Offical Opening of Longest Bike Path Network in North America
Update 4/18/08: Hot Buy: Cycling in Quebec, 5th Edition
La Route Verte, the longest network of bicycle paths in North America, will be officially opening this Summer with lots of celebrations. This month celebrations in Quebec will start. This is primarily a route through the small villages and towns of Quebec. It follows rivers and canals but also visits two of the most beautiful cities in North American, Quebec City and Montreal. Both are cities that love bicyclists and living well.
It has taken over 12 years to build this 4000 km (2500 mile) network of bicycle paths. I have ridden in the Montreal and Quebec City areas and toured in the southern townships. This is the best set of long bike paths I have ever ridden on and maybe the best set of urban paths anywhere. Not the rugged beauty of the Franconia Notch Trail but great riding with good food and wine along the way (excellent beer and cider also). The Montreal network is the only one I know that is better than Portland, Oregon’s outstanding urban bike paths. This is the best urban cycling in North America and better than anything I have ridden on in Europe. The beauty of this area is that you are also close to scenic country rides. For example, in Montreal and Quebec City you just take a ferry ride across the river to escape to country riding. BTW,don’t forget to look out for the bicycle traffic lights on Montreal’s separated from traffic bike paths.
If you are planning a tour or just a few days of riding on La Route Verte get a copy of Cycling in Quebec (there is an English version but you will have to look for it in the listing). This guide covers the bike route and all of the special accommodations (camping, B&B’s, and Motels) set up for bicyclists along the route. The riding is generally light to moderate, fine for family cycling and those who aren’t looking for the challenge of the mountains. The side benefit is what you find when you get off of the bike.
Go to Montreal this summer and enjoy the closest thing to Europe in North America, great dining, a beautiful safe city and great bicycling. Or go further North to Quebec City, the most beautiful city in North America, it also has great food and bicycling. A warm summer evening in the Cafes on La Grande Allee in Quebec City sipping Sangria and watching people is not to be forgotten.
If you won’t be riding in Europe this summer, give Quebec a try, you will love it.