This Summer, I was bored. I’ve been thinking about it for a while and decided this was the time to stop thinking and just do it: I packed my camping gear on my bicycle and went away for a 130km two days trip!
It was the first time I was doing an overnight bike ride, and also the first time I was going camping by myself. Because of that, I wanted to keep the itinerary as simple as possible. I started from my parent’s house in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu because they live near the cycle path. From there, It was basically a straight line to Yamaska National Park, which was my destination. I booked a backcountry campsite for one night and that was it, I was ready to go!
The cycling part
The first thing I’m going to say is this: Don’t underestimate the effect of the additional weight you’ll have to carry! I wasn’t particularly trained for this trip, so if you are in super good shape, it might not affect you as much as me, but nonetheless, it will still slow you down. With that said, the first day went easily, since the path is mostly flat (there was a gradual elevation of only 200m in total). The second day, even though there was no elevation because I was coming back, felt harder! My legs were a little sore and I got tired faster.
My plan was to follow La Montérégiene until I get to Granby, and then follow La Granbienne up to Yamaska National Park. The park features a great cycle path as well, so I never had to use the roads or share the path with anything other than cyclists.
The scenery was mostly countrysides. The path crosses corn and flower fields, and some bit of wooded area. The section right after Granby was especially beautiful, and I could see it started to get a little more hilly as I entered the Eastern Township region.
The camping part
At first, I was afraid I would find it a little boring to be by myself in the middle of the woods for a whole night! But it was actually not the case at all. I spend the end of the afternoon at the beach and then continued on my way to my campsite. By the time I unpacked and got everything set up, it was time for a reward! I carefully planned my meals but left a little room for a well-deserved beer that I bought on the way. There is a limit to the things you can pack on a bike, so let’s say it was a minimalist trip!
So like I mentioned, this was a campground with no water or services. There was only a compost toilet not too far from the sites. I think there were 5 sites, but all quite far away from each other. One of them was particularly beautiful, right in front of the lake. I spotted it for the next time! The firewood was also provided by the park, which was a great perk since otherwise, I would have needed to go all the way back to the entrance (8km round trip).
I brought my camera, but not the tripod. I regretted that… There were a beautiful sunset and lots of fireflies, which I couldn’t photograph properly because it was too dark. I still went to walk around to see if I could get some good photos before the light was completely gone. I finished the night with a good book in front of the fire.