Saturday, May 06, 2006

Big south shore ride & Pont Mercier

I posted some new videos on Google Video - search google video for Cycle Fun Montreal

I rode from Pont Jacques Cartier Bridge to Pont Mercier Bridge along south shore bike path(s) yesterday. Some observations:

I rode across Pont Jacques Cartier along route verte #1 over the spiral bike overpass, and then took off right at big powerline green zone. This generally heads west and zigs and zags and dissappears and reappears in mysterious ways. I took this suburban path as far as Milan street, where I went north up to the riverside path. THen I headed west some more until path veers back into Longueuil at the power lines again through a scenci park area and then goes back to the riverside over a bikes-only bridge over autoroute 15. Then the bike path follows riverside more or less until town of Saint Catherine where you can get on to the path that goes along the seaway (cross bridge at Seaway Locks/recreo-parc). This path back along the seaway is one of the very best in montreal. I didn't take it this time.

For added adventure, and crappy conditions, the brave among us will continue to Pont Mercier Bridge along the busy highway of Route 132 west. At least it has a paved shoulder!

At the Mercier bridge the sidewalk in on the outbound lane of traffic. Bike access to the sidewalk is, um, challenging! The sidewalk dissapears between the end of the bridge proper and the flat ground for about 500 feet. Instead of walking along the busy roadside against traffic (if you ride here you will die) to get to the start of the siewalk climb up the hill under the foot of the bridge beside route 132 westbound.

Along the 132 at the Mercier Bridge you will go under the bridge, as you come out the otherside, you can climb up the embankment at the foot of the bridge, right under where the bridge starts to be elevated. There is a not-very-visible path here.

It's tricky, but a clever person will succeed.

Once on the bridge, pray for your safe crossing! The sidewalk is not maintained, dirty, and close to the busy traffic. During construction/repair periods this may NOT be possible as construction blocks the sidewalk.

Once back on the island there are two magnificent paths to use to get back to central Montreal, the Lachine Canal bike path, and the really beautiful riverside bike path that goes under the Mercier along the rivers edge.


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