|With a view like that, breakfast tastes twice as good|
|Beautiful sunrise over the St. Lawrence|
Whereas on my previous ride I had continued on Route 138 all the way to Montreal, this time we followed the Route Verte which turns north from the St. Lawrence and then follows the Assomption River to the island of Montreal. The stretch between the river and L'Assomption was very unpleasant to ride on: fast traffic headed towards and from the A40, including a bunch of trucks, and a narrow shoulder. Worse yet, around the A40 exit there was a lot of construction which rendered the shoulder unusable. I hope once the construction is done they will have improved the cycling infrastructure.
Dedicated bike ways and lanes did exist in L'Assomption but they mostly were of the horrible kind: zig-zagging through the town, bad pavement, pointless stop signs, frequent changes of the side of the road. In addition, the weather had gotten incrementally worse. What had started as a sunny day with no wind whatsoever had now turned into a gray day with a stiff headwind. At a gas station between L'Assomption and Le Gardeur we took shelter from the drizzling rain and nourished our tired selves with a coke and ice cream. The drizzle neither got better nor worse and after a while we continued on our way.
In Le Gardeur the Route Verte first leads through a suburban residential area and then runs on a bike path between a highway on the one side and what looks like an ammunitions factory on the other. Near the A40 interchange there was a big construction zone but they had done a good job of putting up signs for the bike detour. Once we had crossed the Assomption River into the southwest end of Repentigny it was high time for lunch. The biketopus had hoped for a nice restaurant somewhere on the river but based on my prior experience I was rather skeptical about the prospects of finding such a place. And indeed, the best we could find was a Harvey's.
By the time we got going again the rain was merely a drizzle; but only minutes later (that's how long it took to cross a ridiculously badly designed intersection) we found ourselves in a formidable downpour. We took shelter in a strip mall just opposite the Harvey's and fortunately the weather slightly improved again after a few minutes. Crossing the bridge onto the Ile-de-Montréal was unpleasant nonetheless, as the gusty wind regularly carried the passing cars' and trucks' road spray over the cycle path barrier.
|East Montreal: a mix of parks, residential and industrial areas|
|With the headwind, we certainly felt as if we were dragging along an anchor|