Saturday, April 28, 2007

Camillien Houde - Les Espoirs website

Les Espoirs website has a nice page and pic of the legendary climb up Mount Royal's east side Houde (link)

Montreal Bike Paths Improvements announced in 2005

Where are they today?

Still nonexistent!

The Montreal Gazette today reports (link) that the plans to expand the urban bike path network in 2005 are still not completed. (Did you notice the ipod-wearing cyclist in the photo?)
But in the decade or so since the greater cycling world first discovered our city, local cycling advocates agree Montreal has fallen behind other large Canadian and American cities on the cycling front.
The article provided a teaser: a big announcement about bike paths on Monday. A big re-announcement of 205 news, more likely. Well, to be generous, better late than never.

Let's go ville de Montreal--let's get this bike path NETWORK completed.

Let's finally get the long-promised downtown east-west axis built.

Let's complete the pine-park interchange bike path.

Let's put in lots more bike parking.

Let's make cycling safer so more people leave their cars at home.

Much of this only required lines to be painted on the roads. How hard can this be?

Go Montreal - we can do it!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Outremont MNA Bachand supports Bike Paths

Outremont liberal MNA Raymond Bachand wants to see a bike path along the west flank of Mount Royal.

Cycle Fun Montreal wants to see a bike path all the way around Mount Royal. We are glad to see Mr Bachand taking steps to making part of this dream a relaity.

Read more about this. (Link)

Monday, April 23, 2007

100 Km Chateauguay Valley ride

Sunday I went back to the nearby Chateauguay Valley for what I thought would be a relaxing flatland ride after the Laurentian hills of Saturday.

Recovery. Recuperation. I'd just take it easy.

And then the big winds arrived, just as I got the bike ready to ride.

The ride was a shortened version of the complete chateauguay valley loop I did a couple of weeks ago.

I cut out the extreme eastern part of the ride. This means I went east from Ormstown along Tullochgorum road. THis was with the glorious wind.

I took the first road south: Bryson (Brysonville) side road. This goes theough the unique geological area known as "The Rock." It is bedrock that scraped clean at the last ice age. It's still rock!

I toon bryson all the way to St-Antoine Abbé. The longer version I did previously included Aubrey, St-Chrysostome, and Havelock, and the always-fun (colline) Covey hill.

Todays I followed some main road to Franklin. Usually I avoid this stretch of road, but today I had a big ride to do and didn't want to finish after sunset. At Franklin I rode uphill and stopped the "the big view of Montreal." It is excellent, there are two spots on this ride where you must turn around and look at the view behind you. This is one of them.

Shortly after Franklin, I rejoined one of my favorite roads: the first road north of the US-Canada border. The "First Concession."

This road goes west forever. Unfortunately the direction it went in was the direction that the wind was coming from. Winds gusting to 40 Km/h.

This was not good. But it was a beautiful early spring day, warm enough for shorts, and the natural world was coming back to life after winter.

There were great views north towards and across the St-Laurence. I could see Rigaud and Deux Montagnes in the distance.

Eventually I arrived at the Powerscourt covered bridge.

Rest stop!

I always like spending time here at Quebec's oldest covered bridge. Today I enjoyed the view of the high-water Chateauguay river.

Then I continued and eventually reached the intersection with the Rt 138. (link) at Trout River. This is "the other river" of the Chateauguay valley. It is windy and twisty and quite scenic. In spring time it floods.

The Rt 138 starts a mile from this intersection at the Trout River Customs US-Canada border. From here it goes east a long, long way. It ends a thousand miles to the east. Quebec is a big place.

Transport Quebec says it ends 1362 km later in Natashquan (quite a long way past Sept Isles). Transport Quebec also says that I could drive it in 15 hour and 37 minutes. That would be a one tough drive. I drove Sept Isles-Montreal in ten hours once, and that was a challenge.

Anyway, at this point, I changed direction. No longer following the border westward into the wind, now I turned east and rode with the wind on my back.

My cruising speed was frequently over 40, and life was good.

After a short spell on the 138 (new road with good shoulders), turned at the turn for Cazaville.

Here I briefly headed into the wind again. After five minutes I stopped and looked behind. It was my first view of the Adirondacks and it made me gasp... It's a quite good view. This is that other place on the ride to stop and look behind you.

I was close to the corner and soon turned on to the very scenic Ridge Road (i.e. the first road north of the 138).

It has lots of great views of the Adirondack foothills.

Then some minor zigzagging eastwards and I am riding through some protected wetlands.

Finally I reach the Seigneural side road. This is the end of this segment, it's only a couple of legs to go.

After a few little hills in the road I am entering tiny Dewittville - the last village before home.

I crossed the bridge over the chateauguay and I take the Island Road back to Ormstown. The Island Road is a lot smaller than the ex-highway Rt 138A that is normally used for this section. I enjoyed the change. It had some nice views of the Chateauguay.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Improved Signage - hope exists for better signs!

The lachine canal ends, unceremoniously, at rue de la Commune ouest just west of the Vieux Port and old montreal. Over the past few years this intersection has received improved signaage. lines painted on the ground with arrows, and ocassionally, street sweeping!

This year sees theinroduction of direction arrows on posts for cyclists. Typical cyclist behaviour is to ignore completely the lines painted on the ground.

This means bikes miss the bike route through the end-of-path intersection, and end up at some staircase to get to the path. Last year they painted lines, this year they installed signs. I hope it helps, because frankly, cycling seems to starve the brain of cyclists, causing complete ignorance.

Video of this intersection (link).

Stop signs at intersection in the Plateau bike paths.

Cycle Fun Montreal believes that all on-street intersections of bike path and street should be 4-way stops. The signs could instruct cyclists that is one after the other when it comes to stop signs. The first person at the stop sign goes first.

Most cyclists treat stop signs like green lights. But I am steadfast in my belief that some education will work for the majority of cyclists. Show respect for cyclists, and cyclists will show respect for trafc laws. (OK, this doesn't sound like the Montreal I know, but it is worth a try, since people, somewhere deep inside, want to do the right thing.)

So I propose that where the bike path crosses the street in the plateau, that these intersections are 4-way stops. That, additionally, info is posted on stop, then go after the other person goes. And finally, that the police ticket violaters.

Otherwise we have the massive disregard for traffic rules of the cycling population that seems to be normal. It is not normal, it's dangerous, and it's got to stop.

Accidents really suck. Have fun safely people.

St-Donat to Lac Superieur "Chemin Cycliste"

Saturday was the beginning of summer.

It might not look like that from the photo!

Yes, the thermometer rose into the happy zone where warm temperatures meant shorts and short sleeves are finally possible, after 6 months of winter.

This road is freshly constructed this century. It has the perfect pavement, wide paved shoulders, and plenty of hills to make any cyclist very happy.

It is about 40 km between St-Donat (park at tennis courts) and Lac Superieur (depaneur for snacks). That makes an 80 km day, a nice distance, about two hours in each direction.

On the westward direction there is a magnificent rest stop on top of the rocks about 35 km from the start. Here are great views towards park and Mont Tremblant. And a great lunch rock to sit on, while watching other cyclists come up this steep hill.

In case you think it's too hard for you, I passed a proudly pregnant woman enjoying herself and happily "riding for two."

On the map this ride is the blue (purple?) dots.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A few thoughts on Runners on the piste cyclable

Caution: attitude & "studipidity" follow, it's best to just not read this post!

Sometimes the piste cyclable is all there is—it’s the general purpose recreational path, so runners, cyclists, etc all share the path. This is ok, and it is part of the design of the path.

Other times, the bike path is installed NEXT TO THE SIDEWALK. And still runners choose to use the bike path for running.

Stupidity - the most common disease.

I conversed with a runner yesterday, and after I explained that the piste cyclable is for bicycles travelling at faster speeds than pedestrians and runners and slower than cars, and that this piste cyclable, located right beside the sidewalk, is for bikes. And could he please get of the piste cyclable and on to the sidewalk.

His response, ""I'll thnk about it."

Actually what he meant was "F*** you I ain't gonna move cuz I'm dumber than a ton of bricks. He was running frontwards, backwards, and sideways, running swinging his arms all about to get a good workout, and making himself a HUGE bike path danger.

His response to my gentle request to remove himself from the bike path? "I'll think about it." He didn't seem to have enough brain cells active enough to think about too much, is my opinion.

So, now that he is informed, is he stupid? Or Evil. It’s one of the two.

I know some cyclists are quite passive aggressive nasty, and they will ride as close to these idiot runners (note: not all cyclists, just the evil ones)

and I was concerned with his safety, and the safety of the hundred cyclists that are forced into the oncoming traffic lane to pass this doofus.

"I'll think about it." He means this is all the power he has, to F*** up cyclists, and he's going to use it.

I'll think about it."

I'll think about calling the cops, but of course, cycling safety is a one-week-a-year activity for local police.

Friday, April 20, 2007

New St-Joseph Oratory road

Mount Royal has a new challenge.

I was playing on the U de M hill and decided to go over to the east a bit with vague aspirations to head south to the canal and back via the old port and the Plateau.

I rode past the St-Joseph's Oratory and for some reason was drawn in. To climb the 300 stairs. On foot. Carrying my bike. At the almost-top landing I left my bike and walked the final section.

The location is high on the hillside, bathed in glorious sunset light, on the first day of the year when shorts could be worn, the "day summer weather arrived!"

I did some stretching while looking at Lac St-Louis and the Saint Laurence, and the tip of Pincourt island. I engaged an asian tourist in conversation, and when I determined that he couldn't speak english, I pointed to the west and the st-laurence, and said "Chicago."

He said "Chicago, USA?"

"Chicago USA," I said.

Then went down and over to the road that goes around the back of the church.

And I discovered the new road.

I had heard that there was some road work being done at the oratory, but that didn't prepare me for the discovery of an amazing new steep road from Queen Mary around the right side going up to the upper parking at the St-Josephs Oratory.

A beautiful, perfect, WALL of a road.

The lower section is brand new, and there's the same super steep upper section as before, which goes past the original chapel and continues to the very top where you can enter upper Westmount.

This climb is the best 3 minutes in Montreal.

Un pente jouissent.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Route Verte news

In the year 2007 the Route Verte will be 4000 kilometres long!

That's 2500 miles.

Here is the description and history of the Route Verte bike path network from Velo Quebec from the english side of the official Route Verte website.

Velo Quebec conceived the Route Verte bike path network in the 1980s, and in 1995 the Quebec government got involved and provided major funding and commitment to build the 4000 km of bike paths. These paths and bike routes are all over Quebec. Everywhere, that is, except in the Chateauguay Valley!

Here is link to the official Route Verte website.

Interestingly, there is a guided technical tour of different parts of the Route Verte network. There is one in french and one in english. It's C$1000.

To allow you to explore the various faces of the Route verte and learn about some of the technical aspects of its development, Vélo Québec is offering a technical tour, by bicycle, on the Route verte. This tour is designed for route planners or managers, or anyone interested in learning more about how the Route verte was developed. The 5-day touring workshop offers an opportunity to explore urban greenways in Montreal and Quebec City as well as the fields and forests of the Montérégie, Eastern Townships, Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches regions. The bicycle outings range from 25 to 50 kilometres per day, to allow for breaks and technical discussions as well as picture-taking and site-seeing opportunities. (LINK)

If anyone wants to sponsor me... Leave a comment!

Piste cyclable St-Donat-Ste-Agathe

Red dots: my GUESS where the new off road trail fromSt-Donat to Ste-Agathe)
Blue dots: Road cycling super-road (St-Donat to Tremblant/Parc entrance)
Green dots: P'tit train de Nord - Ste-Agathe to Tremblant section

I just discovered an off-road bike trail from Sainte-Agathe to Saint-Donat. It's 40 km, and that's a 50 mile round trip. Just the thing to get some real endurance in the mountain bike saddle, without having to go on-road. I am checking this out soon.

Here is the news from the town of Saint-Donat website (link):

Nouveau Sentier l'Inter-Vals

Depuis le 24 juin 2005, la nouvelle piste cyclable pour vélo de montagne reliant Saint-Donat à la Gare du P'tit train du nord sur la Route Verte à Sainte-Agathe est ouverte.

Ce nouveau circuit débute dans le stationnement du Parc des pionniers. Il est d'une longueur totale de 38,7 kilomètres. Les 12 premiers kilomètres nous conduiront à la Base de plein air L'Interval et on comptera 24,3 kilomètres rendu à l'église de Sainte-Lucie. Une carte montrant le tracé et les dénivellations devrait être disponible sous peu.
Here's another link to information about this off road bicycle trail. (link)

This is a nice addition to the on-road and bike path trails.

The tourist information office in St-Donat has a hand-copied map of the route.

This is one more reason why you should come and spend your vacation in Quebec.

In other news I visited the amazing cycling road (the locals call it the "chemin cyclist") from Saint-Donat to Lac Superieur (in the Tremblant area it's called chemin de Nordet) which has 32 of the finest kilometers of road cycling in Quebec. A completely new road that opened in 2003, full wide shoulders and several big mountains climbs. This is one of the best roads in the east for the hill-loving cyclist. It is marked on the map in blue dots.

The third trail on the map is the P'tit train de Nord cycling path that goes from St-Jerome to Mont Laurier. I marked the Ste-Agathe to Tremblant section on the map. This is a pay trail, but quie a trail, some parts are nicer than others, and the northern 100 km are paved.. ooohhh yeah! Scenic-wise I like Ste-Adele to Val David.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ile d'Orleans

Sunday I took a ride around Ile d'Orleans, the big island just east of Quebec City.

65 kilometers long, it's a nice 3-4 hour ride to do when getting back after sunset isn't an option.

It was only around 20 km from Quebec City so I could have ridden there from Quebec.

It was early season and very quiet. There were dozens and dozens of waterfalls on the south side of the island.

Cyclists have the option of pay parking at the visitor information centre at the first intersection when you arrive on to the island. You can also drive a bit and park at a church.

There are paved shoulders the entire route around the island. YES!

I rode the circuit clockwise, so I was heading east on the north side of the island. Along here I found the views of the mountains including Ste-Anne to be really great. At the eastern tip of the island I arrived at the moment I had been waiting for. The change in weather bringing in the big storm coming up the east coast. I had also been doing this section with the headwind, since I wanted a tailwind for the entire south side of the island. I was glad to be at this point, but the weather was iffy.

I was done this ride in just under three hours. The rain waited until I was back in my car driving back to Quebec. Then it really rained. (Sunday night it came as snow - 6 wet inches)

All in all a decent ride in early season conditions. I have plans to ride east of Quebec this year. Both sides of the river will be explored. I am really looking forward to it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

New Beauce path - who will pay to build it?

Here's a follow up to the new rail-to-trail bike path in the Beauce from Vallée-Jonction to Lac Frontière.

It is still just an idea, the tracks have been put up for sale.

The first question is always "Who's going to pay for it?"

The answer is usually "Not me!" (link)

UPDATE: Here is the bare minimum of info on it's existance as a rail line.

Le patrimoine ferroviaire du Quebec – Les chemins de fer d’interet local (CFIL) webpage (The Quebec rail heritage – local rail lines of interest) webpage (link) says that this line it is 126 km long.

126 km long?


That's a big amount of distance. Biiiiiiig.

This will make an incredible new long-distance bike path. This will be another jewel in the crown of Quebec's branding itself as North America's leading bicycle eco-vacation destination.

Quebec = cycling and bicycle tourism. Quebec = velo.

FYI Here's my usual google search for quebec bike path news. (link)

Montreal World Cup womans bike race 2007

The women’s world cup cycling race “The Montreal World Cup” is returning to Montreal on June 2, announced Daniel Manibal, president and CEO of the event.

The Gazette's Randy Phillips today reports that again this year 120 top woman cyclists will be riding 100 kilometres around the 8.3 km long Mount Royal circuit. (link)

This seems to be 12 laps, so that means 12 times going up the grueling Camellien Houde 1.7 km climb. It's a great race to walk around and see the race from different angles. Camelien Houde should be close to cars every weekend!

This year the start-finish line will be on Parc Avenue in Jeanne Mance park. This brings the race back into the public eye, after several years of hiding itself rather well.

This new start-finish line location will mean many more spectators. The previous start-finish line on the top of the road over Mount Royal was great for drama, but poor for audience participation.

Also announced was the sixth edition of the five-stage men’s “Greater Montreal Tour” on June 4-7. Stages will be in Chateauguay, Lachine, Little Italy, Granby, and Mont St-Hilaire.

The Greater Montreal Tour is claimed to be the largest road cycling tour in North America.

The stages are:

  • 120 km - Chateauguay - June 4
  • 12 laps of a 9.8 km circuit – Granby – June 5
  • 20 km indiv. time trial – Lachine’s Parc René Levesque - June 6 morning
  • 50 km criterium – Little Italy - June 6 evening
  • 115 km road race in Mont St-Hilaire.

It seems that Montreal is back in the business of supporting bicycle racing. This year sees the creation of the men’s world cup Montreal-Boston stage race.

It wasn’t so long ago that bike racing was a dirty word in Montreal, by this I mean not supported AT ALL. We once had a magnificent Olympic Velodrome. This being Montreal we have long cold winters and this was our chance to race indoors in the winter.

The bad news was that the Velodrome was closed down and the Biodome indoor zoo was built inside. Blame for this tremendous loss lies squarely on ex-mayor Pierre Bourque’s shoulders. So much for world-class sports facilities in our supposedly “world-class”-branded city.

I am glad to see Montreal again supporting bicycle racing. Now how about something for the rest of us poor slobs? Like the fabled bike path across downtown? And how about a mountain bike trail on the NDG escarpment along the now-closed Turcotte rail yards beside autoroute 20?

I'd like to end on a positive and upbeat note, so let’s put it on the calendar: In early june it will time to go outside and see lots of excellent men's and women's bicycle racing.

See you there!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jacques-Cartier/Portneuf bike path - Now Free!

The Jacques-Cartier/Portneuf bike path is now going to be free, as in user fee or any charge. Here is the Velo Quebec route description (link).

You can now ride here here without worrying about government-approved private taxation.
Bonne nouvelle pour les cyclistes de Québec: l’accès à la piste Jacques-Cartier/Portneuf sera gratuit à compter de cet été et ses 68 km font désormais partie du réseau de la Route verte. (Link to news story)
Previously to ride on this path you had to be prepared to pay to play.

Paying to use a popular public bike is bad for the public health system because it creates a disincentive to exercising. We want to encourage people to exercise, and what a better way than to go for a bioke ride. There should not be any financial obstacles to using a public bike facilty like a bike path.

This rail-to-trail bike path is located northwest-of-quebec city, and is connected to the Quebec City bike path network by the Corridor des Cheminots.

It is flat, 68 km long and is 100% rock dust. There is a cool old train bridge in the middle.

I was there in 2005 and I rode it west as far as this bridge across the Ste-Anne(?) river.

Then it rained vigorously.

That was actually my first trip to road bike riding on the north side of the St-Laurence between Quebec City and Montreal. I've done a lot more since then, probably a dozen different rides. I especially liked riding in hilly Lanaudiere in the eastern Llaurentians (link).

Vallée-Jonction à Lac Frontière Trail?

A major new trail in the Beauce?

The rail line from Vallée-Jonction to Lac Frontière is for sale. Will local government buy it and create a great new trail?

I hope so.

The location of this rail line goes through some amazing countryside.

The roads around this region have lots of hills so a rail-trail with gentle hills will mean that more people can enjoy going for a bike ride here.

This is in the region of Chaudiere-Appalaches, one of my favorites in Quebec.

Here's a quote from the news article in (link):

Comme le tronçon du Québec Central allant de Vallée-Jonction à Lac Frontière est présentement à vendre, nombreux sont ceux qui voient dans l’achat de cette section l’opportunité de poursuivre la Véloroute. Le directeur général du Centre local de développement (CLD) Robert-Cliche, M. Daniel Chaîné, mentionne que, selon ce qu’il a entendu, l’achat du tronçon présentement à vendre coûterait environ 450 000 $. À cela, il faut bien sûr ajouter les coûts reliés à la construction de la piste elle-même.

Rode Home - Over The Mountain

I figured that I needed more exercise than I was getting from taking my regular flat, quiet, safe and direct route home.

So I rode over Mount Royal.

Half of the mountain was great, the parc Mont Royal part. From the west it is a long climb up to the notch on top, and the direct route down cam houde to the east side of Mt Royal.

Unfortunately I have to ride up Cote des Neiges from Jean Talon to get to Parc Mont Royal.

Cote des Neiges gets my "Worst Street in Montreal" Award.

So I have to find some alternatives route parallel to Cote des Neiges. Piece of cake, problem solved.

Riding through Parc Mont Royal I came upon a couple riding side-by-side and they were defiantly blocking the right lane for vehicular traffic.

Since Mount Royal is supposed to be a park, and not an autoroute, would it be too much to ask if the city turned the right lane of each direction into a bicycle path?

Riding on the road is frankly dangerous in this town, and a park is a park, and this park is supposed to be the jewel of Montreal. It's time to slow down the speed and car-first priority of the pseudo-autoroute that slices through the middle of the park.

Did you know that the Camelien Houde used to be streetcar only-- there was no road! At the top in the present-day canyon, the canyon used to be a tunnel. I kid you not.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Online Montreal Bike Path map

2010 UPDATE - for the 2010 map, please go to 2010 Montreal bike path map posting.


2008 UPDATE: here is the updated link for the 2008 Region of Montreal (includes Laval & south shore) map, the 2009 is supposed to be live this month, if you find this link is dead, please leave a comment and we will get the new link for you.

The Velo Quebec website has an excellent, up-to-date ON-LINE MAP of the complete Montreal region bike path network.

It's a big network.

It's a great map.

The map is located in Vélo Quebec's "La ville à vélo" web page. This page is where you can learn about urban cycling. (link). The map is identified as "Montreal Cyclable" on the left side of the page.

Here's the link to the pdf of the map itself. In my mozilla I can NOT view the map, but it downloads just fine from the velo en ville page. (put cursor over the Montreal Cyclabe button, right click mouse, and choose "save link as..."). I view the resulting downloaded file in the regular (i.e. not inside a browser) Adobe viewer.

This is an amazing map.

Good work Vélo Quebec!

It has all the bike paths as the booklet "Pedaler Montreal" (see earlier post below). The booklet is in a more usable format, but the online map has all the same info.

I noticed many people coming to my blog from a google search for some variation on the words montreal bike path maps. For this reason, I am adding the following search terms. Montreal bike path map Montreal bicycle path map Montreal cycling path map carte piste cyclable montréal

Montreal - an island - it's bridges

Montreal is an island, meaning there are bridges... and more bridges.

Here is the Velo Quebec web page on bridges and other forms of crossing rivers- link.

Here is blog entry last year where I discuss Montreal bridges - link.

Here I discuss some of the pecularities of cycling across the Pont Jacques Cartier bridge, because there's not much in the way of maps or bike-path-connections at either end. link

In the summer you have ferry options to cross the river. Many ferry options. The velo quebec link above also discusses ferries (traversiers in french).

Monday, April 09, 2007

Montreal bike path maps

If you are looking for a map of Montreal area bike paths, the booklet "Pedaler Montreal et ses environs" is a great map booklet from Velomag (link).

Here is the link to all VeloMag's excellent guidebook (link) -- I have found many excellent Quebec rides in these guidebooks. Detailed maps are included. They fit in a large Ziplok bag.

The booklet Pedaler Montreal has 6 maps. These are detailed maps for Laval, the South Shore, the West Island, The "east island", all the Montreal island, and the central downtown area.

The booklet opens out to 8 1/2 x 14 inch size. so the maps are full size, paths are color-coded by type of bike path, and it even show the metro stations (this is a good thing if you need an emergency ride home).

I picked mine up at Renaud-Bray bookstore chain.

I have an earlier edition of this booklet from a few years ago. I can report that there have been major improvements in the bike path network since then.

The maps in this booklet show the Montreal bike path network almost.. almost... going through downtown. The downtown maps in this guide show a proposed bike path along de Maisonneuve from Berri to Atwater (Westmount), where the long-existing de Maisonneuve path goes west. It has been waiting for an east-west downtown link for decades. Maybe 2007 is the year we finally get it.

Buy this map!

Another great thing about this map booklet: it only costs five dollars. That's less than 5 litres of regular grade gasoline costs.

This booklet is the best single source for a Montreal cycling map of the piste cyclable/bicycle path network.

If you want an online map of Montreal, go to Velo Quebec's Vélo en Ville section here: link.

Here's the link to the pdf of the map itself. It is identified as "Les Bandes Cyclables" on the left side of the Velo en Ville page. In my mozilla I can't view it, but it downloads just fine (right click mouse, and choose "save link as...").

Friday, April 06, 2007

Quebec city bicycle path map

Here is link for Quebec city bicycle path map and velo webpage for bike trails bike paths, and pistes cyclables.

Here's Videos of cycling Quebec city,

Russell - Prescott bike path (eastern Ontario)

The Russell - Prescott bike path (eastern Ontario) is going to be paved. This 72 km path starts just across the quebec ontario border from Rigaud.

Here's info from their website (with a downloadable map):

Trail Overview

The Prescott Russell Recreational Trail is a 72-km rail - to - trail conversion. The Trail traverses the United Counties of Prescott and Russell from east to west and crosses through five of the eight municipalities, East Hawkesbury, Champlain, La Nation, Alfred-Plantagenet, and Clarence-Rockland. The former rail line is owned by Via Rail Canada Inc. and is part of the 104 km Montreal-Ottawa (M&O) line that begins in Rigaud, Quebec and ends west of Mer Bleue in the Ottawa-Carleton region.

The trail accommodates a variety of recreational activities including hiking, cycling, and snowmobiling in the winter. Trail users will encounter four pavilions along the trail. The pavilions serve as access points to the trail with provisions for parking, a sheltered picnic area and kiosk containing community and trail related information. The trail pavilions are located in the Town of Hammond, Town of Bourget, and Plantagenet-Central, and one located along Highway 34 in Vankleek Hill- East. A fifth trail pavilion is expected to be constructed in the Town of St-Eugene.

Update: If anyone has ridden this trail, can you leave me a comment describing the present status or condition of the trail? Thanks, CFM

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Trois Rivieres bridge - new sidewalk plans in trouble

Pont Duplessis is the bridge across the St-Laurence at Trois Rivieres (Three Rivers).

It's a big bridge and the feds said we're building a sidewalk for bicycle access. Then the mayor says "No, spend the money on his pet project instead." That would be the bridge to a little island in the river, not quite the major regional bicycle transportation link that the fed's have offered.

From Le Nouvelliste Click here to read.

La Presse says integrate bicycle lanes line in Vancouver

La Presse, in a lead editorial today written by Nathalie Collard, says that Montreal needs to follow the lead set by Vancouver, and integrate cycling into the entire road network, not bits and pieces here and there. The cyling infrastructure must integrate into the road network.

Of course, this means that cyclists must learn the the rules of the road. But anything is possible!

Autre domaine où Vancouver peut servir de modèle: les pistes cyclables. Bien délimitées, facilement identifiables, sécuritaires, elles quadrillent toutes la ville. Et la relation automobiliste-cycliste semble beaucoup moins conflictuelle qu'à Montréal.

Read the full oped piece here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Ice Bike - old school

Here's some people riding their bikes on the ice.

VIDEO - Here's a link to my video of a wooden unicycle from year 1864 - for ice riding. Could it be more dangerous looking? I think not. From the excellent Hooked on Cycling exhibition at Trois Rivieres Quebec's Museum of popular culture.

Here's more bicycle history videos at
Le Musée québécois de culture populaire in three rivers. The bike eshibit is the Accro de Vélo exhibition. It's open until 16 november 2008.

Sadly for 2007 winter is over, happily there's less than 231 days until next winter starts.

Montreal Boston Race

As time goes on the Montreal-Boston pro bike race makes it into the news. This is from Le Soleil du Samedi in Chateauguay, across the St-Laurence river from Montreal (across the maximum-bicycle-unfriendly Pont Mercier Bridge). You can take a Ferry (traversier) in the summer from Lachine public dock across the St-Laurence river to Chateauguay.

...In all, the City projects setting aside a total of about $150,000 for this race and the world women's tour, which is also scheduled to pass through its streets this June.

If the Montreal-Boston race is held as anticipated, Chateauguay wants to make its segment a grand happening. "We don't want it to last only one day," said Jacques Roy, the City's director of economic development. "We are going to organize (supplementary) activities that will involve the entire population."

For the good of visiting athletes and cyclists from the region as well, certain roads that are currently in terrible condition will be repaired, D'Youville Blvd. among them....

some new bike path news

Bits of new bike paths are appearing, here's an article on some improvements in Rosemont.

You can do a nice evening loop ride with taking St-zotique east to big O and coming back via bike path on Notre dame. Connect the two on the axe-Berri north-south. (St-Zotique is large blue dots at top left of map)


Rumour has it that the bike path along the side of the train track separating the Plateau Mont Royal from Rosemont (a fun after-work or evening short ride) will, eventually, one day (in my lifetime?) continue past the present-end at Home Depot and continue all the way to the top of the island, at Pont Perry.

The train track bike path is the red dots in the middle of the map, beside the train tracks (north side of tracks, the non-plateau side).

Le maire de l'arrondissement a participé à maintes reprises aux discussions en cours entre Outremont et la ville centrale. Il ne voit pas l'utilité de déposer un mémoire. Selon lui, le développement tel que présenté est positif pour l'arrondissement et les projets de développement local – le 6000 Saint-Denis, les ateliers municipaux, la voie cyclable le long de la voie ferrée – tiennent compte de l'arrivée de ce nouveau joueur dans le tableau.

This would be good because... Presently it is an on-steet bike path to the north shore of Montreal Island. The continuation of this trail along the train tracks would be off-street, a big improvment in safety. and the ability to relax while riding. The present on-street bike path axis north isnt relaxing, with cars and kids, and garbage, and stress. A good direct transportation link (downtown should be so lucky!), but it's just not a relaxing ride.

Pedestrians, runners, dogs, etc on Bike Paths

La Presse had an excellent letter-to-the-editor today about all the people who can't tell the difference between a bike path and a sidewalk, causing increased danger, lots of increased danger, to people using the bike path on their bikes.

Let's be clear: the purpose of the bike path is to separate slow users (pedestrians, dog walkers, wheelchairs, runners, baby carriages, etc) from fast users (bicycles).

UPDATE: three-lane paths, like le parcours des anse, in Quebec City, solve a lot of this problem. (Video link)

This is for safety!

But some people just don't get it.

I don't like it when people endanger my life, in fact I believe it is my duty to clarify the situation for these people. So I tell them, that "over there, that is the sidewalk, this, here, is for bikes, and not pedestrians... Merci!"

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it's like some people are soooooooooo stuborn in their opinion of themselves being always right, that they try to justify their use of the cycle path for non cycling purposes, and of course refuse to yield in any sense of the word. They just keep walking, and keep almost causing accident after accident.

Do your part, and please tell pedestrians on bike paths that the bike path isn't the trottoir, and show them the nearby sidewalk.

Then there's the short-cut poeple, I'm just using it for 20 feet, don't bug me... Here's a video of a woman walking on the bike path as a shortcut, and almost getting creamed by the next cyclist to come along. (click here for video).

For the record, notice that the city re-designed this corner to separate pedestrians and bikes, and notice how the pedestrians don't have a clue... not a single brain cell functioning...

Of course,I don't think cyclists are anything special in the smart department and here's the video to prove it!


What about dogs on bike paths? Well, I am the first to say that dog owners need to keep their beloved but unpredictable shit-dispensers off the bike paths.

Here's some discussion about dogs and bike paths in Victoriaville, and along the bike linear path le Parc linéaire des Bois-Francs. Hint: dog's are prohibited for safety reasons. Not that dog owners are sensitive to things like safety, consideration to others, and restraining their biting beasts.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Now with ride maps!

Hi Everybody

From now on I will post maps of the rides I do, so you can go out and do them yourself, removing the guesswork from the "Where should I turn... back there?"

The first maps I posted are chateauguay valley rides, but I wlll go back and repost rides with new maps for everything.

This could take a while, but the maps will appear, I promise.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Overview Cycling Paths in Monteregie

The Monteregie is the area of Quebec surrounding Montreal on the south shore of the St-Laurence river, from Sorel in the northeast, south along the border of the Eastern Townships, all the way south to the US border, then east through the chatrauguay valley to where the st-laurence river enters quebec, and then north along the Ontario Border up to Rigaud.

That's a big chunk of southern Quebec.

Here is the official Montregie bike map.

This is the link to the Circuit de Paysan themed visitor map, useful for cycling, and this is their 4 cycling self-guided tours.

A good "leaving Montreal Island ride is to work out the route from Pont Jacques Cartier to Chambly, along the Route Verte. The key is finding the spiral bike-only overpass (<-video). try is the Route Verte link between the Pont Jacques Cartier bridge and Chambly, which is the route map I show in the picture.

You will notice that the chateauguay valley is notibly absent-there's no bike trails there, just quiet country roads. The quiet country roads is what makes the Chateauguay valley perfect for bikes and cyclists. The valley's quiet country roads are more interesting than the official bike paths. The sterotype official bike path is a converted railroad line, and this means that it is flat and straight, and not in the scenic part of the country, they avoid the scenic sections because trains like straight lines. So don't let the lack of bike trails keep you from the chateauguay valley, it's a quiet area with maximum beauty and great cycling roads.

See my other posts for specific Chateauguay valley rides.