When the weather and my schedule permits, I like to bike to work. I work in Montreal, one of the best cities in the world. The city gets it name from the old French words Mont and Réal which translate to Mount Royal, the name of the small mountain at the center of the city-Island. I live on the south shore of Montreal and our wonderful bike paths give me a few options. I have two favorites. The first one (19KM) sees me heading east right on the south shore of the St-Lawrence River, under the Champlain Bridge and through the lock in St-Lambert where I cross. I then get on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, home of the Montreal F1 Grand Prix. The circuit is opened from spring through fall for bikers and roller-bladers to enjoy. I then ride by the Montreal Casino, cross the Concorde bridge, ride by the funky looking apartments built for expo ‘67 and soon arrive in the heart of the city. The second one (35KM) sees me heading west and then north, again on the south shore of the river and through La Prairie and Ste-Catherine, two charming little towns. I cross a small bridge to get on a beautiful strip of land, right in the middle of the St-Lawrence River where I’m surrounded by trees and water on each side. This path takes me to Verdun and then Pointe-St-Charles through Iles-des-Soeurs, following the beautiful Canal Lachine, or to the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Here’s a map of the bike paths in and around the city. It’s a beautiful ride and a great way to start and end the part of my days I spend in the office. Get’s me to break a sweat and oxygenate my brain and body. I can shower at the YMCA next to my office. The short way takes me a bit more than 45 minutes (5-10 minutes more than if I take my car during rush hour) while the long way takes me about 75 minutes. I usually try to take my bike 1-3 times per week. The bike days are my favorite.
As you can see from the map, Montreal is accessible by bike from just about any suburbs around it. In addition, Montreal drivers are pretty respectful of bikers and are used to it. Montreal was also the first North American city to deploy BIXIs, a great way to get around the city while being environmentally and health conscious.