- COVID panic? Keep calm and carry on with bike tour planning
- It’s not about where we travel but why
- What the heck is bike touring anyway? It’s an experience
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Kindness comes in a bucket of ice and jug of water
- ConnecTour Chronicles: One man’s gear is another man’s gold
- ConnecTour Chronicles: A brush with heat stroke and then hypothermia
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Content to live with old mining town’s ghosts
- ConnectTour Chronicles: Highlights, lowlights and lessons learned so far
- ConnecTour Chronicles: An artistic treasure trove in a former biker bar
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Even in Banff, COVID-19 has left its mark
- ConnecTour Chronicles: A life-saving gift for our son-in-law
- ConnecTour Chronicles: A pool party on the Prairies
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Antique store owner revives memories
- A sudden, frightening crash sidelines one of our cyclists
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Out of the blue, an army on the prowl
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Cheap rural living brings brewery dream to life
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Warmshowers hosts have equally warm spirits
- ConnecTour Chronicles: A bicycle clinic that started with a bang
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Lodges hanging on by a thin fishing line
- ConnecTour Chronicles: A private fantasy world, rich in local and family history
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Reckless drivers are the scourge of cyclists
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Calgary bike trails a bridge between city and nature
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Wawa’s loyal support keeps country store going strong
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Learning to roll with one of this tour’s unexpected twists
- Amish follow a humble path to a simpler way of life
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Scaring away a middle-of-the-night invader
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Traumatic accident led former nurse to artistic success
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Ottawa family is all-in on car-free, cycling lifestyle
- ConnecTour Chronicles: Good luck dodging bad weather finally runs out
- Charlottetown’s heritage homes have a champion
- Proud captain sails to Canada’s other ‘distinct society’: Newfoundland
- War, tragedy, and a Broadway hit all part of Gander’s celebrated past
- Cycling tour across Canada ends in St. John’s, N.L.
- Cross-country cyclists welcomed by St. John’s deputy mayor
- Second World War attack helped shape Bell Island’s history
Troy Media publisher Doug Firby is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting last May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and sense of community. Watch for their reports on Troy Media. More information on the cycling tour is available at ConnecTour.ca. To help them meet their goal, click here.
The ConnecTour team has been incredibly lucky with the weather through most of the ride across Canada. Yes, there was that scary day when we were hypothermic near Nancy Greene Provincial Park in British Columbia, the day-after-day intense summer heat in Saskatchewan and a steady downpour as we headed out of Ottawa.
But our rain days have been few and far between. As luck would have it, most of the rain has fallen overnight or on days we booked off for rests.
Until we hit Rimouski.
Rimouski is a mid-sized town about as far east as we’re travelling in Quebec. Sitting on the south shore of the St. Lawrence, it faces onto the river and the north shore, which recedes into the distance as the river widens toward the sea. A modest town, it’s touched with the folksy charm that makes the Gaspesie such a delightful place to visit.
After a 99-km ride, we settled in for the night at a campground called Motel de l’Anse, just a few kilometres west of town. The blue skies and still air held no foreboding of what was to come; only the chill in the air that evening sent us to bed early.
We woke up in the middle of the night to more than just a rain storm.
To call this a downpour would do a disservice. It would be much more accurate to call it a deluge. At times, it seemed cats, dogs and frogs were falling from the sky.
Our group numbered six at this point, using five tents. For the most part, the tents stood up well to the wicked winds and relentless rain. Colleen’s tent, unfortunately, sat in a low spot, which became a puddle.
There’s little you can do when the rain is falling hard. For the first time in our entire tour, the team decided to take a rain day to catch up on emails and dry out our drenched clothing.
“I thought we should have had a contest … the last tent standing,” quipped Lynn Marshall. Her tent was reinforced with ropes. Even so, her clothing got wet.
Although in a lake, Colleen’s tent stayed dry inside. The floor of the tent proved to be waterproof.
Lisa set up our tent. Wisely, she chose a location on a high spot. She did her best not to appear smug as she said, “Always go to high ground.”
The vicious winds also proved the value in staking the tents as securely as possible. Even so, the winds ripped a number of stakes out of the ground. It was weird to feel the tent walls slapping the top of your head as the winds cranked up through the night.
The one blessing in the experience was a secure shelter near our campsite. There, we gathered in the morning, watched the rain drive down in sheets and started looking for a dry place to spend the day. We found a lovely home bed and breakfast, where host Jo’Anne Roberge provided a warm bed and ready dryer.
We’re ready to ride once again.
Doug Firby is president of Troy Media Digital Solutions and publisher of Troy Media. For interview requests, click here.
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