The next couple of days feature a high humidity and heat warning for the Montreal area. It’s funny how a few weeks ago we were moaning that spring seemed to be getting off to a really slow start and it was always raining and cool. Well I tell you, if you ever needed more proof that human beings just love to complain then bring up the weather. Now no-one can stop going on about how bloody hot it is and “Oh my God, will someone tell me when this heat is going to break?” People! You cannot change the weather. Deal with it. And you know what? Enjoy it. Fast forward a few months and you’ll be crying about the snow all over again and dreaming of days like this. OK. Lecture over.
When I left the house at 5.40 a.m. there was a heavy dampness in the air that actually made it feel slightly cooler than the recorded 21c. Down across the lake there was a heavy mist that hung right over the water, creating the most ethereal image. The wind was almost non-existant adding to the eerie feeling. Hardly a car was on the lakeshore and it was still too early for most of the pre-breakfast joggers.
I made it to Parc Levesque and began my laps. I have mentioned this park before. It’s a spit of land that juts out into Lac St-Louis and with its 1km straights it is perfect for hard intervals or just cruising. The weekends, forget it. But at 6.00 a.m. on a weekday morning you have only the sea gulls and two or three other riders and joggers to interrupt what is otherwise perfect serenity. The park smelled incredible. At times it reminded me of the family house in Rivière-du-Loup with the smell of the pine trees in the dampness. At other moments I rode through what can only be described as a wall of scent, lilacs I think, so overpowering you can’t help but marvel at nature. The water was glassy calm, as you can see from this shot, and I wish I had been quick enough to get a picture of the lone kayaker making his way across the mirror, only his oars creating a tiny ripple as they dipped into the water.
Ten laps later it was time to make the return ride along the lakeshore road to home. I would have kept a slightly higher average speed had I not been stuck behind a beaten up Pontiac Sunfire for the first kilometre. He was not leaving me any room and there are a series of about five stop signs in a row that I felt absolutely obliged to recognize. Judging by the baseball cap tipped aggressively to one side and the dings and dents that seemed to cover the car from bonnet to boot, I determined that the driver was definitely unconcerned with my well-being and any demonstration of cheekiness, such as running the stop sign, would give him just the ammunition he would need to justify doing something silly. I’m not saying he would hit me on purpose, not at all, but he seemed like the type who would honk, drive close and scream out of the window. Having said that, stop signs are there for the bikes just as much as they are for the cars, so really I should not even be having this dialogue!
Pulling into the driveway at 7.00 a.m. I was dead chuffed to see that I had completed 40.5 km in 1hr 14m at an average speed of 32.1 kph. Not a bad start to the day. Now I can hide in the air conditioning until tomorrow morning. Ride safe.