Day 40
I was really in St. Lambert, at the Motel Ideal la Barre, and not in Montreal proper, so all I had to do was head south and east on highway 132, the highway along the river. Unfortunately 132 is merged with autoroute 15, and you can't ride a bicycle on that 'interstate' highway. Fortunately that merger ends 10 miles or so south of where I was spending the night. J.P. suggested I take the street (four lane divided 'highway', but with a shoulder and regular bicycle traffic) to the section of 132 after the autoroute separated from 132.

With the help of the map in the phone book and the help of two men working at a service station near where boul. Taschereau ended and 132 began again, I was able to get on 132. When I first asked one of the guys if he spoke English, he said no and went back to work on the car he was repairing. When I thanked him and patted his back as I walked away, he stopped what he was doing and said " well, I know a little English." Then he helped me and called over his partner who spoke more English to confirm the best way to get to 132.

Riding on boul. Taschereau was pretty good. The wind was strong out of the north west, but I was heading mostly south. Riding on 132 would have been good (good shoulders, moderate traffic) but it initially headed north west. More 10 mph grinding into a 20 mph wind. Slowing to maybe 8.5 when the wind gusted to 30 mph. Speeding up to 12 or 13 mph when the road curved away from the wind and the buildings along the road partially blocked it. It was also cold, about 50 when I left the motel, warming very slowly to about 65 by the time I reached the US border at 5 PM. With the wind chill even 65 was quite cold.

I left 132 for 138 near Kahnawake, which helped because now I was headed south west with a strong north west cross wind. The road was good and riding conditions, other than the wind, were good. The traffic lightened up as I got farther from Montreal, becoming quite light by the time I reached the US border. The road became two lanes with no shoulder before Ste-Martins, but that was not a problem with light traffic. I did get passed into by a jerk (he only needed to wait 10 seconds to pass and he gained nothing by running me off the road), but it wasn't dangerous because I was able to ride on the sand and gravel shoulder at the spot that happened. A hundred feet later the shoulder was too soft for safe riding.

138 did finally turn south a few miles before the border, so I did get some relief from fighting the crosswinds, but it was a hard ride for 50 or 55 of the 70 miles to the border. I figure it was the work equivalent of climbing at least several thousand feet. Note that this ride was almost perfectly flat till the last few miles before the border. I measured something like 100 feet of 'climbing' in 50 miles.

At the border, a rather mean looking (the Canadian Customs Agent was just pleasant looking and acting) customs agent asked me a few questions "Where are you going?" Home. "Where is that?" Asheville, NC. "Where were you born?" Everett, WA. "What are you carrying that you bought in Canada?" Two candy bars and one used book (I forgot the new saddle). "OK." No big deal; fewer questions and more of an interrogation than entering Canada.

It was an easy ride on route 30 from the border to Malone. I had the wind at my back and I knew I had only a little way to go. The road had a good shoulder, climbed about 400 feet in the ten miles, and became progressively more hilly as I headed south towards the Adirondacks. Route 30 is the Adirondack Trail south of Malone.

I'm heading west on route 11 tomorow into a forecast 10 - 15 mph west wind. My other choice is to ride south into the Adirondacks. I did consider that one seriously, but it looks like I might have problems finding a place to stay and finding a way over to the western route I want to take. I bet it is beautiful and the weather is clear and cool, so riding through the mountains would be nice.

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