We have been having a fabulous week, biking on the Veloroute des Bluets, around Lac St.Jean. It’s one of the more famous short routes through Quebec and we’d wanted to check it out for years. It’s a mix of separated bike paths, quiet shared routes with cars and some wide paved shoulders on 90km highways. The route is divided into sections marked ‘family’ that is separated paths, quiet roads and not too much change in elevation and ‘recreational’ which includes the paved shoulders and more hills. Now that the kids are almost 15 and newly minted 12, they are both on their own bikes, with stuffed panniers…which means less weight for us!Because the route circles Lac St. Jean, we often got some water time in. We planned to stop and swim during the days, but we were usually so excited to keep going that our stops were brief.The weather was really hot this week, so we were always looking for shade.The paved paths were our favourites. The kids could ride ahead together, laughing and chatting. Jasper loved jumping on the wheel of any fast racing cyclist who passed us. He made a lot of friends that way. You can’t see it in these pictures, but the route is marked by either a broken or a solid yellow line so you know when it is safe to pass cyclists.
We had been thinking of riding the Fjords after, but learned that almost all the riding would be beside highways. That’s okay for short stretches, but not the whole day.After tossing around various ideas – like taking a ferry through the fjords – for what to do during the few days we had left of our trip, we decided to go paddling in Jacques Cartier Park, just north of Quebec City.
As you can see, it’s like the fjords only suits the people in our family who like to be in charge of their own adventures .We has a blast in the rapids – class l and class ll. It was also awesome using rental boats when we bumped into a rock or two on the way down.
Our next stop was Quebec City and Levis, a short ferry ride across the St. Lawrence. Here’s an example of the incredible infrastructure in Levis. The path to the right is for pedestrians, totally separate from the bidirectional cycling path. We are really bursting at the seams with our river paths in Ottawa and it’s no longer comfortable to go for a casual walk on the path during bike rush hour. There are plans to twin some of the busier sections, like this. I can’t wait! It is so nice to ride by parents walking with their kids and not need to sing at them. Lunch is a great time for lounging! The wind picked up on our ferry crossing, and was really gusting when we set off, so we had to cut our ride short, but we still had an amazing day and look forward to coming back soon.Unicycling buskers!I love the arrows to help with following the route.More fun by the Old Port!It is so great to be back on our bikes again, touring as a family. The only thing we found challenging – apart from managing the heat this week as it was a heat wave – was having just a week for the adventure. It’s totally normal and awesome to have a week holiday. Having had a whole year to wander, we had to adjust to choosing just a few things to do. This meant leaving the Laurentian Mountains behind after just driving through them between Alma (the route des bluets) and Jacques Cartier Park. And this meant sleeping in a campground outside Trois Rivière without checking out any of the bike routes.
But we had a blast. It was so good to be all together and we have lots of ideas for our next adventure!