (Day off)
He leaves Nanaimo and heads for Port Alberni on Vancouver
Island, BC. On his way, he visits Cathedral Cove, the
famous giant trees of BC. Wow, its 16 degrees Celsius
during the day while we have 32 in Montreal at 11 :00
P.M. What a lucky guy! People he meets are all nice and
new friendships are created.
Thursday, July 4 (Day off)
The visit continues on the Southwest side of Vancouver
Island. He makes his way to Sooke and then returns to the
suburbs of BC. Camping is fantastic and the temperature
is very pleasant. Andre is now the furthest away from
home. The campground will be a good spot for a snooze.
Friday, July 5 (Day off)
Time to head back. Andre visits Victoria, takes the ferry
to Swart Bay and crosses over to Vancouver. Once
hes located the bike shop, its time to
replace brake pads before tacking the Rockies. He finds a
cosy motel on the outskirts of Vancouver and spends his
last night on the West Coast. Tomorrow marks the
beginning of the second half of his cross-country
Saturday, July 6 (Day 12)
Nice fresh temperature for the last days in the Rockies.
Our cyclist makes it to Hope, BC. The road is grand and
the abounding sceneries are all equally beautiful. At
4:00 P.M., having covered 132 km in the Rockies and
realising that the next campground is too high in the
mountains, he decides to stick closer to Fraser River.
Camping is excellent!
Sunday, July 7 (Day 13)
Heading for Hope-Merritt via the Coquihalla highway, it
looks like its a tough day ahead! In fact, at an
altitude of 1765 meters, its the highest road in
Canada. A good provision is a must since 129 km will be
covered with nothing in sight but landscape. Although the
giant mountains are a challenge - one of them being a
steep 55-minute uphill - things work out pretty well -
Monday, July 8 (Day 14)
Andre is now into his third day in the Rockies. Today, he
manages 213 km and makes it to Salmon-Arm - covering a
little over half the distance of BC.
Tuesday, July 9 (Day 15)
Up in Glacier Village, Andre encounters a black bear
lucky for him the bear does not move. Our cyclist
is now right smack in the heart of the Rockies. Hes
covered 175 km in one day and witnesses the very top of
mountains - areas where snow never melts.
Wednesday, July 10 (Day 16)
Having reached Lac Louise, near BC and Alberta frontiers,
Andre sleeps in special campground today. One that is
fenced in with electrical wires to keep the bears out. At
temperatures of 35 Celsius, hes managed to cover
yet another 172 km.
Thursday, July 11 (Day 17)
Its a memorable day. The weather is terrific and
breath-taking panoramic views abound. Reaching into
Alberta, he crosses a time zone only two hours
time difference with Montreal. He comes across mountain
goats and moose. Some 225 km later he reaches Calgary,
Friday, July 12 (Day 18)
In Medicine Hat its unbearably hot, temperatures
reach excruciating 42 Celsius plus humidex. According to
meteorologists, Medecine Hat is the warmest city in
Canada. One wonders how hes managed to cover 228 km
in such an inferno. Tomorrows forecast looks
only 37 degrees. He heads for Saskatchewan.
Saturday, July 13 (Day 19)
Hoping to enjoy the coolness of the morning, Andre is
early to rise. But hes slowed down after breakfast
when he realizes his back tire wont make it. The
only bike shop around is closed until 11:00 A.M. on
Saturdays. That means he wont be back on track
before after lunch. The temperature is on the rise but he
manages 116 km and makes it to Maple Creek, SA. He finds
a camp group near a tourist information booth and meets a
couple of cyclists from Quebec by the names of Real and
Sunday, July 14 (Day 20)
He heads out so early that its still dark outside
this morning. A smooth wind blows softly in his back,
wow! Andre covers 310 km in 36 Celsius and makes it to
Moose Jaw, SA. yet another personal record set! He
figures hell be back home in two weeks.
Monday, July 15 (Day 21)
Another beautiful day awaits our cyclist. Although the
road leaves a lot to be desired, Andre makes it to
Whitewood, SA near the Manitoba border while covering 259
Tuesday, July 16 (Day 22)
Today hell cover 198 km and make his way to the
deserted town of Brandon, MA. Its an area where
convenience stores are few and far apart - 80 km apart to
Wednesday, July 17 (Day 23)
Its accompanied by a superb sun and some 36 degrees
that Andre heads to Winnipeg, MA. His odometer indicates
233 km for the day. The Manitoba road is nothing to write
home about, not even a shoulder to bike on. The cyclists
are left with only the white line on the road and that
even seems to be a bonus sometimes.
Thursday, July 18 (Day 24)
Its with strong persistent head winds lasting an
entire day that Andre covers 205 km making his way to
Lake-on-the-Wood, Kenora, ON.
Friday, July 19 (Day 25)
Still more head winds accompanied by Laurentien-type
hills. Nevertheless, he covers 253 km and succeeds in
making it to Ignace, ON. Highway 17 is just as dangerous
in Ontario as in Manitoba. The pavement is pathetic and
there is no shoulder whatsoever.
Saturday, July 20 (Day 26)
Our cyclist crosses yet another time zone. The time
difference with Montreal is only 1 hour now. Even with
head winds, he reaches Kakabeka Falls in the suburbs of
Thunder Bay, Ontario. His odometer totals 223 km for the
day. The North of Lake Superiors panoramic view is
Sunday, July 21 (Day 27)
Andre wants to make it to Thunder Bay to spend the night
but there are no vacancies because theres a major
activity going on. Furthermore, everything here is
expensive. After a long 211 km, hes offered a spot
and sets up tent on an Indian reserve called Pays Plat.
Hes now reached Rossport, ON., some 25 km east of
Monday, July 22 (Day 28)
Its a cool 10 Celsius in White River, ON., while
not far away in Montreal the thermometer reads a hot
humid 32 - again no campground or motels to be found.
Its the construction weekend here too. Finally the
tourist centre allows him to set up camp on its ground.
Today hes covered 217 km in the mountains with 80
km distance between service areas (no convenience stores
Tuesday, July 23 (Day 29)
Despite head winds and hills our cyclist puts another 195
km and two tires behind him, making it to Agawa Bay and
discovering a nice campground on the panoramic shores of
Bay, Lac Supérieur, ON
Wednesday, July 24 (Day 30)
A 13 km uphill makes today the toughest day of all. With
the help of motorists honking their horns to cheer him
on, Andre covers 202 km and reaches Bruce River, ON. near
Thursday, 25 July (Day 31)
The head winds no longer intimidate him. The closer Andre
gets to the finish line the more encouraged and energized
he becomes. He makes his way to Sudbury where, before
going to sleep, he calls his beloved and expresses his
eagerness to get back home. His odometer indicates 230 km
for the day.
Friday, 26 July (Day 32)
Andre crosses Sudbury very early and stops for breakfast.
Its raining cats and dogs and visibility is
drastically reduced. Hes forced to stop. After a
three-hour stop over at Tim Horton, he makes it to
Ruthenglen, ON. - a rough 35 km West of North Bay. Even
with rain and a dirt road, our cyclist puts yet another
184 km behind him. Tonight hell sleep in a small
convenience store room. There are only two more nights to
Saturday, 27 July (Day 33)
Its Andres last day in Ontario before making
it to Quebec. Although a few intimidating clouds are
peeking in the horizon along with some light head winds,
the 22 degree Celsius makes it ideal cycling condition.
Andre feels great and pedals happily for 267 km, making
it to Arnprior, Ontario - roughly 60 km West of Ottawa.
Sunday, 28 July (Day 34)
Andre awakes overwhelmed by encouragement. The finish
line is near. He crosses over to Quebec at 10:30 A.M. and
takes on his last lap heading home via route 148. Andre
had wanted to make it home for 5:00 P.M. but head winds
delay him. Hes happily surprised when his children
greet him at St-Eustache and remove the bags from his
bike. Finally, after a full 278 km, an eager crowd of
family and friends greet our hero on Morgan Street in
Montreal. Its now 7:45 P.M. and hes made it
home - way to go Andre!