Day 7: Flatlands, NB to Sainte-Luce, QC

Once again, after having a second day of a hearty breakfast, we fixed my bike. I then took off to face the longest ride of my journey so far: 167 kilometers, all the way to Sainte-Luce, Quebec.

However, 10 kilometers off Flatlands, my gear started acting up again, although I did manage to make it to the Quebec border. As if that wasn’t enough, after another 10 kilometers, my tire got flat. It wasn’t inflated enough. I tried to change the tube for like an hour, but the kevlar tire was simply too tight. In the end, I continued with no air in it, doing my best to keep on pedaling, but the frustration got to me so badly that I found myself letting it all out — screaming in the middle of nowhere Quebec. I guess this is what it’s like for those with chronic pain — the frustration of being in such pain can get so much, especially with the feeling that they are all alone in the middle of nowhere — with the pain sometimes being a hindrance from allowing them to let their frustrations out.

I tried to be positive, however — I’m in Quebec! That’s two provinces down, six to go!

The Fleur-de-lys welcomes me back to my home province

The Fleur-de-lys welcomes me back to my home province

In Amqui, why not take a selfie?

In Amqui, why not take a selfie?

I arrived at a very tiny village from afar, went closer, but there was not a single person. It’s like one of those miniature toy villages, without the presence of a living being. I figured I would keep on going, until I get some form of help somewhere.

Not a single soul around...

Not a single soul around…

When you have too much stuff on your bike...

When you have too much stuff on your bike…

..this is what happens.

…this is what happens.

I went another 25 kilometers, until — as if bread fell from the sky — I saw another biker, Patrick Beaudry, who is cycling from Ottawa to Newfoundland. I saw him, and all my anxiety disappeared instantly. He was incredibly helpful, and he clearly knew what he was doing. I asked him if he had a spoon so I could remove the tire. He told me that he could change the tube with his bare hands; however, it was too tight for him as well, and it took us both half an hour and a cooking spoon to remove the tire off its wheel. He was a cool guy, and asked me so many questions about what I did, what happened, etc. He ended up giving me his tube, since my spare one was not inflating. (I know… I should have been better prepared.. )and he did his magic to use a piece of scotch tape to make sure the damaged tube would not cause another flat.

The hero of the day

The hero of the day

To sum it all up, he saved my day.

The path to get to Sainte-Luce was rather hilly — a lot of ups and downs. A chain of mountains from East to West — it is perhaps, and from what I know, the biggest chain of mountains in Eastern North America. And, as in life, we go through all these ups and downs — until this one big, significant thing happens in our life.

There it was — that one big, significant event for this day. I see it — I see the St. Lawrence river across the town of Mont-Joli, welcoming me with its imperial beauty, the sunset looming across its pristine upper layer, reflecting a grace like no other. The reflection of trees and houses on the water, with the sun coming out from behind the hills made the laborious day all worth it — I felt like I was in Ireland, but I am back in my home province. Quebec, I’m here!

River of Matapedia -- goes all the way to New Brunswick

River of Matapedia — goes all the way to New Brunswick

Half frozen Lake Matapedia

Half frozen Lake Matapedia

It truly was the hardest day of my journey by far. My legs are tired, my muscles are sore, I am mentally fatigued, but arriving in Quebec and seeing such an alluring sight reminded me of one of the reasons why I am enduring all the pain and difficulty — to make myself more aware that “beauty takes no shortcuts” (As Viarail would say), and that appreciating all of this doesn’t happen unless I earn it. There was such an amazing feeling of freedom and triumph that surged through me when I saw the river that marks home, slowly opening to a majestic gulf. La belle province, j’arrive! 

The light of dusk casts a stunning glow along the town of Mont-Joli, with the St. Lawrence river at the background

The light of dusk casts a stunning glow along the town of Mont-Joli, with the St. Lawrence river at the background

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One thought on “Day 7: Flatlands, NB to Sainte-Luce, QC

  1. Thank you Patrick Beaudry for your generous help. Ride well and may the wind be in your back.
    This goes to prove that there is always a solution to every problem and not give up.

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