Love to cycle but didn’t bring your bike to Montreal? Not to worry, the great public bike-sharing system, bixi, will be around for a few more weeks and it’s a super way to see the city! And with Montreal recently voted #1 Bicycle Friendly City in North America, you’ll be joining the hoards of locals who pedal to work, play, and everything in between.
Here’s how it works: If you’re going to be here for a while, you can get a 24-hour or 72-hour subscription ($7, and $15 respectively). Just drop by a self-service station, pay with Mastercard, American Express, or Visa, and grab the code the kiosk will print out for you. Use that code on the panel next to a bike and your bike will be released and ready for action! You get 30 minutes to cycle around and then you have to return the bike to any station with an empty space. If you want to keep cycling, you can, but there will be extra charges. You can always bring a bike back, wait 5 minutes, then take another bike and continue! More details here.
As for where to go? The city is your oyster, though there are some routes that are more beautiful than others, and some roads that are definitely a little scarier than others in terms of traffic and potholes! We recommend you absolutely cycle to your heart’s content in and around the Old Town and Old Port Neigborhoods, and along the Lachine canal bike path. For a longer cycle, you can take a bridge from the western side of the old port out to Ile Saint Helene, which has the formula one track and beautiful Jean Drapeau Park.
Try to stay away from congested roads like Sherbrooke, Renee Levesque, and Saint Catherine unless you really have to. To get across town, a much safer option is Boulevard Maisonneuve, which has a bike path for most of its length.
For a great workout with the reward of a stunning view, take those bikes up “the Mountain” or Mont Royal. It’s an easy(ish) path with a panoramic view of the city, and it’s a lot of fun on the way down!