The sight that greeted me once I straightened out from the onramp was a never ending lane of steel grating! I don't know what you think of those bridges but I know they scare the crap out of me! I always have visions of going down and my fingers going through the grates and tearing off. I know, that's pretty unlikely but then again most irrational fears are. Cruising along at 60 km/h I concentrated on trying to relax and let the bike go, no problem as I felt my shoulders get tighter and tighter every foot I rode to the point of physical pain by the time I got to the end where I was so tense I was wandering a little in my lane; I'm sure this bridge is more than a kilometer long. Then the flood of relief as I hit the offramp and pavement.
Ok, now that I was past that terror I found myself on the Villa Maria Expressway, for most of the people reading this it means nothing–for anyone from Montreal it means: "run away!" Last year a bunch of sections of concrete fell out of the roof in the tunnel and killed several people. All of the bridges and overpasses around the city are deteriorating badly and you can see the evidence of patchwork all over the place cruising around. The last thing Lizzy said to me as I left the house was to steer clear of the tunnel and here I was headed right for it! Dammit! As you can imagine my eyes were glued to the ceiling scanning for any signs of falling debris. Another wave of relief as I exited that deathtrap.
Happily in the open air on real pavement I rode right up on Lorimier Street and headed north towards the 40 gassing it around the slower cars in the race between traffic lights. I found the address I was looking for without any trouble and stopped in to meet the folks who run the fly-in department for Cirque du Soleil and put faces to names of the people I talk to on the phone. After a nice little visit and forgetting to take a photo I got back on my bike to head back out to the west island.
This was pretty uneventful and there weren't any traffic clogs all the way back. My only incident was some jackass not originally from North America with his whole family in the car who decided to pass me on the right in my own lane! I rode up to him again and simultaneously gave him the horn and a "WTF?" gesture as I left him in my dust. Some days I wonder how people get driver's licenses in this country but then I remember the scandal in British Columbia where it was found out the people who hand them out were taking bribes from drivers who failed their driving tests. Go figure...
Back at Lizzy's it was time to relax and have a beer as I got all of my gear together and mostly packed for a quick exit in the am. A couple of her girlfriends came over in the evening and we had fun trying a few new beers over plenty of ribald conversation and laughter. Before it got too late it was time to get to bed, tomorrow was going to be fun with my first stop being the airport.
my shortest day yet