Monday, August 30, 2010

Return trip to Voie Celtique/Celtique Way and the Route decouverte des chemins Craig et Gosford

At top of Rectory Hill near Lyster, the first hill of the ride.

You get to zoom down this hill at the end of the ride.

Rest stop at Bernierville beside the church and overlooking the boat launch.

Perfect asphalt.

Every cyclists dream... here it is!


And more scenery.

Chutes Lysander (waterfalls) is an excellent diversion after the first hour of riding.

Lysander falls from the road. This is a free public park.

Lyster train station on the Route Verte Bois Francs path.We parked here and rode south and southwest of Lyster.

Last weeks ride in the new area of Chemins Craig and Gosford was so good, we went back right away. Was it all a dream, or were the great conditions just some sort of hallucination or delusion. Happily, they were factual!

We modified last week's ride a bit. We cut out the ROute Verte ride btween Princeville and Lyster. In fact, we drove and parked in Lyster. This is an excellent starting point. There's a few km of rolling flats before you ride up Rectory Hill, a hill that informs you that this will be a hills ride. It also informs you that this is a history ride, as you pass the St-Stephens cemetery and the just-burned-down church across the road. The history on this ride tends to be of the original settlers in this area. Scotland, Ireland and England were the source of these people, and they all had different religions, so there are tiny villages with several different churches and cemeteries. There are also many cemeteries without churches, all alone in fields and forests.

We shortened last week's 150 km to a more enjyable 110 km. We cut out the flats, and added some hills to the northeast. This includes Lysander Falls, Leeds, and Kinnear's Mills, by backroads.

Leeds is where the Chemin Craig part starts, and it continues south to St-Ferdinand.

From Kinnear's Mills we climbed up to the belvedere (lookout) at the top of the hill between it and St-Jean-de-Brebeuf. The 17% descent to St-Jean-de-Brebeuf was on the brakes this time, we held the speed at 70 km/h with no pedaling at all. Then craig road continues through great countryside southeast until Bernierville/St-Ferdinand where it joins Gosford road. (Gosford is in the west side of the Becancour river, Craig is on the east side).

Last week we continued south on this road, but today we turned north, through St-Ferdinand, and continue on Godford road through Inverness until our turnoff at Rang 11 to descent Rectory hill and return to Lyster.

St-Ferdinand has a great rest stop at an elevated deck overlooking their boat launch on the lake.

One thing we noticed about this ride is that is was a pretty hard ride. It had 1200 metres of climbing. That is 8.7 Camelien Houde Mont Royal climbs - so the popular advice to "ride cam houde ten times to train for the big hills" seems to be true. We wish we'd followed that advice! Instead we take micro breaks during the climbs. This helps maintain the body's ability to provide energy to the legs. We hate it when we go into overload and cramp city. So we stop and enjoy he scenery, for a minute and get back on the bike and ride up and up and up!

This ride could be done in shorter versions. There are four or five connections between Gosford and Craig roads to create shorter routes for those people who prefer a bit less distance.

This is a ride with many good things, scenery, nature, history, interesting terrain, good roads, quiet roads, small villages only, 90% back roads, big climbs and descents, and no boring flats.

The best thing about this ride? Once again, this is a ride with every good thing a ride can have! We recommend you put this ride on your to do list. And do it soon.

A map is here at bikely.

Saturday, August 28, 2010 reports some movement on urban mountain biking infrastructure is Montreal's source for developments on urban mountain biking infrastructure. The wheels of the urban bureaucracy move slooooooowly, but they are moving, not least because of groups like Bunnyhop.

Go here to read the news about possible trail development behind the Université de Montreal's Cepsum sports complex.

Bixi bites local bike merchants

The Bixi popularity has reduced sales at local bike shops, reports radio canada (francais).

Time to rethink your marketing, bike shops. (You are thinking bike shops have marketing? That's a surprise!)

Some examples:
  • The Bixi should be in addition to your personal bike(s), it should not be your only bike.
  • Tried a Bixi? Now try a good bike.
  • If you like the Bixi, you'll love a lightweight bike.
  • Frustrated because the Bixi stand is empty, or full with no place to park? Time to get your own bike.
  • Has Bixi caused you fall back in love with biking? Time to get a bike of your own.
  • Who else sat on that Bixi seat? (Yuck!) Time to get a bike of your very own.

Pont Jacques Cartier bridge bike path - Longueuil side rebuilding to start soon

The long-neglected, narrow, and poorly marked bike path on the south shore side of the Pont Jacques Cartier bridge is finally getting its long-awaited rebuilding starting shortly.

We hope that the non-existent signage (map/directions) when this path arrives at street-level in Longueuil gets some improvement too.

Read more here, and here at the pont jacques cartier website.

Did you know that this iconic bridge was originally called the Montreal Harbor Bridge?

The bike path/sidewalk along the west side of this bridge has one of the most amazing views of Montreal.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lazy rider secret #7

Our philosophy is that a lazy bicycle rider should choose hilly rides, because there's lots more (and faster) coasting than on a flat ride. So it's easier. This is also known as a slacker technique, although we admit it is for advanced slackers.

We live this philosophy, fully and and completely.

Flat rides for a Steemo

Here are some bike rides that are flat, but otherwise scenic and fully enjoyable. Some are nearby, some are farther. These are the best of the best of Quebec's flatland ride type cycling. Do them all and you have lived a full and happy life.

All of these rides are discussed in earlier blog posts. Search the Cycle Fun Montreal blog here.

  • Canal Soulanges from Pointe aux Cascades
  • Beauharnois Canal - south side. (be aware that the valleyfield bridges ban bikes)
  • Ormstown to Huntingdon to Powerscourt along Chateauguay river (country roads).
  • Canal Chambly (Chambly to St-Jean-sur-Richelieu)
  • P'tit train du Nord - Ste-Adele (or Prevost) to Val David (and back, which is downhill)
  • P'tit train du Nord - Tremblant (St-Jovite) to Labelle
  • P'tit train du Nord - any part of the paved northernmost 110 km.
  • Granby-Waterloo on the Eastern Townships' Estriade
  • Voie Maritime bike path in middle of St-Laurence river (Longueuil to Ste-Catherine)
  • North Hatley to Lennoxville on Sherbrooke's Les Grande Fourches network
  • Cycloroute de Bellechasse bike path located south and SE of Quebec city
  • Quebec / Levis loop : Vieux Quebec / ferry / Levis / Pont Quebec Bridge / Champlain
  • Route Verte in MRC Maskinongé: St-Barthelemy to Yamachiche (country roads)
  • Ste-Martine to St-Chrysostome or St-Antoine-Abbé (country roads)
  • Ormstown-Dewittville-Rockburn (country roads)

If you have car support. bike anywhere on south coast of St Laurence going to the east from Quebec City through the Bas St-Laurent to the amazing Parc Bic. Perfect scenery + tailwind = paradise.

Most of these are part of Quebec's Route Verte regional bike path network. There are many other Route Verte / regional bike paths that also fit the great flat bike rides category. Click here for the Route Verte website. With over 4000 km of bike path network, there is some variety.

All of these are discussed in earlier blog posts. Search the blog here.

stop light question

We asked the person beside us at the stop light with the very high end bike and matching attire if this was the number one bike in her collection. It was but she said her other bike was a Bixi.

How to have a great bicycle ride

1) Go out and ride your bike
2) Lots

After a while you will notice some rides are better than other rides. Analyze this and seek out better rides. One day you will finish a ride, and your brain will be sending you a message that says that today's ride was the best ride ever.

Which does not mean that you should now stop your search for your best ride ever. Au contraire, you need to keep riding. And you will find another greatest ride ever. And again and again, until every ride is a great ride, and the whole idea of "best ride" becomes meaningless. The act of riding itself is great. By now you are "one with the bike," and the bike has become an extension of your body. Note: do not sleep with your bike, that's what other humans are for.

Now we are ready for the next level.

Achieving the state of "Fun."

Riding your bike should induce a state of jubilant glee. This can annoy the non-cyclists among us, but we don't care. This is fun and we're having it. You may need to adjust ride terrain and distance, bicycle fit, level of on and off-season training, mental attitude and expectations, and of course the weather, but it's worth it. We're talking jubilant glee, after all. Not many people can just go outside and get some, so consider yourself extremely lucky.

Any other tips for happiness? Smile and wave when passing other people, and maybe buy a bike bell to ring at human obstacles instead of shouting or swearing? Civisme is a good thing, and it will make you feel better, we promise.

Pain is no fun, Bicycling magazine offers seven useful tips for reducing pain in a variety of your body parts. If it is the bike seat-crotch interface that causes some discomfort, rubbing chamois creme (or vaseline or bag balm) all over the bike-short pad before riding can make a big difference in reducing friction where you do not want any friction!


A great ride requires a great place to ride. Montrealers have excellent urban cycling, but when you cross the river and leave the island of Montreal you are entering a cycling paradise we call the Quebec countryside. Explore it (there's a LOT of it), in search of lots of great bike rides, and the search for your best bike ride ever. (our own personal search for the best bike rides in Quebec is the reason we started this blog)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chemin Nordet back on Google Maps

We don't know why it disappeared, maybe it was just our computer rejected it or something but for a couple of years Chemin Nordet in St-Donat had vanished from the google maps world.

Now it's back.

Here's a bikely map of the road. Chemin Nordet is one of the finest roads in Quebec for cycling.

Here's some Chemin Nordet pictures from our visits there.

It's a nice medium-hard level of riding on a road with excellent large paved shoulders and it is a true Quebec classic ride. Obligatoire!

55 years

Our mom and dad have their 55 year wedding anniversary today.

Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chemins Craig et Gosford - "best ride ever?" ride

Descending towards Lyster. Our ride took us up this hill, not down.

Today's highlight: the circuit de découverte Chemins Craig et Gosford cycling paradise

Inverness has many tourist attractions, including the Musée du Bronze d'Inverness

What's wrong with this picture?

Perfect, new road, happy curves, no cars, lots of trees, nothing is wrong, it's a cyclist paradise.

150 years, and one unhappy plowman

Restored train station in Lyster along Route Verte

Funeral memento near St-Jean-de-Brebeuf

The view downhill on Chemin Craig hill

At the Belevedere du Chemin Craig summit (Lipsey's Hill)

Descent down the Chemin Craig is memorable

Ready to descend? 17% downhill to St-Jean-de-Brebeuf

Good news? This is the first "danger - steep climb" sign we've ever seen!

We have returned from a first-time visit to Quebec's Celtique Way region in Chaudiere-Appalache region, mainly on the Chemins Craig et Gosford circuit. The first 1/4 was on the flat Route Verte in Centre-du-Quebec region before we turned south to hit the hills for a giant loop in the hills to the south and west.

Two words sum up the experience: Paradise Ride.

We created a map of the ride on Bikely.

The Wikipedia entry on the Craig road is here.

Tourism Chemin Craig et Gosford is here.

Tourist route on the Celtic Way is here.

This is a ride in three parts, starting in Princeville, near Victoriaville:
  1. Route Verte rail-to-trail between Princeville to Lyster (30 km NE on flat Route Verte)
  2. Chemins Craig et Gosford going SW through quiet hilly scenic awesome back roads
  3. Rt 263 north, back to Princeville, up and down through a scenic valley, excellent!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Air and oil and a good fit = happy cycling

The key to enjoyable and fun (and fast!) cycling is bike fit.

Your bike should fit you like a glove. It should be an invisible extension of your body. It should not get in the way.

Once you achieve bike fit, how do you keep track of it if, say, your friend borrows your bike, you get a new bike, or you are away from home and using someone else's bike (no!).

Park tools has a good checklist/form for writing down all the bike fit details. Here's the link (click here).


Park Tools also has bike repair information.

Bike repair knowledge can be very useful.

You should know how to put air in your tires, oil the chain, adjust your brakes, adjust your seat height, and fix a flat tire by patching or replacing a tube. There are some basic tools required to do most of these things. A bike will provide loyal service for transportation and fun for a very long time with very minor maintenance.

Can we have that advice easier and simpler please?
  1. put air in your tires
  2. oil your chain
You can get oil and a hand pump at your local bike store.

As we ride along, we often check out the equipment of the cyclists we pass.

We notice tires, and notice that very many of you are riding on soft or almost flat tires.

Once in a while we suggest that the cycling will be easier and therefore more fun when one isn't riding with flat tires. A surprising number of people reply that they know that their tires are flat, but they didn't put air in yet. Do it! Nothing makes the bike riding better than inflated tires. Although, oiling the chain is good too.

Actually we stopped telling people that their tire was flat, because this provoked in a few riders too much shock, some would stop right away! Whoa, take it easy. Now we say you really need to put some air in that tire.

2010: 2 million Bixi rides already

La Presse reports that Bixis have had 2 million rides so far this year. And that the vandalism rate is less than 3%. And that Bixi riders have better and more frequent sex. Oops, they didn't say that last one.

Bixi's have been added to five more suburbs of Montreal, but as usual in so many ways, Parc Extension is still screwed. We so want to Bixi over to Jean Talon to eat Indian food for supper. Please Biximasters, please, Bixis for Park Ex next.


Not busted: woman obsessed with her portable telephone while driving one of the the premier symbols of wretched excess a.k.a. Land Rover.

Not busted: limo driver who thinks slooooowly turning right on red and no one will notice. Except he sloooowly cut us of when we had the green light. At least he could have looked if someone was coming through the green light.

Busted: two bike riders who ran the not-optional stop sign at Durocher & Laurier. And busted by a bike cop too. Now, if they could bust the cars who speed, ignore crosswalks, blow stop signs, and also put up some Pedestrians Have Priority signs where the car drivers could see them on this full-of-pedestrians street?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

cross-canada bike tour to promote a film?

We wouldn't argue that it can be challenging to promote your film or other artistic activity, but embarking on a cross-canada bike tour to promote your film? Steven Slater has some competition in the raise-the-bar department.

We rarely promote the self-promoting, and the cycling/fun/montreal link is pretty tenuous here, but we are impressed by their spunk.

Hey, do you think you could mention our film on your blog? We're currently doing a cross Canada bicycle film tour from Vancouver to St John's!

The Clean Bin Project, an award winning comedic eco-documentary about waste reduction is coming to Montreal Aug 23. de Seve Cinema. 7pm. By donation. for more info.


So, we did this good deed for Jen to reduce our stress from bike-commuting home from work. We stopped driving to/from work because of the stress, and now we find that the bike-commuting is getting too stressful, too. So we did this good deed for Jen from the clean bin project because doing something for other people is supposed to make us feel all good inside.

The time and place again: Concordia University - de Sève Cinema, 1400 de Maisonneuve West, 7 pm, Monday August 23. Price is a donation of an amount of your choosing, so be nice.

Monday, August 16, 2010

this and that, thunder and lightning edition

The dogs are back!

The backside of the place des arts / place des festivals had these dog sculptures. After renovations, art sometimes disappears. But the dogs are back.

The Mont Royal lookout over downtown.
It's obligatoire folks.

New, freshly completed but not yet "announced" multi-use recreational bike path beside Cote des Neiges road.

This is a multi-use trail, unlike the Cote Ste-Catherine bike path, which is for bikes only.

The greatest place to see the sunset in Montreal, Oratoire Saint-Joseph.

Obligatoire, again.

Some unofficial bilingualism for our American visitors.

Bike on sidewalk zooming along. Scaring every person she passes.

If you make only one change for safety this year, please stop riding on the sidewalk.

Villeneuve at Cote-Ste-Catherine bike path. Cyclists are forced into the funnel of death inside the car lane.

Notice there is no space for bikes to travel beside the cars at this newly-rebuilt intersection. Oops.

Bike path and cars supposed to coexist on Villeneuve where it meets Cote-Ste-Catherine bike path. The re-designed intersection is rebuilt expressly for the new Cote-Saint-Catherine bike path.

Notice they narrowed the street and now there is no space for bikes and cars to share access to the intersection. It is now bikes OR cars.

That green strip on the sidewalk should have been accessible by bicycles crossing the intersection. Look at the successful integration of sidewalk and bike path along Clark street at St-Viateur or Van Horne. The removal of a separate space for bikes to travel through this intersection is a complete failure of design.

Another example of what bike-unfriendly Outremont thinks of providing safe infrastructure for bicyclists. Or just the usual complete incompetence concerning integrating bike infrastructure by the design engineers who redesigned this intersection.

Free anti-bike stickers are available from bike-unfriendly Outremont borrough.

Hmmm, that's a funny cloud, oh, lightning too? Uh-oh.

There was some very interesting weather this morning. As we rode along we noticed the sky to the north was black. With frequent lightning bolts. The problem was that we were headed north, right into the fun.

The result was that the last 5 minutes of the ride to work was in a thunderstorm, 4 minutes of this was super heavy rain that turned the road into a river, and every car passing us gave us a very big mega-splash that we had to ride through, it was a wave big enough to surf.

The roads were dry when we left home, and the sun was peeking out from behind the clouds on our ride. So, it seemed to be the usual super-fine conditions for cycling to work (a.k.a. vélo-boulot). And that's why we keep one set of dry clothes at work. Except we didn't. Doh.

This is NOT looking good.

We like taking a shower after a hard ride. Just not before the end of the ride please.

Is this a bike path? The childs' chalk drawings are good camoflage, but this is actually a bike path though the traffic circle in the middle of VMR/TMR.

Lots of places have mediocre bike parking. This Jean Coutu has good, easy-to-use secure bike stands.

Notice the "Walk Your Bike" sign in the upper left corner?

Neither did that woman on the bike on the the narrow sidewalk underpass on boulevard Saint-Laurent.

Get yourself to the Point a Calieres museum and see this pseudo giant Easter-Island head.

Highly visible "walk yer damn bikes" sign, bilingual too.

Also highly visible: this red light for bicycles.

Obeyed? Not in this city.

Friday, August 13, 2010

august rides

August rides start off cool, because you started early (which means you got up early), and can ride all day because you have been getting better and stronger since the snows left us six months ago in March. You're getting tired of the usual places.

Take your map of Quebec.

Throw a dart at the map.

Now get going.

We are going to ride from Wooton to Weedon. We have no idea what we will find there. But, our sense of adventure is calling. We answer the call.

R.I.P. time

No one lives forever, so we'd like to say good bye to Carole and Eva. You brightened up every day that you lived, and now you will be missed every day you are gone.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Montreal bike film festival starts tonight

The Bike Film Festival starts tonight. It is a worldwide event.

Happily for us, Montreal is part of the festivities.

Click here for more info.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Our quebec bike-ride maps collection, and a ride suggestion

The La Presse cycling blog by Caroline Rodgers (in french) recently suggested that people visit our little blog because we document our many bike rides, and we create maps of the rides on the bike-map website.

We focus on Quebec bike rides because 1) this is where we live, and 2) Quebec is great for bike riding. (and despite evidence to the contrary, we think most car drivers are very aware and courteous to bike riders once you get outside of Montreal island.)

So to help you out, here are a couple of links.
Note that the Bikely website can be slow at busy times.

For blog posts with descriptions and pictures of quebec bike rides, click the monthly archives at the right side of this web page. Sorry there's so many!

We think that Quebec has great cycling, and honestly... this place is a paradise for cyclists.


Our suggestion: Chateauguay Valley (le suroit) in the Monteregie

Our favorite suggestion for easy riding through beautiful countryside: Ride in the Chateauguay Valley starting in Ormstown. OK, we like it because we are from this little corner of Quebec, but besides that, many people have told us what a wonderful cycling destination this region is.

Riding along the Chateauguay river is one of the really nice rides close to Montreal. (You could also start the river ride in Ste-Martine, Howick, or Allans Corners at the Battle of the Chateauguay historical site). If you start in Ormstown, you can park at the IGA mall and there is a tourist map outside (near the pharmacy entrance) and inside the mall is a tourism wall-kiosk with tourist guides which include bike maps.

Some details: cross the Pont Mercier bridge to the Chateauguay Valley area starting in Ste-Martine or Ormstown (55 minutes from downtown Montreal). Avoid the busy Rt 138 or Rt 201 on bike. There are plenty of quiet country roads to enjoy.

Follow the Chateauguay river from Ormstown to the oldest covered bridge in Quebec at Powerscourt. Stop at Athelstan for snacks at the dep, and take your rest break at the covered bridge. This bridge was just renovated, we like it when our rural heritage is preserved.

Come back the same way, or take the flat and usually with-the-wind Gore side road and tullochgorum back to Ormstown. In fact, you have many possibilities to return, because the triangular nature of the valley's road network is ideal for cyclists!

Here is a map of this ride suggestion (this is what you came for). The link to this map on Bikely is here.

Notice the many quiet roads, we think there are many great rides around here.

Just avoid riding on Rt 138 and Rt 201.

Satellite pic shows the beautiful rural nature of this ride

Southwest Quebec, aka Chateauguay Valley, aka le Suroit, is not far from Montreal.

You can extend the distance by starting in Howick or Ste-Martine. We like everything inside the area bordered by Ste-Martine, Ste-Chrysostome, Covey hill, Powerscourt, Huntingdon and Ormstown.

In some areas of the province we to ride a specific route, but in the chateauguay valley almost every road is a good ride.

Another great ride in this area is to ride to Covey Hill. We document a ride in that area in a post from last week (below or see the archive for july 2010).

Adult outdoor exercise stations installed at Parc Drapeau


Outdoor exercise equipment for adults has been installed on Ile Ste-Helene/Parc Drapeau.

We have been wanting this sort of thing for years. We used to use an outdoor exercise area in Ottawa in the 1980s, and we were waiting for this excellent trend to arrive in Montreal. It only took 25 years, so better late than never.

Now, can we see something similar on the the Lachine Canal, on Mont Royal, and somewhere along the Gouin bike path on the north shore of the island please?

old bikes are not vintage anything

This ad wins "ripoff of the year" award

Vintage Schwinn “Suburban” Bicycle for $1200

We find it amusing (and appalling) that people think their 1970s piece of rusty junk is of great value because of its age.

A $100 bike doesn't go up in price every year just because the calendar has turned another page.

Throwing the label "vintage" on the for-sale ad doesn't automatically increase the old bike's value by 50-10000%.

This local craigslist ad takes the cake for this unwarranted price inflation. Take a 1970s Schwinn 5-speed bike. Call it "vintage." Without any basis in fact, describe the bike as highly valuable to collectors. We wouldn't be getting all agitated if the seller wasn't asking $1200 for this highly dubious collectors item. Sure the bike is old, but so are we and we aren't getting any more valuable with age.

Let's be clear, the seller can call it "vintage," but you don't have to believe it. In fact, you shouldn't believe it, because it just ain't true.

Elsewhere on the internet, the "old bike blog" describes this exact bike as "the Suburban has (according to one website) "absolutely no value to collectors."And they bought theirs at a garage sale for $40. Of course, our seller bought the bike at "Curbside Cycles" in the core of the hipster-central universe part of Toronto. P.T. Barnum would be so proud.

Who was P.T.Barnum? P.T.Barnum was a famed entertainment entrepreneur who said "there's a sucker born every minute."

Don't be the sucker!

A cheap 1970s bike should not be selling for more than it's original retail price. Not now, not in ten years, not ever. And this guy isn't just asking an extra $50 because it has new tires and chain (which make a price of between $100 and $200 fairly reasonable), no, he's asking $1200. Which translated into non-hipster regular english as "world-class ripoff."

This would be funny if it's wasn't so purely exploitative.

Can't we all just get along?

Writing in La Presse, the triathlete Isabelle Turcotte speaks out about road safety (and road sharing) with a clear-headedness we find very refreshing.

Read it here in the original french, or here translated badly by the google.

Highly recommended.

Why are so many people trying (on purpose or not) to kill us cyclists?

And why are many of these people trying to kill us happen to be the other cyclists that we see doing crazy stuff every time we go for a ride? There's a right and a wrong side of the road to be riding your bike. Start with that, and get off the sidewalk too. Civisme starts with showing respect for other people.

Summer sunshine... destination?

An excellent crop of primo summer sunshine is now available for your cycling enjoyment. Get outside and ride.

Are you still here? Turn off the computer, put on your bike clothes, make sure there's air in the tires and oil on the chin, and go outside and explore.

Need a destination? You can visit one of Montreal's nature parks. You can take a ferry across the St-Laurence river from the old port. You can make the ride out to Chambly, and then ride the Chambly canal to St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

Or for bigger adventure, get up earlier! The quebec countryside is full of great bike paths and open-road rides. Our blog documents some of our favorite rides both near and far. Quebec is one of the great destinations for bike riding, and you live here, so there's no excuse to get outside and enjoy life the the max!

Now, turn of the computer and get ready, and get outside! Quebec is fabulously beautiful in the summer... and summer doesn't last forever...

Friday, August 06, 2010

Summer's saddest bike

Sad doesn't begin to describe this bike.

Abandoned bikes are so sad.

Who was Louise Armaindo?

Just Montreal's greatest cyclist ever.

Outremont tickets parked bikes, but doesn't provide decent bike parking

Outremont: bike-hater capital of Montreal

Why does Outremont hate bikes? First the botched cross-street access to the Cote-Ste-Catherine bike path and now a campaign to ticket bicycles locked outside.

It wouldn't be so bad if the city actually provided decent bike stands to park a bike, but it doesn't. The fine-print on the notice says that the city provides ample and quality bike-parking stands, but that's complete bullshit. (click here for our critique of Outremont's bad-design bike-parking stands)

An example of worst-design-style bike stands on Laurier Avenue that Outremont offers to cyclists, which are nowhere near where residents actually need bike parking to be located.

Read carefully: Outremont hates bikes.

If this is the most important crime our police officers can find, then we need less police officers.

Why do recycling trucks drop broken glass everywhere?

Why do the recycling trucks drop broken glass everywhere?

Unneeded flat tires are an additional challenge to riding a bicycle in the city.

Elected representatives of the Plateau Mont-Royal arrondisement (borough), we're talking to you.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Where did our back wheel go?

I took my bike in to the shop to fix a spoke.

When the bike came back it didn't have my excellent rear wheel which this bike inherited from my old racing mtn bike. It now has some cheap shimano junk rear wheel. It should have had a Suntour XC-Pro hub, but it had some generic shimano crap. The shop says that's the wheel it came in with. But I never got a rear wheel for that bike, the bike first had it's original wheel, then since 1993 it had a radially-laced wheel I got at a bike shop's sidewalk sale, and then last year I put on the XC-Pro hubbed wheels front and rear.

So, where did my XC-Pro rear wheel go? I only lock the front wheel & frame, so someone could have swapped it. (why, though is another question.)

So we are left with a real big mystery, and a sneaking suspicion that space aliens acquired this wheel is some sort of multidimensional intergalactic craigslist.


We know conclude the our rear wheel mystery started long before (we think we noticed some strangeness with the wheel for the first time last september) we took it in to the bike shop. It was only after this shop visit when we noticed the strangeness, but we don't think the bike shop has anything to do with it. Therefore we won't be naming the bike shop (sorry comment writer R.). Except we will note that we get always excellent service there, and they even treat these crazy questions with respect.

We conclude that someone with an excellent eye for quality swapped our rear wheel for theirs. And that's a risk you take when you leave a bike locked outside all season long with the back wheel unlocked. (Doh.) Even a well-camoflaged/aged outdoor bike like Blue can catch the eye of the nefarious members of the community.

But we are not discounting the multidimensional intergalactic craigslist, just yet. It remains a perfectly good alternative explanation. Go multidimensionality!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Montreal's 2009 urban transport report card

Montreal's 2009 report card on progress in the urban transport area which includes cycling urban infrastructure is now available.

Here is the link to the page where you can read/download this report. (left side under "nos documents:" Faits saillants du Bilan 2009-2010.