Monday, March 31, 2008

Revisiting the best rides of 2007 post

If you are looking for some great quebec ride ideas, check this posting I did in January about the best rides we did in 2007.
There are descriptions and links to the original ride report and many of these have maps.

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.

Early season explorations

Montreal du Futur: The new Place des Arts - the Jazz Fest blues stage/park is now a parking lot - this is Not A Good Plan at all!!!

Griffintown in 1900, 8000 residents! Heavy industry!

Griffin town today - can you find these homes in the retro pic above?

A common Griffintown sight - ugly light industry

An hour later we were enjoying views of the north shore of Montreal island

We went to see the "Futur du Montreal" (i.e. Montreal 2025 exhibition at Places des Arts, then a ride all along the new de Maisonneuve downtown bike path (it's great!). Then we went down to see what the heck is Griffintown (a wasteland with a location to make real estate developers drool!), and then up the mountain with a long climb up and over cotes des Neiges, and through TMR (no-dep-land) and St-Laurent to Gouin Blvd and the river at the top of the Island. The route back was the express boul St-Laurent.

Here's some pics:

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Visiting Quebec's parks

Quebec is big with plenty of diverse geography and scenery. There are many provincial parks (which we call national parks) and many of them are real jewels of nature.

The Montreal Gazette recently had an article about how anglophone's (which is what we call English language speakers) were not visiting Quebec's parks.

Apparently there was some linguistic resentment. (actually it is my theory that letter-writers are usually already resenting something or something bigtime and the newpaper empowers them to speak out, and we call these people "angry-phones").

But not visiting Quebec parks? How stupid can you be? Quebec has a huge amount of spectacular natural places.

I encourage everyone to visit at least one new Quebec park this spring, summer, fall, and yes, winter too!

Quebec parks are managed by an organization called SEPAQ. This quasi-governmental corporation runs the parks and (if you were to ask me) is perhaps the reason people get turned off from parks, they can be a bit heavy on rules and bureaucratic. That said, I have found only helpful and friendly staff throughout Quebec.

I have made it one of my reasons-for-existence to visit the beautiful places in Quebec. I'm in the middle of my life and there's still lots of great places left to visit in Quebec.

Off the top of my head I'd think of one very big reason why anglo (or any language) Quebecer's seeking nature would do so outside Quebec. There are fewer "Big Mountains" in quebec than across the border in New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

Quebec is both cursed and blessed to have such a large amount of big mountains within two hours to the south. I say Cursed because quebecers head south to get "big adventure."

Anyway, can you really trust anything but your own two eyes?

I suggest you see for yourself: go to the Parcs Québec website and choose a park, and go visit it! Note that Sepaq maintains three things: Quebec Parks, Quebec WIldlife Reserves, and government-owned Tourist Resorts.

Here's the link to the original article "Where are the Anglos?" by David Johnston.

Here's the link to the followup article "Where are anglos? Readers tell why they're not in Quebec"

Friday, March 28, 2008

Quebec's Route Verte bike path network is best in the world!

Quebec's Route Verte bike path network (english link here) is the best in the world, says the National Geographic.

The Route Verte itself is an incredible achievement. 4000 km of regional and inter-municipal bike paths linking Quebec together by bike path and bike travel infrastructure.

This recognition should do a bit to get American tourists up here this summer to support the Quebec economy, oh, and see the amazing beauty that is rural Quebec. On bike!

What many people don't realize is that Quebec is BIG. You can drive almost 1000 miles on the north or the south shores of the St-Laurence river. And from there, north or south, endless outdoors.

For their long-time efforts to improve cycling in Quebec, kudos go to Velo Quebec for pushing forward the vision of the route verte.

Deux reconnaissances prestigieuses pour la Route verte

Le National Geographic lui décerne la 1re place

La Route verte est à l’honneur ces jours-ci ! Mercredi soir, au gala montréalais des Grands Prix du tourisme québécois, Vélo Québec Association a reçu le prix Ulysse, dans la catégorie Activités de plein air et de loisir, pour la Route verte. De plus, la Société National Geographic vient d’attribuer à la Route verte la 1re place parmi les 10 meilleures routes cyclables dans le monde.

Les Grands Prix du tourisme québécois récompensent le dynamisme, l’excellence ou l’audace innovatrice d’entreprises ou d’individus qui oeuvrent au sein de l’industrie touristique. Le prix remporté par Vélo Québec Association rend l’organisme automatiquement admissible à la remise des Grands Prix du tourisme québécois, volet national, qui aura lieu à Montréal le 9 mai prochain.

La Société National Geographic décerne la 1re place à la Route verte
National Geographic vient de publier Journeys of a Lifetime : 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips, un livre qui recense les plus beaux voyages dont on peut rêver. La Route verte arrive en 1re place, dans la catégorie des 10 meilleures routes cyclables dans le monde, devant des véloroutes des États-Unis, de l’Italie, de la France, du Chili et de l’Australie.

« Nous sommes plus qu’heureux de ces deux honneurs, qui viennent récompenser des années de beaux efforts, a déclaré Jean-François Pronovost, directeur général de Vélo Québec Association. Cela nous encourage à poursuivre le parachèvement de la Route verte et à en assurer son entretien, pour que tous puissent profiter au maximum de cette merveilleuse véloroute qui traverse le Québec ! »

Rappelons que la Route verte, dont le développement a débuté en 1995, est une idée originale de Vélo Québec Association, réalisée en collaboration avec le gouvernement du Québec, notamment le ministère des Transports, et des partenaires régionaux. Son inauguration officielle a eu lieu à travers tout le Québec en août 2007.

Vélo Québec : pour un Québec vélo depuis 1967
Depuis plus de 40 ans, Vélo Québec, un organisme à but non lucratif, a pour mission d’améliorer la santé, l’environnement et le bien-être des citoyens par la création, la production et la promotion d’activités, de biens et de services dans les domaines du vélo et du transport durable ainsi que du plein air, du tourisme, du sport et du loisir. Vélo Québec regroupe Vélo Québec Association, Vélo Québec Éditions, Vélo Québec Événements et Vélo Québec Voyages.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ride over potholes like they don't exist

Are you a smooth rider who floats over rough roads?

I'm not a smooth anything (!) but I can float on a bike. This is a very useful motor skill to have. In the city to avoid and absorb potholes, and in the country to enjoy a road even if it's a bit bumpy.

Here's an informative article from on riding smooth. This link is to their weekly e-newsletter which is often an interesting read. I'm not an elite roadie, but there's skills to be learned to ride at your best and this site is great for that.


How Can I Ride "Lighter?"

Q. Coach, you've commented that some people ride "lighter" than others. That is, they know how to unload their wheels at bumps and potholes while others hit these things with more force. Could you explain this technique? By the way, I weigh about 98 kg (215 lbs.). -- John W.

Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Riding lighter has little to do with bodyweight but everything to do with technique.

While some riders plow into every bump and pothole in the road, others float. The bashers ruin wheels and headsets and suffer pinch flats. Riding "heavy" is hard on the crotch too because the saddle is driven like a jackhammer into soft tissue. Riding lightly, on the other hand, smoothes the road, saving equipment and the body.

Here are 6 ways to help you ride light, like a cat:

  • Anticipate. Look about 30-50 feet (10 meters) or more ahead. Scan the road for problems. If you don't see the rough spots in advance, you'll have to make sudden swerves to avoid them. That's dangerous in traffic or a paceline.

  • Gear up. When riding over rough areas is unavoidable, shift to a larger gear (the next smaller cog or two). Slide back and put more pressure on the pedals in order to reduce weight on the saddle.

  • Relax. If your upper body and legs are stiff and tight, bumps get transmitted through the bike directly to your body. Not good. Keep your knees and elbows flexed to absorb the shock.

  • Coast calmly. For big bumps like potholes or exposed railroad tracks, stop pedaling just before impact. Support your weight with a light grip on the handlebar and stand slightly on the pedals with the crankarms horizontal. Your hips should be about an inch off the saddle. Let the bike buck under your quiet body.

  • Ride off-road. Mountain bikers are often better than roadies at riding smoothly over rough surfaces simply because they have to do it almost all the time. After riding trails, you'll be better equipped to handle bad pavement.

  • Consider wider tires. If your frame can handle 25- or even 28-mm-wide tires inflated to 80-90 psi, you'll be amazed at how the added buoyancy cushions your ride on rough roads. Compliant tires make the above techniques even more effective.

If you want to see how the world's best roadies employ some of these tips to ride flat out over cobblestones the size of bread loaves, watch a Paris-Roubaix video or Versus's coverage in April.

(You'll find a plethora of riding techniques amid the 55 chapters of Fred Matheny's Complete Book of Road Bike Training. Plus, doable year-round workout schedules for three types of roadies -- fitness riders, fast recreational riders, and racers. Pick a program to take you where you want to go in the 2008 season.)

Riding a bike is all about riding light!

First bike-commuting of 2008

Bike parking at work, pre-season! Old Blue is king of the mountain!
There's a 2nd, completely covered, bike rack behind the one you see.

March 27, 2008 is the first bike-to-work day of 2008.

It is hard to transition from a warm comfortable convenient car (with radio!) to the more weather-immersive method of using a bicycle.

You have to find the motivation to get everything prepared the night before, to get dressed up in cold weather cycling gear, get onto a cold bike seat (yikes!) and ride to work, past the potholes and craters in the road, past the icy sections threatening to drop the bike if full vigilance is not observed, and to change into regular clothes when arriving at work, always hoping nothing was forgotten, or that you dressed not too warm or too cool for the actual temperature, and let's not forget that evil fiend, wind chill!

OK, I found the motivation to get on the bike. How did I accomplish this?

Easy, I gave my coworker a $50 dollar bill, and said if I bike to work today you give the money back. If I drive, you can keep it. So, I was highly motivated to bike this morning, as you can imagine!!! (unlike, say, monday, tuesday and wednesday when I had no financial motivation!)

So how did the trip go?

Fine, except it started to snow half-way to work. It was pretty but increased the hazard level a bit. On the other hand, it wasn't really cold rain!

It starts snowing at the halfway point, at least it's not rain!

In the freezing-my-buns-off department, I am happy to report that I was nice and warm, then too warm once the muscles heated up from cycling. This is the hard part, to select the perfect level of insulation for the temperature, and I actually knew I was overdressed, since I had dressed for a -10C temperature when I knew it was going to be only -1C. My bad.

One surprise was when I got to work, the bike racks were still buried in snow. Aieee!

Biking to work in the morning is ok, but biking home after work is GREAT!!!! Ok, since it was above freezing, it was slightly wetter, but really, is anything better then getting out of the workplace and riding away into the sunset? I can't think of anything better, but then I am a bike addict.

One final bonus, I save money that would go to gasoline, and with prices hovering around $1.20 a litre, these savings will add up fast.

Have a great 2008 everybody - and watch out for puddles.

Puddles are danger zones; they conceal holes and and spread ice, and get your clothes nasty - watch out!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bike Paths open on April 1 2008

That's a Tuesday, and cars can no longer park on bike paths.

Cleaning of winter's debris will occur.

And Thousands more Montrealers will leave their cars behind and experience the joys of urban cycling.

And a few of these people will run red lights, stop signs, right-of-ways, and generally act like idiots. So please everybody, don't be an idiot!

On my urban ride on Sunday I stopped and waited at every red light. It was the right thing to do.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bashed bikes

The front-wheel catch

The bent-in-three pieces origami fold

The streeeeetch!

Leaving your bike outdoors during the winter is bad for your bike.

Leaving your bike outdoors during the winter and leaving it too close to the sidewalk and sidewalk snow cleaning machines could be really bad for your bike.

2008 Bike season has started!

Cruising along Ste-Catherine street

All bike paths officially open (i.e. get cleaned) on April 1

The recent thaw cleaned off the roads and cycling conditions are, finally, realistic for non-Yeti types to get their bikes on the road.

We did a tour around and over Mont Royal, the over part was westmount summit via Oratoire St-Joseph Oratory, the lookout and then descent on Cote des Neiges, a killer descent with bike-crusher pavement quality. The around part was the south side through downtown on Ste-Catherine and Berri (hill) north and Roy to St-Laurent to get north and back home.

Reseau Blanc winter bike paths

The fact that a few bike paths were kept cleaned and salted during the winter means that these paths are now ready now for rides. There's still a bit of ice but these paths are not in the usual looks-abandoned-post-winter state of previous years.

Snow bank... and bike

Friday, March 21, 2008

Plan A, no? Plan B, no? ok then, Plan C!

Mont St-Hilaire is the mountain in middle, St-Bruno is on left side

St-Hilaire's western summits; Rougement and Yamaska in background

Well, My Plan A of visiting St-Come fell through, so we went instead to ski at the dnd shooting range on Mont St-Bruno. It was closed.

So we had to improvise a plan C, and this turned out be across the Richelieu river to visit the hiking trails at the Centre de la Nature du Mont St-Hillaire.

Mont St-Hillaire has a very good hiking trail network that first goes outbound through mature forest , then climbs and returns along a nice series of exposed summits, with great views in every direction.

We did the loop counter-clockwise, starting with lac Hertel, then to Rocky, then Dieppe, then Pain de Sucre, then Burned Hill.

Summit view: looking west at Mont St-Bruno with Montreal on left horizon.

Away from the summits, the trails are well-sheltered from the prevailing west wind. Which is a good thing because today the wind was gusting to 60 km/h in the city and more at these summits. This wind meant there was some serious wind chill on the exposed summits, and some real weather excitement!

Next stop: the Pain au Sucre summit

So, sometimes the third option is the lucky one. We had a great snow-hike, covered a series of exposed summits, and finished the hike with plenty of we-earned-it brand fatigue.

This mountain has a long history, in 1606 Champlain went past it on the richelieu river to his exploration of the lake that now bears his name, Lake Champlain.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lanaudiere - St-Come

St-Come is in the middle of nowhere (that's a good thing)
Northern Lanaudiere is a favorite place for road bike rides

Located at the end of the road, St-Come in northern Lanaudiere (think: eastern Laurentians) is a town I passed through twice on bike. About all I knew was that it was always at the far end of the ride.

I also noticed the surrounding scenery was very nice.

In related news, Quebec's never-ending winter continues, and continues, and continues some more.

Technically, it's now spring. Yahoo! But anyone with eyeballs can see that winter is taking it's sweet time with the melting-away thing.

So with another winter weekend preventing cycling enjoyment, we have to find a cycling substitute and we decide to head out again for a snowshoe adventure.

Destination: St-Come, and the objective is exploration.

Snowshoeing is one of the very best ways to explore.

Here's the map of St-Come's 30km of snowshoe trails.

St-Come snowshoe (raquette) trails

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Buried bikes

Archaeological fragment of a bicycle culture, frozen in time and space

Beer delivery bike, for when your bike is buried

You still see the seat and the mirror!

This one has a handlebar.

This one has a broken brake, uh-oh

The urban bike: parked outside and ready to go!

New-on-street bike parking posts, no time limit!

Will winter ever end?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Winter bikes take 2

Here's some more random winter bikes.

Some are daily rides, some are in hibernation.

Can you tell the difference?

Cruising north on Parc avenue

Pics were taken in Saturday's big storm.

Pic above was before the storm, pics below are... The storm has begun.

Seeking shelter at the bibnat

Yes it is my weekly endurance walk to the Grande Bibliotheque, Montreal's new super library.

Carrying 15 kg of books there and back is a very good workout. Plus they also have books and dvds, three of each can be taken out. There is a big bike section, and there is a huge cookbook section. Lots of great science and technology and arts and basically it's the best thing to happen to Montreal culture since the Jazz Fest was invented.

Waiting to cross the street and start riding.

This guy is doing the sensible thing. Instead of ignoring all rules and riding through red lights and blocking cars and being a definite road hazard 'n'stuff, this guy is stopping at an intersection and letting other traffic pass before he goes. He is not causing a road danger or blocking the road, he is being a responsible rider.

We call this civisme in Quebec. And we could use a lot more of it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Will Winter ever end?

65 snowfalls, 7 winter storms, 312 cm of snow fallen from the skies, another storm predicted for saturday...

It seems that old man winter's here to stay.

No he's NOT!

Update March 26: Yes he is!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mont Megantic snowshoe adventure

Summit of Mont Megantic at 1100M
bikes are permitted on the road in summer

Winter is long and the bike season still a few weeks away so we went for some premium-package cross - training: We did a 17 km snowshoe-hike adventure at Parc Mont Megantic on Sunday.

Weather, trails and snow conditions were magnificent.

Snow the night before gave a fairy tale look to the place.

We climbed three of the peaks, from south to north, skipping Victoria for around 900 metres of ascent.

We started with Notre Dame from the south, and had untracked powder over the summit and down to the Pliades hut for lunch.

Warm and comfy Pliades Hut near Mont Notre Dame

From this hut we traversed the backside of Megantic on Andromeda trail to Andromeda hut, then up the backside of Megantic on the ruisseau fortier trail. THis trail criss-crossed a stream and was scenic, nicely packed, and a great experience.

Layers of snow along the Ruisseau Fortier trail.

From the summit of Megantic we went down the road (for the views) to the col, and climbed up untracked trail to the sentier des Cretes trail "Belvedere" (lookout).

Then it was along this ridge (all untracked foot deep powder) to the summit of Mont St-Joseph.

Descent back to Accueil (reception) was speedy due to good gravity-assist and perfectly packed-powder trail.

Breaking trail through fresh snow near Mont St-Joseph

So, a great day, amazing weather, scenery, a great snowshoe hike on a big mountain (1100 metres high) with three summits and no condos in sight!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Who needs brakes? Bicycle riders, that's who.

Brakeless bike shop for brainless riders (death is forever dudes).

Are you cool, dangerous, and and a hazard to those around you?

Now you can buy a bike that exactly mimics these lifestyle traits.
If you ride without brakes, then be sure to carry your carte soleil (medicare card) with you, cuz you're going to need it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday you will have just the kind of situation where stopping rapidly could save your life. And you won't be able to stop in time. Crunch. And you will learn many things about pain and the inside of an emergency ward. Despite your attitude of carefree f-the-world nihilism, somebody and probably quite a few people do care if you live or die.

Montreal-Burlington Vermont link

The Burlington Free Press reports on attempts to complete a Burlington, Vermont to Montreal bike route, 100 wonderful miles...

Causeway's cause gets state aid boost

By Joel Banner Baird
Free Press Staff Writer

February 11, 2008
A bridge once shouldered Montreal-bound trains across the cut in the marble causeway linking Colchester with South Hero. With the rails long gone, hikers and bicyclists must leapfrog the 200-foot gap, courtesy of a six-passenger pontoon ferry -- but only in August, only on weekends, and only when the strong south winds abate.

A $300,000 state grant, awarded in January to the Burlington-based nonprofit group Local Motion, will help pay for upgrades to make crossing the cut a safer and more consistent passage, said Brian Costello, coordinator of the advocacy group Island Line Trail last week .

"The main improvement will be wave attenuators -- or floating breakwaters," he said. "In the average season we've had to close down the ferry for a day because of high winds."

Open to non-motorized traffic, the trail runs 12 miles north from the Burlington waterfront. Its final, intact leg, the town of Colchester's Causeway Park, extends as a thin peninsula 3 miles into Lake Champlain. The Vermont Agency of Transportation's recent enhancement grant will cover about one-third of the construction costs of the project, Costello said.

The fully engineered plan also calls for fishing platforms, overlooks and wider turnarounds for maintenance and emergency vehicles.

If Local Motion's capital fund drive raises the money, the project could be completed by mid-2009 -- in time for the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's first visit to the lake, which until that time was known as BitawbagokCauseway and effect

Costello said escalating public interest in a Burlington-to-Montreal recreational trail prompted plans for improved ferry service. The vision is not new.

From the inauguration of service on the Rutland-Canadian Line in 1899 until the last passenger train ran in 1955, rail-bound Vermonters and Quebeckers popularized the Champlain Islands as holiday destinations.

Truck traffic replaced the line's freight service in 1961; in 1963 the state bought the entire right-of-way.

Among the possibilities in a 1965 study commissioned by then-Gov. Philip Hoff: a "string of pearls" series of parks, connected by the old rail route.

Private speculation and public skepticism torpedoed the plan, and the uninterrupted corridor was auctioned off, piecemeal.

Two years ago, a 130-page study commissioned by the Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce and the Island Line Steering Committee outlined, mile-by-mile, several alternatives to a strictly rails-to-trails approach.

The study, which includes options for equestrian and snowmobile riders, suggests that easier access to Quebec's "Route Verte" trail network would likely bring significant economic benefits.

Playing together

A diversity of interests and priorities fueled -- and still fuel -- committee discussions.

Representatives from the towns of Colchester and South Hero take part, as do business leaders, Local Motion staff and technicians from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

Bonnie Waninger, a steering committee member and assistant director of the St. Albans-based Northwest Regional Planning Commission, said sharing the waterway with recreational boaters from nearby Malletts Bay has prompted few disagreements.

More challenging, she said, was making the islands' narrow roads, for decades dominated by motorists, more welcoming for walkers and cyclists.

There's hope for the first few miles they'll encounter in South Hero. Don Smallwood, the town's zoning administrator, said a federally funded project is under way to widen South Street from Allen Point to South Hero Village.

A 3-foot multipurpose zone along the road will accommodate children walking to school, Smallwood said, adding that the project's role as a region-wide recreation corridor takes back seat to local needs.

"We designed this with local needs in mind," he said. "It's all about safety."

Linear thinking

Although the town line between South Hero and Colchester bisects the Island Line trail, the latter town owns the causeway's surface all the way to The Cut.

That's a mixed blessing for Glen Cuttitta, Colchester's director of parks and recreation. This spring, before most causeway mavens flock to the marble trail, he'll oversee resurfacing and drainage projects along the town's linear park.

"The challenge is high water and erosion," Cuttitta said. This place is subject to Mother Nature 12 months a year, out in the middle of the lake. "It's beautiful and we're proud of it," he added. "It's becoming a destination."

Contact Joel Banner Baird at 660-1843 or

Learn more

Lake Champlain Bikeways:
Local Motion:
Island Line history:
Quebec's Route Verte:

If you go

WHAT: The Island Line Steering Committee, a group of landowners, nonprofits and municipal leaders, will discuss transportation innovations and alternatives in the Champlain Islands. The public is invited.
WHEN: 7 p.m., Feb. 21
WHERE: Ed Weed Fish Culture Station (Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department hatchery), Vermont 314, Grand Isle; across from ferry landing.
MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Northwest Regional Planning Authority at 524-5958

winter bikes

Winter bike parking

Check that rear brake... wrapped around the top tube!

Late winter, fresh snow, fresh salt, fresh slush!