Friday, September 01, 2006

Bikes on Ferry - Quebec City to Levis

I recently visited the great city of Ville de Quebec, the capital of (the province / nation of) Quebec.

It's got an awesomely steep hill in Vieux Quebec between the river-level and the top of Vieux Quebec!

For biking, I took the Ferry (Traversier) between Quebec City and town of Levis, one kilometre across the Saint Laurence river. It's about a ten minute ride.

The bike path along the Saint Laurence in Quebec city goes right past the Ferry entrance, and actually, it goes right in the Ferry entrance.

You buy your ticket at the car entrance, and ride in the car lane entrance to the Ferry.

It costs $2.60 to cross one-way, this is the single person ticket price, the bike is carried for free. Sweet. It's not just a deal for cyclists, but for the ferry company: If all the cyclists had cars, they'd need a much bigger ferry!

Once inside the boat you will find bike parking for 100 bikes, and there is an air hose to pump up your tires. Use it!!

Upstairs from here is the main deck with an outside area front and rear. You are immediately struck by the GREAT VIEW!!! The best place to see the grandeur of Quebec City is from the water. It is worth a round trip on the ferry just for this reason.

Inside is the passenger cabin. Here are are seats, tables, toilets and vending machines, and a great exhibit of models of the ferry itelf, plus models of older versions of river ferries, going back to horse powered ones!

Once the ferry arrives in Levis, the bikes get off first, before the cars. You arive at the old Levis train station, where there is now a bike shop with rentals, and a large tourist office. Here's a surprise: inside the tourist information office is a bike stand. So you can bring your bike inside, park it on the bike rack, and look at the maps and things. You don't have to waste time locking your bike up outside and worrying about if anything "disappears" whilr you are inside. It's a great idea.

The Ferry dock and the old train station/tourist office is located in the middle of the bike path called Les Parcours des Anse. It is a magnificent bike path, three lanes wide, two for bikes, and one for foot traffic.

More on this bike path in a separate entry. Just a quick note on where you go from here:

If you go east the bike path climbs in a park setting away from streets, and then follows the Rt 132 and several smaller side roads along south shore of the Saint Laurence. The rive rwidens here and the scenery/ecosystem changes into a coastal area instead of a river area because the river widens and is now 20 km kilometres across. It is VERY

If you go west the bike path goes beside roads in an upriver direction. The river gets narrow here. You can do an out-and-back ride (the views are on the "back" direction) or you can have a nice loop ride back to Quebec city via the historic Pont de Quebec. However, This bridge has only a one-lane two direction path across it. It's not bad, but when you meet someone, both people have to stop. it is otherwise a magnificent river crossing.

At the tourist office there is an excellent bike guide to this part of quebec. The "region" is called Chaudiere-Appalache. The region is both coastal (beside the Saint Laurence river) and inland is either river valleys (beauce) or hills. To the south of it is the north border of Maine USA.

The guide book is "Chaudiere Appalaches - Guide Velo (edition 2006)." It is one of the best bike guides I have ever seen, and I collect these things. It has detailed maps of ten circuits, many with alternate routes and variations. There are enlargements of several town maps to help guide you along. There are maps of links between one area of the region to another(!). And there is reference information and accomodation, attraction,and food info. It is 64 pages long!!!!!! And it is free.

Click here for the guidebook and information on this great area for cycling.

Go to the website for more info, It is in french, but easy enough to figure out. Anyway, if you are planning to visit, a bit of basic knowledge of french will be needed.


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