Leaving the city. Photo by Vince Vining.
Visite Sombre: Montreal to Halifax charity ride
dandyhorse checks in with Vince Vining on his ride from Montreal to Halifax
By Cosette Shulz, Photos and diary entry by Vince Vining
Cycling for charity is an admirable challenge, but certainly no novel concept, and normally done during the milder, warmer months. Not so for Vince Vining, who embarked on a give-or-take 20 day ride – which includes seven rest days -- from Montreal, Q.C. to Halifax, N.S. It's an approximately 1,359-km ride.
Vining wants to raise $2,000 for the IWK Grace Hospital and the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund, plus a little something for food costs during his trip. Cycle Couture, Urbane Cyclist and Third Wheel Works are partnered sponsors, he’s reached out to the Bunz Trading Zone Facebook trading community and is accepting donations on his website. (There are rewards for donating too. He’s compiling a zine about his journey, and making a commemorative sweater.) He’s secured a few places to stop and freshen up via Warm Showers (think airbnb, but for cyclists who are more interested in a shower than breakfast.) As he says, “It’s so much easier to use than couch surfing. Everyone on Warm Showers knows what to expect, and everyone has been there. I’m hungry, I’m cold, I need a shower, and I don’t necessarily need a bed. Like it’s this or the woods.” He departed on Thursday, November 19. dandyhorse plans to keep up with Vince along the way.
Vining has already encountered intense rains on his ride, and who knows what else is in store for him. We’re hoping clearer skies from here on in, but this is Canada after all. To date, he’s raised $900. You can learn more about his route and schedule and keep up to date on his website, or follow him on Instagram, or @vinvinto and #visitesombre on Twitter.
Vining's been documenting his travels in a journal, as is habitual for him. Below is his journal entry for the first leg of the journey, from Montreal to Richmond, Q.C. - a 153-km ride. It's raw and honest, which is quite refreshing (not to mention amusing.) No one said this wasn't going to be a challenge, and it goes without saying that you can't predict the weather.
Transcription from Vince's journal (above). Photo by Vince Vining.
"Thursday, November 19th
Montreal to Richmond
7 a.m. – Leave. You have 9:19 (daylight hours) to bike 153 km (549 m up / 467 m down), 17 km/h
I left the house on St. Remi at 8am by kicking open the door and telling the world that I would see them in Hell. Getting out of Montreal was a piece of shirt. I took a picture of a spiral bike ramp in Longueuil. Soon I was actually on the road. It took me a long time to get anywhere, and the rain hit as I got on this huge stretch, and in through Chambly, etc. It was a boring, wet, pain in the ass, and when I finally got to Granby at 1pm, I knew I was in trouble. I ripped the city, then got super twisted in a provincial park that spit me out into some hunting/trapping/farming area. As the sun began to set, I made it to Roxton Falls, which was still a good 35km from Richmond. I got stuck in some intense dark rain and wind. I found a good shortcut through some dirt back roads. They were weird as hell, and I felt very lonely and helpless, but God Damn, I made it. I didn’t realize, but I had been climbing for two hours. I descended like a bad boy into Richmond. Jo and Chantal hooked me up with a shower, food, tea and conversation. They are legit cool people. My pants smell like cow shit."
Next stop, "a very short ride to Tingwick," says Vining. "Only 35.8 km."
dandyhorse hopes to catch up with Vince again as he makes his way to Halifax...and as the weather gets worse.
Happy trails, Vince! Ride safe.
Related on the dandyBLOG: