Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Great off-island Bike Ride

I took a bike ride in the Chateauguay Valley, a short trip from the Mercier Bridge.

Go TO Ormstown Quebec. Ride west along the Chateauguay River (route 138A) to Dewittville. Cross the river, turn right, and in a hundred metres turn left (south) towards Rockburn.

Ride along scenic countryside, changing from fields to forest and wetlands to higher elevation with apple trees at Rockburn, continue south until road ends at T-intersection. This is the most southern road in Quebec! You are 1 mile from USA. Stay in Canada and travel along this road to Franklin Centre, where you will continue to St-Antoine Abbé. Here turn south at the church, cross the highway (Olco station?) and continue to the T-intersection, turn right, ad follow this road (it turn left in a few miles) and goes past "the Rock" which is bedrock scraped clean from the last ice age! Continue until this road reaches the 138 where you wil go right and cross bridge at allans corners in about a half mile. (alternatively, turn right at St-Pierre and go to Howick, where you will cross the 138 at Georgetown church and take closed bridge beside the church to the road across river where you will turn left and go to back Ormstown)

Once you are across the chateauguay river, turn left and continue back to Ormstown through open fields.

Have a great ride!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Needed: A Bike Bridge

Montreal is an island. It needs bridges to the north and south shores of the Saint Laurence River.

But what if we need a bridge to get to the sidewalk on the bridge?

This is the problem cyclists are faced with when they try to access the Pont Jacquest Cartier Bridge from the Plateau or anywhere north/west of Ontario street.

The usual access to The Pont Jacques Cartier is via Champlin street, turning at rue Lafontaine. It is impossible to get across Papineau north that is the main bridge artery for outbound traffic. THe walk signal in the street light permits a walk signal every 4 minutes, a very slow time, and a long wait for cyclists.

I propose an archictecturally interesting bridge over Papineau from Lafontaine street. Is the city listening? Is Velo Quebec listening? Is anyone listening.

Join the campaign to make the Pont Jacques more accessible for cyclists.

Email to support this plan.

Four Montreal Mountain Bike Parks

Montreal has a need for off road bicycling in a controlled setting. Currently there are no off road trails in Montreal. Any and all off road bicycle riding that is done in Montreal is illegal riding.

Off road bicycle riding should not be illegal.

It should not be a crime to ride a bike on a trail.

It should be fun.

Montreal needs off road trails for bikes. There are over one million people who own mountain bikes living in Montreal. They have no place to try trail riding. They have no place to learn about proper skills for off road riding. They have no place to learn about ethical aspects of off road riding (don't skid, don't ride wet trails, don't ride private property without permission).

A Modest Proposal

I have identified 4 sites that are unused and can be converted to bike trail parks.

1) Escarpment between NDG and Tachereau (ex) railyards
2) Northeast corner of Pine-Parc interchange, (new traffic intersection has created a very large "traffic island" which is now good for nothing at all)
3) Delormier & northwest corner of Pont Jacques Cartier
4) Underneath and beside the ville Marie Expressway

What is an off road bicycle park? It's a mountain bike park! It serves two purposes. First, to provide a place where people can ride bikes in a trail setting. This means properly built trail, with lots of little hills and bumps, and proper drainage. Second, it must be a place where people learn the rules for off road bicycle rules.

There are some benefits to building parks with off road bike trails. There may be less illegal riding. ANother opportunity for exercise means heathier citizens of Montreal. Quality of life: This is another fun thing to do in Montreal.

Do you have any suggestions? Please email me at

8 Great landmarks ride

Went after work riding, decided to see some landmarks, here's the highlights

Went to Pont Jacques Cartier Bridge (PJC), went up far side for a change, discovered I was riding with no tools pump or spare tube, so decided to not go all the way to Longueuil! View is equally good from this side of bridge.

Explored the access to PJC, from any direction it is completely unmarked! This same situation exists on south shore end. I am writing a complete guide to biking the PJC, but hey, can someone please get the powers that be to CONNECT PJC to Rachel and Rene Levesque bike path, and the same thing on the south shore, adding links to Tiffen and Lafayette street.


People must get so lost, I can't believe this "premier part of the route verte" is so unidentified at either end. This is a complete failure on city administration and Velo Quebec's part. Yes. COMPLETE FAILURE.

Happily, you can figure it our for yourself, but you should not need an advanced geography degree to locate the crucial links to and from the bridge to bike paths.

Next I visited the
Old port,
Bonsecours Basin & promenade
Jacques Cartier Square (with Nelson's column at the top)
The ancient old city wall behind city hall (champ de mars)
The square at the Montreal city history museum
Victoria square
Place Ville marie Plaza (check out the hideous eyesore of a building just built on west side)
McGill campus
Ashes of James McGill
New sidewalk beside redpath museum
massive new landscaping and buildings opposite old Physics building
University street past Royal Vic

And then to end I did a ride up Camellien Houde from Mt ROyal, noticing that the paved shoulder, so popular with cycling supermen (and me too) needs sweeping to remove the winter dirst and crap which are covring it and forcing bikes to ride inthe actual roadway.

I am going to sweep it right now.

In fact I wish someone would adopt this road and keep it clean year round. Please?

Another sweeping project is the St-Urbain underpass, which needs much better signage also.

Get out and ride!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Heading south - We're going to the south shore

Sunday I changed three tires on other bikes but am still riding Rusty. Weather was sweet without either warm or cold. Headed straight for Pont Jacques Cartier Bridge (PJC) which has major sidewalk along it for two kilometers over the Saint Laurence river. This hooks up with bike paths on the sough shore and heading to USA and eastern Townships. Actually, you can go anywhere east of Montreal, in otherwords 1/2 of Quebec is at your doorstep, a bike path away.

When you cross the PJC two things happen, first you are enclosed in a cage-like anti-suicide fence. People frequently jumped. I saw one once, a while after, and it is nothing but complete sadness.

Next thing is that you arrive at Ile Saint Helene, an island in the Saint Laurence, and the site of Montreal's Expo 67. THis is discussed another time.

Anyway, went over to the excluses Saint Lambert where the bike path agains crosses the river and goes into Parc Drapeau at Ile Notre Dame, the other island.

This bridge was locked. Much to the surprise of the dozens of cyclists who rolled up to the gates, each one to lean that on APril 15 come on back, ontil then, go F' yourself!

I went back via PJC, which is a glorious route INTO town, with great views of Downtown and the mountain.

I went over to Peel and up it because, well, a hill a day keeps the gravity elves away.

Soon, I was home again, as soon as it gets a bit dryer and cleaner, I'll head for Chambly, a 90 minute ride from Montreal.