Day 33: More Ottawa River Valley

Day 33: More Ottawa River Valley

Ontario sure is a slog. I entered the province two weeks ago today, and still have another day and a half to contend with. The Ottawa River Valley features for three and a half of those days. Today there was some partial relief from the heat that the valley is famous for, in the form of its also-famous thundershowers. I camped out at a McDonald’s while two of them passed by, then had a slightly cooler ride to Pembroke. There is a rule in Pembroke that all local businesses are closed on Monday, so I waited at Tim Hortons for a third storm to pass. Ultimately, after a few more hours I was able to descend close to the river and catch a breeze. It was nice, but some proper relief would be better!

I set up camp for the night in Arnprior, which should allow for an easy ride in to Ottawa tomorrow morning, then off again to Vankleek Hill or so for the evening. It’s really starting to feel like the home stretch as I cross in to familiar territory.

The road from Deep River or so to Renfrew is the worst yet. It features shoulders that are narrow even by Ontario standards (perhaps 40 cm), but they have rumble strips on them. Then, just inside the white line there are often recessed reflectors. Nowhere to go. The Canada Day weekend traffic whizzed by terrifyingly close. After Renfrew the divided highway begins so I diverted to an old road that goes closer to the river. It will be all old roads until Riviere du Loup.

A picture of a road with a narrow shoulder covered in rumble strips, and a wide gravel patch beside it
Why can’t they just pave some of that gravel?

Today’s distance: 167.1 km

Cumulative distance: 4,714.1 km

Today’s climb: 793 m

A map of today’s route
Today’s ride