Monday, 21 October 2013

Cycling around Montreal...again!

The start of the journey on the Rue Sainte-Catherine.
The last time I was here it was late August 2012. Now it's October 2013 and it's a little colder. I had planned to take out one of Montreal's famous Bixi Bikes yesterday (Sunday 20th October) but a mixture of that slight bite in the air and general fatigue meant I postponed it until today. Even today was kind of on a whim. I was walking down the Rue Sainte-Catherine, a street that disects Montreal from one end to the other almost, except that this time, instead of going into the main shopping drag, I went the other way where things got a little ramshackle in places: graffiti on the walls and general sleaze. As I say, I was on foot, but then I spied a row of Bixi Bikes and decided that I'd go for it.

Every time I take out a bike, be it in Germany or San Antonio, it doesn't matter, I'm still going to get problems and once again, I spent hours trying to figure out what to do, and eventually discovering that the process was quite straightforward.

The port area adjacent to Montreal's old town.
Once the bike was out, I headed further along the Rue Sainte Catherine, moving away from the shops in the centre of town and heading God knows where. The traffic was mild so there were no problems on a safety front and the bike seemed to work well, even if the brakes were almost non-existent. I reached a busy road (Avenue de Lorimier) and had to turn right and there in front of me a huge bridge. I turned right on to Boulevard René-Lévesque Est, and followed an equally busy road using a two-lane cycle track, which took me back towards the city via the cobbled streets of the old town and, indeed, the old port where I stopped and took a shot of the Bixi with a boat in the background, then I jumped back on, retraced my steps towards the old town and enjoyed the tranquility of the ride.
The cobbled streets of the old town...

The skies darkened, threatening rain, but it was holding out and I was enjoying the fresh air as I found University and followed it all the way back to the Rue Sainte-Catherine where I turned left and headed back towards the bike station from where I had released the bike. Then, having replaced it in docking station, I walked back up the street, stopping in a small café for a tea and a pastry and then heading back up the Rue Sainte-Catherine towards the hotel. I stopped off at an excellent music shop – Volume – that sold some great old CDs.

All the photos on the journey were taken on my new iphone – which I needed because my old phone was only tri-band and most of the USA and Canada requires quadband. I know, very boring, but as I spend a lot of time 'over here' I needed to sort the phone out. And also I'm a big kid who loves silly gadgets.

As I write this, it's 2329hrs at home in the UK and 1829hrs here in Montreal. It's not a bad place.

The Bixi Bike station on Rue Sainte-Catherine

The rider's point of view...
Further along the route...on the Avenue de Lorimier

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