To Quebec City

To me, there’s not much worse than waking up before my alarm clock goes off. Except for waking up before my alarm clock goes off because the sound of rain hitting my tent awakened me. Such is the touring cyclist’s life.
The 2 other tents in the tenting area also belonged to touring cyclists, but on shorter trips than me. Quebec is a really popular area for short touring trips. We chatted for a bit as I leisurely prepared my things. Since I only have about 65km to ride today, time is on my side.
Once I got started it was a fairly simple day. The weather was ok, the wind was ok, and the terrain was ok. I stopped a couple of times for coffee, lunch and snacks, and was making pretty good time. It started getting a little hillier and I had a couple of good climbs, but it was nothing compared to the Rockies and Ontario.
I crossed a few bridges over some beautiful rivers. I’ve been to the province of Quebec before, but it never fails to amaze me how many churches there are. There are all of these little tiny towns, some of which don’t even have a grocery store or gas station, but they have 300 year old churches. Not just tiny churches either, these things are big. It makes for a nice view and something different than I’ve seen in the rest of Canada.
As I crossed the bridge to Quebec City, I saw the hill. I’ve done lots of hills on this trip and I’ve complained about a lot of hills on this trip, but this was quite possibly the worst one. Although it was not particularly long, it was super steep. My guess is that I was about an 18% grade, up a winding mountain side. As I climbed, I realized that I could not stop for a break, because I would physically not be able to start up again. When I got to the top I was glad for a red light, because I actually had to stop and catch my breath and wait for my beating heart to calm down a little. At one point, I was legitimately concerned about rolling back down the hill despite pedalling my hardest. It was that kind of hill.
The worst part was that I then had to descend an equally steep hill. I walked my bike down this one while slamming on the brakes. I knew that if I tried to ride down the twisting and turning cliff, I would absolutely lose control of the bike. No thank you.
I found my hostel, had a shower and ate a bunch of food. There were some Germans there so I hung out with them. It’s always nice to have a conversation with someone that lasts more than 5 minutes and does not include bicycle talk – I’m really getting a bit tired of explaining this trip to everyone.

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