I Will Survive …

… or maybe it’s simply that failure is not an option.

Sometimes I think the Universe has a sense of humour.  I can imagine the Universe thinking ‘Joanne is feeling a little too smug and sure of herself today.  It’s time to make it interesting‘.

Today was Day 3 on the Petit Train du Nord trail in Quebec.  It was the day with the longest distance to cover and included a 10+ km climb at the very beginning.  I have been fretting about Day 3 since March when I booked my reservations.  I was assured that the climb was gradual and easy to do.

Riiiiight.  I’ve been lied to before and therefore I prefer to withhold judgement on what is ‘easy’.  The words ‘long’ and ‘climb’ made this one suspect.

So early this morning with steely determination, I got on my bike, found a comfortable gear and settled in for the long climb.

By the 8 km mark I was actually smiling.  It was perfect weather for cycling, the sky was brilliant blue, and this climb WAS completely doable.  I was spinning happy.

That’s when the Universe intervened.

It tossed in a detour.


The trail was closed ahead … and the detour route made my heart sink.

It pointed to a road on the right that went straight up.

I’m talking SERIOUS climbing … none of this gradual, easy stuff.  It was 2 km of heart-pounding, leg-wobbling, soul-destroying hell.  Did I mention I’m in the Laurentian mountains?

At the top of this ‘hill’ was a left-hand turn.  Guess which direction it went?

That’s right … more ‘up’.  By the time I got back on the trail, my GPS said I had travelled 4 km – ALL of it UP.

But everyone knows that what goes up, must eventually come back down and that was the reward.  The long steady descent went on for miles and miles and miles.

It was glorious.


It was a day of rich forests, rushing rivers (play video here), and giving my fractured French a serious workout with a fellow cyclist who wanted company (sounds like me yesterday) but didn’t speak English.


It was a day of mountains of rock, and the most unusual signs I’ve ever seen … more on that one in a future post.


The Universe sent me a curve ball today, but I caught it and carried on.



  1. This would be my fear with a cycling trip – hills, big ones! I’m not surprised that you handled it and survived given the other challenges you’ve taken on over the years…not having anyone to moan to about it though – that’s tough too.


    • If it wasn’t for this detour, the trail would have been flawless. I had worried about the hills, but all the promo material was right – the inclines were gentle and easy to cycle.

      You hit the nail on the head with the comment about not having someone to whine to … it makes a difference! Misery loves company 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I repeat. You are one awesome lady 😀
    Hope the muscles aren’t complaining too much from all this exertion. I can’t even to imagine how the butt feels!


    • The last day was yesterday and my butt is very happy today to be firmly supported by a soft and comfortable chair 🙂

      I must say though – it was a wonderful experience and I miss it already!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh man, I would have been right there moaning & gasping with you! You know me and “hills”, not my favourite challenge to come across when cycling. Good on you for pushing through Joanne although I am not sure what the alternative would have been!


    • That’s the whole point when you’re out there on a bike. There is no alternative.
      Admittedly I couldn’t cycle the entire climb. It was just too steep. I had to break it up with walking breaks to make it more manageable 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kudos to you for conquering that detour and making the rest of the day so lovely. Except for the steep climb up, I truly wish I was there, biking with you (I don’t speak French at all). Ride safe Joanne! 🚵


  5. So sorry you got hit with a major detour, but kudos to you for persevering. I know you didn’t have much choice, and I know how awful that must have felt. Thanks for the picture of the excavator, and for the beautiful pictures of the scenes you were treated to on the downhill. Enjoy the last day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mother Nature can be cruel sometimes, but you are strong and met the challenge – hurray for you!! I would bet you are sore today, but you will keep going because you have determination! Hats off to you Joanne! BTW the scenery looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was very lucky and had a room with a Jacuzzi when I finished for the day. The hot bath felt amazing – although I was so embarrassed by the colour of the water … I should have showered first to get the trail grime off!!
      I think the jacuzzi bath made a difference because I wasn’t sore the next day 🙂


  7. Oh my! If you didn’t have that detour you would have missed some incredible scenery! I bet you are feeling pretty good about yourself – as well you should – to have successfully made it to the top of that hill. Then, to be rewarded with that downhill glide… glorious! The Universe was playing with you but you clearly came through with flying colors.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was definitely not happy during that detour. Travelling alone on a bike through a difficult detour made me feel very vulnerable … but to survive and be able to carry on to the end within my target time was priceless. I earned the beer I had at the end 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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