I love this funny video about the living on a bike. Its about this guy from Montreal and his different activities while riding including frying up breakfast to taking a shower and exploring around the city. It helps him feel free. After 382 days see what finally gets this cyclist off his bike.
Montreal is one of my favourite cities for bicycle touring. A great time to visit is during the annual Jazz Festival in late June. There are an extensive network of bicycle paths from the McGill University residence at the foot of Mount Royal where I stay.
Cycling East End Montreal
Head out to the east end of Montreal along Rue Rachel until reaching the Botanical Gardens and Olympic Stadium where you turn right along one of several bike lanes until reaching the St. Lawrence River. This route takes you first along the shores of the of the St. Lawrence through parks and residence areas.
Take the bike connection route to the North Shore which is a bit tough to follow at times in a wooded area. Return along the bike route on the north shore of the island through a string of parks and passing an unexpected waterfall.
Cycling to Oka Park
Another great circuit is taking the bike trail out to Oka park from the shopping plaza on Ile Bizard where you catch the ferry to Laval. Turn left after getting off the ferry and follow the bike lanes until reaching a bridge to Lac des Deux-Montanges.
Follow Bike route 1 on bicycle lanes through passing a bicycle help shelter with an outhouse, water fountain and bicycle tools. Continue to the the town of Oka which has a picnic area along the Ottawa River along with stores and restaurants. Total distance is about 50 km.
Or for a longer ride take the ferry across the Ottawa River to the town of Hudson. Head south along a road/bike trail until reaching Hwy 20 and turning left along the bike route. it follows the shore back to the start.
Waterfront and Islands of the St. Lawrence
My favourite route is departing McGill University residences (Mount Royal) along Rue Rachel. Turn right and cross Avenue de Parc Le Fontaine and head along bike lane to Rue Berri.
Rue Berri has a protected bicycle lane on the west side that continues all the way south to the St. Lawrence River. Continue along the colour full waterfront with Old Montreal (Le Vieux Port) on your right. It connects with the historic Piste Cycable du Canal Lachine for about 12 km.
At the end of the Lachine Canal bicycle route continue straight ahead and do a loop around Parc Rene Levesque looking at the many statues gracing the grounds. There are washrooms at the far end.
Continue on the Piste Cyclable Des Berges for about 10 km which for the most park is through a park. The highlight is passing the Lachine Rapids where you often see people rafting.
Continue along Piste Cyclable de l”lle Des Soeurs across a bridge to the island with condo’s and shopping plazas but follow the signs to the Estacade. Take the 2 km bike lane across the St. Lawrence (view of the new Champlain Bridge to the left) turning left when reach the Estacade. Follow along until reach lle Notre Dame and Parc Jean Drapeau, site of Expo 67 world’s fair. There are picnic tables for lunch and washrooms under the causeway to the waterfront.
A highlight of lLe Notre Dame is cycling on the Formula One race track (race is in early June each year). I continue to the second bridge crossing to lle Sainte Helene and turn right passing the Biosphere. I turn left at the next turn and head up a steep hill turning right at the top to Pont Jacques-Cartier which has a bike lane providing great views of the city.
After riding down the bridge I return to Rue Berri for the ride back.
I head down to the waterfront and across the Pont Jacque Cartier along the bicycle lanes which offer a magnificent views of the city. From there you basically follow bicycle lanes through parks and along the side of roads until reaching the bridge to the Estacade. This route can be hard to follow at times due to the connections with many local routes.
After crossing the bridge to the Estacade, cycle along it until reaching the bridge along the top of a dam to Iles Des Soeurs. Follow one of the bike routes across the island and continue on causeway connecting with route to the Lachine Canal.
When bicycle touring I sometimes feel I spend all my time riding although I love being on a bike. Although I love the time exploring on foot as well. You too can spend time living on a bike while bicycle touring in Montreal. The Cycling Quebec guide can help you plan the route.
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