Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some plans for 2009

Some plans for 2009

If you have bike fever like we do, there's a certain brain itch that drives you to do something you can't control, this urge is to ride new rides! yes, new roads, new hills, new views, new downhills.

So what are our plans, our dreams, our desires?? Well for the new rides department reports that exploring the MRC of Maskinonge (the part of the Mauricie region between lanaudiere region and the mauricie river). We want to explore this region with some rides from the St-Laurence river and the laurentian hills, meaning the first half of the ride is uphill into the wilds and then the second half of the ride is a descent back to the river. We visited her last year and think there's lots of potential for good rides with good variety. And there's the road through the parc de la mauricie. Mmmm.
  • Mt Megantic region.
  • magog-compton coaticook region
  • Montreal-Mont st-Gregoire
  • Mont laurier-> Montreal
  • explorations between Ste-Beatrix and Rawdon
  • Bas St-Laurent explorations
  • New Brunswick Acadian peninsula
  • Chaudiere Appalache - Asbestos Thetford region
  • Chaudiere Appalache - new bellechasse bike path
  • Montreal->Quebec
The problem is of course, that these are all distant destinations. Some of them, very distant! So what about local(ish) rides we want to do this year? Don't worry, there's lot so these too. For instance, some of our regulars include:
  • Lanaudiere hill ride
  • St-Jean de matha to St-Michel-des-Saints
  • jay peak ride from Sutton
  • Sutton, mansonville knowlton
  • Ormstown-Lyon Mountain loop New york
  • Chateauguay river to US border
  • Chateauguay valley big ride
  • Coaticook East hereford
  • lake Champlain island(s)

Our favorite local, really local, rides that we do after work (or late on saturday afternoon!) include:
  • Montreal-Chambly
  • Pont jacques Cartier-Voie Maritime path along seaway to Ste-Catherine and back via the Estacade
  • Mt Royal 6 climbs
  • Lachine Canal & Les berges along St-Laurence (lasalle verdun)
Here's some more cross-border rides in the great U S of A
  • Vermont six gaps ride
  • New Hampshire Kancamangus hghway
  • New hampshire White Mtn gap ride
  • The very top of northern new hampshire
  • Montreal-Burlington
  • multiday loop ride of Lake Champlain

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bikely's web 2.0 internet bike ride maps

We like Bikely internet bike maps.

Some of last year's best rides had their source and inspiration from user-generated maps we found on Bikely.

For instance, here's a giant Mauricie loop that offers some bike happiness. We might try the some variation like just the east or the west half. This is the brand partour mauricien, which the creator suggests is
Une grande boucle pour découvrir les paysages mauriciens: ses rivières, ses lacs et ses forêts, ses montagnes, ses champs et ses vallons, son fleuve et sa plaine, ses villes et ses villages.
We have done five different mauricie rides in years past and we want to return. This history and the bikely map fuel the fire that we burn when pondering the question "where should we to go to ride next?"

The author of these maps, veloshawinigan, has provided us some great rides through bikely. We appreciate the effort this person has done to make the mauricie a better destination for cycling. Thanks dude.

Here's a link to bikely and here for only quebec maps.

veloroute des bluets report

The Veloroute des bluets around Lac St-Jean is on our "not yet visited but have to visit soon" list.

Here is a link to a report on their annual report.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some thoughts on the Expodium Montreal bike show

We visited the bike show on Sunday. Lots of people, lots of booths, and lots of travel destinations.

Some highlights:
  • test riding a bixi. With my near-empty backpack in the handlebar rack, when I stopped riding and put the bike on the kickstand, the Bixi was very keen to fall over. It liked it!
  • booths from tourism offices from a dozen Quebec regions.
  • The excellent bike maps available from the regional tourism office booths.
  • Giving feedback to the booths where I visited last year
Some suggestions for future shows: get the AMT to tell us about their new Bikes on Weekends regional bike trips. Huh? OK, I made this one up. Sorry (catherine), but there is no AMT bikes on Weekends program. But maybe one day we will get one.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Yeti year end winter sale

There's big savings at Yeti's winter-season year end sale.

25% on msr snowshoes, 50% on tuques and gloves, and lots of other 20-30% off stuff.

We like this sale a lot.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Expodium Montreal Bike Show - this weekend!

The annual montreal bike show is on this weekend at Place Bonaventure.

Besides bikes, which you probably already have, there's also other stuff, and for us this means bike travel destinations! We live in a place with a lot of terrific bike destinations, and this show gives us the chance to get an introduction.

At last year's show we looked at the Petit Temis trail in the Bas St-Laurent (Riviere du Loup to Edmonston New Brunswick) and we did go there, and had a completely fabulous time.

This year...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

First bike commute of 2009

Rusty meets the other bikes.

After a failure on Monday morning to get on the bike to get to work, we succeeded on Tuesday.

Happily the sun rose above the horizon just as we arrived at the semi-snow-covered bike parking for work.

We promised ourselves that dry winter roads means biking to work. We live by the rule that slush is bad for bikes... but dry roads mean riding the bike.

Looking at last year's calendar, we started our daily bike commuting at the end of March.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

2009 first ride

On the downtown de Maisonneuve bike path, at the old forum (the real forum).

Our first ride of 2009 was a sunny sunday ride to rue Norman in Lachine.

We learned that this was not a desirable destination, and it turned out to be a dead end street in an industrial wasteland. Yikes.

So we came back to civilization to de Maisonneuve and rode the compete traverse of downtown.

Crossing the Lachine canal. No boats?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Strange google search results

Sometimes we look at the blog's webstats to see how people get here.

Here's one surprising search result.

Someone asked "What time is the best time to see the sun set?"

Now you and I would probably answer at sunset... but the google told this person to visit Cycle Fun Montreal. We find this strange. See all the results here.

Bicycle ice races

Montreal's second annual Ice Cup is this weekend, on Saturday February 14.

The location is at the foot of Mont Royal, Parc Jeanne Mance. Please check the website for more info.

We watched these races last winter and it was really quite entertaining. I think that it should be an Olympic sport. Instead this year we got, as the new sport: skicross, which looks a bit like suicide on skis. Correction: It looks a LOT like suicide on skis.

If you are still reading this then you are probably thinking "But what about unicycles on ice?"

Here's a unicycle with studs for tires designed for ice riding. This unicycle is from Canada's National museum of science and technology's bicycle collection. And this unicycle is from 1864. Yes, 1864. We filmed it at the recent bicycle exhibition at Trois Riviere's Museum of popular culture.

What are the different types of bike path in Quebec?

What are the different types of bike path in Quebec?

Transport Quebec's website has the answer.

Their website has some other good info, check it out.

In Québec, cyclists have the right to ride on most roads, with the exception of autoroutes. Motorists and truck drivers must be especially careful when they see them at the far right or the road. To improve the safety of cyclists on cycling routes, which are becoming increasingly prevalent, four types of facilities are provided.

Paved Shoulders

Paved shoulders allowed cyclists to share the road with motorists and truckers. Shoulder width varies from 1 m to 1.75m. Road shoulders are marked off with a white line, and cyclists travel on them in the same direction as other traffic.

Since these facilities are relatively new in Québec, the above sign is used to indicate to motorists and truck drivers that cyclists may be using the paved shoulder of the road.

Designated Roadways

Designated roadways are routes developed on low traffic streets and on roads where traffic is slow. They are recognized as bikeways. They do not have corridors reserved for cyclists, but signs indicate that they are used by them. In addition, bicycle pictograms painted on a road remind motorists and cyclists that they are sharing the roadway.

Bicycle Lanes

Bicycle lanes are provided in urban areas, along the pavement. They are reserved solely for cyclists and are marked off on the pavement or indicated with physical features.

Bicycle Paths

Bicycle paths are specially designed for cyclists ans are generally located away from all automobile traffic. They may be reserved for cyclists only or they may be open to other road users, such as pedestrians or rollerbladers. Signs similar to those used on road are always posted on cycling paths and, when possible, markings are also used.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

riding the trainer

Even though the roads are rideable now (for how long?) we have spent some time this winter riding the trainer, because unlike riding around outside, the trainer let's you get the most training benefit.

We have a few tips.

clean the rear tire with alcohol before using the trainer
Use a sweat guard on the bike
Have the following beside the bike: towel, lip goo
use an mp3 player with fast lively fast tunes
use gloves and a headband.
Have a full water bottle on or near the bike
Eat something 30-60 minutes before the workout.
Warm up for at least 5 minutes. You should be feeling... warm
Cool down after the workout ten minutes at very easy cadence.
Use a fan blowing fresh air on the rider
work on high rpm cadence intervals
work on high power intervals
Rest in between periods of intense effort. Let recovery days do their magic.
Use good cycling form.
Use good mental form we think this means an appreciation of high intensity
Ride hard, cuz you're serious right?
train the upper body with free weights, especially for the bike position
We do incline press, triceps, ball crunches and wrist curls.
These can be done watching stewart and colbert.
release the pressure on the tire when done riding
remember: you will ride better in the spring because you sweated indoors all winter

time to ride!

Getting outside and having fun (cross-training surely) in winter will help both your mental and physical well-being.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Winter activites

We stay sane in winter because we find other things besides bike riding to keep us occupied.

For instance...

indoor bike riding (on a trainer Aaagh!)
-adventure sunset snowshoeing on Mt Royal, and assorted off-island destinations
-Cross country skiing on Mt Royal, and assorted off-island destinations
-Ice skating in assorted parks and Mt Royal, and assorted off-island destinations
today's suggestion: the 4.5 km x 2 outdoor skating rink on the l'Assomption river in Joliette, the longest rink on a river in quebec, they claim.
-Urban weekend shopping walking, with loaded backpack (or not)
-Culture, culture, culture... like the anti-art Cloaca No. 5 at UQAM gallery (one week left!)

Good luck, dry roads and warm temperatures are coming, and spring road repairs are coming a bit after that.

Need hope and optimism? Check the date when we did this ride!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Jay peak ride on Bikely

One of our favorite rides starts in Sutton Quebec. We ride south on "Scenic road", cross the US border and ride the three hills around Jay Peak, cross the border and come back home.

This is an exceptional ride with a couple of real climbs. Real climbs.

We finally made a map of this ride on Bikely. The map link is here.