Thursday, June 11, 2009

Looking for awesome shorter rides?

Excellent destination for short, scenic, wonderful rides!

It's no secret that we like long scenic rides.

But what's the shorter-ride-loving part of the population (i.e. the other 99.97%) to do?

It's ok, we like short scenic rides too. Here is today's excellent cycling destination.

Visit the Lake Champlain Islands, just across the border in northern Lake Champlain, (the lake shared by Quebec, and the US states of Vermont and New York).

These islands start in the US near the Canadian border (so they are close to Montreal and a good day-ride opportunity), and have great views of the Green Mountains in Vermont and the Adirondacks in New York.

The cycling-map(s) brochure "Champlain Islands Bikeways" contains five loop rides on these scenic islands.

This map booklet (and many more) are created as part of the "Lake Champlain Bikeways" organization. They want you to ride around lake Champlain (not all at once, but in bite-size pieces, er, rides.

The rides in this booklet are between 10 and 20 miles, (and there's no reason not to do two of them).

We did Isle La Motte, which is scenic, historic geologically, and historic culturally, and in a particularly Quebec way: the Lake Champlain is named after our hero Samuel de Champlain, and Samuel himself was the first white dude to visit the lake, and held a mass on Ile LaMotte in 1609. Yes, 400 years ago: there are celebrations this year. (wikipedia)

On Isle La Motte is a sculpture that was carved at Expo 67 out of Vermont granite. (not for expo 67, but AT expo 67).

We hope this gives you some ideas for this summer. Montreal is a great city to live in. But it's also a great city to get out of, with a surplus is great nearby destinations. Lake Champlain Islands is one of the finest.

Go here for the Lake Champlain Bikeways organization website.

You can download this excellent bicycle route-map brochure here (pdf).

Go here for the complete list of free download maps of rides around the Lake Champlain area (including the Richelieu river!). And you might be surprised to learn that many of the map booklets have french translations.


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