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Continued Adventures by Bike in Montreal. Lachine Rapids, Periodic Additions. (I'd Love to Hear About Bicycle Tourism in Your Town/City)

Continued Adventures by Bike in Montreal. Lachine Rapids, Periodic Additions. (I'd Love to Hear About Bicycle Tourism in Your Town/City)

Jun 29th, 2006, 08:23 PM
  #1  
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Continued Adventures by Bike in Montreal. Lachine Rapids, Periodic Additions. (I'd Love to Hear About Bicycle Tourism in Your Town/City)

I've had a few visitors ask me about biking in Montreal, and up until the past week or so, I knew very little, not owning a bike until now. Now, I'm discovering that while city biking could use some improvements, that this city really offers some stellar bike rides. I'm already pretty smitten with Montréal, but exploring by bicycle has made me love it even more, as after 9 years here, I've seen some fantastic new things.

My plan is to add to this entry periodically, including new suggestions for bike tourists when I personally discover new routes that I find offer a perspective that visitors to Montreal might appreciate. I'd love to hear about personal biking gems in your neck of Canada (from Vancouver to the 'Peg to Halifax/south shore of NS), something there are surprisingly few entries on after many years of Fodor's Forums.

LACHINE RAPIDS. (My first entry)

A previous "bike trip report" I posted mentioned Vieux Lachine, the Lachine Canal path and the beautiful René Lévesque Park in Lachine, a worthy route in its own right. Prospective bicyclists should be aware that the Canal path does not pass anywhere near the Rapids, which are actually south of the town of Lasalle.

So far I found getting to the Rapids by bike a little bit tricky and requiring a bit of dealing with city traffic. My route (there may be a better way for visitors) from the city/Lachine Canal has one turning left at the Atwater Market (there's a bridge and big clock jutting up here like a mini-Big Ben). Maps are found at intervals on the Lachine Canal Path to help guide you, also www.velo.qc.ca. You're headed for the bike path by the Saint Lawrence River waterfront from here.

While there are bicycles painted on the streets as you turn left off the the Lachine Canal, left onto St. Charles, right on Lasalle and left onto Henri-Duhamel's separated bike lane, beware. Cars will be sharing the road with you up until Henri-Duhamel. So tighten those helmets, obey the rules of the road and watch out for opening car doors. Even on Henri-Duhamel, I saw some idiot drive into the bike lane.

The 10 minutes of cycling through these medium-traffic sidestreets of the Verdun neighbourhood will yield a great reward though as one arrives at the end of Henri-Duhamel, where one hits the bike path out to Lachine Rapids (that continues on to Vieux Lachine). Here one rides along the riverfront surrounded by beautiful parkspaces south of Boulevard Lasalle the entire journey.

After about 5km, you will start to see a sight that awed explorers Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain, the Lachine Rapids. While the modern visitor may be a bit more blasé about these kinds of natural spectacles having perhaps visited the likes of Niagara Falls, Grand Canyon and maybe even Victoria Falls, I still feel there's a simple, peaceful beauty (although I must say those rapids do look quite treacherous) gazing out onto the majesty of the Saint Lawrence River and the suprisingly peaceful opposite shore.

While one cannot bring one's bike into the Parc des Rapides de Lachine, it's worth locking it up on some post and meandering helmet in hand through the park for a few minutes to get a nice up-close view of the rapids. A world away from always-busy Montreal, Île aux Hérons may be seen across the ferocious current as well as thrillseekers in group-organized rapids-jumping boats. While the park has some statuary and descriptive plaques, I suspect like me that your eyes will be more drawn toward the rapids themselves.

With only one visit, the Parc des Rapides has emerged as one of my favourite places in the city. Biking out along a delightful trail to see it for the first time made it all the more special.

DAN






Daniel_Williams is online now  
Jun 29th, 2006, 11:47 PM
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Avid bikers can continue all the way to the western tip on Montreal island on Lakeshore drive when the path ends in Lachine. It's always full of cyclists, very popular with roadies but I also see many slower ones. Traffic is well-used to bikes. It goes through many "little downtowns" with restaurants, cafes, and most important, ice cream parlors. Going through Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue is great. Even taking the whole lane, you'll have to break coz the traffic slow. Streets are narrow and full of pedestrian. The atmosphere is great.

From parc René-Levêsque, going to the western tip and back is about 60km.

You can even continue further through Senneville. Extremely quiet road with speed bumps. Good forest cover, humongus houses (the kind with tennis court). That's where the really rich live. I believe Celine Dion has a house there. Weel-known to roadies. This stretch is about 10-12km one way.

Doing a loop from there is tricky though. It's best to turn back if you don't feel adventurous. Not far is St-Jacques park (name???).

Enough for now. I hope I make sense. It's easier to understand with a map.
Erick_L is offline  
Jul 1st, 2006, 04:31 AM
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Keep up the reporting, Fellows (especially noting ice cream outlets along your way). My DH and I are avid bikers and look forward to exploring Montreal and its trails. Thank you!!
cmcfong is online now  
Jul 1st, 2006, 09:35 AM
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I think Cap St. Jacques is what you mean.
I don't think Céline Dion has a house there but they shoot a lot of movies in that area.
mitchdesj is offline  
Jul 1st, 2006, 09:00 PM
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Daniel, while you excluded us geographically, I will add a link to cycling in Victoria, BC.
'from Vancouver to the 'Peg to Halifax/south shore of NS)'

http://www.gvcc.bc.ca/
Links to everything you could want to know.
icithecat is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2006, 09:04 AM
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Thanks cmcfong, hope you get a chance to explore the city's trails. Also, thanks icithecat (sorry to exclude the majesty that is Vancouver Island)... I think it would be terrific to bike there someday.

BTW in my original report, I realize I wrote "turn right on Lasalle" should have been "turn right on d'Argençon" (which becomes Lasalle).
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Jul 6th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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topping for Richard
cmcfong is online now  
Jul 8th, 2006, 04:18 PM
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Hello and Merci Daniel!
Scarlett is offline  

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