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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    228

    Vermont to Quebec City tour

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    Last month DH and I did a supported bike tour (Sojourn Bike Tours) from Burlington, VT to Quebec City. We rode 345 miles in 6 days.

    I did a series of blog posts about the trip if you're interested.

    Go to: http://susanlash.blogspot.com/

    scroll down until you see "Vermont to Quebec City Bike Tour 2010" on the righthand side of the page. I did posts for each day, the final day of 85 miles I did in two posts - too much to cover/pictures, plus I might be longwinded. They're all there, plus a post on the Grand Prix Quebec Pro Tour race that we were able to stay and see.

    It was a great trip, Quebec is an awesome place to ride. Incredibly bike friendly and scenic.

    Susan
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    139
    Thanks for posting the link to your blog, it was very timely! We just finished a Sojourn trip with Joshua in Sonoma. It was a fantastic trip, and we are hoping to do the Vermont to QC next year. Just trying to figure out if we should go in June or the end of August.
    1972 Schwinn Paramount
    2006 Serotta Coeur d'Acier
    2007 Holland Exogrid
    2008 Salsa Casseroll
    2010 Scott Contessa 20

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    What a wonderful trip! One of my favorite places in the world.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,144
    The best bike tour I have done was based out of Quebec City. I absolutely loved it, because we drove to the start, had our own bikes, and felt like I was in France, not 8 hours from home. The day we were supposed to ride from the ferry to the Frontenac, where we stayed for 2 nights was pouring out, so i skipped riding the cobbles up the 15% grade. It was pretty hard just to walk it, in my bike shoes.
    It sounds like those hills were tough. And that race looked awesome.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    228
    LilBolt, that's cool, small world and all that! Joshua was great wasn't he!

    Good pick on the VT to QC tour, you won't regret it. We went in August and had unseasonably hot temperatures. I actually had sun poisoning rash the first part of the tour and I'm used to the sun living in OK.

    The temps are normally in the 60's that time and we had mid - upper 80's for 4 of the 6 days. Chances are that wouldn't happen again, at least not next year.

    The other thing about August, we actually saw a little fall color, which I really liked. Either month will be good I'm sure.

    If you have any questions about anything on any of my posts or about the trip in general, feel free to ask.

    Susan
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    228
    Tulip, It is one of mine too now! Just beautiful, the scenery, people, culture, etc. Loved it all.

    Crankin, Those two climbs outside of QC we walked up were 15% grade too and honest to god I think it was harder to walk than it would have been to ride (triple). They came at mile 70 and beyond, and after 300 miles my legs were undecided

    The race was a blast and the days leading up to it were too seeing the guys out riding. I was glad it was a crit because we got lots of looks at the racers.

    I agree, it's like going to Europe without the long flight. Even from here it's only 6 hours give or take. I can't wait to go back. Everytime I go anywhere in Canada, I return home humming "Oh Canada" and day dreaming about moving. Then I see my young grandson and granddaughter and realize I can't leave them.

    So... we vacation. Going back to Vancouver Island in 2012 to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary (we married there).

    Thanks for the comments guys.

    Susan
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    139
    Thanks Susan. I think I need to learn a bit of French! At least enough so I don't have the 'nature break' issue that you had. Your blog was a fun read.

    Oh...and did you know that in Vancouver you can stay at the Oh Canada House B&B (http://www.ocanadahouse.com/)? Ewing Buchan wrote the English version of Oh Canada there in 1908. It is located in the west end of the city...great location for walking or riding around. We stayed there this August following the Seattle to Vancouver (RSVP) ride. We had the top floor, which was a bit warm since there is no air conditioning in the house, and it was the hottest weekend we had this summer, but we survived the nights to enjoy the good breakfast they serve.
    Last edited by LilBolt; 10-11-2010 at 07:09 PM.
    1972 Schwinn Paramount
    2006 Serotta Coeur d'Acier
    2007 Holland Exogrid
    2008 Salsa Casseroll
    2010 Scott Contessa 20

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,063
    Hey SLash, we "just missed" you....we were on the Vermont to Quebec earlier in June ( http://www.cassandrathorn.com/Public...-to-Quebec.nws ). I think we would have traded some of your sun for our rain, but when you go on vacation you can't bribe Mother Nature -- she'll give you the weather she gives you.

    Glad you got to see the race. The Cote de Montagne (my GPS sustained 21% on that one) is one tough hill -- would have been fun to watch the pros saunter up it. Of course, when I heard about the race and read the course, I pictured spending the day along the wall, sitting on top a cannon watching them go by.

    Glad you enjoyed your trip..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by LilBolt View Post
    Thanks Susan. I think I need to learn a bit of French! At least enough so I don't have the 'nature break' issue that you had. Your blog was a fun read.

    Oh...and did you know that in Vancouver you can stay at the Oh Canada House B&B (http://www.ocanadahouse.com/)? Ewing Buchan wrote the English version of Oh Canada there in 1908. It is located in the west end of the city...great location for walking or riding around. We stayed there this August following the Seattle to Vancouver (RSVP) ride. We had the top floor, which was a bit warm since there is no air conditioning in the house, and it was the hottest weekend we had this summer, but we survived the nights to enjoy the good breakfast they serve.
    Lilbolt, Good thinking on the French, always good to know how to say or understand in my case those key phrases - in the smaller towns/villages people that understood/spoke English were a rarity.

    Thanks for the tip and info about the O' Canada House B & B!
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    228
    Thorn,

    Small world! Same ride, same tour group! We heard about you guys! Both Mark and Joshua commented that the weather had been polar opposite in June to what we had. They said the heat and head wind we had for a good half the week were very unusual - probably just like the rain was for you in June.

    I thought it was a great tour, did you? This was our first fully supported tour so didn't have anything to compare it to. Have you done others with Sojourn?

    The Montagne would have been a great spot to watch the race, I saw them climb it several times in the training rides prior to. We ended up watching from a couple of vantage points just to see different aspects of the race. One was near the Frontenac as they were cresting the climb. Did you know 63 riders dropped out before the end? They said later they were surprised how grueling the course was - I can't recall a race where so many dropped out.

    Don't know if you read my post on the race, but the night before the race we ran into Thomas Voeckler - one of my favorite racers (ever since his 2004 Tour) and got my picture taken with him. He ended up winning the race in a very exciting finish. Also met and got a pic with Ryder Hesjedal, another great one - and nice guy.

    Anyway, I'm glad you commented and gave me the link to your blog. I can't wait to read your posts!

    Susan
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    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    Chocolate Lily is another B 'n B recommendation if you drop by Vancouver before or after Vancouver Island.

    http://www.chocolatelily.com/index.html

    We know the guy and wife. Both are cyclists, he especially. He is an architect and assists his wife with B 'n B.

    2012 there will be a major international cycling event in Vancouver. Bike Month in Vancouver has tended to be June in the past few years. Rides, events, etc.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,063
    Oh, we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Very relaxing. Lots to do. Plenty to see.

    We've ridden with a handful of touring companies and did Arizona with GoSojourn. Each company has its own personality and, then, within each company there are sub-personalities and, well, the group makeup can totally change a trip as well. The busier I've gotten, the more I'm willing to pay someone to plan the route and shuttle my luggage. GoSojourn does a really good job and has some great leaders.

    My only beef with them is that most of their trips have requisite van shuttles. Arrggh...I don't want to squeeze into no stinkin' van--I want to *ride*! Thus, the Vermont to Quebec trip spoke out at us--GoSjourn quality and no van time!

    We jumped at it and totally loved it. It was probably one of the best trips we've had in a while and we've had some really great trips. We extended the trip in Burlington and in Quebec (no van time riding back to Burlington, either, of course) and that made for a very relaxing trip. Both cities were great for spending extra time.

    You mean you couldn't read into my posting the green with envy? I would have loved to have seen the race. That hill was a killer. I searched and found pictures of the race just to see the suffering on the riders. I can't imagine climbing that hill 15 times (plus the "shallower" version on the backside of the city 15 times). Eeks....once would be enough to cramp up my legs and I have a triple!

    I was thrilled that Voeckler won-- if Hesjdal couldn't take it, a Frenchman is the next best thing and such a sweetie (and you met them both--green, green with envy).

    French pride is evident in Quebec. It really isn't like anywhere else in North America. I have to admit that while I practiced my French before we left, I was worthless in Quebec. The accent was very hard for me to understand, yet I can get by in France. But, I tried and some actually let me struggle for a while until they ran out of patience. Like when I said, "I don't eat peaches" when I meant "I don't eat fish".

    Great area. I'm glad you also enjoyed it -- perhaps that means GoSojourn will add more point-to-point routes. And you joined the EFI club! Kudos!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by Thorn View Post
    Oh, we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Very relaxing. Lots to do. Plenty to see.

    We've ridden with a handful of touring companies and did Arizona with GoSojourn. Each company has its own personality and, then, within each company there are sub-personalities and, well, the group makeup can totally change a trip as well. The busier I've gotten, the more I'm willing to pay someone to plan the route and shuttle my luggage. GoSojourn does a really good job and has some great leaders.

    My only beef with them is that most of their trips have requisite van shuttles. Arrggh...I don't want to squeeze into no stinkin' van--I want to *ride*! Thus, the Vermont to Quebec trip spoke out at us--GoSjourn quality and no van time!

    We jumped at it and totally loved it. It was probably one of the best trips we've had in a while and we've had some really great trips. We extended the trip in Burlington and in Quebec (no van time riding back to Burlington, either, of course) and that made for a very relaxing trip. Both cities were great for spending extra time.

    You mean you couldn't read into my posting the green with envy? I would have loved to have seen the race. That hill was a killer. I searched and found pictures of the race just to see the suffering on the riders. I can't imagine climbing that hill 15 times (plus the "shallower" version on the backside of the city 15 times). Eeks....once would be enough to cramp up my legs and I have a triple!

    I was thrilled that Voeckler won-- if Hesjdal couldn't take it, a Frenchman is the next best thing and such a sweetie (and you met them both--green, green with envy).

    French pride is evident in Quebec. It really isn't like anywhere else in North America. I have to admit that while I practiced my French before we left, I was worthless in Quebec. The accent was very hard for me to understand, yet I can get by in France. But, I tried and some actually let me struggle for a while until they ran out of patience. Like when I said, "I don't eat peaches" when I meant "I don't eat fish".

    Great area. I'm glad you also enjoyed it -- perhaps that means GoSojourn will add more point-to-point routes. And you joined the EFI club! Kudos!
    AAAGGGHHHHHHHH!!! I wrote a reply - a long reply - hit preview - I got the sign in screen (lots of interruptions so I guess TE logged me off due to inactivity?) I don't know but it just disappeared! It was a long reply too and of course it was well written and witty and now it's gone.

    Thorn, I'm too tired to rewrite it - but thanks for the info about your other trips and how you rate Sojourn. We will probably use them again, but are thinking we may try another company for the next one. We had a great group too and our leaders, Joshua and Mark were excellent. Nice guys and Mark lives in Montreal so obviously spoke French and Joshua knew quite a bit too so that came in handy.

    I loved your posts about your trip, fun to read another person's take on it all. Fortunately for me I know no French so the accent wasn't a problem.
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    228
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    Chocolate Lily is another B 'n B recommendation if you drop by Vancouver before or after Vancouver Island.

    http://www.chocolatelily.com/index.html

    We know the guy and wife. Both are cyclists, he especially. He is an architect and assists his wife with B 'n B.

    2012 there will be a major international cycling event in Vancouver. Bike Month in Vancouver has tended to be June in the past few years. Rides, events, etc.
    Jean,

    Thanks for the recommendation on the B and B. I hope our visit will coincide with the bike events - we will be there early June.

    Susan
    "It is never too late to be what you might have been."

    http://www.loveofbikes.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    139
    Thanks to Susan & Thorn, we booked this trip for next August. It seems so far off! Both of you are great writers & I appreciate you sharing your experiences.
    1972 Schwinn Paramount
    2006 Serotta Coeur d'Acier
    2007 Holland Exogrid
    2008 Salsa Casseroll
    2010 Scott Contessa 20

 

 

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