Le mini-défi de 550km

by dhdaines

I didn’t have time for a full-on bike camping trip this fall, and in any case I’m starting to think that there isn’t much point to solo camping on a bike when traveling through populated areas – first of all, you have to carry a ton of stuff on the bike, and second of all, either you end up camping in unofficial locations and constantly worrying about getting kicked out, or you pay $30 for a campsite for one person, when you could have just as well spent the same on a bed in a youth hostel or a Sépaq refuge.

Route 381

Route 381

Ever since MJ and I went camping at the Grands-Jardins a month earlier and I got to witness the insanity that is Routes 138 and 381 in Charlevoix, I knew that I had to challenge myself to ride those hills.  Since it’s easy to take a bike on the train from Saguenay to Montreal, it made sense to ride one-way and then take a day to sit on the train and recover.

Route 138

Route 138

My original plan was actually to hit the two highest paved roads in Québec in the same trip by riding up Mont Mégantic then heading north to ride the 381, but this seemed just a bit too intense, it would have meant at least one extra day, and in any case, I’d already ridden out that direction on the 600km brevet this year, so I decided to do 2 days of riding, one “transport stage” down the river to Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré, and then the main event, riding through Charlevoix to Saguenay.

I call it a “mini-défi” since it’s roughly half of the Ultra-Défi!  I don’t have time to write up the whole thing at once, so watch this space for photos and reports…

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