After a seriously long trip we made it to Matane, Quebec. We had a 25 hour journey on two flight to get to Montreal and then a 10 hour drive (with stops) from Montreal to Matane. It really is in the middle of nowhere!
Matane is a city on the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec, Canada on the south shore of the Saint Lawerence River at the mouth of the Matane River. It is home to just over 14,000 people. The area was discovered by Samuel de Champlain in 1603 and officially became a municipality in 1845. Driving into the area it was quite noticeable how industrial the area is. In fact in 1978 the city put a train ferry in place adding to the regular ferry between the North and South sides of the river which strengthened their economic and maritime bonds.
Unfortunately for us our bikes, trikes and hand cycles have not arrived with us as the plane that Air Canada used from Vancouver to Montreal was too small to accommodate all our gear. So we left coaches Peter and Tom, along with one of our mechanics Dan back in Montreal waiting for the gear to arrive. The problem then was getting the gear cleared through customs which wasn’t working on the weekend, so we are hopeful that everything will make it here to Matane this evening (Monday night). So the big decisions were what to do about training?
I have been very lucky in the fact that our tandem ridèrs Mick and Matt were smart enough to organise to have a watt bike delivered to the hotel. It was fantastic that Watt Bike UK were happy to make it happen without cost! So I have been able to train without my trike being here. I did a lot of training on a watt bike in the lead up to London last year and that obviously helped me tremendously!
We have driven the course for the World Cup and it certainly will be interesting for the trikes and the hand cyclists. The roads aren’t great (which is par for the course in Quebec), with a number of potholes and rough roads. There is also an 11% gradient downhill into a 90 degree turn which just happens to have a pothole with a grate on the corner! But this World Cup for us is all about getting ready for Worlds, as Peter Day our head coach has stated, “it is racing without consequence”.
Now it is just a waiting game for our gear to arrive.