The wife and I just got back from an amazing vacation in Quebec, where I was lucky enough to get in some great riding.
We started our vacation in Montreal, which is an amazingly-bike-friendly city. We were shocked at how many people commuted by bike in the city center. Montreal is actually an island and has an amazing network of bike paths that are suitable for commuting/transportation and recreational riding.
The “cyclebility” of the city is enhanced by its Blix bike share program. There are literally thousands of bikes around the city for rent through the kiosk system above. We were able to rent a bike for the day (which you can return to any location and take a new one out during a 24 hour period) for just $5. We took a couple of bikes and spent 3 hours cruising all over Montreal.
I’m used to spending 3+ hours in the saddle, but my wife is not. However, she managed to hang in there and, as you can see above, looked good doing it.
After Monreal we headed north to Mont Tremblant in the Laurentian Mountains for a week. This area is home to one of the most impressive bike paths in the world, Le P’tit du Nord.
This is a 200 km (120 mile) trail that runs from Saint Jerome to Mont Laurier. Most of the trail is paved, but some sections are finely-packed crushed stone (still easily rideable on a road bike).
I took my Ritchey Break-Away bike on the trip and got in a couple 90 mile rides. From our hotel in Mont Tremblant there was a bike path all the way to a trailhead for the trail. The area of the trail around Mont Tremblant isn’t paved, but it was smooth and perfectly rideable on my Break-Away with 23c tires. The trail is an old rail line, so there is very little elevation change, but every 8 miles or so you roll through a quaint village where you could easily jump off the trail for a cafe’, ice cream, etc.
About 10 miles north of Mont Tremblant the trail passes through the village of Labelle. From this point on the trail is paved all the way to Mont Laurier. The Labelle stop is a great place to refuel and soak in some Laurentian-hospitality.
This was my first, but won’t be my last, time cycling in Quebec.