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Saturday, May 22, 2010
Vacation in Montreal on a Bike Part 1
So the first day of the vacation started off with a late evening ride that is posted on the Fixed Gear Montréal group on Facebook. It's every Thursday evening at 10H30 pm starting in the park at the corner of St-Laurent and St-Joseph.
I met up with three other riders, Max, Vladimir and a reader of this blog who chose to remain nameless. The plan was to go South, so we did. South from that point in Montreal is downhill so it was a lot of fun despite the fact that in the back of my mind I would have to climb those hills on the way back at some point in the evening. But I live in the now and truly enjoyed the ride all the way down to the Old Port. We ended up on top of the belvedere at the Old Port with a superb view of the skyline.
We moved out West passed the old Five Rose flour plant. It was great to see that the neon sign, which is a City landmark, is still working and to be this close to it was pretty cool. We rode the Lachine canal all the way up to St-Henri were we parked it in a local pub. Riding the canal at midnite is quite different than riding it during the day with tourists, commuters and Lance Armstrong wannabes. The darkness and absence of said populace made it surreal.
We shared a large pitcher of a refreshing beverage, the beer kind. It was quite refreshing to hang out with a few twenty somethings discussing bikes, life and existence in general. 2 am came along and we parted ways. I had 15 kilometers ahead of me to get back home, of which at least half was uphill and I was completely smashed!
I learned a lot of things during that gruesome ride.
1- I do live in one of the safest cities in North America. The Canadien hockey club just won 5 to 1 against the Philly Flyers that evening in the Stanley Cup series and although people were in a very high party mood, all was done in a civilized manner.
2- My bike weighs a ton! Pushing that thing up St-Laurent boulevard made me realized that I have to be more weight conscious when I slap a bike together.
3- You're less likely to get doored at 2 am. The more you get away from the City core, the quieter it is.
4- Some people love my bike. Determined by the fact that a drunk girl yelled out "I love your bike!" while I was concentrated on the pain of pedaling it uphill hard.
5- Beer doesn't numb the pain enough. I still felt my butt, legs and back hurting all the way.
I made it home in one piece and I was quite happy with the day's riding. I will cherish this late evening ride forever. Would I do it again? I most probably will next week. Many thanks to my riding buddies who made this experience truly awesome.
Until next time ride safe and Godspeed.