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Quebec tour (Gatineau-Quebec-Tadoussac-Saguenay-Quebec) in September - Seeking Recomm

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Quebec tour (Gatineau-Quebec-Tadoussac-Saguenay-Quebec) in September - Seeking Recomm

Old 08-20-21, 04:50 PM
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user2
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Quebec tour (Gatineau-Quebec-Tadoussac-Saguenay-Quebec) in September - Seeking Recomm

My partner and I are planning a 3 week Quebec tour starting August 28th. I’m seeking general advice and recommendations on our proposed route since I know there is often really helpful information given on here. We are both newbies and this is the first real bike tour for both of us.

Here is our planned route (Plan A), starting from Ottawa/Gatineau:
Plan A Route

As a flatter and lower traffic alternative, here is our Plan B route:
Plan B Route

Aside from our main destination of Tadoussac and our endpoint of Quebec City our itinerary is flexible and we are open to any suggestions. We’re planning to end our tour in Quebec city and have reserved a one-way rental car to get us back to Gatineau/Ottawa.

If we find ourselves getting fatigued by the time we get to Quebec City (@500km mark), our alternate Plan B is to follow the flatter south shore veloroute and then ferry across from Rivière-du-Loup to Saint-Siméon. But if we feel up to it, we plan to take the 138 through the mountains of Charlevoix to Tadoussac. After spending a few days in the Tadoussac area, we plan to follow the 172 up the north shore of the Saguenay river, then take the 381 down to Baie-Saint Paul, then the 138 back to Quebec.

Our proposed route is approximately 1200km in total over 21 days (average 57km/day). If we were to take up to 8 resting/activity days, the trip might involve 12 biking days @ an average of 100km/day. We plan to spend some time doing other non-biking things on our rest days such as whale-watching and hiking.

Preparation-wise, we recently did a 1-night shakedown trip and it went well. For the past few months we’ve been riding regularly with some longer rides up to 100km. We also have some experience wilderness backpacking, so we're familiar with packing bags and camping and such.

Equipment-wise, we both have stock Kona Sutras with a 21.4 and 20.2 gear-inch low gears, respectively. From what I’ve read, around 18 GI would likely be preferable for the hilly section of our proposed route, although our stock gearing is probably still adequate. We’re packing moderately with about 30lbs of gear each, excluding food and water.

I have a couple specific questions:
  1. How are the SEPAQ cyclist campsites? Are they even worthwhile for 2 people? The rates are $9.75pp/night + $9pp/day mandatory daily park entry fee, or $37.50 in total for 2 people. By comparison, SEPAQ car campsites range from $38-$50 per night in September. I’m not really clear on what the advantages of the cyclist campsites are for non-solo tourists aside from the no-turn-away policy and food storage boxes.
  2. Has anyone here biked the #381 between Saguenay and Baie-Saint-Paul? I haven’t found many bicycle reports about this road online, but it looks very scenic. I’m aware that it’s very mountainous and fairly remote. We’re considering taking a couple days to camp and hike in Grands-Jardins National Park in the Pied-des-monts area, if energy levels and time permit.

Any general advice or tips are very much appreciated.

Last edited by user2; 08-20-21 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Fixed math
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Old 08-20-21, 05:55 PM
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Old 08-21-21, 05:58 AM
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morning, cool trip idea.
I'll try to help with some personal experience.
first of all, 30lbs is a good amount, and good that you've prepped physically and carrying the stuff.
re the gearing, you dont say if you are in your 20s or 60s, but I've toured a lot in hilly area and 21 or 20ish gear inches low should be pretty good. I toured with that low for decades with about the same weight and only went lower as I planned for some far off trips where I knew I'd be in steeper tougher terrain and also having to carry more stuff due to the locations in Latin America ( a 16.7 g.il low gear btw, very very useful)

but yes, lower would be beter!

last summer I rode on the Ottawa-Mtl Prescott Russel rail trail heading back to Mtl and it was very nice, you'll enjoy it and the surface was rather good. I found it quiet and pretty, and it was nice not to deal with traffic and it didnt bother me riding through fields and such.
It was dry and I was on 45mm slicks, and it was fine, although I did get off it somewhere around the Hawksbury level and took quiet back roads to Rigaud. Someone I met earlier in the day coming from Mtl told me that the trail was rough at first for a while, but I'm sure it will be fine and you can easily figure out small roads for a bit if its an issue. (I had ridden Mtl-Ottawa earlier but a roundabout route--up to Mt Laurier, over west to Maniwaki and then down to Gatineau etc)

now for Mtl to QC, I see you've chosen the north shore route. I had hoped to do Mtl-QC this summer so looked at routes, and yours is the shorter one, 330km from memory, but I had decided to do the south shore eastern townships route from recommendations of it being nice , but longer, 440k I think.
No matter what you do, I think it will be straight forward, but I havent ridden either.

now past QC, I have driven this in CAR a few times now , QC to Tadoussac, and as I'm sure you know, this is a bit of a kick ass climbing route, with some rather long climbs, doable, but you just have to make sure you have enough food water and the mindset to just find a gear that is good for the legs for chugging along at a good cadence and chug chug along. Your gearing should be good like I said, and at least the important thing is that your legs will be "touring bike weight" stronger by the time you get there, which is great for the timing.
Just be very aware that daily distances will be harder and or shorter, so if you have no choice but to do longer distances to get to a spot for the night, get good long sleeps, start early and have enough food and water.
Ive toured a lot in mountains and thats what it comes down to, low enough gearing to be comfortable cadence wise, fuel and water for your engine, and the mindset of just going with it and it will take time.

If you havent done so, I'd recommend riding loaded with food water up the hill up to Pinks Lake in the Gat park as an example, just so you know what it feels like to adjust your mindset, and also to make sure your gearing is ok.
So yes, lower gearing would be better and you'd appreciate it.....
Kinda late, but if it isnt low enough, it would be easy to change out your small chain ring for a smaller one, but 1- prob hard to find the part, and 2-pretty last minute. On the plus side, I've changed small chainrings to smaller ones many times and its always been very easy and simple, with no adjustment needed of the FD, plus your sutras have bar end shifters right, so they handle it well. I have done this on bikes with STI shifters and again, no shifting issues at all whatsoever.
Do your Sutras have the triples or are they the "gravelly" double ones? This is pretty crucial technically to what you can or cannot do easily to lower your gearing......

I have ridden the 172 from Saguenay down to Tadoussac area and it was nice enough, reasonable shoulder from memory. Rolly hills but not terrible, but I was unloaded. DO NOT take the other route on the other side of the Saguenay, I havent done it but was told that it is waaaay hillier etc--again, no personal experience but you should be able to confirm this from other sources to be sure.

Ive never ridden teh 381, but just expect it to be pretty hilly. Again, you'll have good strong touring legs by then, so hopefully you can find out about how it is riding on from other sources too.

re the Kamouraska side option, I've only driven it, but it looks very pretty and the Route Verte follows it I believe. I recall seeing from the car the RV path sometimes.
Just remember, the prevailing winds go from W to E, following the St Lawrence out to the sea, so respect that wind direction.
I once did the Gaspe peninsula (going towards the ocean) and still remember seeing the few poor sods going the "wrong" way, struggling into the headwind.

edit, lost internet and lost some last stuff, will try to recall what went missing.....

Last edited by djb; 08-21-21 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 08-21-21, 06:01 AM
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in a nutshell, lost stuff was about how the cold water of the St Lawrence has a full time cooling effect on the air, so its nearly always cooler there, so be prepared and know what layers work for you both , especially if its rainy and cool.

I also added lastly that its a neat mix of changing geography and terrain, and will be hard sometimes.
hope weather is ok all in all. have fun.
hope some of this helps
cheers
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Old 08-21-21, 08:42 AM
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Awesome! We have toured Montréal-Gaspe-Miramichi. The north side Montréal-Quebec was nice, but have no experience on south side, and then on south side of St. Lawrence after QC. We camped but I am not familiar with SEPAQ. Camping in Quebec is great, if perhaps a bit pricey. We had planned something similar this year, adding a loop around Lake St. Jean, but border restrictions did not allow entry, so next year. Your route is on Goggle. You may wish to also use ride-with-gps. I find google elevation cumulatives and grades to have poor accuracy. This may affect your planning of daily distances between QC and Tadoussac on south side. There are significant climbs, which fully loaded will perhaps feel different than you are accustomed to.
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Old 08-21-21, 09:57 AM
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djb, thanks so much for all of this info! Super helpful.

We're both in our late 20s and I'm glad to hear that the 20/21 gear-inches low should be sufficient. Both of our Sutras have front triples with the bar-end friction shifters, so it seems that we could swap our 26T ring for a 22T pretty easily. Although I'm not sure about the availability of rings these days and I'm a little hesitant to make changes being only a week out from our trip. I kind of hummed and hawed about lowering the gearing over the past couple months and couldn't really decide on whether to go through with it.

That's a good point about riding in Gatineau park fully loaded as a test run. I took a partial load of about 15 lb of gear on a ride through the park last weekend but I should really practice with a full load to better mentally prepare for this. East of QC it seems like there are near-continuous climbs of over 50km which will be a totally new experience for us. We're used to riding lots of hills in the Gatineau area, but the hills around here are more rolling up and down.

Good to hear about the Ottawa-Mtl Prescott Russel trail. We haven't decided yet whether to take the Ontario or Quebec side going to Montreal, but it seems like the Ontario side is the more popular route.

From Mtl to QC we chose the north shore route since seemed slightly more interesting although both sides seem nice. East of Montreal I've only driven the 40 to Trois-Rivieres, so this is all new territory for me.

Given what you said about the hills and wind direction we'll plan to make a decision when we arrive in QC whether to commit to the north shore hilly route vs the flatter south shore route. Since we'll be 500km into the trip at that point I'm not sure whether we'll feel exhausted or fully trained up and ready to take on some more challenging terrain.

I planned on taking a fairly direct/short route from Ottawa to Tadoussac to give us some flexibility so we don't have to rush to get back to make it to the fixed end-point of our tour in QC if/when we run into any problems or delays, since I don't see many options to bail-out or shorten the trip once we get to the Tadoussac area. Ideally we'll have some time to do a bit of hiking and whale-watching, but if we find ourselves running behind, we'll have some days to spare so we don't have to stress ourselves out racing against the clock.

Re: weather conditions, we will plan to bring some extra layers and rain gear. It's heard to think about as we are currently in the midst of a heat wave, but I suppose we should plan to encounter temperatures as high as 35°C (93°F) and overnight temps as low as -2°C (28°F) during the course of our trip.
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Old 08-21-21, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by IPassGas View Post
Awesome! We have toured Montréal-Gaspe-Miramichi. The north side Montréal-Quebec was nice, but have no experience on south side, and then on south side of St. Lawrence after QC. We camped but I am not familiar with SEPAQ. Camping in Quebec is great, if perhaps a bit pricey. We had planned something similar this year, adding a loop around Lake St. Jean, but border restrictions did not allow entry, so next year. Your route is on Goggle. You may wish to also use ride-with-gps. I find google elevation cumulatives and grades to have poor accuracy. This may affect your planning of daily distances between QC and Tadoussac on south side. There are significant climbs, which fully loaded will perhaps feel different than you are accustomed to.
Thanks for the info!

Camping is pricey indeed, although even at $40/night they seem to be still less than half the price of a hotel room in most places. I wish we had more low cost or free primitive camping options in eastern Canada similar to the the Adirondacks.

I've been looking at the elevations in RWGPS. It seems like the toughest stretch of our trip is from Baie-Saint-Paul to Baie-des-Rochers with 1800m (5900 ft) of climbing over 100km (62 mi). Which actually doesn't seem crazy to me as we've done 100 km day rides around home with 1300m of climbing. I think the biggest difference is the grades and steady climbing for hours at a time, which I have no experience with, since the Gatineau hills are more rolling up and down. And of course the difference of having a fully loaded bike. I'll guess I'll have to see how we feel after the first big climbing day to get a better sense of how much distance and climbing is reasonable.
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Old 08-21-21, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by user2 View Post
djb, thanks so much for all of this info! Super helpful.

We're both in our late 20s and I'm glad to hear that the 20/21 gear-inches low should be sufficient. Both of our Sutras have front triples with the bar-end friction shifters, so it seems that we could swap our 26T ring for a 22T pretty easily. Although I'm not sure about the availability of rings these days and I'm a little hesitant to make changes being only a week out from our trip. I kind of hummed and hawed about lowering the gearing over the past couple months and couldn't really decide on whether to go through with it.
---I get being hesitant about a last minute change. Its too bad though that you hadnt asked months ago, I would have really recommended doing it, as its an easy peasy change out, and Ive done it on downtube shifter bike and sti bikes, and really its a "change out ring" and thats it, no other stuff needed to do.
With touring, there is really no downside to lowering gearing. Despite non tourers not getting this and thinking its wimpy, if you need to shift up, you shift up, plain and simple. Buts its damn nice to be able to downshift more when you hit a really steep bit or are just feeling tired or have a sore knee or whatever.


That's a good point about riding in Gatineau park fully loaded as a test run. I took a partial load of about 15 lb of gear on a ride through the park last weekend but I should really practice with a full load to better mentally prepare for this. East of QC it seems like there are near-continuous climbs of over 50km which will be a totally new experience for us. We're used to riding lots of hills in the Gatineau area, but the hills around here are more rolling up and down.
--ya, until you ride fully loaded up, its hard to get it, and to appreciate how you just have to reevaluate average speed, distances, and how much time you spend in the lowest few gears. Even if you have proper gearing, the mental aspect of really long slow climbs is a change, and you adapt. It can be hard though for some folks as it kicks them in the arse confidence wise with long climbs, so yes, Id get out and climb loaded to see if both of you feel you can find a low enough gear to be able to keep a good enough cadence and dial back on the effort put out, so that you can keep this up for a long time.
This is the key to touring in hilly areas, the mental and the low enough gearing so you arent blowing your heart or knees out....


Good to hear about the Ottawa-Mtl Prescott Russel trail. We haven't decided yet whether to take the Ontario or Quebec side going to Montreal, but it seems like the Ontario side is the more popular route.
--Ive ridden on the Quebec side and the route is good too, especially since highway 50 went in, so it reduced traffic on the 148 or whatever it is that goes towards Mtl. For sure the PRussel trail is calm and peaceful, and even though I;m totally comfortable on roads and sketchy urban stuff, its nice for the quiet, so thats something to think about.

From Mtl to QC we chose the north shore route since seemed slightly more interesting although both sides seem nice. East of Montreal I've only driven the 40 to Trois-Rivieres, so this is all new territory for me.

Given what you said about the hills and wind direction we'll plan to make a decision when we arrive in QC whether to commit to the north shore hilly route vs the flatter south shore route. Since we'll be 500km into the trip at that point I'm not sure whether we'll feel exhausted or fully trained up and ready to take on some more challenging terrain.
--one thing is to try to not overdo it for the first few days, doing shorter days is nice and works your body into riding a much much heavier bike. I'm the age of your parents, but even when I was your age, I learned to do a few 50, 60, 70k days at first and my body appreciated it. I find this helps with being less burnt out too quickly, but hey, listen to your bodies, and like I mentioned earlier, after 4, 5 days you really do start to find the legs being stronger.

I planned on taking a fairly direct/short route from Ottawa to Tadoussac to give us some flexibility so we don't have to rush to get back to make it to the fixed end-point of our tour in QC if/when we run into any problems or delays, since I don't see many options to bail-out or shorten the trip once we get to the Tadoussac area. Ideally we'll have some time to do a bit of hiking and whale-watching, but if we find ourselves running behind, we'll have some days to spare so we don't have to stress ourselves out racing against the clock.

Re: weather conditions, we will plan to bring some extra layers and rain gear. It's heard to think about as we are currently in the midst of a heat wave, but I suppose we should plan to encounter temperatures as high as 35°C (93°F) and overnight temps as low as -2°C (28°F) during the course of our trip.
--ya, who knows what you'll be getting. Yesterday and today I was riding and holy bananas it was hot, and I've ridden a lot in hot countries.
Drink drink and drink. Pee pee and pee. And ya, Gatoraid does help with bonkers hot days when you're sweating like crazy.
And ya, you could have cool weather too....who knows.

(hope the bold font stuff isnt too jarring....)
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Old 08-21-21, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by user2 View Post
Camping is pricey indeed, although even at $40/night they seem to be still less than half the price of a hotel room in most places. I wish we had more low cost or free primitive camping options in eastern Canada similar to the the Adirondacks.

I've been looking at the elevations in RWGPS. It seems like the toughest stretch of our trip is from Baie-Saint-Paul to Baie-des-Rochers with 1800m (5900 ft) of climbing over 100km (62 mi). Which actually doesn't seem crazy to me as we've done 100 km day rides around home with 1300m of climbing. I think the biggest difference is the grades and steady climbing for hours at a time, which I have no experience with, since the Gatineau hills are more rolling up and down. And of course the difference of having a fully loaded bike. I'll guess I'll have to see how we feel after the first big climbing day to get a better sense of how much distance and climbing is reasonable.
certainly agree with you on the price of camping, its a drag isnt it? One of the reasons I like bike touring in France, so many campgrounds and very reasonably priced, but there you go...

re metres climbed in a day over X distance. You'll see that you quickly get a feel for X m's in a day and how you feel after, and the following day. The real kicker is humping a 65, 70+lb bike rather than just a 30lb one.
I think the most I've climbed in a day touring over maybe 50k was 2000, 2200 m and those times were real kick ass days. You really feel it the next day, at any age.
But its all good, and like I keep saying, its really cool to feel yourself getting stronger and stronger, which you will do, at any age too.
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Old 08-22-21, 06:55 AM
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Alrighty, we fully loaded the bikes this morning and went on a short 30km practice run past Pink Lake in Gatineau Park with 370m of elevation gain. It was a bit slow but went well. The bikes actually handled surprisingly well under load. The only minor annoyance I find is the clunking of the panniers when going over bumps but it’s not really anything to be concerned about, just annoying.

For climbing I only went down to my third lowest gear @26 GI and it felt fine. Of course I felt relatively fresh today and the grades were relatively mild at 5%-ish. I’m sure my lowest gear will get a lot of use on longer steeper climbs or days when I’m tired or sore or sick or whatever but at least the stock gearing feels adequate. And I’m sure for our NEXT tour we’ll change to lower gearing.

Thanks again, djb, for all of the advice. Now I need to work on cleaning, lubing and tuning up the bikes and to finish preparing for our trip.
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Old 08-22-21, 09:32 AM
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I would just camp in the wood or an empty lot. I lived in my trailer for two years and no one ever bothered me.
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Old 08-22-21, 11:22 AM
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[QUOTE=user2;22194717]Alrighty, we fully loaded the bikes this morning and went on a short 30km practice run past Pink Lake in Gatineau Park with 370m of elevation gain. It was a bit slow but went well. The bikes actually handled surprisingly well under load. The only minor annoyance I find is the clunking of the panniers when going over bumps but it’s not really anything to be concerned about, just annoying.

Snipped/QUOTE]

For extra stability on dirt/gravel/stone covered roads in Northern Ontario I wrap an Arno strap around my panniers. Even without clip-on pannier mounts I've never had a pannier bounce on those roads. Arno Straps are like super-long toe-straps. they're also great for strapping things like sleeping bags, sleeping pads or tents to the top of bicycle racks.


Cheers
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Old 08-22-21, 11:32 AM
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In 2019 I drove all the way to Cape Breton, then back thru 21 states. I think I went hwy 17.
When I was in QC, there was a rainy day, so I drove the 120 miles to Charlevoix and the casino, very pretty.
Yup, the climbs are crazy. Where the road goes down to the river at towns 3 times, it's insane. The signs say 15 or 16%. You'll be lucky if you can push your bikes out. LOL. But I think there were bypasses. The views I liked best were where I could see the farms. I stayed in hotels the whole trip. You're lucky if they are only $100 + tax.
I was 4 nights in Markham, 1 night in Kanata, 2 in Gatineau, 3 in QC and 4 in Montreal. Had no problem riding my CCM with SA RD-3 speed all over. Mont Royale would be the obvious exception. How they drive that on winter ice is insane.
The Gaspe shore is a piece of cake for sure, but long distances between towns. I stopped in Rimouski.

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Old 08-22-21, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by user2 View Post
Alrighty, we fully loaded the bikes this morning and went on a short 30km practice run past Pink Lake in Gatineau Park with 370m of elevation gain. It was a bit slow but went well. The bikes actually handled surprisingly well under load. The only minor annoyance I find is the clunking of the panniers when going over bumps but it’s not really anything to be concerned about, just annoying.

For climbing I only went down to my third lowest gear @26 GI and it felt fine. Of course I felt relatively fresh today and the grades were relatively mild at 5%-ish. I’m sure my lowest gear will get a lot of use on longer steeper climbs or days when I’m tired or sore or sick or whatever but at least the stock gearing feels adequate. And I’m sure for our NEXT tour we’ll change to lower gearing.

Thanks again, djb, for all of the advice. Now I need to work on cleaning, lubing and tuning up the bikes and to finish preparing for our trip.
sounds good then, glad it went alright. Good for you two to know also. Glad to hear the Sutras handled well, they should, as they are a good solid touring bike. I always thought they looked cool too.
re clunky panniers--what panniers? Photo?
There's a good chance you can get some other good suggestions for stopping this, but we'd really need to see the panniers and the mounting system to have any real suggestions.
There are clunks and there are clunks, so it all depends.....
common sense approach is to eliminate looseness here and there, but at least just write the brand and model, so we know whats what.

oh, on this note, and cleaning bikes etc. When I tour, if in dry weather, I tend to relube the chain every X days, and at same time go over all the rack bolts etc, as it pretty much guaranteed that they will lossen a bit, so keep an eye on that so you dont loose a bolt and possibly damage the threads.
I'll wipe off excess chain oil when needed, not necessarily relubing, but just to keep dirt attracting exterior lube down as it doesnt do anything to lube the innards of the chain, but will result in a gooky chain. Easy to do a quick wipe sometimes, I even will use paper napkins from a food vendor or whatever sometimes so I mess up the small cloth I bring always. A quick wipe of jockey wheels and chainrings is always good too, as is a quick "floss" of the cassette.
Just keeps drivetrain cleaner over a trip, and better to do easy quick cleans more often than letting it get too gronky.
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Old 08-22-21, 07:30 PM
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You may want to take a look at Velo Quebec's map. You'll notice that they do not show Quebec to Tadoussac (north shore of the St-Lawrence) as suitable for cycling. Probably because there is no proper shoulder and the profile includes several steep hills.

You write somewhere that your panniers make a clunking sound. Surprising. Ortlieb on Tubus is perfectly silent. Vibrations might mean premature wear. Perhaps something you want to figure out.
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Old 08-22-21, 07:47 PM
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Howdy gauvins btw,

I just thought to mention that on the big honker downhills past QC, watch your speed and don't drag the brakes, they'll overheat.
I mention this because riding with a load means you'll pick up speed faster, especially if there's a trail wind, and its easier to get going so fast it's hard to slow down (especially if you drag the brakes too much and or are wary of using the front brake strongly)

there are some long descents there, with those emergency gravel run off lanes to save 18 wheelers if they've lost their brakes.

do get back with the pannier types
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Old 08-22-21, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by user2 View Post
I have a couple specific questions:
  1. How are the SEPAQ cyclist campsites? Are they even worthwhile for 2 people? The rates are $9.75pp/night + $9pp/day mandatory daily park entry fee, or $37.50 in total for 2 people. By comparison, SEPAQ car campsites range from $38-$50 per night in September. I’m not really clear on what the advantages of the cyclist campsites are for non-solo tourists aside from the no-turn-away policy and food storage boxes.
  2. Has anyone here biked the #381 between Saguenay and Baie-Saint-Paul? I haven’t found many bicycle reports about this road online, but it looks very scenic. I’m aware that it’s very mountainous and fairly remote. We’re considering taking a couple days to camp and hike in Grands-Jardins National Park in the Pied-des-monts area, if energy levels and time permit.

Any general advice or tips are very much appreciated.
1. You may want to call/write to the park(s) where you plan to stay. I've spent a night in the Portneuf reserve last month and was charged full price (i.e. not given a bike option). I believe that the lower fees that you quote are for backcountry sites (walk-in/mountain biking)
2. Not very surprised that you don't find (m)any journals as this route is not an easy ride. The segment from Quebec to Tadoussac involves three serious ascents (10%+), totalling more than 2 000 M. Perhaps you want to try your legs on the first serious climb (just east of Beaupré). If you enjoyed, do as planned. Otherwise, back to Quebec, ferry to Levis and ride the south shore.

3. You write that you planned to take a one way car rental from Quebec to Gatineau/Ottawa. You are probably aware that the price of car rental has gone through the roof. We're just back from a trip. I had to book one way YUL > YQB. The one-way fee was $150 (compared to $50 pre-COVID). A quick kayak search for a mid September one way Quebec > Ottawa shows prices of 450$+ (insane). Perhaps you'll prefer to ride to Gatineau > Quebec > Gatineau this year...
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Old 08-23-21, 04:59 AM
  #18  
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Morning folks, I just clarified with my daughter who earlier this summer camped at the oka park campsite sepaq, and they didn't have the sepaq membership, so the overnight site was $20 for 3 people, one tent. Maybe they were lucky, who knows.

re long climbs again. A big help is to be sure that you have good snacks with you, and to take breaks for a snack when you start to feel yourself flagging.
Always better to fuel when you start to feel hungry, we've all waited too long waiting for a nice spot or whatever, and then felt really really hungry and losing steam.
Also nice for the legs too.
Not too long a break time wise is better, but you'll figure out what works best for you both, just like what to eat and when.
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Old 08-23-21, 05:02 AM
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[QUOTE=Miele Man;22195088]
Originally Posted by user2 View Post
Alrighty, we fully loaded the bikes this morning and went on a short 30km practice run past Pink Lake in Gatineau Park with 370m of elevation gain. It was a bit slow but went well. The bikes actually handled surprisingly well under load. The only minor annoyance I find is the clunking of the panniers when going over bumps but it’s not really anything to be concerned about, just annoying.

Snipped/QUOTE]

For extra stability on dirt/gravel/stone covered roads in Northern Ontario I wrap an Arno strap around my panniers. Even without clip-on pannier mounts I've never had a pannier bounce on those roads. Arno Straps are like super-long toe-straps. they're also great for strapping things like sleeping bags, sleeping pads or tents to the top of bicycle racks.

Cheers
I'm intrigued by this idea, especially for rough roads. Do you just use a single strap starting from near the axle, up and over both panniers and terminating near the other axle?
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Old 08-23-21, 05:10 AM
  #20  
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Hey there Mr or Mrs Ottawa, what panniers do you have. ie the attachment system-u shaped hooks that sit on top of the rails of the rear rack, and bungee cord and hook for down below?

what panniers are they?
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Old 08-23-21, 05:26 AM
  #21  
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the reason I ask the specifics is because its all in the specific details of how to reduce or eliminate rattle and banging.
the traditional u shaped top hooks and bungee + lower hook system works, but if you hit a bump hard enough, the panniers can hop off the rails, or one hook can, and it is dangerous. Ive had it happen bking in the Gaspe on a downhill and was lucky the pannier didnt go in my rear wheel.

the ortlieb system has the "enclosing the rear rack rail" setup of their two top "hooks", as part of the hook closes around the rail, so jumpoffs are impossible
If set up properly, Ortliebs can be quiet and really really secure, but IF the three contact points (two upper hooks and the lower tab thing) are adjusted in the right spots to eliminate back and forth movement.
I've bicycled through Central America over a lot of really crappy roads, and my Ortliebs were secure, quiet and really very little rattles or whatever, but I did fatten up my rack rails a bit to make the contact points tight with no real extra space or play. I did this cuz I knew I'd be on rough stuff here and there and didnt want to rattle the crap out of my panniers, loosening up everything.

so if you are using panniers with regular u shaped two upper hooks at top, and a bungee and hook for below, the strap system will help a lot and is a great idea.
Just be really sure the straps are attached properly, coming loose and going into the wheel would be a big mess and mucho dangerous.
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Old 08-23-21, 05:49 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
You may want to take a look at Velo Quebec's map. You'll notice that they do not show Quebec to Tadoussac (north shore of the St-Lawrence) as suitable for cycling. Probably because there is no proper shoulder and the profile includes several steep hills.
Yes, I realize that the official cycling route would have us taking the south shore route. Based on what I've read and looking at Google streetview there are a few sections with a narrow or negligible shoulder, and I can also expect a lot of truck traffic.

In case anyone reading this is planning a similar route, here are a couple journals of people that biked the 138 on the north shore route from Quebec to Tadoussac:
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...c_id=8967&v=Jf
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/..._id=21413&v=F2

Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
1. You may want to call/write to the park(s) where you plan to stay. I've spent a night in the Portneuf reserve last month and was charged full price (i.e. not given a bike option). I believe that the lower fees that you quote are for backcountry sites (walk-in/mountain biking)
From what I gather so far, the only discount sites available for $9.75pp/night are the "bienvenue cyclistes" sites at about 20 SEPAQ parks listed here: https://www.sepaq.com/camping/annexe...-cyclistes.dot

Campsites at private campgrounds, ZECs, etc. might be listed in the Velo Quebec accommodations map but they don't necessarily have a discount cyclist rate.

Originally Posted by djb View Post
Morning folks, I just clarified with my daughter who earlier this summer camped at the oka park campsite sepaq, and they didn't have the sepaq membership, so the overnight site was $20 for 3 people, one tent. Maybe they were lucky, who knows.
Good to know, I was wondering if this was one of those situations where the fees they charge in practice are different than the website. We may be passing by Plaisance, Oka and Grands-Jardins so I will report back on what we get charged if we end up staying at any of these sites.


Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
3. You write that you planned to take a one way car rental from Quebec to Gatineau/Ottawa. You are probably aware that the price of car rental has gone through the roof. We're just back from a trip. I had to book one way YUL > YQB. The one-way fee was $150 (compared to $50 pre-COVID). A quick kayak search for a mid September one way Quebec > Ottawa shows prices of 450$+ (insane). Perhaps you'll prefer to ride to Gatineau > Quebec > Gatineau this year...
Yeah, we booked the one-way rental a few weeks ago for $250. A one-way U-Haul for the same period was about $300. I thought travelling in September we could find a better deal, but rental prices are still quite high during this period. I wish VIA Rail offered bicycle service on the trains between QC-MTL-Ottawa.

A loop trip starting and ending in Gatineau would have been logistically easier, but we are interested in the prospect of experiencing some new terrain, scenery and whales.


Originally Posted by djb View Post
Always better to fuel when you start to feel hungry, we've all waited too long waiting for a nice spot or whatever, and then felt really really hungry and losing steam.
Also nice for the legs too.
This is a good point. Too often, I've waited too long trying to find the the perfect spot to stop on long rides and lost steam.
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Old 08-23-21, 05:58 AM
  #23  
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I will get back with more detail and photos of the pannier clunking. We're running Arkel Orca panniers that use the cam-lock system. At the bottom, they attach with a bungie cord, which allows them to flop out a little bit (maybe 1/4" on bumps. I think the Ortleib bottom hook system is superior in this regard although I don't have personal experience with them.

There is a little bit of play in the cam-locks that allows them to bounce perhaps 1/8". No issue with them bouncing off or anything though as the cam-lock system is very secure.

The bottom part of the pannier has some hard plastic covering where is rubs the rack, to protect from abrasion. This hard plastic tends to make some noise on bumps.

Some electrical tape and pieces of old inner tubes taped on parts of the rack may go a long way in reducing the noise. So far I've done absolutely nothing to try and stop the clunking aside from complaining about it on Bike Forums.

Thanks for all of the tips, djb and Gauvins.
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Old 08-23-21, 06:40 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
the reason I ask the specifics is because its all in the specific details of how to reduce or eliminate rattle and banging.
the traditional u shaped top hooks and bungee + lower hook system works, but if you hit a bump hard enough, the panniers can hop off the rails, or one hook can, and it is dangerous. Ive had it happen bking in the Gaspe on a downhill and was lucky the pannier didnt go in my rear wheel.

the ortlieb system has the "enclosing the rear rack rail" setup of their two top "hooks", as part of the hook closes around the rail, so jumpoffs are impossible
If set up properly, Ortliebs can be quiet and really really secure, but IF the three contact points (two upper hooks and the lower tab thing) are adjusted in the right spots to eliminate back and forth movement.
I've bicycled through Central America over a lot of really crappy roads, and my Ortliebs were secure, quiet and really very little rattles or whatever, but I did fatten up my rack rails a bit to make the contact points tight with no real extra space or play. I did this cuz I knew I'd be on rough stuff here and there and didnt want to rattle the crap out of my panniers, loosening up everything.

so if you are using panniers with regular u shaped two upper hooks at top, and a bungee and hook for below, the strap system will help a lot and is a great idea.
Just be really sure the straps are attached properly, coming loose and going into the wheel would be a big mess and mucho dangerous.
Here are some pics of the setup (sorry if this is a lot of pics):

#1 - Pannier front


#2 - Pannier backside


#3 - Rack


#4 - Camlock


#5 - Camlock in "open" position.


#6 - Pannier on rack


#7 - Hook on rack


#8 - Bungee system

Last edited by user2; 08-23-21 at 06:47 AM. Reason: Photo spacing
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Old 08-23-21, 06:47 AM
  #25  
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Two more pics showing the movement inwards/outwards and up/down:


#9 - Pulling outwards at bottom of pannier to show play caused by bungee system. As suggested by Miele Man and djb, perhaps a strap is the best way to hold it tightly against the rack.


#10 - Pushing upwards on bottom of pannier showing up/down play in camlock system. Building up the tubing with rubber/tape may remove this small amount of movement.
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