This past long weekend I decided to take my girlfriend to Old Quebec City for the weekend. We packed up the bike on Thursday morning and by 11 am we were on the road.
Thinking the 800 kms to Quebec City a bit too much for one day we decided to stop in Cornwall where I have family. Initially I thought I’d take the 401 east to Belleville then switch to Hwy 2, which is a much more scenic route. When we did get on Hwy 2 the road was long, straight, and slower. So after a little ways we decided, in the interest of hastiness, to get back on the 4o1.
Big mistake. The moment we hit Kingston, construction brought the 401 to one lane and a stand still. Someone on a Kawi Ninja came slowly cruising up between all the traffic and then tucked in behind me. He lasted about 5 minutes before impatience got the better of him and he continued along the dotted line. While it was a tempting move I don’t agree with breaking the rules of the road to skip traffic – I think it is this kind of behaviour that gives bikers a bad rep in the eyes of other drivers.
So my patience held and we waited out the traffic – but it was not soon after my patience would be tested again.
Not half an hour later I was astonished to see it again: Construction ahead, 401 reduced to one lane. Unbelievable, I thought. A long weekend and they have one of the largest and busiest highways in the world reduced to one lane twice in a 100 km stretch. Now my arm really began to feel the burn from constantly using the clutch.
At the next service centre you could sense the anger amongst those drivers stopped for their Tim Hortons coffee. One lady even turned to us and said, “Wasn’t that ridiculous? And now they have that stupid law that you can’t smoke with kids in the car! Unbelievable!”
Beyond that the trip was quick and relatively painless. The 401 is great for getting east or west quick, but not much else. The scenery is mediocre and the roads not stimulating from a drivers perspective. We were happy to get to Cornwall and enjoy several bottles of wine and beer with family.