A one-week Solo tour. Travelled with my bike with VIA Rail.

Sept. 19, 2005

11:30 a.m. VIA train Toronto-Montreal

5:00 pm. arrive in Montreal and ride North of Montreal heading to the "Canora" suburban train station. Bikes are only allowed after rush hours (heures de point).

6:00 p.m. I wait for the Canora train northbound. It is an open air station. It's getting dark and the station is very quiet. I decide to leave my bike alone for 1 minute while I walk up the stairs to make a call to the Abbeye. I need to inform the head sister of the monastery in Abbeye Deux Montagnes -where I am staying- that I will be arriving late. I know that the monastery closes its doors at 8:00 p.m. When I come back to the train platform, I notice that my backpack is gone ...stolen? But, who? there wasn't anybody here when I parked my bike. Hell!

I start to walk around the station. Not a soul! I see a dark bushy alley and feel like checking what's in there but hesitate. I am not sure whether I should go in and check if my backpack is there. I am scared but I need my clothes! Fortunately, I had taken my wallet and my bike light with me when I went to make the phone call. Well, I decided to walk in the dark heart was beating fast and I was waiting for my attacker to jump in. What if the thieft is there? -I thought.

I turn the bike light on to see the area..I see my blue backpack, it was opened and my clothes were all over! I took a deep breath and ran into the alley to grab my stuff. Many thoughts flew my mind in a split of a second: trespassing, violation of private property, am I gonna get killed here?

As I was running out of the dark alley with all my stuff all over me, the southbound train was stopping at the station. The driver stepped out of the train, and from afar yelled: "is everything ok?". I must have looked funny with my clothes in my shoulders, head and everywhere. I thought there was no point to mention my recent experience. I yelled back: "tout est beau, merci".

I rushed to the northbound train platform as I knew that my train (the last one of the day) was coming soon.

My train arrived. I felt safer. I hang the bicycle by the wheel (the way it is done in the suburban train in Montreal) and sat on my seat. I started to deconstruct the theft. A mature darked skinned man had asked me at the station "have you lost something?" I noticed that he was hiding his hand inside his jacket but I am such an idiot that nothing clicked then. But he looked fine to me, so I just responded quickly: "I lost my backpack". ..After checking all my belongins I noticed that my mini "Grundig" radio was missing -he had stolen it.

The rest of the week went great. I met other cyclists and did the south portion of the "parc lineaire" from Gare St. Adele to Gare St. Jerome. (sorry no French accents available here). There is a $5 charge to use the park lineaire and you can pay it at any of the stations or stops. The food served at the restaurants along the parc lineare is just delicious, tasty. Montreal Je me souviens!!

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