Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where to ride? Eastward?Off the island?

The only definite plan we had was to ride to Olympic Stadium, then we went a bit further!

We try to do a few rides from home in the spring before putting the bikes in the car and heading off somewhere off-island. This is the tale of one such early-season Montreal bike ride.

Today for our first long spring ride we headed east, but mainly because we didn't have a plan, and north, south, and west weren't downhill from the front door.

East takes us to the Big O (the 1976 Olympic Stadium) which seemed like a nice first stop. Where to next? Well, we had never ridden off the eastern end of the island to Repentigny, sounds like a plan!

So we went east, then east some more, all along Sherbrooke street to the end of the island (passing the oil refinery district, not too scenic!).

We use it, we abuse it, but we need a steady supply of oil

Eventually we wondered, when will it end? We checked a map in a bus shelter, it looked like we would make it, it was just a bir further to go.

On the eastward part of the ride we wondered "where the heck are we and when is the end of the island?" We were saved (merely informed, surely?) by looking at the Montreal Transit Corp bus map in a bus stop shelter.

Since we had never taken the bridge at the end of the island, we discovered a modern bridge with wide bikepath/sidewalk that connects Montreal and off-island town of Repentigny.

Bridge to Montreal Island, sidewalk/bike path is wide and safe for bikes and pedestrians to share

We immediately turned around and headed back because... the spring training principle is to ride as far as you can, as fast and hard as you can, until you can't go any further, then turn around and come back home!

Bicycle direction sign just-off-island in Repentigny. Standardized signs is one of the important innovations of the Route Verte network

Coming home we took the much nice Bellerive and Notre Dame, it follows the riverside. Eventually it becomes industrial, but there is a bike path paralleling the whole thing.

A couple of new accessories have improved the riding: we tried out some Craft-brand lobster-gloves and these are keeping the fingers nice and warm. Another good accessory we recently installed was a real bike bell (a drrrring drrring bell, not the ping, ping, single ring minibell) and this really improves the chances that people get out of your way!

Minimalist point-aux-trembles house , definitely post-modern!

Montreal kept getting closer and closer, we like the homeward-direction of rides!

On Rachel, getting really close to home after our first major ride of the year

It was a nice day, but only +2C so it wasn't a short-sleeves hey-it's-almost-summer kind of spring ride, Everything was warm except the toes.

Freezing feetz, old blue is the bike, built in 1986 it was one of the first production mountain bikes, as it likes to keep reminding me.

Escher-like very contemporary art beside the Beaudry Metro

Finally we arrived home and we had some hot tea, water and scotch, and we had earned each of these!

Stats: 25 km out, 35 km back.


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