My partner and I drove out to New Brunswick this week to visit his parents. Of course, we brought bikes. He brought one of the touring bikes and I brought my road bike. His parents live in one of the communities that reside on the Miramichi Estuary so there were plenty of opportunities to enjoy spectacular landscape.
On Tuesday, we went to Kouchibouguac National Park. The multi-use path was not good for a road bike so I rented an ancient touring bike and off we went. It’s a gorgeous place with unique ecosystems including dunes and bluffs. We noodled around for about 4 hours including a poutine stop and a stroll out to the beach. If the water was 12 degrees Celsius, I would be surprised so no swimming. We got competitive on the little hills on the path as bicycling is the only sport I have any chance of beating my partner in a physical pursuit. One thing I can count on with him, he doesn’t let me win so my powering up the hills occasionally slightly ahead of him was very satisfying.
Since I am still training for the Bike Rally (sponsor me here) I needed to do a longer ride at road bike speed. We just happened to take a little jaunt out to the coast on Wednesday to pick up an obscene amount of lobster and I realized it was both the perfect distance and that it would be a very beautiful ride.
I was up and out on Thursday morning by 6:30am. I had to travel about 10kms along a major highway to get to the road out to the ocean so I wanted it to be as quiet as possible yet after the sun was up. I was nervous about a lot of things but more acutely, I had not seen one single road bike on any road anywhere that I had been in the three days I’d been wandering around the Miramichi. I didn’t know what the traffic would do or whether people would be angry at me for taking up road.
It should surprise no one that the vehicles here behave the same as vehicles anywhere. The giant trucks are the best behaved, giving lots of room and slowing down if it isn’t safe to pass me at a decent distance. The cars don’t hit me but they don’t try too hard to give me a wide berth either. The worst were the pickup trucks. I don’t know what it is about driving a pick up truck that makes folks so ornery. They may slow down but then they pass close and speed up the second you are out of the side mirror, the sound of their engines revving telling you where to go. I make no assumptions about who is in those vehicles, but they have a bad attitude for the most part.
The ride was as beautiful as I’d hoped and I made it to Baie Saint-Anne in record time. It was only when I turned around that I fully acknowledged the tail wind that carried me there. If I had let that into my brain, knowing the trouble I’d have on the way back I may have stopped and turned around.
I pushed hard on the way back. It was a slight uphill also and I was determined not to let my speed go below 20km/h ever. I ended up with my fastest 100km ride ever and I’m pretty happy about that.
Now it’s time for ice cream and bed, the distance cyclist’s true reward.