Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chateauguay Valley is a cycling paradise

purple: the ride. Yellow: optional roads. Arrows: quiet rest stops















So many roads to ride! This is not a problem.You can do 20 different rides around this region.
 
One of our favorite regions to ride is south west of Montreal in the valley historically called by the english as the Chateauguay Valley (roughly) between the Chateauguay river and the US border. The government has renamed this the Haut-Saint-Laurent, but nobody I know calls it this. If your riding style is authenticity-based, you'll call it the Chateauguay Valley also.


The Map shows the usual - but not the shortest - version of the ride.

The yellow is other roads in the region that we ride on. As you can see, the standard ride can be easily lengthened for a longer day on the bike.

Red arrows are scenic or quiet rest stops.

We like to call this region the Vallée Cyclable. It is superb. It is fantastic.

In spring the roads are clean, dry, smooth, and if you ride anywhere else in Quebec in spring, you will know that these qualities are rare. Add scenic and low on car traffic, and still undeveloped rural and not just one same-looking-town corporate-franchised town after another.  I say this , but yucky-coffee-is-our-brand tims arrived in Ormstown last winter. We suggest going to Café Namaste on Ormstown's main street for some non-brazillian-mega-corporation-coffee-chain coffee.

Montreal is an island spring ride

Trans-island spring ride
Every spring we do this ride, across pont Jacques Cartier bridge and the St-Laurence river to Longueuil, come back and head east over to the stade Olympique stadium, then north, cross the river to Laval with a little traverse, and then cross another bridge and come back home for hot food!


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The season starts

the season of icy and dirty uncleaned bike paths starts.

The season of runners and pedestrians going in every direction possible fill the bike paths.

The season of mega potholes has arrived.

The season of bikes(s) by the front door arrives.

The seeason of freds riding like the bike path and streets are a race track arrives.

The season of nice cyclists stopping at stops and lights and signalling turns also arrives.

The seson of cars parking oon bike paths has arrived.

The season of cars making illegal turns on straight arrows into bikes has arrived.

Ride safe everybody, because life is short and the other people (cars, bikes, runners, pedestrians, truck drivers, bus drivers) don't care if you live or die.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Gazette writes article on bike path-design problems.

A nice article in the Saturday gazette about five of the dozens of bike-path-design problems in Montreal.

Article takes a look at new bike-underpass at St-Laurent & Bellechasse which is a disaster in several ways but the article misses a chance to explain clearly the disasters.

Still, it is nice that the newspaper takes the time to explain how bad bike-path design makes cycling much more dangerous and how problems are caused by a city who's roads-department is staffed by people who don;t ride bikes, who don't get out of the office to look at their own bad designs, and doesn't want to fix the problems their designs have caused.

Maybe next week we can look at the many dangerous gaps inbike paths that nedlessley through bikes into trafic and increase danger and risk for cyclists. WHich is just how the bike-haters in the cville-de-Montreal roads department like it, apparently.


2015 1st ride: Chateauguay river Ormstown/Powerscourt/Rockburn

The closed bridge in distance is a great rest stop

Maple sap buck beside perfect asphalt on first concession road


This ride never disappoints.

Oodles of possible variations.

Smooth roads.

Clean roads.

Quiet roads.

Scenic roads.

Translation: perfect bike roads.

Ormstown to Huntingdown to Athelstan to Powerscourt (Quebec's oldest covered bridge) - to Rockburn along US border - to Dewittville to Ormstown.

For a slightly shorter ride, just retrace the ride along the Chateauguay river from Powescourt and forget the section along the US border, until next visit!


MUHC royal Vic hospital closing - time to give back some (parking lot) land to Parc Mont Royal

Area in yellow: Addition to Parc Mont Royal. Red line: new bike path.

Montreal need to decide: Is Mont Royal, with its beautiful and amazing Parc Mont Royal and protected ecological and heritage status, better off as a park or should its value be wasted and let's just keep using it as a parking lot. A parking lot! The answer is obviously no, Mont Royal is not better off being used as a  parking lot.

I am referring to the upcoming closure of the MUHC's Royal Victoria Hospital, a facility that was to remain "forever public" in the donation documents, and its recently-constructed (post WW2) parking lots that deface and vandalize the ecological region that is our jewel of Montreal: Mont Royal. 

These parking lots, which border the downtown edge of Parc Mont Royal, should be converted to park land and added to Parc Mont Royal. A bike path should be added through the parking lots to create a new, safe, scenic, bike path from points north and east of downtown into central downtown.

The upcoming 375 anniversary of the founding of Montreal is an appropriate moment in time to make this dream a reality.

The fact that this valuable land is being used for mere parking lots is a black stain on how much the MUHC and city government truly value the heritage value of Mont Royal. This is the perfect moment to remedy this neglect to what all Montrealers agree is the jewel in the crown of our beautiful city of Montreal.

Montreal must close these dangerous gaps in the heart of the bike path network.

Spot the cyclist-killing gaps!













Montreal #1 priority should be closing these dangerous gaps in the bike path network right in the heart of the city.

Does safety mean anything to Montreal? Because these gaps are going to kill someone.

Yes, Outremont is blocking these improvements. They cannot block them forever. Outremont cannot hold the safety of thousands of cyclists hostage.

Until these gaps disappear, Montreal does NOT have a safe bike path network.


Close the gaps!
Click here to send an email to the mayor (from the outremont city webpage).

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bike Paths for bikes (not runners)

 Merry Christmas Cyclists!


Montréal présente le nouveau règlement sur l'utilisation de son réseau cyclable

MONTRÉAL, le 12 déc. 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - M. Aref Salem, responsable des transports au comité exécutif, présente le nouveau règlement sur l'utilisation du réseau cyclable qui a été adopté par le Comité exécutif de la Ville de Montréal. Ce règlement fait suite aux 15 recommandations adoptées par la Commission permanente du Conseil d'agglomération sur les transports et les travaux publics, à l'automne 2011.
« Les voies cyclables montréalaises sont de plus en plus achalandées et il devenait impératif de rendre accessible le réseau cyclable montréalais aux principaux usagers pour lesquels il est d'abord destiné et conçu : les cyclistes et les patineurs à roues alignées. À cela s'ajoutent les aides à la mobilité motorisée (AMM) et les fauteuils roulants », a déclaré Aref Salem.
Le projet de règlement fait suite à la principale recommandation, adoptée à l'unanimité, des membres de la Commission permanente du conseil d'agglomération sur le transport et les travaux publics, qui avaient convenu, au terme de la consultation sur le partage du réseau cyclable montréalais, que l'utilisation du réseau cyclable montréalais devrait être réservée aux seuls usagers suivants :
  • Les cyclistes ;
  • Les patineurs à roues alignées ;
  • Les aides à la mobilité motorisée et fauteuils roulants ;
  • Les bicyclettes à assistance électrique (excluant les vélos électriques de type «scooter»).
« Pour desservir une clientèle plus variée et qui fait un usage plus récréatif des installations municipales, la Ville de Montréal dispose d'un réseau de sentiers polyvalents de plus de 85 km », a-t-il ajouté.
Dans le contexte de l'accroissement significatif du nombre de personnes utilisant le vélo comme moyen de déplacement à Montréal, la Ville de Montréal souhaite s'assurer que l'utilisation des voies cyclables est destinée à ses principaux usagers et ce, pour garantir la fluidité de la circulation là où les infrastructures cyclables atteignent déjà un niveau important de saturation. Rappelons que les pistes cyclables Berri et De Maisonneuve sont parmi les plus achalandées en Amérique du Nord.
« Pour que les déplacements dans les voies cyclables puissent s'effectuer de la façon la plus sécuritaire qui soit, et ce peu importe les arrondissements ou les villes reconstituées où ils sont effectués, il est essentiel que les mêmes dispositions réglementaires s'appliquent à l'échelle de tous les arrondissements et villes liées », a conclu le responsable des transports à la Ville de Montréal.
Rappelons finalement que la Ville de Montréal collabore aux travaux du gouvernement du Québec qui ont cours actuellement en vue de la modernisation du Code de la sécurité routière.
 
SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mont Royal's Parc du Troisième Sommet is open and legal for bikes

The  new road to the third summit of Mont Royal (the Outremont summit) has a new road built in the last couple of years.

The entrance to this road in Outremont has a big no-bikes sign but if you look closely at the park's rules, the actual road itself permits bikes.

The proof of this is this Parc Mont Royal rules and regulation sign, which says bikes are permitted on the road and only on the road.

Read closely: Bikes are permitted

These are the official rules: bikes permitted

The no-bikes sign is A LIE. Outremont has knowingly installed a sign that misrepresents Parc Mont Royal's own rules.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

St-Bernard-de-Lacolle to Franklin Centre Quebec = 2014's new ride



Last Sunday’s bike ride rode near the US border straight west then straight back east along the foothills of Covey Hill. This started as a ride from a new guidebook for good rides near Montreal (which I did 4 times), then I combined its best parts with my Ste-Martine to Covey Hill ride and myAalong the border ride. It adds up to a lot of top quality riding, which is the objective.

I say top quality, but why?
  • Route finding completed done to find best and most ideal route
  • Good roads (note: excellent roads)
  • Quiet roads (generally very quiet roads)
  • minimum amount of bad or busy roads (<10 li="">
  • Scenic roads (very scenic, not boring all the same all the time all flat)
  • Away from modern civilization, (no "every town the same" corporate BS)
  • Generally skips all towns and villages, but they are close by if needed (ice cream, water, etc)
  • Not too far from home (facilitates a noon departure)
  • Food available on route
  • Easy driving & parking logistics
  • Ride is not too easy
  • Ride is not too hard (aligned to energy and fitness levels)
  • 2nd half of ride trends downhill
  • 2nd half of ride is with the wind (usually)
  • Cheap gas
  • Heritage sights
  • Variable distance for a longer or shorter ride/shortcuts
  • free apples
  • Car parking at park beside bike path
  • Car parking: good security
  • Car parking: dep for pre/post ride food beverage needs (sort of)
  • Car parking: benches/tables
  • Car parking: right at start of good riding (as opposed to a few miles before the good stuff)
  • Scenic highlights: glaciation traces, distance views, nice farms, stone walls, forests & fields
  • Last 10 km nice riding (this ride is on bike path 1st/last ten km) and not busy traffic situation
  • Good sunset light situation
  • Good map of ride
  • Hill situation: several short or micro hills, only one longer hill
  • Ride distance at 110 km, long enough to be well-fatigued, but not so long or hard it's near-death experience
So these are some of the things that make a ride a good ride, and a good ride elevate to a great ride. For 2014, this was my exploration to find another favorite ride: and the result is mission accomplished.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

new 25 circuits autour de Montreal guidebook

We rode #16 Lacolle to Ste-Clothilde 4 times so far this summer. It is a great ride on real country roads.

Try this variation to add Ste-Chrysostome at the western end of the ride (ice cream!).