Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Oh no!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another chateauguay valley loop

The ride as viewed from space!

The ride as viewed from Bikely

Harvest that petroleum-fueled corn crop! 10 calories of petro for each calorie of food!

Crossing the Chateauguay river at Dewittville

At Allen's Corners we took a second to take a picture at same spot as last week, big change!

Sometimes, even we take our own advice, so we wnt for a ride, and what a great ride it was!

We rode from Ste-Martine along the quiet side of the Chateauguay river, this time to Dewittville, where we turned south to Rockburn, then took the 202 to Franklin via the apple store zone, where we stopped for some delicious muffins at Blair's.

translation: food for hungry cyclists!

Blair's comfy benches and tasty muffins, a perfect pitstop before the downhill half of the ride

Then it was downhill to Ste-Antoine, past the Rock to St-Pierre, where we turned right (east) on to Howick on brand new asphalt and tailwind (woohoo!) and back to Ste-Martine and some dogs at Gregoire's at sunset.

Again we had a perfect weather clear air day, these can't last, so we enjoy them while we can, and you should to0.

Hre's the link to the Bikely map of the route.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another super sunday to ride!

Another super weather sunday, get out and ride, ride close, ride far, but get out and ride!

And feel the joy!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

donate your old bike to cyclo nord-sud

You can donate your old bike to Cyclo Nord Sud who will renovate it and ship to a third world location where it will begin a new life, and set some lucky person free from the drudgery of having to do everything by walking.

There are many bike-collection events this autumn and spring, one is perhaps near you? the next one in Montreal is at YMCA du Parc on Saturday 8 November.

You can see a complete list of upcoming bike donation events here.

They ask a donation of 12$ to support the donation, renovation/shipping process.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cote Ste-Catherine bike path - Outremont discussion meeting

Last night was the discussion meeting between the Outremont burrough, it's mayor, and montreal planning officials and the public.

Read all about it here in L'Express d'Outremont newspaper. We'll keep looking for reports about the meeting.

Go here to see the engineering plans for the project. (oops can't find the link, come back later)

Rainy weekend ahead? Tune up your bike for next season!

Yes, now is a good time to do next spring's tuneup. Look at the tires, please! Can you see cracks, threads, or the tube? Do the wheels wobble? Do the brakes brake?

Now is a great time for the annual tune-up.

Bike shops are not busy this time of year, so bring it in if any specific work needs to be done or you want that complete tuneup done.

Your bike treats you good doesn't it? It deserves a little bit of love in return.

Next spring, when the sun comes out and the roads are ready for biking, and your bike needs a tire and a tuneup and the shops have a two week waiting list for repairs and tuneups, you'll be glad you (for once) took our advice!

hit by a hit and run driver today

A woman in a big hurry hit me today on the ride home.

I was travelling in the south direction and I was waiting to turn left (east) at the intersection of Autoroute 40 service road and lucerne road in TMR at approx 4:30 pm. I was in the left-turn lane, waiting for traffic in the opposite direction to stop for the light to permit the cars in the left turn lane to cross the intersection. The woman comes out of the right lane (not the left turn lane, but the go-straight lane) and honks for me to get out of her way. I signaled stop because I was waiting for the traffic in the other direction. Then she rams me from behind and I fell on her hood. The light then changed to permit cars to turn and she took off in a big hurry.

The car licence plate number was 518 KBE, it was a dark colored jetta with a woman driving.

The damage was my bike's rear wheel.

Lesson: when a crazy super-aggressive driver wants me to get out of her way, I will get out of her way, because life is to precious to lose it for something like this.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The sadness of the abandoned bike

Winter's coming and this bike has no home, or wheels!

In other bike parking news...

A quite happy-looking barrier protecting YMCA on-street bike parking

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Perfect weather Chateauguay Valley ride

Rivers, fields, forests, farms, a cycling paradise!

Chateuguay river, Battle of Chateauguay museum at right, commemorating the battle in the war of 1812 when we kicked the USA's butt!

Covey Hill still far away, and still today's goal

absorbing some late-season vitamin D

Riding along the Chateauguay river for an hour starts the ride

Ahh, the chateauguay valley, cycling paradise south west of Montreal. After two months spent (wasted surely) doing home renovations, we had a new bike, a big need to go for a real ride, and we wanted a new route to ride. So we crossed the Mercier bridge and took the Rt 138 to Ste-Martine, gateway to the chateauguay valley.

We parked in Ste-Martine at the arena/recreation park (behind the "bar O'Pub"). There is a bike path here to Howick, we will end our ride on,. But first, we cross the river for a few miles of riverside riding.

We cross the river and turn immediately westward. (there is a bike path here to Beauharnois also), and then ride along a very nice and long section of the Chateauguay river to Allan's corners, then after a zig-zag across the river and rt 138 to get to (Mtee) Brysonville sideroad, we head straight south (and gently climbing) past "the rock" to St-Antoine-Abbé, up the hill to Covey hill road via Brooks, and then headed east, and once all the days climbing was over, at the crest of the big descent towards Hemmingford (visible from Mt Royal) we zoomed down the Covey Hill hill, and we zoomed fast - over 75 km/h.

We turned at the first corner and went downhill some more to Havelock, then Russelltown, Ste-Chrysostome, Aubrey, Riverfield (where the leg cramps hit!), Howick, and then the bike path back to Ste-Martine, where we had parked the car at the arena.

It was one of those absolutely perfect clear-air days where the visibility is over one hundred miles in every direction.

It was, in a word, an amazing ride, full of good stuff, and a steady climb, mostly gently, to St-Antoine-Abbé, then the fun begins.

This is a great ride to do anytime of the year.

Here is a link to the bikely map of this excellent 80 km ride.

the bikely map of the ride

Ste-Martine bridge, bike path continues to Beauharnois for an easier ride option

giant pumpkin races

We are going to break our Rule Number One (the bicycle thing). We hope you forgive us. We think it's worth it. And we are obeying our other Rule Number One: to have fun.

By now you know it is autumn, and that means... giant pumpkins!

And what are you going to do with giant pumkins to have fun?

Race them!

What the...?

Yes, last weekend was the "Les Regates du Potirothon de Gentilly."

People grow giant pumpkins. Then they hollow them out and put them in the water, climb inside, and away they go!

This photo from Muvmedia.com illustrates the concept.

Expert pumpkin kayaker practicing his craft

The event attracted those who know what a good laugh is about, with the host of the television show Infoman, Jean-René Dufort, reporting and participating in the race, and finishing a respectable fifth place.

More pictures at this link.

We encourage everyone to get out of the city and go and visit some quebec festivals this fall, winter, spring, summer...

One of our fundamental principles of CFM is to support the local and regional economy, or there won't be one, especially the slowly disappearing rural economy.

The winners were Helene Tourigny and Celine Thibodeau, who paddled their 1188 pound pumpkin to victory. Congrats to these talented athletes and (obviously) fun-loving persons!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

a little late day autumn montreal ride

Montreal, being an island, has a few cross the river and come back again rides.

Our favorite is to cross the Pont Jacques Cartier bridge across the St Laurence river and seaway canal, ride over to the Victoria bridge and cross back over the canal, ride a lap (or ten) around the circuit Gilles Villeneuve race track, ride past bucky's giant geodesic dome and the La Ronde amusement park entrance, and come back again over the Pont Jacques Cartier bridge.

We decided to risk life and limb and took the Rachel street bike path to parc Mont Royal park and ride up Olmstead road to the lookout over downtown at the Chalet Mont Royal. From here we can observe the route of the entire riverside-portion of the ride.

Then we zoom down Cam Houde and back home.

Today's ride was a shakedown ride of the new Rotator Tiger bike, after we installed some fred accessories like a rack, fenders (rear only for now, because preventing wetbutt IS important), speedo, mirror, lights, rack bag, kickstand, spd pedals, and got the seat position dialed in.

Even with the fredified accessories, we were able to keep up to the Lemond-riding guy with amazingly-sculpted thighs around the circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Because this is one fast bike.

Conclusion, this was a good couple-of-hours ride, and the new Rotator rocks!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

sunrise rides

the sun returns for another day

riding to work around 7 am gets us into a sunrise situation.

Sometimes this situation results in color, beautiful dawn color, and makes us happy to be alive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Traffic" author in Montreal wednesday 7 pm at CCA

We saw this little note on Spacing Montreal, and since this is the book we want for Giftmas, we will try to attend this talk at the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

16 / 10 - Tom Vanderbilt talk: Traffic

Tom Vanderbilt, New York City-based independant writer on architecture, design, technology, science, speaks as part of the CCA lecture series (in English).

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct 16, at 7:00
WHERE: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1920, rue Baile.
amazon link
renaud-bray link

bikes... good.
books... good.
traffic... good? bad? Find out for sure, it's free!

Poets on Bikes

MAXIANNE Get your own knuckles at the knuckle tattoo gun.

Yes, she rides a bike.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Journalist crosses Pont Mercier bridge on bike, and survives!

The Le Soleil of Chateauguay newspaper sent a reporter out with a mission.

"You asignment is to cross the Mercier Bridge." commanded the editor.

"Hey no problem boss," said the reporter, Michel Thibault.

"Do it on bike, added his editor.

"Aieee! Non!"


The reconstruction of the Mercier is promised to include a safe bike lane/sidewalk. Then, links to the town of Chateauguay and to the "piste de la voie maritime" along the river north and east will be established.

The loop ride of Pont Mercier and the voie Maritime has the strong potential to be the best bike ride loop in the Montreal area.

Here is the article (link).

Le défi de traverser le pont à vélo

Michel Thibault
Le Soleil de Châteauguay - 24 septembre 2008

Traverser le pont Mercier à vélo n'est pas une sinécure a constaté Le Soleil qui a tenté l'expérience vendredi dernier à l'heure du retour à la maison des travailleurs.

Tout va comme sur des roulettes sur la route 138 à Kahnawake. La voie réservée aux autobus déserte en fin d'après-midi offre une belle surface de roulement à l'écart de la circulation. L'accotement serait parfait sans la présence de boue et de gravier à plusieurs endroits.

Le périple se corse au pied du pont. Pour le traverser, il faut emprunter une bordure de béton située du côté ouest, précise Daniel Gilbert, qui guide le représentant du journal. Il donc se rendre de l'autre côté complètement de la grand route. Traverser les deux voies de la 138 menant vers Montréal est assez facile. Des automobilistes avenants cèdent gentiment le passage.

Piquer à travers le trafic dense mais rapide des gens qui reviennent à la maison dans l'autre direction, c'est moins évident.

Autos, camions et camionnettes apparaissent continuellement. Aucune ouverture assez grande pour permettre de traverser les deux voies sans être réduit en bouillie en chemin ne se dessine. «Je ne passerai jamais !», se dit l'auteur de ses lignes.

Finalement, une brève accalmie. «Vas-y !», lance au journaliste Daniel Gilbert, déjà rendu de l'autre côté. Le reporter pédale à fond et parvient en un morceau au bord du semblant de trottoir qui mène vers la grande ville.

L'aventure commence. L'étroite bande de béton est pleine de trous et de crevasses qu'il faut éviter ou franchir prudemment. Le trafic venant en sens inverse nuit un peu à la concentration. Surtout, ne pas se laisser distraire. On a tendance à aller où on regarde alors on reste les yeux posés sur le trottoir qui monte, monte, monte. Toutes sortes d'obstacles comme des enjoliveurs de roue, des bouts de bois et des panneaux routiers exigent une grande vigilance.

Après la montée, une section plane permet d'observer la vue magnifique sur le fleuve. Puis, c'est la descente. Il faut freiner pour éviter qu'un trou éjecte la bicyclette et son cavalier devant un poids lourd. Au bas de la pente, Daniel Gilbert s'arrête devant une ouverture dans le muret de béton qui borde le pont. Elle donne sur un vrai trottoir qui mène à la bien nommée rue du Trésor-Caché à LaSalle. Le calme d'un quartier résidentiel succède au vacarme du pont.

Trois coups de pédale plus loin, la piste cyclable de Lachine longe le fleuve, des fleurs, passe sous des couverts d'arbres qui saupoudrent des pépites de soleil sur l'asphalte. Belle récompense !

Friday, October 10, 2008

New drivetrain for Old Blue

Old Blue, our principle urban bike is a converted mountain bike, with slicks and a few other details that make it ideal for city riding, and with it's appearance, discreet city parking.

We renewed the wheels and new chain, cassette and chainrings. The old chainrings were sharp and pointy from wear, they served their purpose, and we promise to change the chain annually from now on.

We love you Old Blue!

We get a transportation survey at work!

Our company tries to be a good corporate citizen, and one of these is cooperation with the AMT transportation agency to offer incentives for employees to take public transport and use bicycles, walking, and carpooling as alternatives to solo car travel when commuting to work or traveling on business.

The reason is pure-self interest (as always!) because if car travel usage increases as forecast over the next ten years, the relentless urban sprawl will see large numbers of additional cars on our already-packed road network. Meaning, traffic jams and stressed-out nonproductive employees!

We already commute to work by bike in the non-slushy months. And we encourage others (by setting an example) to do the same. But the fact is of 5000 people, about 50 of us ride a bike to work, with only a couple of hundred of us take public transport.

The survey was designed to see what our attitudes are about alternatives to commuting by car. And once these are known, to help ease us into using into alternatives to the car.

Here were the questions regarding bike transportation:

Do you agree or disagree with the following opinions on bicycles as a
means of travel between your home and giantmegacorp ?
  1. The bicycles are well protected against theft and vandalism? (no)
  2. The bicycle stands are of good quality? (yes and no)
  3. There are enough bicycle stands? (yes, because no one rides)
  4. They are well located and easily accessible? (yes)
  5. The route between home and work is safe? (Ha!!!!)
  6. The facilities for cyclists at my workplace are adequate (stands, showers, lockers, etc.)? (There are showers and lockers? Where exactly?)
In the section for comments we added:
  1. secure bike parking needed - behind a fence or gate
  2. many people need showers (but not us!)
  3. bus service schedule says every 6 minutes at 4 pm, but is NEVER every 6 minutes!!!
  4. the streets & roads near the company locations are NOT safe for cycling
  5. 8 seconds only for green light to exit parking is not safe
  6. Ville St-laurent street storm-drain covers are old-style "bicycle wheel traps"
  7. In winter we drive because it takes too long to take bus-metro-bus to work, and if you miss bus on way to work, you better walk because next one is a long time to wait. I have to walk one mile, take 2 metros, then walk another mile, which is a bit long.
  8. when discussing bike commuting with coworkers, many people say that lack of 1) showers and 2) a safe bike route to work prevents them from cycling to work. One other says his wife won't let him ride to work because he's a crazy and unsafe rider!
So, this survey will (hopefully) bring about some improvements in services for bicycle commuters, as for the dangerous streets, well, we can hope... for a safer tomorrow.

Construction starts on Cote Ste-Catherine Road bike path

Cote Ste-Catherine road bike path is underway!

This long-awaited and long-needed bicycle transportation corridor is beginning construction of the Outremont section. Still to come will be a link to the rachel path via Villeneuve and an extension to the west to Cote-des-Neiges road.

This road has a lot of bike traffic (there's no alternative) and it is very narrow for bikes and cars together.

So we are happy that cyclists will finally have a safe route to use when traveling this transportation corridor north of Mont Royal.

In fact, we will use it 220 days a year to travel to work.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

+2 in the morning - short pants weather?

We noticed extra layers keeping us warm this morning.

And then a guy in shorts passed us!

We assume he rode fast to stay warm, because there was no other way he'd be warm!

Monday, October 06, 2008

F-F-Freezing temperatures

Cold is here.

Freezing cold.

We conclude that summer is over.


The secret to staying warm is layers, light inner layers and outer layers on all the extremities.

The other secret to staying warm is to take off these layers. Yes, Take them off. Whoa, that's enough.

It doesn't hurt to pedal hard for five minutes to warm up.

Or to make friends with the sun, our happy friend in the sky that creates all life on earth.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

nouveau member of the family

Hand-built bike, mezzanine and desk.

The replacement Rotator Tiger has arrived, a mere three years after the other one was stolen.

The arrival of Tiger 2.0 is the successful conclusion to our year 2000 recumbent bike experiment. in 2000 we bought a used Tiger to see if we liked this novel form of bicycle.

Some assembly required.

We were very impressed with the Rotator design and the bike's performance.

The speed was very good. The comfort was first-rate. And the view from the reclined seat was unexpected, and completely amazing.

The addition of those three characteristics is one of seven definitions of the word fun that are the tenets of Cycle Fun Montreal.

We discuss our experience with recumbents in this blog post from 2007.

Here's a video of the Sid on the tiger between Lennoxville and North Hatley.

And here's Rotator's website. (it's not not updated often)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

New Bellechasse bike path - part 2

We're packing for a trip so busy busy busy but I enjoyed this part-2 on the new 60km paved bike path in the Bellechasse area south of Quebec City. Here's the link (in french).

Also, we'd like to wish our Aunt Eva a happy 104th birthday.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Another bike on the way

OMG, the collection expands by another bike. Time to sell the oldest one!

Anyway, we will soon be the happy owner of a Rotator Tiger recumbent bike. It will replace the stolen second hand one I had bought in 2000 because of shoulder and neck issues with the Bertrand racing bike. While the shoulder and neck are better (mostly), we did miss the amazing speed and comfort (and the scenic upright view from the comfy seat) of the Tiger since we started to seriously re-ride the Bertrand. Plus the Bert is an older bike, (20 years and going strong!), so some of the modern conveniences (a.k.a. gimmicks) are missing from it's gear shifting system.

We really liked the speed and performance of this excellent recumbent bike, and look forward to blowing away yet more serious roadies with it's amazing combo of small light wheels, hugely superior aerodynamics, and wait for it, extreme comfort!

How to spend $1,000,000 on a Bixi

The new Bixi bicycle rental program website is up and running in anticipation of the spring 2009 launch.

The rental rates are posted, and have caused much controversy, because they start off cheap, and then they get expensive fast!

How expensive? How fast?

To rent a bike for 13 days (say, you forgot to return it, and forgot and forgot some more!) would cost you $1,000 dollars.

But the big question is how long until it would cost you one million dollars. So we did the math, and it is 38 years.

We, as always, suggest that if you need a bike downtown during the day, you buy a bike and leave it downtown.