Prelude to Le P’tit Train du Nord.

When it comes to cycling trips within a 200km radius of Montréal, I leave the planning up to Yann. Yann was born and raised in Montréal, and although I’ve already lived in this city for three years, I can’t even name five surrounding suburbs. For an overwhelmingly Catholic province like Québec, it’s somewhat comical how Montréal has bungled the cardinal points. I realize there’s nothing actually papal about the “cardinal directions”, but let me show you how how nefarious Montréalais cartographers are with an example of how the island looks in Google Maps:

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Look at where Montréal East is. Doesn’t that look more north to you?

So, to compensate, this is how the island is often presented in maps around the city:

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They just fucking tilt the island just so that Montréal East can actually be in the east. I find this to be a real mindfuck, but Yann thinks nothing of it.

For that reason, it is always his job to lead us out of this condemned island where vehicles cannot even make a right turn on a red. (I swear I’m not making this up!)

Yesterday, he proposed doing our first century ride of the year. That seemed over-ambitious, especially since I had only just begun to commute to work by bicycle a week ago. Prior to that, we spent 6 weeks using the bike trainer for 30 minutes every other day, and in this time I climbed six of the major passes in the Dolomites from the comfort of our living room: Falzarego, Pordoi, Sella, Gardena, Giau, and Campolongo. This was done watching GCN’s training videos on a laptop balanced on top of a speaker.

We had a lot more than just 30 minutes to do the 100km, so I accepted the challenge. We were to spend the majority of our ride on a dedicated bike path that would take us from our home to Saint-Jérôme, where our favourite cycling path, Le P’tit Train du Nord, begins.

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Yann sighted a marmot on the way, and tried pointing it out to me, but I was too distracted taking a photo of him that I completely missed the marmot. Here’s the photo of Yann trying to show me a marmot:

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When we passed through a residential area, I did not miss the plastic pony that somebody put in their front yard. Here is the pony:

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If fake owls are good enough to keep pigeons’ shitty little butts out, then imagine what a phony pony is capable of. Piss off, marmots!

This is also the perfect time to mention that somebody living near the Olympic Stadium has a fake moose parked in their front yard. If I could afford a yard, I’d be sure to one-up this person with a brachiosaurus.

Truthfully, there isn’t a whole lot to look at during this ride, which partly explains why I started thinking about how I’d landscape my hypothetical yard. The monotonous scenery is also likely why the bike path wasn’t made a part of Le P’tit Train du North.

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Not only do I train like a pro, but also I eat like one.

Let’s go back to the pony photo tho:

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Note the park bench in front of the driveway. Why would someone choose to sit right in front of their car? Behind the bench, is a basement window. I know one can’t hope for much when looking outside a basement window, but the decision to put this bench there was likely made by the same person who installed the pony. Did they really not have any better ideas? If you’re that inconsistent at being cool, are you really even cool?

Back to me:

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I did it. I rode 115km, and my legs feel fine today.

I think I’m ready to ride Le P’tit Train du Nord, and see some real animals on the way!

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