Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    14

    Velo Quebec-a great company/Eastern Twshps & Vermont

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Hello all,
    Before this trip, I last biked in July of 2007 - sooo mebbe next time I train more. But after this I was inspired to get a road bike and am waiting for my LBS to finish her up.

    So this summer, I just HAD to go on a long bike vacation to get away from jobtakeovermycompany'sbeensoldtoahedgefundlayingpeopeoffstress. And make that a ride at a level much higher than my skill please!

    Being cheap, I found a nonprofit quebec based cycle tourism outfit. I can full heartedly recommend Velo Quebec - caveat - most people are French speakers so bring a friend if your french is shaky. I went anyway without any french and made them speak English. They were really nice people.

    I also learned that hey.. I suck at bicycling!! Up the hill, a middle aged woman passes me on a flat bar hybrid, ok, I'm that woman anyhow..oh but then her mother passes me on the uphill. eeeek There were a bunch of fit fast older folks on par with the younger guys in terms of speed. The guide said that last year in France on a high level ride, she met an 85 year old lady on the tour. That sounds like a plan for me.

    Here's the site: The main site with many trips all around:
    http://www.velo.qc.ca/english/index.php

    and here's my trip:
    http://www.velo.qc.ca/voyages/index_...ermont-Cantons

    So this is a level 4...out of 6. Level 6 being the Etape stage of the Tour de France - So level 4 was um.. HARD!!! I met most of the Green Mountains of Vermont. But wow gorgeous.

    Day 1 was Coaticook to Magog, a very cute tourist destination in Quebec. Food was on your own and excellent as was hotel. 91 km ride Lotsa hills. I was slow slow slow!! what's with these gears! Oh change them aha!! Dinner sweetbreads in small bistro

    Day 2 was Magog to Sutton, a shorter 71 km ride with a great view of the lake at Magog. Lotsa hills. The ride ended with a downpour and a half mile UPHILL to the motel - yikes! Dinner came with, I was dead last and the guide was um annoyed that I wasn't up to the ride. Lesson of the day: use your big gears for downhills and flats so you keep momentum for the uphill.

    Day 3 was Sutton to Burlington 114 km - smaller hills beautiful countryside. Oh what's that um...scent ... cow pie country in lovely cheese/icecream making Vermont. Dinner came with. Rosemount Shiraz 2007. Liberty School bottle needed more time.

    Day 4 - rest in Burlington - hippy hangout. Was harassed by random dude asking "where're you from" (I'm asian) as if its his business. When he got the brush off, he started saying "one world, one world".... whatever!! I was definitely not on his planet. Microbrew - Long Trail Ale.

    Day 5 - was Burlington to Montpelier, the big Challenge, 4.6 km at 15 degrees up the Appalachian Gap!! I made it up 1/3 then pushed. The old ladies I was following did 2/3 then pushed. About 3 out of 12 made it up w/out walking. Lesson of the day, how to pace endurance on longlonglong uphills - go slow, don't look up, count to 10 over and over again and you will make it to your max out limit.

    Dinner at hotel...food so so but wine was Pouillet Fuisse George DuBouef 2006 wow excellent!! I love the French white burgundies - not oaky at all. Half the bottle - or more - went down my gullet ahhh.

    Day 6 - was Montpelier to St.Johnsbury, greet the morning with a 3 mile climb, then smaller hills and a nice ride with excellent descents. Dinner at the Wine Gate. Mixed French and Italian reds.

    Day 7 - St.J back to Coaticook, a quick flat 108 km.

    Home finally, my knee's great but the rest of me is burned, bitten, abraded...what a great vacation.


    (\__/)
    (='.'=) Margaret
    (")_(")

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Sounds like a wonderful trip. I will check out Velo Quebec for sure. I loved touring Vermont last year in October. I've driven all over Quebec, always thinking how much I would like to ride my bike there.

    Thanks for the report! (and Welcome to TE)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Quote Originally Posted by bnylo View Post
    Hello all,
    Being cheap, I found a nonprofit quebec based cycle tourism outfit. I can full heartedly recommend Velo Quebec - caveat - most people are French speakers so bring a friend if your french is shaky. I went anyway without any french and made them speak English. They were really nice people.
    Perhaps Grog, TE member here since she is from Montreal area and her first language is French, she might be in a better position to comment about the Quebecois French-speaking workers in the tourism industry there.

    In my humble opinion since we have travelled several different times in Quebec, most likely those Quebecois employees for a cycling touring group, would know some English or fairly bilingual in French and English. Certainly my partner knows several Velo Quebec employees and volunteers because of his cycling advocacy work, and it hasn't been a problem.

    If I am in Quebec, I don't MAKE people speak English, I try abit of French first (if I know the right words) to indicate how lousy my French is, that I need help in communication....but I AM trying. As a Canuck, I would like to respect and enjoy the whole French-language experience while being in Quebec. ....'cause that is part of the travel experience....wandering around in a different language environment.


    And yes, we've done 2 different Velo Quebec routes on our own since there are maps and routes are generally well-signed.

    And what does your Chinese chop avatar say?? I can't read Chinese much, but my parents are fluent..
    Last edited by shootingstar; 09-21-2008 at 01:59 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post

    If I am in Quebec, I don't MAKE people speak English, I try abit of French first (if I know the right words) to indicate how lousy my French is, that I need help in communication....but I AM trying. As a Canuck, I would like to respect and enjoy the whole French-language experience while being in Quebec. ....'cause that is part of the travel experience....wandering around in a different language environment.

    And yes, we've done 2 different Velo Quebec routes on our own since there are maps and routes are generally well-signed.

    And what does your Chinese chop avatar say?? I can't read Chinese much, but my parents are fluent..

    Well of course no one can make anyone speak English but for sure they volunteered their limited English over my total lack of French. Actually, I found that in the Cantons, most strangers would take one look at me and start speaking English. I had one funny event where I stopped at a church for lunch and a woman came by for directions to an obscure street! Turns out I had an excellent map and we had a laugh about how she, a Quebec native for 40 yrs had to ask me, a visitor from NJ for directions. People were great.

    The avatar is my name in seal script.
    Last edited by bnylo; 09-21-2008 at 02:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,981
    Quote Originally Posted by bnylo View Post
    I had one funny event where I stopped at a church for lunch and a woman came by for directions to an obscure street! Turns out I had an excellent map and we had a laugh about how she, a Quebec native for 40 yrs had to ask me, a visitor from NJ for directions. People were great.

    The avatar is my name in seal script.
    Why not, assume you might know some French.. Ever been to Chinatown in Montreal? The signage there is trilingual--Chinese, English and French. Very cool. And of course, for some Vietnamese immigrants of an older generation, they would know some French already when landing upon North American soil.

    Ages ago, I dated a Chinese-Canadian guy originally from Montreal . He could read and write all 3 languages. I'm always totally impressed to meet some (not all) of the Asian-Canadians in Quebec who master all 3 languages.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 09-21-2008 at 03:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Princeton, NJ
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    Why not, assume you might know some French.. Ever been to Chinatown in Montreal? The signage there is trilingual--Chinese, English and French. Very cool. And of course, for some Vietnamese immigrants of an older generation, they would know some French already when landing upon North American soil.

    Ages ago, I dated a Chinese-Canadian guy originally from Montreal . He could read and write all 3 languages. I'm always totally impressed to meet some (not all) of the Asian-Canadians in Quebec who master all 3 languages.
    I was in the Eastern Townships, another world from Montreal in feel and ethnic composition.
    (\__/)
    (='.'=) Margaret
    (")_(")

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •