Sunday, November 29, 2009

good deeds, bike division

Not a good deed: blocking the bike path for construction.

Bike standing up, everything's normal right?

Because we picked up the bike, which is our good deed habit.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cycle Fun Montreal's 1000th post

The post below, about Bunny Hop website, is our 1000th blog post.

So maybe it is time we got our own url (or at least make the url match the blog name)?

It's been a lot of fun exploring the opportunities for massive levels of fun to be found on a bicycle inside and outside Montreal. We hope the fun never stops.

Montreal is a paradise for fans of the bicycle. Our plan was to share the fun with you. And maybe inspire you to get off the island and explore the amazing cycling to be found in the incomparable Quebec countryside (yes, and in Montreal too).

To celebrate, we offer you Cycle Fun Montreal's top 11 bike ride destinations:
  1. East Hereford mountain biking (sort of Coaticook)
  2. Road riding in MRC Maskinongé (Louiseville)
  3. Hill riding nothern Lanaudiere (St-Jean-de-Matha)
  4. Eastern Townships (Sutton)
  5. Chateauguay Valley/river (Ormstown)
  6. P'tit train du Nord
  7. Piste Cyclable Canal Soulanges
  8. Veloroute Bellechasse
  9. Charlevoix (St-Joseph-de-la-rive)
  10. Olmstead Road (parc mont Royal, Montreal)
  11. Voie Maritime St-Laurence seaway bikepath (Longueuil)

Some are close, some are far, some are easy and some are hard, some are road and some are bike path. Only one is off-road, we have further exploratins to make in that department.

We think that all are no less than super fantastic bike rides.

There's lots of specific info on each of these through the 1000 posts of the blog, so we suggest spending some time this winter clicking through the monthly archive links on the right side of the web page.


Finally some good news for mountain biking in Montreal

Will Montreal ever get legal (and fun) facilities for the sport of mountain biking?

We have moved a step forward with the creation of the Montreal urban mountain bike website Bunny Hop.

This group's focus is development of urban mountain biking trails in Montreal.

And they have a really cool logo.

Their website presents news and summaries of the current urban mountain bike trail plans, opportunities, and ideas.

There are several examples of urban mountain bike parks in other cities. Each of those cities faced the relentless opposition of bureaucrats and public opinion. And yet, ultimately, their mountain bike trails became reality. It could happen here (really, it could: bureaucrats are starting to begin to consider beginning to think that it is possible that it is not impossible that "off-road" bicycle use in Montreal could be developed).

This is a great addition to the Montreal online cycling community. We think Bunny Hop has the power to change the world. Go there, read it, and call youy city councillor and mayor. Tell them you want the development of off-road mountain bike trails. And you want them NOW.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Vampire Monkey attack


The end of November means we are riding to and from work in darkness.

This means we encounter more night creatures than usual.

Including vampire monkeys.

We were just riding along on our way to work one morning when this little fellow attached himself to our helmet. WTF?

Then... "Ouch!!!!"

We tried to get it off, but then we noticed how cute it was, and we decided to hold on to it.

We even let him ride along on our bike commute, he promised to to ward off other vampire monkeys, specifically much larger ones that could do real damage.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Velo Quebec "Quebec cycling" presentation

Here's an interesting pdf presentation by Velo Quebec on their work (over many years) to develop and promote cycling in quebec and about the development of the Route Verte project.

The presentation is at Ontario Cycling Tourism forum website, and is part of a conference they had on cycling tourism. (look for the velo quebec link)

Very interesting.

Montreal custom bike builder - phil barge

Here's a link to a Montreal custom bike builder, phil barge.

Everyone should have a custom bike (or two). Preferably made with good old amazing steel.

Our Bertrand is a custom bike, and we love it, and we have loved it for many, many years. And we will love it for many, many years to come. You can't say that about a mass market aluminum or carbon fibre bike.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bixi season is over. Time to bring out the WIXI

The Bike season season is wrapping up.

November is cruel.

The Bixi system is going into winter storage. The summer bike paths are now closed down. Only the paths that are part of the Reseau Blanc winter bike path will remain fully open.

Following on the success of the Bixi, we hope the Bixi braintrust starts to think about a winter Bixi, which we think should be called the Wixi.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cote Ste-Catherine bike path - Clean up the leaves already!

For the past month leaves have been accumulating on the Cote-Ste-Catherine bike path. The street outside the bike path gets the leaves cleaned every week, but the bike path is ignored, and has many large piles of slippery and dangerous leaves.

Often one entire side of the bike path is unrideable. Can you say "Aieee!"?

Once again we note that the ville de Montreal's public works department hates bicyclists and bike paths. Hey, we exist: please clean up the leaves!

Autumn's leaves, so pretty, and so slippery and dangerous!

Death zone at the Avenue Stuart intersection

The giant head of Joseph Beaubien, check it out along the S-St-C path. Beaubien worked hard at building Montreal.


Walk-signal buttons that don't work

While we are at it, there are many Walk-Signal buttons that do NOT work on this bike path.

At avenue Laurier and McEachran there are walk-signal buttons that do not work. Not bad for infrastructure less than one year old!

It is bad enough that the remoed the walk-signal as part of the automatic light cycle, so that the walk-signal must be manually activiated, but as least have functioning buttons. (we sometimes wonder if these non-functioning buttons are a cruel practical joke by autophilic city engineers)

Something new to improve safety at intersections

Someone at the ville de Montreal has decided, "We have to educate pedestrians about intersection protocol and safety."

"Zero Accident: Cross at the right place and at the right time"

There's still some work to do to educate drivers (car driver is on phone!)

The right way: Cyclist waiting at red light, and behind the stop line.

Autumn's urban activities and explorations

The month of November is a dry one for interesting activities, but if you have a bike, then a ride up Mount Royal's Olmstead road, to the summit and the Mont Royal Chalet & lookout is not only an excellent activity, but one of the best things Montreal has to offer in any month of the year.

See those mountains in the background? They're 150 km away in Vermont.

Mont-Royal Cycletherapy, 26 of the best minutes to be found in Montreal

The summit of Mont Royal seen 22 minutes before you arrive on top

Urban bikin', autumn style.

Development of new "Boucle Mont Royal" recreational path on northern side of Mount Royal. This is the path along Cote-des-Neiges road. This is a much-needed addition to Montreal and Mont Royal's recreational path network.

Downtown's renovated Guaranteed Pure Milk's giant milk bottle. (Milk comes in bottles?)

On a rainy day whatcha going to do?

We turned 1/2 bushel of crabapples into a year's supply of crabapple jelly. The greatest jelly flavour, ever.

And now the rain has stopped, and it is time to go outside again.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another good Quebec bike blog

We are always on the lookout for good Quebec bike blogs, and to our surprise, L'Actualité magazine has a good one.

The blog is written by Denise Belzil, who seems to have very good credibility.

Here is the link.

repairs, bike and pc

Our bike and our pc need some repairs. Old Blue, the daily ride, is noisily requesting bottom bracket lubrication, and the PC's video card's fan was making a noise we can describe as a chainsaw cutting open a half-full can of ball bearings.

The video card got our attention first, and is the reason our blog seems so stale and in need of a new posting.

The bottom bracket is easier to ignore, since it makes noise outside of the home. But lately it's noise levels have increased, and it too will get some lovin'. Real soon, we promise.

Blue isn't being totally ignored, it inherited a newer rear wheel, and a shiny new tire to go with it. The old tire and wheel were completely depreciated, and the old rim danced around better than Michael Jackson.

Which brings us to our adventure after work today. Instead of returning home after wirk on a same old, same old kind of ride, we found ourself with the mission to ride out to the UPS warehouse in Lachine's vast industrial park to pick up the parcel containing the new video card. This journey was required because UPS failed to successfully deliver the video card to our home, three times, two of which required the UPS deliver person to be a higher level of imbecile than we are familiar with. Our suggestion is always to avoid UPS when someone wants to send you something. We genuinely love canada post.

Coming back from lachine industrial park area via Autoroute Cote de Liesse we arrived a the end of the autoroute where bikes and pedestrians can cross under the elevated Autoroute 40 and the train tracks at the giant Kraft foods plant (if you've been there, you know what we are talking about,m and if you have never, well, you have a project for saturday morning.

Here we met a dude who was just finishing the successful repair of a flat tire. We had a chat... He had a new bike this year. In the last month he has had six flats. SIX flats. He was trying to get me to suggest bigger or better tires. Yes, to both I said.

I also suggested getting some plastic tire levers, since cold temperatures, metal, and human fingers do not a happy combination make.

Then a frenzied ride along Jean Talon from Decarie and we were home and making our PC whole again. Then we pushed the power button... and nothing happened. Until the power cord was reinserted into the wall, thus connecting us to Hydro-Quebec's vast grid of hydro dam generated
electricity. Woohoo!

The ride to Lachine had the added bonus of being a dry run for next weeks Sport Dinaco warehouse sale, November 19-21. Click here for more info. They are a distributor for a variety of outdoor and ski-related products. Recommended.