Archive for the ‘Bike trips’ Category

tour de Montréal sur la glace



feral spandex terrorizes maisonneuve


This is a scratchy and funny video taken by a visitor to Montréal.

For ten rib-tickling minutes, you will be treated to the spectacle of a law-and-order, helmet-wearing, serious cyclist trying to ply Montreal’s downtown bike path with all its zaniness and jaywalking radicals.

Funny moment: The Asian woman he tails from the start of his journey insists on taking Feral Spandex’s photo. In his own comments to his video, Feral Spandex (real name: jsallen1946) pleads with her to contact him.

Is this plea to Young Cyclist an example of the social desperation of the Internet generation? Or does it point to a new way to meet people through handmade media? And is it politically incorrect to describe people as Asian, or female?

Heads up!… way up!… for this nugget of YouTube gold.

A three hour tour…



desert island bixi

Bixi Log, April 29, 2010

4:45 pm

I cut a lot of corners, sucked back a lot of diet coke and coffee, and finished work a bit early today – all so I could take a spontaneous Bixi cruise on the Expo Isles. This map I downloaded from the Internet says there are four stations out there, which means I can spend the whole evening zooming around the canals and trying to forget my cubicle.

So I throw on a casual Rolex, tuck in the pant-leg of my thousand-dollar suit, and head out the Ile Ste. Helene on my free bicycle.

4:57 pm

On the Maisonneuve bike path at Mansfield – a block from where I grabbed my bike – I get cut off by a small SUV. The driver – a bleached-blond woman in her early forties – gives me a blank and frazzled expression, as if to say, “You don’t know what I’m going through. I’m from a hell a million miles from anywhere called suburbia, and I can’t move fast enough to numb the pain.”

She was right that I don’t live in the suburbs or commute behind glass, but I definitely know what pain feels like, which is why I didn’t feel comfortable with her angry commuter tank being so close to my unprotected body. Mental note to self: eradicate car culture tomorrow morning.

5:16 pm

At around 21 minutes on my clock, I am on the Concorde Bridge heading to that first Bixi stand just a few meters away with nine minutes to spare. Feeling like a real explorer right about now…Oh wait. Looks like that one hasn’t been installed yet. I wonder why they don’t mention that on the Bixi site?

5:21 pm

Now it’s been over 25 minutes and I am now looking for the second station under the bridge next to the casino. But that one hasn’t apparently been installed either, so I continue around the circuit knowing that there has got to be another one next to the pit stop. Or somewhere. Bixi wouldn’t lie about their service zone just to trick me into spending extra money, right? I mean, it’s not run by Goldman Sachs or Enron, is it?

5:32 pm($1.50)

It’s been over thirty five minutes now, and I have decided to accept the fact that this trip might cost a buck fifty. But it’ll have been worth it if I can get a bike and race back downtown before the rain starts. I feel slightly used, tired, and a bit angry. But I’m trying to console myself that a buck fifty isn’t the end of the world. I have to stop thinking like an ant.

6:10 pm($4.50)

I was trying to peddle back onto the bridge, when a gang of English-speaking teenagers saw me swearing at my Bixi. They mocked me for a few minutes, and then they swarmed me (they’re were two of them in all). They hit me over the head with a Styrofoam hand, and grabbed my blackberry, my ipod and my new Rolex. Damn. Why did I have to wear the only Rolex I own that has a velcro band? I guess I should be happy that they left me with my suit. And my Bixi.

6:27 pm($10.50)

It just started to rain really hard, and there were no shelters anywhere near where I was sitting in the grass crying. So I ran under the bridge to wait it out for a while. I don’t even know how much this is going to cost me. I just want to get this bike back the closest station, and hop into a huge cab. Maybe an SUV cab with a monster truck suspension.

7:59 pm($28.50)

I was halfway across the Concorde Bridge when my Bixi started to slow down for no reason, so I had to pedal harder and harder until it froze completely next to Habitat 67. I’ve decided to pay a cab twenty bucks to take me and this bike back to Old Montreal where I can crazy glue it back into a docking station.

8:11 pm

Sat down and calculated the price of my free island adventure while eating a nine-dollar hot dog in Jacques Cartier Square: Total cost including Bixi, cab, Rolex, ipod and Blackberry: $856.99

(Note: Bixi has since installed the docking stations in Jean Drapeau Park.)

Snobiking in Ottawa

Posted by Kathym Hunt at Spacing Ottawa

Ottawa has almost the exact same weather conditions as the city where I live. The road surface condition in this video is the treacherous deep sugar (as in – we’re in deep sugar!) that I describe here.

Of course, in Montreal, there are a few cleared bike lanes in the downtown, so you are less likely to be forced onto sidewalks in the busy commercial core. That is,  except after snowstorms, when there aren’t many pedestrians around anyways.

Climbing Mount Royal on New Year’s Day


Climbing the top of a mountain on New Year’s day is a tradition since I started snobiking a decade ago.

About 50 years ago, the mayor had the underbrush cut so that people couldn’t have sex there. But this caused mudslides.

It’s – 10 degrees on New Year’s Day of 2010, and there’s no one having sex on the mountain except maybe in the parking lot at Beaver Lake. Maybe that immoral parking lot needs to be removed by the next mayor?


Takes about two hours in total – an hour and a half to get to the top (from Maisonneuve), and 25 minutes to ride back down. You start at the Maisonneuve bike path on the corner of University.


The route follows the red glitch in the clump of natural vegetation in the downtown core.


Maisonneuve bike path

Maisonneuve bike path, January 1, 2010. The city is currently reconfiguring the area around Place des Arts. For now, it’s a mess of construction equipment and blocked traffic, making it fairly safe for biking as long as you keep your eyes open for holes and scattered plywood.


North on University

Turn north (uphill) on University street, the latest (2010) piece of the downtown median-protected bike network.

Biking on crushed snow – it’s like having the mountain come to you via unplowed bike lanes. Practice sliding before proceeding on new surfaces.


University near F.A.C.E.

Here, you bike in front of the F.A.C.E. alternative high school.

Some parents – real or fake – protested that this bike lane would make it harder to pick up their children in a car.

R on Milton

Right on Milton

The University segment was added to link the Maisonneuve path to the McGill ghetto network. Here, you are turning onto Milton, the main drag of that ghetto. Since McGill is an ivy league school, the word ghetto is ironic socio-demographic, and not actual socio-economic.


Milton, in the McGill ghetto

A counterflow bike lane for crossing the ghetto.

L on Hutchison

Left on Hutchison

The final leg of the urban part of the tour.


Hutchison, approaching Mount Royal Park

Another counterflow lane at the approach to the park.


The Pine/Parc interchange

This used to be a spaghetti highway junction that was dangerous, ugly and hard to cross. We’re gonna follow the bike lane right across Parc Avenue and then uphill on the bike lane on the east side of it.


Monument, base of mountain

This is where you cross back over onto the west side of Parc Avenue, and then turn right onto the beginning of the trail. You can download this monument for SimCity4. This area often smells like teen spirit and often sounds like Bob Marley.


Toboggan run off Parc Avenue

Toboggan run before the first curve.

Second curve

Third curve

No noise or visual pollution for the next 45 minutes of easy climbing.

beaver lake

Beaver Lake


The summitt…


The chalet

frozen bike

The following year, just before New Years 2012, with nephew

%d bloggers like this: