Friday, August 28, 2015

la liste - rides 2015

So by now I have done my usual list of favorite rides, so is it now time to revisit a favorite, or try to explore and find another ride to the list? Decisions, decisions. 
-Ormstown (3x) I’d do more rides here except Mercier bridge and alternatives are bad bridges. Although Mercier has its seasonal mega repairs completed for 2015. Since 2008 it’s been being reconstructed with half being federal and half being provincial, and for the provincial half, the re-decking objective seems astoundingly low priority. Because whenit is finished, nice new wide bike/pedestrian sidewalk reconnecting that part of south shore to mtl for bikes.
Lacolle (5x) I like riding here and maybe another visit in in the autumn for apple season – greatly improving the snacking potential in Franklin area. As you saw, nice top quality roads too. As I ride in other regions, I notice the parts with bad roads. 
Mystic/Bedford/Frelighsburg (2x) This is usually the first real mega hill I do (covey hill I do the easy way) and it enters the eastern townships hills via some real nice riding terrain.  There is also a really short cute covered bridge that I can’t find this year. And I know it’s on this ride!  I did a copout a couple of times in trying to extend the distance east so I have to go back and finish the longest distance version of the ride. Maybe to do this I have to start in Frelighsburg and not Bedford of Mystic.
Louiseville, this ride is on the north side of the St Laurence and has that combo of flats and into and then out of the hills that I like. Nice hills too, with optional insane hills. Then downhill back to the car.
St-Jean-de-Matha – Home of my fave compact area full of hills. Some recent pavement deterioration on two downhill sections plus some megacheap chipseal (small stones sprayed with tar, except the stones are not small like they are supposed to be so nonstop b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-umpy) makes it less fun. With better road surface this is a top favorite ride. 
Victoriaville – this ride starts on the plains but not for long as it heads into across and out of the hills. Victoriaville is a nice town, the rural scenery is nice. This is in the slightly farther drive distance class of rides. Still, on bike two hours from getting in the car. Also birthplace of poutine.
Plessisville – This is the big leagues. A bit far but nice riding on historic and quiet roads. Generally always up or down. One mega hill that I did in downhill direction this year.
Berthierville – last week’s longish but easy ride, but it seems to get less easy as the day progresses. Nice to ride on islands then in farmland back on shore. One final nice rest stop area that is basically super quiet oddly located rural park before final section back to car traffic civilization. This is second year I do this ride and I like it. I am looking for some ride-lenthening variations.
Dirt: / dirt road / dirt trail / mtn bike
Ayers Cliff (tomifobia trail) – nice scenic double-track rail-trail along tomifobia river to stanstead and away from roads and traffic. Sometimes rides are not all about hills and distance.
Arundel (Corridor Aerobique)
nice scenic double-track rail-trail along rouge river and away from roads and traffic. Sometimes rides are not all about hills and distance. It’s a bit short of a ride though. This is the far end of this trail and not the whole trail since much of it seem just a grind.
Mansonville  / Knowlton (dirt) – two rides in one day through different parts of eastern townships dirt roads. Both nice, the mansonville one more scenic. Good early season mtn bike on dirt road riding.
East Hereford (mtn bike) – visited 2x, need to go back here some more, maybe Saturday!
Rimouski – vacation easy riding, it has bike path all along river all through town. One day I’ll go with the wind and bike to here from home.
To Do list
Lac megantic – I did this last year, nice to ride around lake, a second section to Mont Megantic would be added once some dirt roads are paved and some paved roads are improved, but presently it’s dirt road and I skip that option. But one day, I’ll ride up Mont Megantic, maybe when I get a triple on my next road bike.
Shawinigan/Ste-Tite – didn’t come here for a few years. Need to go back, but some issues with a certain bridge. This is also the start point for a ride through Parc National de la mauricie, which I did once, and is now a major sportif mega ride (I avoid crowds and sportif types) but I found parc de la mauricie to be a bit too much “always in a forest” to be really enjoyable, very few views.
Jay Peak – long climbs, newly renewed asphalt. After I train all winter I’ll go back here. Because long climbs.  
Chemin Nordet/St-Donat – a popular laurentiens mega-road through nowhere, the destination town at the turnaround end of the ride needs paved shoulders to make that part of ride safe and fun and not a near-death experience. Maybe too popular/big of a road for my quiet roads in nowhere’sville tastes.
Tremblant / Riviere Rouge Huberdeau – Another annual ride I do with Jim every year. Still waiting for one section to get the asphalt repaved (last repaved in 1800s it seems like), It has a covered bridge and is otherwise a nice ride in really nice terrain.
Frelighsburg/Stowe – Did this in probably 1980/early 90ss with Pierre, 50 miles south, 50 miles back north. Smuggler’s notch to climb to get to and back from Stowe. Sort of on my redo someday list.
Ormstown-Lyon Mtn crossborder century– This was better to do when we had a base in Ormstown. It’s another 100 miler century ride. There’s some issues with Franklin border crossing being open/closed.
Mont Laurier – Montreal – P-tit train du nord bike path is 200 km from St-Jerome to Mont Lauruer (tremblant in the middle) along with more 50 km-ish more riding mainly on bike path back home to Mtl. This is a long term goal requiring overnight in Mont Laurier and an early start.
Montreal-Quebec – waiting for a big tailwind and I’ll try this one in a day sometime. Maybe with wife-based car support.
Quebec-Gaspé with the wind. Another needs some wife-based car support to do this lightweight and speedy.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

FIrst Plessisville appalachian hills ride of 2015

Returned to Plessisville and did the more-or-less easy tour of the Circuit Celtique chemins Craig et Gosford bike paradise.

The section between St-Pierre-Baptiste and Inverness is still under reconstruction (year 3!!!) and it time to finish the job and repave the road. The inverness side is not as bad as the St-Pierre-Baptiste side.  Don't let this scare you off, it's a nice ride and it's only a couple of km.

Followed a road sign 3 km off-route to discover the excellent Pont Rouge covered bridge

Here's the map from Mapmyride, which is my new map app.

It's a great ride destination.

password located, blogging again

I found the password and I can blog again.

Follow me on twitter for much more active Cycle Fun Montreal content.


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.