Today: 69 km
To date: 6,027 km
To go: 1,773 km
I was heart-broken at breakfast to discover that we had missed out on getting a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream last night – from our breakfast table I could see the awning of the sleeping shop taunting me. New York Super Fudge Chunk? Yes Please!!!!
Instead I had a very expensive and rather cardboard-esque Montreal-style bagel and a croissant – which was at least nice and buttery. Butter. My favourite.
But here I am going on about food again when really there are more important things to talk about today. Like Alex’s bike frame.
Leaving Montreal, Alex starting to mention that his bike was wobbling – he had no idea why – maybe the panniers were not weighted properly? Later on down the road I was riding behind him and I was seriously concerned by his intense wobble – he had to grip the handle bars with some force to keep the bike on track. Something was wrong. Despite Alex’s difficulty, he still managed to get ahead of me and out of sight. The road took a turn for the worse – lots of pot hills and bumps and crackss through the pavement – I was uncomfortable bumpy along and worried how Alex’s bike had fared. Not long after this I saw Alex up ahead – and I knew it was serious trouble as he was walking alongside his bike. I caught up and he told me he discovered the problem – his frame had broken! A clear cut break through the steel…. his second break of the trip (his first in Jasper before I met him).
We started looking for a welding shop but they were all closed as it was Sunday. I googled bike shops and found one 10km in the wrong direction at St. Denis-Sur-Richelieu. We decided to head there. I went ahead to a different town and bought Alex some drinks and snacks for his long walk to the bike shop. We took a break together and then I headed on to St. Denis to scout it out – and discovered that you had to take a ferry to get there!! I immediately panicked (because I tend to do that) – what happens if Alex walks so slow we miss the last boat? Where will we eat? What should I do???? I was about to buy Alex some beer at the little ferry stop store when I saw him approaching on the horizon.
He arrived just as the ferry did, so we walked straight on – for the two of us and our bikes it was about $5! It took all of maybe 2 minutes to cross over to the other side and into town. It was a very beautiful spot – lots of old heritage buildings converted to upscale restaurants and B&B’s along the river. We opted for dinner from the grocery store. Alex walked over to the closed bike shop which was in someone’s house – he was peering through the windows when he was spotted and Jean came out to chat. Alex filled him in on the situation and he offered us a place to camp on his lawn and promised to set us up with his welding friend in the morning.
After dinner we returned to Jean’s house, and while we were setting up the tent, his wife Jolene – checked the weather forecast – a storm! They insisted we come into their house and use their guest room. After some small protest we gave in. Jolene made up the room for us and even proceeded to clean the shower and bathroom for us – it was a touch over the top! We wouldn’t even noticed if there was two inches of grime on the sink.
What could have been a terrible day today was actually quite lovely – a reminder that there is no need to let the small stuff (like a broken frame) get you down and that people are people no matter what language they speak – if you need help, doors (and hearts) open.