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Escape from Montreal-Ride Report Part 2.(17 posts)

Escape from Montreal-Ride Report Part 2.MB1
Jul 26, 2002 5:54 AM
This is the second part of my report on our trip from Fort Ticonderoga up the New York side of Lake Champlain to Montreal and back via the Vermont shore of the lake.

After a rest day (we only rode 60 miles) in Montreal it was time to head home. The sky was gloomy and the wind was naturally from the South. When we rode into town the winds were from the North. Headwinds, always headwinds.

The Hotel de Paris-our headquarters in Montreal. A bit of a dive, I liked it. There was a grumpy Frenchman at the front desk (well he was grumpy when he was speaking French, he was nice as could be when he was speaking English (it must be a culture thing) but I digress).
Lieu historique national du Canada du Canal de ChamblyMB1
Jul 26, 2002 5:57 AM
Well I had to lay a little French on for your reading pleasure.

The first 25-30 miles were the same route that we used to get to Montreal. It was nice not to be lost.

The Chambly Canal is a working canal. We got to see boats moving through the locks and the riding surface was nice and smooth (crushed granite over hard packed dirt). As always Miss M and I got an early start so we cleared the canal before it started to rain. The rest of the group was on the tow path in the rain-talk about some dirty bikes..
Bonus training miles.MB1
Jul 26, 2002 6:00 AM
Each day's planned route was less than a century, not enough for Miss M so we had to add a few miles. Today we rode across a causeway to Isle La Motte and a visit to Saint Anne's Shrine.

The island and the whole area seemed to be deserted, empty roads, empty fields, lots of abandoned barns and almost no traffic. Stores were few and far between. It made for great riding but I was amazed that such a nice area would be so empty.
At last, a tailwind.MB1
Jul 26, 2002 6:04 AM
The 5th day of our trip was going to be a very short ride-not acceptable. We had overnighted in North Hero and the plan was to only ride about 45 miles to just south of Burlington. One good thing was that the winds were going to be strong from the north-tailwinds. So I came up with this plan..

Miss M and I rode north into the wind for about 25 miles back into Canada then went south along the New York side of the lake to Plattsburgh. From there we took a ferry to Grand Isle and back onto the planned route. A big bonus was the 75 miles of strong tailwinds.

Riding fixed was pretty good on this trip. It was pretty flat and open, I got to thinking we were doing Doug's kind of miles in Len J's kind of country on Humma's kind of bikes.

Riding fixtes worked well in the wind. With a SS freewheel it was pretty easy to get spun out. Fixed was smooth and kept us connected to the rear wheel. We never felt the urge to shift-head or tailwinds were fine.
FerryMB1
Jul 26, 2002 6:08 AM
There are several ferries crossing Lake Champlain. They weren't expensive but it seemed wrong that it cost the 2 of us about the same as an auto. Still, I like riding ferrys.

This is the ferry from Plattsburgh to Grand Isle. Notice how the flag is blowing..strong tailwinds all the way.
BurlingtonMB1
Jul 26, 2002 6:11 AM
Burlington had a nice lakeside MUT and a bunch of designated bike routes but it paled in comparison to Montreal (most places will). It started to get a bit hillier so I flipped our rear wheels back to SS for the rest of the trip. By the end of the week it had been about 750 miles since I had shifted, 400 fixed and 350 miles SS (I had ridden SS the whole week before our trip).

Burlington was also the only area of our trip where traffic was an annoyance. I think we had been spoiled by Montreal and the New York side of the lake. For about 20 miles north of Burlington and 10 miles south we were in pretty heavy traffic. Not much fun but not bad for a trip this long.

Downtown had a 3 block mall that seemed very busy and I got a really great limeade from this stand.
“But officer, I only had 1 beer”.MB1
Jul 26, 2002 6:14 AM
We stopped at a brew pub for lunch. Miss M had me carry this Growler to our hotel.

I was a popular man this day.
Well we were in Vermont.MB1
Jul 26, 2002 6:16 AM
Had to have at least one covered bridge.
Crown PointMB1
Jul 26, 2002 6:19 AM
As we rode south from Burlington the lake got narrower. At Crown point there actually a bridge crossing. We were heading a little further south for the Fort Ticonderoga ferry.

Views were pretty nice across the lake.
The end.MB1
Jul 26, 2002 6:24 AM
Well we finally made it back to Ticonderoga. We crossed the lake on a small ferry and rode up to town to our cars. Great week too bad it had to end. Next year Miss M and I are organizing the family ride around the local battlefields (we hope to visit Gettysburg, Antietam, Harpers Ferry, Fort Frederick and perhaps Bull Run).

Several things I noticed during the ride;
Trash-there wasn't any. DC, Maryland and Virginia don't have beverage bottle recycling laws. New York, Vermont and Canada do, what a nice difference it makes to not see trash on the side of the road.

Fat people-In Canada we just didn't see all the really fat people we are so used to seeing in the US. There were a lot less fast food franchises in Canada and in the restaurants meal portions were very reasonable. Usually when Miss M and I eat out the portions are so large we share a meal-didn't have to in Canada.

Empty farmland-Farms used to be very labor intensive, now they aren't. Small towns are shrinking or changing over from a farm based economy to tourism. That leaves cyclists with lots of low use farm roads to ride on.

SS/Fixtes-They are great on tour. We didn't have any problems at all. It was nice not to even think about shifting, we just cruised along. We will do it again for sure.

City Riding-It can be done, it the facilities and infrastructure is there they will come.
really cool; are you retired? how do you do this? :-) nmDougSloan
Jul 26, 2002 6:28 AM
Been doing it since '69.MB1
Jul 26, 2002 8:22 AM
When I started riding the bike scene in Hawaii was small enough that racers and tourists often rode together. Every year we would take a week long trip or two.

Still doing it.

Of course I have since married a good woman who has even more get-up-n-go than I do. So we ride to work every day, long on weekends, longer on holidays and even longer on vacations.

We even fit the occasional century around a workday.

Our car mostly sits, I am sure than there have been months where we haven't driven at all.
Great photos, MB1!rollo tommassi
Jul 26, 2002 6:47 AM
Haven't been up to Burlington in a few years....makes me want to go back!

thanks!
A terrific looking trip and vacation..Thanks for sharing it (nm)Scot_Gore
Jul 26, 2002 7:40 AM
Wish I had know about this I would have welcomed you to my placetempeteKerouak
Jul 26, 2002 4:44 PM
Wow this is the first time someone actually posts pics and story about my city!

Had I known before I would have hooked you up with some rides around here.

Even if I am as true quebecer as can be, I am not grumpy and my wife speaks fluent english... Ha ha ha!

Did you go up the Mount Royal?
I know exaclty where you went from the pictures... This makes me feel great! But I really wished I'd taken you guys for some of my circuits... You rode on one of my training ride. Hey what bridge did you ride on? You can cross over the river by the Jacques-Cartier bridge and it really is something..

Cheers and thanks for visiting!
Now you tell us!MB1
Jul 27, 2002 4:10 PM
Did you see the first half of the trip report that I posted on Tuesday?

This is the bridge we crossed on. Got tied up a couple of times on a draw bridge across a canal just before the auto racetrack.

We will be back for sure (after we practice our French a bit).
re: Escape from Montreal-Ride Report Part 2.Skip
Jul 26, 2002 7:19 PM
Thanks MB1,

I thoroughly enjoy your travel/bike/alogs! Nice pictures.