Saturday, January 29, 2011

P'tit train du Nord is not the longest Rail-Trail bike path in the world

An advertising feature on Laurentians tourism in today's Gazette has a Laurentiens tourism agency hack telling a big lie about the P'tit train du Nord being the longest bike path of its type (i.e. rail-trail) in the world.

Unfortunately the P'tit Train du Nord's length doesn't even make the list of North American rail-trail paths over 200 miles (320 km).

The Laurentiens tourism website calls it the longest rail-trail path in Canada, but the
Kettle Valley Railway in BC claims 600 km of distance. We're just sayin' that truth does count for something. Yes, even in advertising.

We love the P'tit train du Nord, it's one of the great bike paths in North America. It's just not the longest.

No fact checking at the Montreal Gazette?

"It's the longest path of its kind in the world," said Mathieu Deziel, supervisor of the tourist information bureau for the Laurentians.

People in marketing will believe anything! Drink the Kool-aid much Mathieu?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

2010 Cycle Fun Montreal roadside awards

2010 has come and gone, but we took a few photos so the memories stay alive forever.

Here are some things we noticed in 2010, some good, some bad, some just amazing.

Best museum we didn't visit yet award

Inverness bronze museum

Best town's anniversary decoration award

Early farming contained a few surprises for the farmer

Roadside Pollution Award

The coveted Roadside Pollution Award goes to... Tim Horton's coffee.

All three pictures were taken at locations far, far from any programmed consumption corporate coffee swill outlets. The local rural scenery was not enhanced by this guerrilla-marketing product-placement publicity strategy. Worth noting is that Tim Hortons also wins the urban roadside pollution award! Second place goes to McDonalds, as is the usual situation.

Canadians sure love their Tims, but maybe they could not destroy the beauty of rural Canada when the swill has been swilled?

Is this a future site of yet another Tims? The ants and beetles were enjoying it.

Double Double boil and bubble, let's destroy some scenery today...

Emergency repair, old school award

Flat tire, no flat repair kit? No problem! Just borrow a road side wheel...

Sometimes repair parts are heavier/older than you'd like.

Or you could borrow this bike, it is as fast as the wind.

Bird's-eye view award

Climbing out of Leeds, Quebec to Kinnear's Mills

Second place goes to these birdhouses with device to keep predators from eating tasty young birds

Cyclists, welcome to our town! award

This green arch welcomes you to Princeville

Restored train stations award

Both of these are on the Route Verte between Sherbrooke and Quebec City.

Lyster, Qc

Both of these were right on the Route Verte. Which is pretty logical considering it is a rail-to-trail bike path.

Warwick, Qc, yet another 150 year old village.

Quiz: when did rural colonization occur here?

Leaning barn award

Pretty in pink, though.

Best WHAT IS THAT? award

Non-terrestial telecom antenna on Mont Royal.

Notice the lightning rod at the tip?

Lightning rod, with the melted tip to prove it!

Touch it, with your tongue.

Obey this sign award


"The term bicycle paradise applies here" award

Our discovery of the roads of the Circuit de découverte Chemins Craig et Gosford was better than great.

Best new ride destination, and one of our best rides EVER.

Yes, the term "bicycle paradise" applies here.

Danger steep hill on Chemin Craig. Wait, an uphill warning?

This location proved fruitful in the 10 metres per second squared acceleration dept.

So close, and yet so far...

Didn't break 90 km/h again this year.

Bunny luv award

Someone doesn't luv bunnies

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some news on the Route Verte Montreal axis dossier

As-yet unbuilt Route Verte north-south axis across Montreal is in orange color

Some news is reported by Montreal Express on the new (not-yet built) Route Verte bike path through northern Montreal. This new path will be off-street. It will replace the present path that is on the street in a narrow strip between parked cars and the sidewalk. More safety and convenience for cyclists trying to go north through Montreal on bicycle.

This is good news!

Les demandes de la Ville pour l'instauration d’un passage piéton et d’une voie cyclable enjambant les voix ferrées du Canadien Pacifique (CP) qui se retrouvent entre Rosemont et Le Plateau ont finalement été entendues par la compagnie ferroviaire, qui s’engage maintenant à travailler avec la Ville sur ce dossier.

Complete story at Veloptimum.

Friday, January 14, 2011

conditions in the great winter outdoors of quebec

Quebec has a lot of winter, it has a lot of winter sports, and a lot of place to do these fun winter sports.

But where are you going to get good information about conditions for quebec's dozen tourist regions and 100s of outdoor sport destinations?

The answer is to check Guy Thibaudeau's "Sur la piste ski conditions blog on Cyberpresse.

"Ski" conditions include downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoes/raquettes, and outdoor skating on trails and lakes.

Guy gets around and gives out the real deal with lots of useful information. We check it every week.

Guy has a dream job.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

winter's bike-withdrawal syndrome

Our winter bike withdrawal is getting serious!

How serious is it?

We signed up for a 10K run in the Montreal marathon September.

Aieee! What were we thinking?

Stupid peer pressure.

And we promise to never mention it again.


A better remedy to winter's bike withdrawal is to ride a bike indoors.

No, we can't actually go and ride a biker indoors anywhere in our famous Montreal's underground city. But we think that the pedestrian arcade under the seating in the Olympic stadium would be perfect for some winter indoor biking.

Sure it's artificial and contrived. But it's better than freezing off any sour balls on crappy winter roads.

Also, extremely unlikely. Montreal closed it's indoor bike velodrome and they sure aren't going to open the stadium to indoor biking in winter anytime in my lifetime.

(You're thinking, Montreal had a velodrome? Tell me more... Click here for a bit of info on the Montreal Olympique Velodrome (now converted to the "Biodome" indoor zoo.)

Back to reality...

So we're getting on the bike trainer in T-minus-6 minutes.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Looking forward to 2011

2010 is dead and gone, long live 2011!

We are looking forward to 2011 for all the usual reasons related to winter's cold and darkness ending, but also for the potential that a new year offers. And one potential is the potential to do new rides in new areas. Sometimes new areas disappoint, but sometimes, they rock our world so totally, we cannot figure why we didn't visit there years ago.

Which brings us to Vermont.

Well-known as a paradise for bike riding, we have been avoiding it as we continued our plan to explore the length and breadth of Quebec (which just happens to be friggin' HUGE) But this year brings a need to continue to explore new areas, and we have explored every direction but the Vermont one.

We won't be leaving Quebec behind, since it's also awesome,. but we are injecting a bit more mountainous terrain into the regime, and Vermont delivers in the mountain department big time.

Have a great 2011 everybody!


Actually, we have visited Vermont a few times.

What used to be our annual ride around Jay Peak (back when we were young).

Frelighsburg QC to Richford and Montgomery VT is a beauty of a ride for all the right reasons.

A big Lake Champlain Islands ride is here.

A little lake champlain island (just one island) ride is here.

Here's some useful information on riding the islands including maps. Did you know that these islands are the closest part of Vermont from Montreal?

A visit to the Shelburne Museum is one of the best things to do in Vermont. And yes, it takes a entire day.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The pain, the pain, yes we went for a run

We love cycling, the bicycle moves at a speed that humans never achieved in all of human history.

To enjoy cycling more, we try to experience running first hand, at least once a year. After we go for a run, we really appreciate every aspect of cycling.

Unfortunately, work-related peer pressure requires us to run a 10K race. It's in september, and we conclude that today's 7.2 km run is not going to be the complete training program, as we had hoped.

Long live cycling!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Get out and enjoy some winter: in and outdoors

Skating through forest

It's one of the best things about winter.

Skating through forest at the 1 km-long "anneau" at Domaine de Vert in Mirabel

Beautiful glorious sunshine!

Ice skates, version 1.0

Pointe a Calière museum's exhibition on Ste-Catherine street's history, with a bit of irrelevant skate history to make us appreciate modern technology.

Riverside at Parc Stanley on Montreal's "north shore."

A bit gloomy, but a fine sunset at the water's edge.

Lighting up the winter's night with some giant glowing ballz.

Glowing balls at Place des Spectacles (i.e. Place des Arts)