Pleasant Bay to Ingonish Beach. 75 km.
(Cate) We rode up French Mountain on the Cabot trail yesterday afternoon. It is said to be the easier, more gradual climb than North Mountain. The sign at the bottom of French read 11% for 6 km. The heat and humidity as well as the incline made it terrible. I had never been so sweaty in my entire life. So waking up this morning knowing we had to tackle North Mountain, the tougher of the two, was daunting. North Mountain's sign at the bottom read 13% for 3 km; however, we knew there were sections of 18% incline. We began to climb slowly. Even in our lowest gears it was difficult to keep pedaling. We were very grateful that it was 8 AM and therefore still somewhat cool outside. Before long we made it to the summit, with a little motivation from Kelly Clarkson's 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.' We cruised down the other side really quickly, having to brake consistently to be able to bank the sharp corners. Although we were far from done the Cabot trail, I knew we had conquered the two major summits and could probably handle whatever else got thrown at us. We arrived in Ingonish just past noon, having mostly outraced the impending rain. Seagulls was recommended to us as the local favourite for sea food. We all had delicious lunches and far overstayed our welcome by ordering more coffee and eventually a ginger cake doused in caramel for dessert. We finally set out after harboring at the restaurant for over 2 hours, just in time to get poured on biking the 10 km to Ingonish Beach to camp. The sun came out later in the afternoon and we headed down to the beach. The waves were pretty big and crashed into shore: perfect for body surfing. After waiting for two and a half months to hit the Atlantic, it was awesome to ride some wicked waves.