Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Open the Pont Jacques Cartier bridge bike path!

Collectif vélo 365 hard at work for YOU!

The collectif Velo 365 says "Open the Pont Jacques Cartier bridge bike path."

Click here for a news video.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Google Maps bike paths Montreal region BIG picture

Google maps bike route feature - the big picture version

Plan your summer weekends and vacations now.

The big picture raises some good points

  • There's a bike path from Ottawa to Rigaud?
  • Not much of a route from Rigaud to Montreal though.
  • Missing link: Montreal - Burlington Vermont
  • Missing link from Eastern Townships L'Estriade to Vermont
  • Missing link south shore Pont mercier-Chateauguay
  • That bike route south through Vermont looks good... very good!

The biggest problem with google maps for bikes is that it is so incomplete.

February road rides - in Québec's winter?

Sunset at ormstown dam.

A recent february thaw gave Quebec cyclists the chance to do some winter road riding - without the usual possibility of freezing off any important body parts.

February road rides are something new for Quebec riders. On one level, this is a good thing, on another level, this climate change thing is getting scary!

One thing that stays the same: finishing our rides at sunset!

Ormstown-Howick/Ste-Martine bike path now "on the map"

New rail-to-trail bike path is close to Montreal but 100% outside the urban sprawl zone.

The new bike path through the Chateauguay Valley is official: it is on the 2012 Monteregie cycling path map.

Slight problem: as of today this path isn't built yet. Happily, the non-highway side of the river is perfect for cycling, and in fact is one of the best riverside bike rides in Quebec. This is no BS, we guarantee you.

Stay tuned for news of the opening of the 2012 new bike path.

This new rail-to-trail bike path is close to Montreal but 100% outside the urban sprawl zone. It is rural countryside in all its aspects.

The bike path has got people writing to the local newspaper (The Gleaner) and the latest letter writer says that he won't take the new bike path, because the road beside the river is so pleasant. True, but the bike path opens another option for cyclists to ride safely.

We think cyclists will make their first visit here for the new bike path, but they will come back for the infinite variety of nice road rides (long or short, easy or hard, but always beautiful and fun) in this beautiful region.

I sure seem to be shoveling it on pretty thick, sorry!

The Missing Link (Chainon Manquant) in the Montreal region cycling network

Can you spot the missing part of our bike path network?

This is the biggest missing link (chainon manquant) in the Montreal region safe cycling network.

Monteregie / Rive Sud 2012 bike maps

What is the monteregie? Everything south of Montreal, with a big chunk of east and west of Montreal also. We'll focus on south of Montreal for today.

The Monteregie region's bike path map is excellent.

So is their road rides map

Let's look at the pistes cyclables one, since this is the easy way to plan a good road + bike path ride.

Does this stimulate your imagination for a bike ride?

Perhaps this helps the visualization process?

We suggest this loop because it is quite long, a big challenge in a day. But what if you don't want or need a big challenge? ,

No problem, this is a very enjoyable ride to split over two days (say, any weekend from may to October). Auberge Harris has made it's business success by focusing on people doing exactly this ride. Note that you could start in Montreal and do the ride via chambly too.

This is a very nice ride over gentle terrain with great scenery. Highly recommended.

St-Laurence and Richelieu rivers now connected

Bike route network now connects the St-Laurence and Richelieu rivers.

This should be a popular ride. Note that a bit of it is on crushed stone/rock dust surface.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

new Vélo-Québec guide book Le Québec en 30 Boucles

Quebec in 30 rides - Quebec cyclists' favorite circuits

Vélo Québec has just published a new guidebook in their "Les guides vélo mag" series.

So, what's special about these 30 bike rides?

Quebec is a big place and the book has interesting rides in every region.

The rides were submitted by readers of the Quebec cycling magazine Velo Mag. This is probably a good thing. We all have favorite rides. Here are 3o favorite rides. This has to be a good thing!

We looked through the guidebook in detail and the rides look great.

The book should get riders to ride and discover the beauty and downright joy to be had out in the Quebec countryside. Cyclists on the weekends should leave Montreal island.

Many rides quite similar to some of our favorite rides are featured in the book. Strangely, one rides out favorite northern Lanaudiere ride in reverse, with long climbs and short and steep descents. That is the opposite of what it should be!

We strongly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to leave Montreal island to find a great ride. Quebec is full of great road bike rides, and if you love road riding then this book is essential.

We'll blog more about the rides and this guidebook in future posts.


Here's the info from the VéloQuébec website:

Le Québec en 30 boucles 2012
À l’invitation du magazine Vélo Mag, les cyclistes de tout le Québec se sont prononcés : voici leur sélection des plus beaux parcours de la province. De l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue à la Gaspésie en passant par les Laurentides et les Cantons-de-l’Est, découvrez des coins de pays magnifiques et méconnus, de même que les cyclistes qui les ont choisis et les histoires et trésors qui colorent ces parcours inédits. Que vous ayez envie d’une balade contemplative ou d’un défi exigeant, ce guide est pour vous !

  • 30 parcours en boucle de 43,5 à 85,0 km, pour les cyclistes de tous les niveaux
  • Cartes
  • Descriptions détaillées des parcours incluant les points
  • ravitaillement et les vélocistes
  • Niveaux de difficulté et dénivelés positifs
  • Haltes gourmandes et hébergements
  • Brefs portraits de cyclistes

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to have a great bicycle ride

1) Go out and ride your bike
2) Lots

Saturday, February 11, 2012

spring riding starts soon, so it's tune up time now!

Fresh snow outside today. This will not prevent spring from arriving shortly.

This means you should tune up your bike now. Beat the spring rush when the first dry warm spring day arrives and every fred in the world wants her bike tuned up down at the local bike shop.

Why are tuneups important? Your bike will give you lots and lots of loyal service and love and fun, for many many years, but in return you have to give it a bit of love.

Like any good relationship, you must have a dialog or communication with your loved one (here we your bike) which at at the minimum is knowing how your loved one is feeling and if he/she/it is in need of any special care.

Dialog with your bike involves submitting your bike to an inspection. (We do not recommend this approach to any of your human loved ones) You should become familiar with the subject of the bike-inspection.

The simplest form of bike inspection is the pre-ride bike inspection.

Why is that important? Because that little bolt on the floor might belong to the brakes!

What's a pre-ride bike inspection?

Before each ride, perform a safety check of your bicycle. It just takes a minute, will help prevent some accidents, prevent pissing off your riding partners, and remove another of the possible causes of epic adventures. There's nothing wrong with epic adventures, they just shouldn't be caused by needing to walk home because you didn't have a patch kit to fix a flat because your tire was showing obvious signs of end-of life (cracks, cuts, and the rubber worn down to the inner fabric.)

Pre-Ride Safety Inspection

  • Check the tires for proper inflation (marked on the side of the tire). Check the tire treads for excessive wear or other damage, such as embedded glass or other objects.

  • Check the brakes. Spin the wheels to check for rubbing and then apply the brakes to ensure they stop the bike smoothly and evenly. Check the brake pads for excessive wear.

  • Check the cables and housing to make sure there is no fraying or splitting.

  • Check the wheel quick release levers to ensure they are secure.

  • Check for any loose parts or other mechanical problems.

  • Do a slow-speed ride and inspect bicycle, brakes, and shifting before you leave your driveway.

Click here for the full google search of"pre-ride bike inspection."

We had a scenic rest stop a this farm.

Because a tiny wire gave us a flat.

The bike had just come out of the bike repair shop, where lots of tiny pieces of tire-puncturing wire exist, and one hitched a ride home on the tire. This is not the first time bad news happens after we leave the bike shop. We clearly should have spotted it it in our pre-ride inspection.


small wire, big annoyance

Post ride inspection: if you fix your bike after you ride it, it will be ready to go the next time you want to ride. This avoids delays in getting outside on your bike when the weather and your inner voice tell you "let's ride!" But, it takes discipline and will power. Good luck!


If you aren't motivated to do a bike inspection then how about a Fish Story? we recommend this Fish Story movie. The full Fish Story song is here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

new bike, first ride?

Is this a new bike and the first ride?

Bikes are fun.

Winter is fun.

Riding downhill is fun.

This little person is getting all three at once.