Charles Gregoire & Heidi Brault

Tandem Cyclists

Aug. 27, 2017 Rideau Canal, Ottawa, ON
Jul. 10, 2017 On Day 8 of our Tandem Tour 2017
after climbing Boulevard Armand Thériault in Rivière du Loup, QC

We've been tandem cycling since the fall of 2013.

After having gotten back into cycling on our single road bikes in the summer of 2013, we started thinking about touring. Although we had completed a number of day trips on our single bikes, we had never attempted any multi-day tours. We started reading blogs and articles on bicycle touring and ultimately ended up reading about tandem touring. We were both curious and intrigued by the concept.

We started by renting a tandem in central Ottawa and spending a couple of hours riding along the paths by the Rideau Canal and the Ottawa River. After that first ride, we knew that tandem cycling could work for us and that this could be the beginning of a new set of experiences and adventures in our lives. Not long afterwards, we were fortunate to find a second-hand Santana Arriva. We were thrilled that it hadn’t taken us very long to find a good tandem bike plus the price was right!

We haven’t looked back since and, except for the odd short ride around our neighbourhood, now rarely use our single bikes. Like other tandem cyclists, we have found that for long rides and touring, this is the way to go. We can truly enjoy the ride together and can converse while riding (as opposed to trying to talk to someone who’s riding on another bike and might be ahead of you!). We can pass water bottles to one another. Another big plus is that both of us can keep an eye on our surroundings, something we have improved even more by adding a mirror to Heidi’s handle bars. On occasion, Heidi can take a few photographs while pedalling (something we did when we rented a tandem in Spain).

Tandem cycling has opened the way for us to be able to go on long distance rides and tours.

In 2017 we completed an 11 day tandem tour of 1,148 km from our home in Kanata, Ontario to Fredericton, New Brunswick. The route had us stopping in Plantagenet, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Granby, Warwick, Lévis, Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Riviere-du-loup, Cabano, Grand Falls, and Woodstock. Our ride distances varied from day to day but averaged around 104 kilometers. See our Tandem Tour Journals for more info about our Kanata to Fredericton tour in 2017. Tandem Tour Journals

In 2018 we completed an 8 day 'round trip tour that had us riding from our home in Kanata up along the Gatineau river, down along the "P'tit Train du Nord" trail, and then back along the Ottawa river. Each day's route is listed as follows:

  • Day 1: Kanata, ON  To  Wakefield, QC
  • Day 2: Wakefield, QC  To  Maniwaki, QC
  • Day 3: Maniwaki, QC  To  Mont Laurier, QC
  • Day 4: Mont Laurier, QC  To  Mont Tremblant, QC
  • Day 5: A day of rest in Mont Tremblant, QC
  • Day 6: Mont Tremblant, QC  To  Blaineville, QC
  • Day 7: Blaineville, QC  To  Montebello, QC
  • Day 8: Montebello, QC  To  Kanata, ON