Posts Tagged ‘Mount Royal’

cola ice

06/01/2014

ice coke

I’ve cycled to the top of Mount Royal every New Year’s Day for the last 14 years. This year, I decided to introduce a new tradition: Cola Ice.

What is Cola Ice? Well, when it’s below freezing outside, the cola gradually freezes starting on the outside, forming a skin of beige slush.  But just before it’s frozen solid, there’s a delicious core of concentrated liquid in the center which is about ten times as strong in flavor as regular, unfrozen cola. Sort of like a cola espresso.

This year, at -18, the cola took 45 minutes to freeze to perfection.

One word of warning for anyone trying this: when you open the Cola Ice, it explodes like it’s been shaken. Try to set it down somewhere to let the excess fizz pour out. Then pop the iced up bottleneck open with your tongue, squeeze the excess slush from the neck of the bottle, and enjoy.

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Climbing Mount Royal on New Year’s Day

05/01/2010

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?

map

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.

aerial

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

Maisonneuve/PdA

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.

University

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.

face

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

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

Hutchison, approaching Mount Royal Park

Another counterflow lane at the approach to the park.

Pine/Parc

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.

statue

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.

Tobaggans

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

summit

The summitt…

summit

The chalet

frozen bike

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


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