Lachine canal - Montreal Quebec

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Tiger Cub, May 31, 2003.

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  1. Tiger Cub

    Tiger Cub Guest

    I wrote up last nights ride with extra added background material, and here it is:

    And now comes the chronicle of the Tuesday ride. Monday was ok, but hills are hills, a monster to be
    confronted, defeated and celebrated, but last night I went down to the canal and went to Lachine and
    back, with many other people, let me tell you, and it is a route filled with much glory, and not a
    little sweat and heavy breathing!

    It al began when merchants needed to ship manufactured goods upstream to Ontario (I must mean Upper
    Canada obviously!) and points west to fuel the expansion of our sparsely populated but humongous
    large nation, but the Lachine Rapids were a somewhat large natural obstacle to the flow of commerce.
    So the Irish immigrated, were given some shovels, the Lachine Canal was dug, and the rapids were
    thereby bypassed. Trade increased and profits were enjoyed by all. Well, at least by the ruling
    class, but they bought things that kept the rest of us in shoes and overcoats during the winter.
    Fast forward two hundred years, the canal was closed, the area was dying, and some bright person
    thought revitalization should be attempted, and had the idea of building a linear park along the
    canal, to renew a part of Montreal that was in otherwise terminal decline. As the canal was a
    waterway, the feds controlled it, and back in the days of supermega government deficits, the cash
    flowed and the bike path was built, landscaped, and and word soon got out that this was a tremendous
    recreational resource.

    About that time I moved to Montreal, or a couple of years afterwards anyway. Ottawa had a canal too,
    and riding there I became quite familiar with the need to get to the other end faster than I had the
    day before, and at that time I had the legs to show for it.

    Fast forward to today, well last night anyway. The canal is still glorious, and with the reopening
    of the canal last year to boat traffic (stir up that toxic sludge on the bottom, yeah!) there has
    been additional landscaping and raising off some bridges, creating opportunities for boats to travel
    underneath the bridges, and happily for the two wheeled set, the bike path now goes under the
    bridges, not across the streets. In fact there is 12 km without a street crossing! Life away from
    cars is a better life.

    Some people say that time spent on a bicycle is time added on to the end of your life (allegedly,
    fishing has this effect also, but I DOUBT it!)

    So I know the question you have is whether the two-wheeled canal mates were vigorous last night,
    or was I the prime source of high-velocity vigor last night? Well as my good old days are dead
    and gone, I was behind the leaders, but ahead of the middle of the pack. I got passed a few
    times, and I passed a few people (a few hundred people is more like it). I went all the way to
    Lachine, thus completing the complete path for the first time this year. It is always hard the
    first time. so I'm sure to go faster next time, although I felt my speed was good, between 27 and
    30 km/h on the flats. I took a break at the far end and I lubricated my chain in Lachine, and boy
    did that make a difference, no longer did I sound like a cloud of angry bees, now I was as smooth
    as a butter in august.

    Butter in august? Is that the best I can do? I think not... Lubrication, always a key ingredient to
    enhanced recreation!

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