Bike month concludes with the Montreal Bike Fest, a week long celebration and North America's largest bicycling event. The festival involves several rides, a week of commuting activities, and related events. I have been to the festival several times and plan to be there again this year.
This Saturday things kick off with the Metropolitan Challenge, a 75-150 kilometer ride through the nearby countryside. I did the 100K ride a few years ago and it was lots of fun and not as difficult as it sounds. The following weekend has a Friday night ride and another one Sunday afternoon. These rides involve closing the roads to motor vehicles allowing cyclists to take over the streets. The Friday night ride (Tour la Nuit) draws approximately 12,000 enthusiastic riders, many in costume and with creative bike light displays. The Sunday ride (Tour de l'Ile) gets at least 30,000 and has had up to 45,000 riders. The 52K course (below) covers much of the city and is a great way to see neighborhoods you may not otherwise get to.
The route changes every year. This year they head west. There's usually crowds of enthusiastic spectators urging you on and in past years they have had a house decorating contest for residents along the route. 52K may sound long but my wife who's not a cycling nutcase like I am has done it several times and I bet you can too!
While in town I hope to get a chance to explore the Bixi. Montreal's new bike sharing program. Modeled after the Paris Velib system, it should look familiar to frequent readers of these pages. Here is a part of the Bixi system.
I hope I've inspired you to come up to Montreal or to at least dig your bicycle out of storage. Have a great end to your bike month!
14 years ago