For various reasons, I have not been on Leonardo much this year, and to be honest, I am a bit out of shape. As the Tour de l'Île this year allows me to tour completely the Island of Montreal, (a 130 km circuit), I thought I should push myself today and do the 148 km version of the Défi, particularly as conditions in the Lanaudière region (where the event took place) were near ideal. At least in the morning.
At some point, I passed a sign which rather caught my eye.
After lunch, the wind picked up but I wasn't terribly concerned as the route back to the start was such that I would benefit from the prevailing wind direction on the final 30 kms or so. Or so I thought. Instead, the wind was coming from an atypical direction from off my starboard bow or so making the last 30 kms a serious frustration, only partly relieved by the sight of at least 8 parachutists coming down around Saint-Esprit.
Quite perplexingly, I got a few drops of rain from mostly clear blue skies.
I arrived at the finish a little before 5 PM, which was not that long before the sweeps arrived blowing their whistles. I did get a massage from the people advertising a drug store chain. The parents, who had arrived an hour and a half before me, having done about 100 kms, offered to pick me up at the start, thus speeding their departure.
As we drove back to Montreal, my father elaborated about how the fallen cyclist had been unconscious and was believed to have suffered a heart attack, leading to the fall. He wished he had known CPR. According to one of the biking volunteers my father later encountered, he was hauled off to a hospital in Joliette.
After supper at Chalet Bar-B-Q, the parents dropped me off at my flat, just as a thunderstorm broke. I indulged myself in one of my regular habits, namely a nice hot bath and a hair wash. I then began to do some web surfing to catch up on comics, social events and news. The latter proved surprisingly relevant. On the CBC News website for Montreal there was an item about how a failed Montreal mayoral candidate had died. Clicking on it, I was amazed and a little shocked to see that the details corresponded with the fallen cyclist my father had seen. The only "divergent" detail was that the event was described as a "bike race" rather than a tour. The Défis are not races. They exist to spread the joy of riding. However, I can easily see this as a journalistic mistake.
More shocking to me was the fact that the politician was "only" 71 years old, between the ages of my parents. He had been aiming to complete the same 100 km version of the Défi that my parents did. A little alarming.