Trip Days 4-8: Walkies and Everyone has an opinion... (Very Long & Overdue)



MsMittens

New Member
Aug 7, 2004
26
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0
Shediac, NB to Amherst, NS: After letting the rain pound the area on Saturday August 21 I decided to leave on the Sunday for my trip to Halifax, albeit a bit cautious since I couldn't shift too much. As it turned out my rear derailleur was bent slightly and basically needed to be replaced. On top of it, the rear cassette was rather worn (after 6 years, 12,000+ KM it's probably a miracle that this bike stayed together without more wear and tear since it's not really a touring bike).

I left at 7:30 after having some coffee and toast with the Uncle personage. He wished me well and ensured I had his and my Halifax Aunt personage's cell numbers in case of emergency. I took Highway 132 from Shediac to Moncton. The roads were relatively quiet but traffic was picking up (it is a rural, more "Catholic" area so morning Mass is definately a highlight for some). I stopped at an Ultramar in hopes of getting something more substantial than the toast I had, particularly since it was so cool. I ended up with a rather stale, hardish cinnamon bun and a hot chocolate.

The Ultramar is actually at the corner of where I would pick up the 106 southbound (although not marked as such). When coming Westbound on the 132, turn left on to the 106. In New Brunswick the 100 series of highways are narrow but bicyclable and less likely (or so I was told) to have trucks. It took a while to get out of Moncton-Dieppe. I actually lucked out since Dieppe has a nice wide, recently paved shoulder on the 106. The route itself was rather flat with one or two rolling hills. Nothing that was worth walking or such.

By mid-day (2pmish) I arrived in Amherst. The area between Moncton and Amherst (NS) is actually populated fairly well so there is plenty of services. For a brief period you ride on Highway 2 (major highway) but this has a nice 2 foot wide shoulder. And it's just from the border of New Brunswick to the border of Nova Scotia. Before getting on this I went to the New Brunswick Info Bureau, which had free high-speed internet access. Interestingly enough, most of the information bureaus in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick offer free internet access (known as the [email protected] program or Community Access Program).

I took the exit to the Nova Scotia Information Bureau.I ended up staying at the Loch Lomond RV and Tent Campground. It wasn't too bad although it was on the edge of town. The closest food unfortunately was "fast". And given it was Sunday, this meant the malls were closed so no wandering around for touristy gifts. I went for an early dinner/late lunch at the Smitty's (spaghetti).

Daily Distance: 97.68km

Amherst to Five Islands: I woke up to a surprisingly cold morning. The temperatures were dropping overnight and this night it dropped to single digits (9 degrees C or 48 F). Thankfully, I had my turtle neck shirt (I had my longer pants but decided to forego those since my legs would heat up quickly).

The route itself, Highway 2 (note: single digit highways in Nova Scotia are the narrow, less travelled highways), started off ok with rolling hills -- until I hit Springhill. Springhill seems to have two claims to fame: Anne Murray and hills! Big, freakin' hills. Before walking up the first of many hills I stopped to fill up on water and asked if there was a place to get food since I had left around 7ish and was getting hungry. The closest and really only open thing was the truly Canadian Tim Hortons. I had a banana from the day before so I trudge up the very vertical hill to the Tim's on the other side for a bagel with cream cheese, a coffee and two of their delicious (but highly unhealthy) pecan-caramel cookies along with the banana. Ah. The Breakfast of Champ-eens.

As I was getting ready to go, the local coffee/smokers, who had been eyeing my rig of panniers and tent, asked me about where I was going and such. One fine gentleman, who seemed to be quite a cyclist (in his mind I guess), even attempted to fix my visible rear derailleur with his dirt encrusted steel toed work boots (by pressing on the derailleur) to which I begged him not to.

After escaping the attempted fix I continued on my way out of Springhill, where the hills began to disappear. In fact, the route became almost flat! Then again, the services (gas station/restaurants) also seemed to disappear. I'm convinced that in this province people like building their gas stations at the top of the highest hill just to annoy cyclists with itty-bitty bladders (like me).

As I continued along the one thing I noticed was that I was in blueberry country. And the berries were in season. Hills upon hills surrounded me with bent over students, adults and seniors attempting to collect the berries for transport to the nearest town for sale. The hills were blue and the smell very tempting.

I eventually made it into Parrsboro for lunch. And I will have to recommend the Haboursview Restaurant. Albeit off of the 2 it was worth going since it has a wonderful view of the harbour (which at this time was in low tide so all the boats sat on the bottom of the habour itself). The fried clams and fries were quite good.

On the way out there were a couple of hills. There was however 3 logging trucks that passed me. Although most of the logging trucks use the route during the wee hours of the morning sometimes they do go through in the daytime. Given the narrow, near-non-existent shoulder I gave way to them. One does not argue with fully loaded logging trucks going at 110km in a 90km zone.

I finally entered the Five Islands area. My intention was to stay at the Provincial Park, which was at the top of a large hill (of course this is mid-afternoon and the temperature is rather warm at this point, unlike the early morning). My mistake was that the Provincial Park wasn't near any services. So I bike back (about 2 km before the Provincial Park) to the Sand Point Cove Campground (with lighthouse). At the end of the road to the park is a little diner called Diane's. The food and service was good as well (I was warned to stay away from KC's, of which there are numerous road signs about).

Daily Distance: 104.68KM

Five Islands to Truro: This ended up being the shortest stretch since I wanted to see the Tidal Bore in Truro. I woke up early to cloudy skies. It was still relatively cool and I had a breakfast of banana chips, bananas and some yoghurt raisins. I returned to the hill that the turnoff for the Provincial Park was. And it was there that I realized that turnoff was at the lower third of the hill! This was a HILL! It took me nearly 45 minutest to walk up the hill and the view I got was impressive. The ride down, of course, took only a few minutes.

This first hill was the worst but wasn't the last. The remaining hills were progressively smaller than the last. I eventually found a gas station near Upper Economy to stop for a break and get a turnover for a breakfast (again, there lacks serious food places). I did a second stop near Great Village for a banana or two and some Gatorade.

I had to do a short stint on the fast and busy 102 to get into Truro. The shoulder was about 10 inches wide and this portion wasn't fun at all. I decided to stay at a motel this time as a treat (since this was the last day of this trip). I also treated myself to dinner at Palliside Restaurant (I should have stayed at the motel there -- I suspect it would have been cheaper than the Stone House Motel I stayed at). I also wandered around a bit through Truro.

At the least I got to see the Tidal Bore. A Tidal Bore, for those unaware, is a natural phenomenon where the tide pushes in water to a low, narrow river area. The effect is a tide that is an inch to a foot in height. It creates a neat affect but can be affected by development. There was a tidal bore in Moncton but due to development done the bore is now nearly non-existent. For more info, visit http://www.fundyforum.com/bore.html .

Daily Distance: 69.89

Truro to Halifax: One advantage of being in a motel is being able to get breakfast. This time I got oatmeal along with some toast and coffee. Although the road out of Truro was busy at times (it was a Wednesday morning and people were on their way to work and such), the hills weren't as bad and were rather doable. In fact, from Stewiacke until Milford, the road was flat, well paved (for the most part) and even had a paved shoulder (about a foot to foot and half wide!). It was a rather pleasant morning ride.

... until I hit Milford. There was one doozy of a hill there. In addition, the highway markings sorta ... went. Reaching the end of the road I had the option of right or left. I turned right only to discover that I was meant to turn left. So I turned around, found a Co-op (to get more bananas at) and then continued on the rolling hills of the 2. Between Milford and Enfield (just outside of the Halifax International Airport) the hills were rolling but rolling enough that you could use momentum from one to go over the next. I stopped at an Irving to get a BLT sandwich to eat with the banana and a Gatorade.

There was an increase in traffic and more trucks (mostly construction dump trucks and garbage trucks) as I was entering the Halifax Regional Municipality. I did see two other cyclists (my first in the whole trip thus far) but given their bikes and slick racing gear, I was rather "turtlish" for them. I meandered through Bedford and Halifax proper until I reached Joseph Howe Road across from Harbour Container area. I continued to the Armdale Rotary and on to my Aunt personage's place (at the top of two serious hills that I granny geared up).

Daily Distance: 97.72

Epilogue: The bike was taken to the local big bike store, Cyclesmith. They had the parts that I needed for my bike. The end result was a cost of $230 for a rear cassette, rear derailleur and front derailleur (Shimano Deore). I wanted this done before the last week of my trip, Yarmouth to Halifax.
 

rolfdevinci

New Member
Oct 5, 2003
213
0
0
MsMittens said:
Shediac, NB to Amherst, NS: After letting the rain pound the area on Saturday August 21 I decided to leave on the Sunday for my trip to Halifax, albeit a bit cautious since I couldn't shift too much. As it turned out my rear derailleur was bent slightly and basically needed to be replaced. On top of it, the rear cassette was rather worn (after 6 years, 12,000+ KM it's probably a miracle that this bike stayed together without more wear and tear since it's not really a touring bike).

I left at 7:30 after having some coffee and toast with the Uncle personage. He wished me well and ensured I had his and my Halifax Aunt personage's cell numbers in case of emergency. I took Highway 132 from Shediac to Moncton. The roads were relatively quiet but traffic was picking up (it is a rural, more "Catholic" area so morning Mass is definately a highlight for some). I stopped at an Ultramar in hopes of getting something more substantial than the toast I had, particularly since it was so cool. I ended up with a rather stale, hardish cinnamon bun and a hot chocolate.

The Ultramar is actually at the corner of where I would pick up the 106 southbound (although not marked as such). When coming Westbound on the 132, turn left on to the 106. In New Brunswick the 100 series of highways are narrow but bicyclable and less likely (or so I was told) to have trucks. It took a while to get out of Moncton-Dieppe. I actually lucked out since Dieppe has a nice wide, recently paved shoulder on the 106. The route itself was rather flat with one or two rolling hills. Nothing that was worth walking or such.

By mid-day (2pmish) I arrived in Amherst. The area between Moncton and Amherst (NS) is actually populated fairly well so there is plenty of services. For a brief period you ride on Highway 2 (major highway) but this has a nice 2 foot wide shoulder. And it's just from the border of New Brunswick to the border of Nova Scotia. Before getting on this I went to the New Brunswick Info Bureau, which had free high-speed internet access. Interestingly enough, most of the information bureaus in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick offer free internet access (known as the [email protected] program or Community Access Program).

I took the exit to the Nova Scotia Information Bureau.I ended up staying at the Loch Lomond RV and Tent Campground. It wasn't too bad although it was on the edge of town. The closest food unfortunately was "fast". And given it was Sunday, this meant the malls were closed so no wandering around for touristy gifts. I went for an early dinner/late lunch at the Smitty's (spaghetti).

Daily Distance: 97.68km

Amherst to Five Islands: I woke up to a surprisingly cold morning. The temperatures were dropping overnight and this night it dropped to single digits (9 degrees C or 48 F). Thankfully, I had my turtle neck shirt (I had my longer pants but decided to forego those since my legs would heat up quickly).

The route itself, Highway 2 (note: single digit highways in Nova Scotia are the narrow, less travelled highways), started off ok with rolling hills -- until I hit Springhill. Springhill seems to have two claims to fame: Anne Murray and hills! Big, freakin' hills. Before walking up the first of many hills I stopped to fill up on water and asked if there was a place to get food since I had left around 7ish and was getting hungry. The closest and really only open thing was the truly Canadian Tim Hortons. I had a banana from the day before so I trudge up the very vertical hill to the Tim's on the other side for a bagel with cream cheese, a coffee and two of their delicious (but highly unhealthy) pecan-caramel cookies along with the banana. Ah. The Breakfast of Champ-eens.

As I was getting ready to go, the local coffee/smokers, who had been eyeing my rig of panniers and tent, asked me about where I was going and such. One fine gentleman, who seemed to be quite a cyclist (in his mind I guess), even attempted to fix my visible rear derailleur with his dirt encrusted steel toed work boots (by pressing on the derailleur) to which I begged him not to.

After escaping the attempted fix I continued on my way out of Springhill, where the hills began to disappear. In fact, the route became almost flat! Then again, the services (gas station/restaurants) also seemed to disappear. I'm convinced that in this province people like building their gas stations at the top of the highest hill just to annoy cyclists with itty-bitty bladders (like me).

As I continued along the one thing I noticed was that I was in blueberry country. And the berries were in season. Hills upon hills surrounded me with bent over students, adults and seniors attempting to collect the berries for transport to the nearest town for sale. The hills were blue and the smell very tempting.

I eventually made it into Parrsboro for lunch. And I will have to recommend the Haboursview Restaurant. Albeit off of the 2 it was worth going since it has a wonderful view of the harbour (which at this time was in low tide so all the boats sat on the bottom of the habour itself). The fried clams and fries were quite good.

On the way out there were a couple of hills. There was however 3 logging trucks that passed me. Although most of the logging trucks use the route during the wee hours of the morning sometimes they do go through in the daytime. Given the narrow, near-non-existent shoulder I gave way to them. One does not argue with fully loaded logging trucks going at 110km in a 90km zone.

I finally entered the Five Islands area. My intention was to stay at the Provincial Park, which was at the top of a large hill (of course this is mid-afternoon and the temperature is rather warm at this point, unlike the early morning). My mistake was that the Provincial Park wasn't near any services. So I bike back (about 2 km before the Provincial Park) to the Sand Point Cove Campground (with lighthouse). At the end of the road to the park is a little diner called Diane's. The food and service was good as well (I was warned to stay away from KC's, of which there are numerous road signs about).

Daily Distance: 104.68KM

Five Islands to Truro: This ended up being the shortest stretch since I wanted to see the Tidal Bore in Truro. I woke up early to cloudy skies. It was still relatively cool and I had a breakfast of banana chips, bananas and some yoghurt raisins. I returned to the hill that the turnoff for the Provincial Park was. And it was there that I realized that turnoff was at the lower third of the hill! This was a HILL! It took me nearly 45 minutest to walk up the hill and the view I got was impressive. The ride down, of course, took only a few minutes.

This first hill was the worst but wasn't the last. The remaining hills were progressively smaller than the last. I eventually found a gas station near Upper Economy to stop for a break and get a turnover for a breakfast (again, there lacks serious food places). I did a second stop near Great Village for a banana or two and some Gatorade.

I had to do a short stint on the fast and busy 102 to get into Truro. The shoulder was about 10 inches wide and this portion wasn't fun at all. I decided to stay at a motel this time as a treat (since this was the last day of this trip). I also treated myself to dinner at Palliside Restaurant (I should have stayed at the motel there -- I suspect it would have been cheaper than the Stone House Motel I stayed at). I also wandered around a bit through Truro.

At the least I got to see the Tidal Bore. A Tidal Bore, for those unaware, is a natural phenomenon where the tide pushes in water to a low, narrow river area. The effect is a tide that is an inch to a foot in height. It creates a neat affect but can be affected by development. There was a tidal bore in Moncton but due to development done the bore is now nearly non-existent. For more info, visit http://www.fundyforum.com/bore.html .

Daily Distance: 69.89

Truro to Halifax: One advantage of being in a motel is being able to get breakfast. This time I got oatmeal along with some toast and coffee. Although the road out of Truro was busy at times (it was a Wednesday morning and people were on their way to work and such), the hills weren't as bad and were rather doable. In fact, from Stewiacke until Milford, the road was flat, well paved (for the most part) and even had a paved shoulder (about a foot to foot and half wide!). It was a rather pleasant morning ride.

... until I hit Milford. There was one doozy of a hill there. In addition, the highway markings sorta ... went. Reaching the end of the road I had the option of right or left. I turned right only to discover that I was meant to turn left. So I turned around, found a Co-op (to get more bananas at) and then continued on the rolling hills of the 2. Between Milford and Enfield (just outside of the Halifax International Airport) the hills were rolling but rolling enough that you could use momentum from one to go over the next. I stopped at an Irving to get a BLT sandwich to eat with the banana and a Gatorade.

There was an increase in traffic and more trucks (mostly construction dump trucks and garbage trucks) as I was entering the Halifax Regional Municipality. I did see two other cyclists (my first in the whole trip thus far) but given their bikes and slick racing gear, I was rather "turtlish" for them. I meandered through Bedford and Halifax proper until I reached Joseph Howe Road across from Harbour Container area. I continued to the Armdale Rotary and on to my Aunt personage's place (at the top of two serious hills that I granny geared up).

Daily Distance: 97.72

Epilogue: The bike was taken to the local big bike store, Cyclesmith. They had the parts that I needed for my bike. The end result was a cost of $230 for a rear cassette, rear derailleur and front derailleur (Shimano Deore). I wanted this done before the last week of my trip, Yarmouth to Halifax.

Hmmmm.....I wonder if I was one of the cyclists you saw. If he/they waved and/or said hello it might have been.(Racing gear be damned...ain`t no attitude here. I acknowledge all cyclists). Since you were coming from Truro and rode through Bedford I`m guessing you came in through Enfield, Fall River and Waverly.

What day did you arrive in the city. The area I mentioned above is usually alive with cyclists on the weekend. The LBS/club I ride with is in Bedford and you must have ridden right past it. If you remember seeing a Shell station, Tim Horton`s and a Wendy`s the shop (Bicyles Plus) is right behind them.

The guys at Cyclesmith are decent blokes and the price they charged sounds OK.....I think.

I enjoyed all your accounts of your trip. Thanks for sharing. BTW - methinks you really deserve a new touring bike. Make the SO buy you one for Christmas since you waited for him so often......lol. ;)
 

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