Our day this morning started at the Garneau corporate offices in Quebec City, where our convoy parked last night, with Louis Garneau himself serving us coffee and breakfast in the parking lot. Garneau is one of our corporate sponsors and founder Louis was a national team road and track cyclist (competing for Canada at the 1984 Olympics) and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
We shuttled from the Garneau offices to the south side of the St. Lawrence River at Levis, where we did our morning dedication.
Eight-year old Sahara was brought into SickKids this summer after experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and a loss of appetite. She endured extensive testing, including an x-ray, ultrasound and a CT scan, resulting in a diagnosis no parent wants to hear: Sahara was diagnosed with a type of ovarian cancer. Her treatment will involve 4 cycles of chemotherapy, given 3 weeks apart, to help reduce the tumour size and eliminate any metastatic cells, followed by surgery to remove the primary tumour and enlarged nodes. Fortunately, the prognosis is generally excellent, with cure rates in excess of 90%.
Today we will ride for Sahara.
We rolled out and headed east on Highway 132, a beautiful secondary road that hugs the south shore and connects numerous small towns and picturesque rural villages. Our peloton was working well together as we cruised past magnificent cathedrals and pretty homes, admiring the québécois architecture and taking in the stunning views of the river and the mountains of the Charlevoix region on the opposite shore.
We had a guest rider with us today – Mario, who did the NKCR in 2015 and 2016 and lives in Quebec City. There is a very active alumni group of NKCR riders, which we will all be a part of once we get to Halifax! After about 120k of riding, Mario hosted our group for lunch at a lovely French Canadian restaurant in L’Islet, a small village on the river bank.
With our bellies full, and being a bit behind schedule, we decided to ride another 25k to our afternoon rest stop at Kamouraska and call it a day. We gathered by the water for some group photos, then loaded the trucks and vans and shuttled to Rivière-du-Loop for showers and dinner at a local Irish pub.
We’re now en route to Grand Falls, New Brunswick, where the fun will resume tomorrow!