The day started with us biking through Trois Rivieres. We had stayed in a motel in Trois Rivieres the night before. The temperature and humidity had dropped from the previous days, however, there was some wind blowing at us that slowed us down in the early part of the morning. After biking an hour we stopped at a look out point. There we met a lady and her daughter. The lady spoke some English.
After the break we were still biking slow until a group of cyclists pulled in behind us and then passed us. Tyler was in the lead. He looked back and smiled. I was behind Tyler and I knew from that point on we were going to try and keep us to this group. For the next hour we increased our speed by an average of 10 km/h to 30 km/h to keep up with the group. For most of the hour we biked at the back of the pack until we faced a big hill. Tyler made a move to start passing some of the cyclists in the group. Jordan and I then followed. Robert, a cyclist in the group, has since found us on facebook. Thanks Robert! We ended up finishing near the front of the pack before we stopped for lunch Donnacona at a Subway.
At the Subway, we met the lady and her daughter again. They offered us strawberries and cheese. A staff person at Subway offered us cookies after hearing of our trip. Excellent!
In Donnacona we were a few hours away from Quebec city. We had hoped to get there by 5 PM, but then trouble started in the afternoon. We were just leaving the town of Neuville when I had a bungee cord break and get caught in my back bike brake. No big deal. I took it out with help from Tyler, but as we started to take off Tyler ran over a small plastic piece from my broken bungee cord. Immediately his tire went flat. This was weird because Tyler had a flat the day before. We said to each other we'll just replace the tube. However, when Tyler put in the new tube, the tire wouldn't hold air. We then assumed that the tire was the problem so Tyler put on a new tire. The tire held air, but the problem was we had just used our only back-up tire. The back-up tire was a foldable tire that is of lower quality. We knew we needed to get a better tire on Tyler's bike.
We had been doing the bike repair on the front lawn of a house. The owners of the house- Mariette and Roget Rodrigue- had come out of the house when we first stopped to ask if we needed help. We had said no, but now realizing that we needed a new tire on the bike, we knew we needed to get to a bike shop. Adding to the urgency was the Quebec holiday St. Jean Baptise day was on Sunday. This meant that Monday would be a holiday. Stores would likely be closed on Sunday and Monday. Mariette and Roget were very nice, but they knew little English and we knew even less French. Jordan is the best at speaking French in our group and worked with Mariette to connect a bike shop. It ended up that the closest bike shop- Performance Begin- was about 15 km away in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. It was about 4:30 PM at this point and the bike shop closed at 5. We knew that we would not be able to make it by 5. The bike shop owner- Stephan- then made an offer for us to come to the store at 7:30.
We took Stephan's generous offer and biked to Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. We had supper at Metro then went to Performance Begin. Stephan took Tyler's bike and put on a new tire. He noticed when doing this that the tire pressure in the bikes was not high enough. The tires were suppose to be 85 psi and Tyler's were 40 psi. Jordan's were 50 psi and mine were 60 psi. Not enough pressure meant our tires were at risk of becoming flat easier. Stephan didn't charge us labour for changing the tire and re-opening his shop since we were biking for charity. We are greatful for his generosity.
After Stephan pumped up our tires, he offered us a 10 minute truck ride to Boulevard Champlain that would take us to the base of Chateau Frontenac. We thought that maybe this may taint our pledge to bike across Canada, but we knew that we would be biking out of our way in Quebec City to get to the place we would be staying (more on place later) so we took the offer on the truck ride.
We started pushing our bikes toward Stephan's truck when Jordan noticed his back tire had gone flat! How inconvenient/convenient. The flat tube was inconvenient, but having it at a bike store was very convenient. tephan then re-opened his shop and put in a new tube.
After Stephan drove us Boulevard Champlain, we biked on this road until we arrived at Chateau Frontenac in the dark at 9:30 PM (Don't worry we had our bike lights on!). From Chateau Frontenac we biked to Tyler's family friend's place. His name is Claude and he lives in the north part of Quebec. Tyler had told Claude we'd arrive by 9 or 10, but we didn't arrive until 11. Good thing for us that Claude is an easy going friendly man and welcomed us in his house despite our late arrival.
Day 8 is an off day that we'll spend in Quebec city. It will help us rest up for another busy week of biking. We've biked about 1000 km so far. About 6000 km to go...