Biking Ottawa to Montreal – Day 2: Hawkesbury to Montreal!

I thought my legs wouldn’t recover after the first day of riding, but they were fine.  Not even a hint of lingering heaviness.  The biggest challenge of day one was the heat and the sun rather than muscle fatigue.  My sunscreen was just melting off my skin on day one.  Our second day of riding called for the opposite –  rain.  It even rained while we ate our breakfast.  It wasn’t looking good.  But by the time we had polished off our yogourt and bacon, the rain had retreated.  Success.

Hawkesbury to Montreal

While the day started out with low lying cloud and mist on the water, the sun eventually came out and stayed for the rest of the ride.  Unlike day one, the ride from Montreal took us through lots of shady streets and trails.  Day one and day two were completely different rides.  Day two was easy.  Easy.  There was lots to see and we passed through many quaint towns.  I would do day two again, no questions!

One of the interesting things about this trip is that all the participants are from Montreal except for me. That’s right. They all took the train to Ottawa in order to ride back to Montreal. I am the lone Ottawan. And for that matter, lone anglophone! I’m actually really enjoying my mini weekend french immersion. I don’t pick up all of the lingo, but here’s one of the best sayings I heard:

“Un jour à merlot, un jour à vélo.”

I feel fortunate to have been with such a good group of people.

Back to riding. A lot of the roads had shoulders, which made road riding feel so much better.

Here I am trying to draft behind some of the road bikes. It’s hard to draft a dutch bike.

Hawkesbury to Montreal

Here we are taking a rest in Rigaud at the side of the road:
Hawkesbury to Montreal

The trip had a lot of things to see, including many mansions.

Hawkesbury to Montreal

But if you’re looking for owl decor, look no further than Hudson for its “hibou decor”:
Hawkesbury to Montreal

Along the way, we saw bike infrastructure that makes big box suburban design, seem human. Take for example this bi-directional bikeway in Pointe-Claire:

Hawkesbury to Montreal

Or a bike path that goes behind a transit shelter:
Hawkesbury to Montreal

I really liked the bike ramp coming from the bridge into Sainte-Anne de Bellevue:
Hawkesbury to Montreal

And the shared-use roadways in Beaconsfield (one way cars, shared bike/pedestrian lane):
Hawkesbury to Montreal

And the separate bike and walking lanes by the water (oh, I would like this in Ottawa):
Hawkesbury to Montreal

In fact, the entire Lachine pathway is a great way to get to the city.

Hawkesbury to Montreal

And along the Lachine Canal, instead of steps like at the Ottawa lockstations, they have handy ramps. Here’s a mom and daughter getting their bikes across with no lugging or struggling. Civilized.

Hawkesbury to Montreal

Hawkesbury to Montreal

The route is so pleasant on the island, that the kilometres just ticked along. 100km? No problem.
Hawkesbury to Montreal

Closing in on Atwater Market, the pathway gets pretty busy. I loved seeing the canal-side entrance to the St. Ambroise brewery with its overflowing bike racks.
Hawkesbury to Montreal

My riding group had talked about getting ice cream at Atwater since the 80km mark… it was worth the effort to get there.

Hawkesbury to Montreal

Apparently, it is also a very popular ice cream stop:
Hawkesbury to Montreal

I normally would arrive in Montreal by train and see the famous Five Roses sign from a different angle. It was fun to see it from the bike perspective:
Hawkesbury to Montreal

Within fifteen minutes, we were downtown and at our hotel. I did it! I biked to Montreal on a dutch bike!
Bikes in the hotel lobby.

In another group that traveled from Quebec City, there was a woman who rode her Brompton (you know, to make the ride a little more interesting). I can understand that.

Need the Strava proof? Voila!

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Comments: 4

  1. mb says:

    Congrats on a safe long Dutch biking journey!

    Great shots of the changing infrastructure too. I’ve been near the bridge at Ste. Anne de B. it is an impressive bike ramp.

    Are you biking back too?

  2. David Lewis says:

    Great read! And the pics and play by play truly make it. Would you be able to post the route? Like the thought of “training” to Montreal and riding home. 🙂

    • Lana says:

      For sure. I have them in my Strava account, but I’ll post them to the blog posts too.