a virtual cycling exercise program


I the past, I have been successful at doing regular exercise on my stationary cycle.  My method is a little unusual – I choose a place I would like to see and map out a route I would like to follow.  Then, I use Street View in Google Earth to go on a virtual tour of the area as I cycle.  If  you would like to have a look at some of my earlier virtual cycling adventures, you can see them at http://www.nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com under the category ‘my exercise plan’.  I have done virtual trips through central France, along the southern Cornwall coast in England, and along the northern coast of New Brunswick in Canada.

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I have decided to undertake another of these virtual tours since it motivates me to cycle regularly.  For this adventure, I will follow the St. John River.  It is a beautiful river dominating the landscape of much of New Brunswick. The River is about 673 kilometers long (418 miles) from its beginnings in northern Maine and eastern Quebec to its mouth at the Bay of Fundy in the City of Saint John.  In the part of the province where I live, the St. John River is broad and meandering.  We have a cabin on one of the many lakes associated with the River.  If I do an average of 3 km per day of virtual cycling (about 1/2 hour), it will take me about 224 days to do the length of the River.  It will likely take much longer since the roads often meander more than the River!

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St_John_River_Map
Map of St. John River (Source: Wikipedia)

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One of the things I have done on my previous virtual trips is draw or paint some of the landscape I ‘see’ on Street View.  I will be doing some drawings for this cycling trip also!

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I am going to begin my trek in eastern Quebec, on the North-west Branch of the St. John River, near Lac Frontière and Lac Talon.  I have never been here in reality and I notice that Street View is not complete in this area.  So, for some of my route, I will travel without visual cues as to where I am.  Just a road map and a few photos folks have posted on Google Maps!

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Beginning on the road nearest Lac Talon, I have plotted my course on the map below.  I will begin at Dubonnet in Quebec and bike virtually to Lac Frontière, then follow some very rough logging roads in Northern Maine to the airstrip at Red Pine Grove Landing in Maine.  This is a total of 52 kilometers (about 17 days of 3 kilometres each), so I will be spending a long time near nowhere.  However, I will try and make the trip interesting by doing some reading about the area and including it in my posts.

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upper drainage of the St. John River and bike route
upper drainage of the St. John River (marked in blue) and my planned bike route for the first 17 days (marked in red). Just click on the image to make it larger!

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I will be reporting later in the week on the first days of my trip …

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Best always, Alexandra

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