Saturday, June 27, 2009

Montéregie region's 2009 road-cycling map

This map is available... everywhere!

The Montéregie tourist region has published their 2009 road-cycling map. They have inserted the map in a lot of recent publications, so it is quite easy to get a copy.

This region is south of Montreal (and east and west too), and is, to put it simply, HUGE. So their road-cycling map is quite useful for anyone who wants to go cycling, but is unsure where to go.

A season's worth of close-to-Montreal road-riding routes

We like this map a lot.

But, we have one little problem with it.

In the lower left of the map is the Chateauguay valley, aka the Suroit or Haut St-Laurent.

It is one of our favorite cycling destinations. It has quiet roads and peaceful countryside.

However, this Montérégie road-cycling map directs you to ride on Rt 201 between Ormstown and St-Antoine-Abbé. Avoid this road at all costs, it is a busy highway, with no paved shoulders. It is hugely dangerous and, in out opinion, you risk your life if you ride on it. (it is however, a direct link between these two towns).

Luckily, the roads immediately parallel to the Rt 201 are excellent bike roads, so we suggest that you use them instead.

Start of paved shoulder rant (You may wish to skip it)

We feel that this kind of dangerous-to-cyclists no-paved-shoulders route is a symptom of tourist agencies giving the map-making contract to companies that never leave the office when they design bike-routes. Seriously, when a map maker creates a dangerous bike route like this, they should be forced to ride the route, at night, with no lights, and then we'll see if the dangerous bike-route gets changed in next year's edition.

Or, is it Transport Quebec who doesn't build paved shoulders on the numbered highways in this area. The Routes 138, 201 and 202 all needed paved shoulders added to the highways that were built in the pre-paved-shoulders era. We feel that this is serious negligence. Numbered Highways have to meet modern, current standards, and the parts of these highways that do not meet modern road-safety standards need to be upgraded as soon as possible, and since it's not a technically difficult construction task, the paved shoulder is a good example of a "shovel-ready" project.

We have seen lots of modern roads in quebec built to the highest safety standard. We just think that the Chateauguay valley road users also deserve the same level of safety. It's not rocket science. Paved shoulders make sense, especially when the region's tourist maps show these roads as bicycle-designated. It is time for the different departments of government to get togrther and get these things fixed. NOW!

End of paved-shoulder rant!

Except for this little criticism, we like this map a lot and have gotten lots of good rides in this close-to-Montreal region. Especially, the quiet roads country of the Chateauguay valley. A ride along the Chateauguay river (and roads to the south) are some of the best in Quebec.


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