Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bicycling in Montreal

In Montreal, the biggest surprise has been its large bike culture which extends across age, social, and ethnic stereotypes and includes families as well as parents with infants. Getting around Montreal by bicycle has been made easier due to its extensive infrastructure, which the city began in the mid-eighties, and today many busy streets have completely separate two-way bike paths alongside its car lanes. Kay and I happen to be here during the Tour de L'ile de Montreal, a one day bike event on May 31 that has attracted upwards of 25,000 participants. Selected city streets will be closed to vehicle traffic creating five possible bicycle routes throughout the metropolitan area for recreational riding or athletic endeavors.

On the morning of the event, following overnight rains, temperatures were just above the mid-forties, but that didn't slowdown the activities on the streets below our second floor apartment. I videoed the event for a half mile stretch, beginning at the corner of Rue Saint Urbain and Av des Pins, a right turn, along Av des Pins to the right turn onto Av du Parc where the finish was at the top of a slight grade in front of the Monument √† Sir George-√Čtienne Cartier which is topped with an angel. It was a choppy tumultuous sea of bikes and riders flowing through the streets celebrating cycling and enjoying their wonderful colorful city. The shaking you see on the video is me shivering from the cold.

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