Sunday, May 28, 2017

Day 08 - Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré to Baie St-Paul

67.9 km - Total so far 629.90 km 


Today we were challenged by the terrain and the weather that turned nasty after lunch. We made it to Baie St-Paul, our intended stop.

We did a little bicycle maintenance before leaving the campground at 8 a.m. We followed Avenue Royale to the intersection of Hwy 138. We took one look at the climb facing us on Hwy 138 and decided to take the route recommend to us the day before. Once again on the bike path, we had to be rescued and led back to the correct trail. We wish to thank the good Samaritan that got involved and saved us from much unnecessary physical effort. You can see where we turned around on Relive and RDWGPS!

One mean looking hill, best to go with Plan B

Plan B we head up the hill behind me

On the right bike path following our rescue

Hwy 362 is very popular with local cyclists. We had a good chat
with the one's in the picture

Hélène and I just finished having a chat about what items are truly essential and what could be left at home to lighten the load. What do we see but a touring cyclist riding by with trailer and dog. Looks like "essential" means different things to different people. 

We had to leave Hwy 362 and rejoin the less quiet Hwy 138. Just after we crossed the road, an SUV abruptly stopped ahead of us and a gentleman got out in a hurry. I did not immediately recognize him but Hélène did. It was our dear friend and Encadreur(e) team leader, Jean-Paul and his lovely lady, Francine. What an incredible coincidence. That one encounter made up for the unpleasantness, we were to experience for the remainder of the afternoon.

At 741 meters, we thought it would be all downhill from here...wrong!
At about 12 km from Baie St-Paul we saw signs directing truck drivers to check their brakes, where to brake on the 8 km long downhill and where the two runaway safety lanes were located. These two cyclists also paid close attention. With loaded bikes on a steep downhill, we have to decide on a strategy to tackle the descent. We have to stop often to relieve the strain on the forearms and also let the bicycle rims cool (less an issue today as it was cold and wet). The greater the pucker factor on the descent the more focused you are on what is directly ahead of you and the less you see of the scenery. Maybe on our next trip here in our VW bus, we will enjoy more scenery.

I suspect that cycling through Charlevoix is less popular than doing so across the St-Lawrence river on Hwy 132. Although the bad weather made it an even tougher day, the challenge and the gained experience makes us more capable touring cyclists. We get to repeat the whole thing again tomorrow on Hwy 362. 

42.19 miles - Total so far 391.40 miles


  1. 9 years ago I cycled from St-Siméon to Quebec city , ( the opposite direction you are riding ) I admit my load was not as big as yours today , but the weather certainly plays a huge role on your speed and enjoyment of the ride .

    1. Andre, you must be very excited to start your trip soon. We look forward to hear how make out on your adventure.

      PS. It must have been some climb out of Baie St-Paul, we are still shaken from the descent.