July 25, 2014 — For visitors wanting to explore Montréal with a bit of wind in their hair, a bike is the ideal choice. With rental centres all around the city, approximately 500 km of cycle paths, and lots of places for eating and drinking breaks, bike tours are popular.
How about letting your bike lead you to different events, like Piknic Électronik, the weekly summer dance party at Parc Jean-Drapeau? In September, you can rub shoulders with elite cyclists at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, or catch some tunes at the Pop Montréal Festival.
Of course, there are other occasions that nicely suit two-wheel travel in Montréal. For example, you can grab some fresh local produce at Jean-Talon or Atwater markets and head to one of the city’s green spaces, like Parc La Fontaine, for your own Déjeuner sur l'herbe!
The Lachine Canal bike path stretches close to 15 km along the still partially functional nautical channel. One option is to start in the Old Port, ride westward to the Atwater Market, and continue on to the Chemin du Musée in Lachine. From there you can even keep going to see surfers balancing on the rapids in LaSalle.
Parc Jean-Drapeau, situated on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, is just south of downtown and offers 25 km of bike paths that are part of the Route verte du Québec, the longest bike path in North America, as well as the Trans Canada Trail, one of the world’s most extensive networks of recreational trails. To get there, pedal from the Old Port and take the Pont de la Concorde, or, from the South Shore, take the Victoria Bridge bike path. For the more daring, cycle on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. You can also take the Métro (bikes are allowed in the last car of each train) to the Jean-Drapeau station.
You can also explore downtown via the bike path on De Maisonneuve Boulevard, starting from the Grande Bibliothèque (right by the Berri-UQAM Métro station) and moving westward towards the high concentration of stores and museums and farther still to the idyllic Westmount Park.
North of downtown, but still on the Island of Montréal, is the scenic bike path on Gouin Boulevard, one of the city’s longest, which snakes its way along the Rivière des Prairies. To learn more about Montréal’s bike paths, the experts at Vélo Québec can give you a helping hand.
In the Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood, Fitz and Follwell rents out all kinds of bicycles and offers guided tours (private or group) of the city. Meanwhile in the Old Port, Montréal on Wheels also rents out a variety of bikes and provides city tours. In the southwest, near Atwater Market, My Bicyclette offers rentals, guided tours on the Lachine Canal, and more.
For foodies, Round Table Tours include visits to specialty grocers, food production sites, and exclusive restaurants for tastings and stories from the chefs and entrepreneurs of each establishment. If you prefer a bit of motor with your wheels, DYAD offers guided scooter tours of Montréal, which include cultural outings and food tastings.
And finally, we have BIXI, our very own self-serve bike rental system with terminals across the city. Rental includes unlimited access to the network for 24 hours, and the first 30 minutes of each trip are free. Simply pay by credit card at the terminal. BIXI bikes are comfortable, easy to handle, stable, and include front and rear lights, a front basket, and an adjustable seat to suit most cyclists.