Author Topic: L Route des Bleuets Trip Report  (Read 404 times)

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Offline David W Pratt

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L Route des Bleuets Trip Report
« on: August 04, 2022, 07:46:40 pm »
Recently, I rode the Route des Bleuets, the Blueberry Trail, around Lac St. Jean in Quebec.  I started in Burlington Vermont and rode up to Montreal, stayed a couple of days and then took the train to Chambord, a small town on the lake, and rode around it clockwise.  Then I took the train back, and rode back to Burlington.  It was 400 miles of riding, 640 kilometers, and I took two weeks.  Customs was not a problem, either way.  To get in you have to register through ArriveCan, an App for your phone.  Strangely, as soon as you cross the border the land gets flat, a condition we have only heard about in Vermont.  Lots of people seem to speak much more French than English, but I got by.  I got Canadian money at a couple of banks in Vermont before I left, but used my Visa card for almost everything.  There were plenty of campgrounds on the way to Montreal and around the lake, all of them had mostly (99+%) RVs.  Saw lots of other bike riders, including lots with loads on their bikes.
The train to Chambord leaves from the Gare Centrale in Montreal and you can check your bike. It got into Chambord at 12:45 am so I just cowboy camped in a field.  If I were doing it again, I would call Bernard Renauld (415-265-1998).  He is renovating an auberge at the railroad station and might have room.  Say hi from me if you go.  The station seems to be closed, but you can reserve a seat by phone for the return.
Most of the campgrounds have stores and restaurants, I only used my stove to make tea in the mornings.  There are also tons of hotels, motels, etc.
It was very dry, I was almost never sweaty, and there was hardly any dew in the tent most mornings.  It was low 50s F in the morning and low 80s in mid afternoon.  A few thunderstorms came through, but not bad YMMV.
The street and road signs are excellent.  The road atlas I had was not so good.  Some of the roads it showed were un labeled, and others had labels of other roads obscuring them.  The Bike Quebec (Velo Quebec) is an atlas of the bike routes, of which there are lots.  For some reason the road atlas does not show the bike routes and the bbike atlas does not show the regular roads, that would be too easy.  Montreal is very bike friendly, so much so lots of people want to keep your bike there.  Secure storage at night is a must.
The feeling was very much going somewhere different, just  50 miles from Burlington Vt.
Happy to answer any questions.
Bon voyage!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: L Route des Bleuets Trip Report
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2022, 03:53:23 pm »
It is an ongoing Adventure. That's the way it goes with maps. As they say, the map is not the road. The map is not the terrain. You seem to stress it is a must for Secure Storage at night. Is there a problem there? Well of course security is a must all the time.

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: L Route des Bleuets Trip Report
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2022, 05:56:22 pm »
I read advice about bike theft in Montreal before I left.  I did see ordinary bikes secured with 1/2" cable, or equivalent chain, and other bike frames picked clean.