Thursday, November 25, 2010

bicycle transformations, and a good map source

Earlier this year we converted Blue, our urban assault bike which began life as a 1st generation specialized rockhopper, into a bit more sociable creature with 1/2 spd-1/2 normal shoe pedals. We also found a way to put the bike lock on the bike, and not on a backpack. The situation is now excellent, although the seat is getting old and will be added to the old seat pile this winter.

We liked this half-n-half pedal thing so much that we just put the same pedals on the Bertrand road-race bike for its winter sojourn as an indoor-bike-trainer bike. Also, last year the trainer ate a rear tire, so we got a trainer-tire and we'll save the expensive road tire for outside. (note: trainer tires are $39.99 at ABC right now).

Tonight's weather forecast in Montreal: Freezing rain, snow, ice pellets. Definitely not bike weather and for us bike freaks it is hell, falling from the skies. Google translate translates this into time to ride the indoor bike trainer.

Make one of the following three choices:
  1. Get up from the computer and ride your bike (indoors or out)
  2. Eat some more
  3. Get some online maps and make plans for next year's rides in the Quebec countryside

If you want some EXCELLENT maps, go to Transport Quebec "Carte Routiere" web page for terrific road maps, in pdf format, and available for every region. They print up great too, we keep a collection in an envelope in our car. Highly recommended, and free, too.

There are some other useful tools and information at the Transport Quebec website, most of it also available in English too. One critical tool is the 511 page for road construction. There's lots of road construction and reconstruction in the summertime, the 511 page warns you about where it is so you can avoid it. (both on bike and when traveling to the bike ride location)

Look closely at these maps and plan your bike adventures for next year.

We have taken a highlighter and marked off every road we have ridden on. We have ridden every road between Tremblant and Trois Rivieres. This makes us very happy. And we can't wait until next year to do it all over again. But wait we must. And to kill time, we plan an adventure or two to some unknown part of Quebec, (SE Bois Franc?) and sometimes we find a bike paradise. And another, and another... Quebec is wonderful for bikes!


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