Cycling from Oshawa to Montreal – Day 4

You can find Day 3 here.

August 4 – Montréal:

Almost there.

The Quebec bike trails are excellent and the Montérégie and Montréal sections of the La Route Verte were not exceptions.

I started on Route 338 at about 6:50 but soon changed over to the 21 km Piste Cyclable de Soulanges which follows the Soulanges Canal, part of the shipping lanes until the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959. It’s a beautifully paved path through woods on the edge of the hardly moving water of the canal all the way to Pointe-des-Cascades. Here the road is busy as you approach Vaudreuil-Dorion on the Ottawa River but the path over the bridges to Ile Perrot and then to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue have excellent bike lanes. Also the route that Brian advises to traverse the Island is quiet and nicely forested for the latter half.

Once on the island of Montreal there are several picturesque communities that you cycle through on reasonably quiet roads: Baie-d’Urfé, Beaconsfield, Pointe-Claire, Dorval and Lachine. A dedicated bike path starts again at Lachine and, in 4 km, turns from Lac St. Louis on the St. Lawrence to become the excellent Piste Cyclable du Canal Lachine which goes all the way into the Old Port of Montréal.  It switches back and forth on both sides and is well taken care of.

I checked in at the hostel in the Latin Quarter just after noon and walked (slowly with battle wounds:  my big right toe — I haven’t lost the nail yet but I think it will happen soon — and with my butt bleeding a little) down to Amir’s on St-Catherine for lunch and then to the Palais des Congres to start my Worldcon activities.  For the next three days I just left my bike locked up but it wasn’t so bad getting back in the saddle after that recovery period. Certainly better than walking and the in-town paths for bikers are terrific.

That’s my ~600 km trip in 3 days nutshell. I hope you enjoyed my reminiscing. I’ve been asked if I would do it again by a few friends and family. My answer is absolutely if I could do it on a less tight timetable.  I guess I’m of the school that the voyage is the most important part of the travel experience.


5 thoughts on “Cycling from Oshawa to Montreal – Day 4”

  1. Terry,

    This reminded me of the trip Nadine and I took several years ago.

    You were crazy to have ridden 600 km in 4 days – never having ridden more than 100 in a single day before. O well …

    You know what got to us though was days after about a week. I found that one’s body has a certain amount of resiliency and reserves which last for a number of days. But once those are gone, you are riding on the sleep you had the night before and the food you eat that day. And I also found that rest days were esential – we learned that the hard way after riding (I can’t remember exactly how many) but about 8 days without stop and then I hit the proverbial wall.

    The route you took sounds great – I would love to ride it some day. Hey, maybe there’s a trip we can plan to do together some days?

    By the way, too bad I didn’t know you were doing that route. You past by two very good friends of mine in Bath, and in PEC. One was the guy who taught me everything I know about tandem biking and introduced us to the fine folks at the Bloomfield bike store. Actually, I still order cycling mirrors from them – they have the best kind that clip onto eye-wear. Also, Nadine’s brother lives in the area and you probably rode right by their home!

    O well — another time.

  2. Sounds like a great trip! Brings to mind a classic country song that goes something like this:

    Did you see my Butt
    My Achey Bleeding Butt
    Did you see my Butt
    Much better than my toe
    Did you see my Butt
    Next time I’ll take the train

    …you get the idea.

  3. Before reading the all too revealing comments regarding painful body parts, rain, lack of sleep and the tumbling ( omitted?) over on Day 2- I admit I was jealous to do such a trip.

    Would a trailer make it lighter- easier at the expense of awkwardness.

    You have a year to think it over


  4. I wonder if you can imagine the relief I felt when the right toe nail finally came off this week (on Tuesday)? I had to be careful with clothes, getting into bed, of other’s straying feet! There’s a small toenail growing under it: the body is an incredible machine that replaces itself most efficiently and wonderously!

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