04-24-11, 04:31 PM
I am an eighteen year old looking to make the trip from NYC to Montreal along with a friend of mine this summer. The issue of safety of the route has consistently come up, so I was wondering if anyone has a solid route that is generally safe that we might be able to use, or any other suggestions that anyone might have. I've read a bit about Bike Route 9 and La Route Verte, but what is the general sentiment about those? Safe? Any suggestions about any routes would be very much appreciated. If you'd prefer to talk through email, my email is Budline516@gmail.com
Thanks so much.
04-24-11, 04:35 PM
i'll be paying attention to this thread as well. a group of me and three other friends are also biking from brooklyn to montreal in july...
04-24-11, 04:40 PM
I'm planning the same trip although maybe leaving from Albany instead later this summer. Last summer I did a trip across the erie canal and came down route 9 for the Waterford (Albany) to Poughkeepsie section and it was perfectly safe. The bit of route 9 from the GWB up to the Bear Mountain bridge is a bit more hairy at places, but there are so many bicycles on it regularly that drivers know what to expect. Not sure about anything farther north than Albany. At Waterford there is a nice free campsite that is really just the lawn next to the visitors center by the marina.
04-24-11, 04:56 PM
I just came across the Lake Champlain Bikeways. Has anyone used those or does anyone have thoughts about the route? That would mean we could follow that path after Whitehall, NY, and we'd just need a way from NYC to Whitehall and from Chambly to Montreal.
04-24-11, 06:36 PM
The question for me is "What does safe mean to you?
Good roads with wide paved shoulders and courteous drivers.
Well managed campsites with resident staff and little theft.
Generally "safe" cities where you can park a loaded bike next to a restaurant and have a meal without worrying if the bike will be there when you return.
For a woman, no weird people who will molest, or otherwise harm you.
If it is safe, (I mean all these things) then I don't want to be there.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not stupid about taking risks, but sometimes you just have to accept life as it is.
04-24-11, 07:55 PM
Last July I drove up to Montreal with my tourer in the back seat of a rental car. I met my friend, who lives there, we loaded up our bikes and set out towards NYC. We avoided NY until reaching Dutchess County from the Connecticut side of the border.. From Canada we crossed directly into Vermont, cycled the Lake Champlain islands then made mainland Vermont. Rode all the way down south through Burlington.. Crossed from Vermont into Massachussetts, continued on south until we hit Connecticut, and then finally connected with New York. Here is the Route we took.. I figure you can backtrack easily.
We did go off this route at one point.. Once we reached Pittsfield, Pennsylvania, we headed west, and got on Route 41, which was a big long country road. Beautiful, Very little Traffic.. The traffic picks up in Connecticut, but nothing bad. We followed 41 all the way across the NY border, and made for Dover Plains, NY, where we got on the 22. We did about 15 to 20 miles down the 22 towards the town of Pawling, NY. When we reached Pawling, the 22 turned into a highway that was off limits to cyclists, so we had to improvise with cycling directions from Google Maps. From Pawling to Riverdale, BRONX it was about 65 miles. Some of those were along a very nice bicycle trail.
As for the route.. There are lots of places to camp (If that's what you guys are doing) once you start hitting Massachusetts. Until then, be prepared to stealth camp, or stay at motels.. At least that's the way it was after we made for Pawling. Vermont has many state parks. We pitched our tent at three.. Emerald Lake park is just north of Manchester on Route 7. Button Bay park is west of Vergennes, and is situated on Lake Champlain. You see New York State across the water, the Adirondack Mountains.. It's a really nice spot, but pretty pricey. More of a car camping park.. It's also about 8 miles off of Route 7.. There are plenty of places to pitch a tent once you start hitting the Islands of Lake Champlain.
Whichever route you choose, you're gaining altitude going North, so be prepared to do some climbing.. Especially the first sixty or so miles of Vermont. From Williamstown, MA, through Bennington and up to Manchester, VT you'll gain considerable elevation. Keep in mind also that if you follow our route, the 7 turns into a full on highway in Bennington. You will have to get on the 7A which runs parallel, then meet back up with the 7 north of Manchester.
As far as road conditions, I can't speak for the section of the 22 that we avoided by going through Pawling, but the rest of the way has very nice shoulders, most of which are as wide as a regular car lane. The roads with little or no shoulder coverage generally cut through the country side, and are pretty light on the internal combustion wheelies. The traffic is pretty chill, and the drivers are courteous.. It does get a little tricky once you start getting close to Burlington, but that part lasts only a couple of miles, and it's definitely nothing unmanageable. There are plenty of places to stop off for lunch or load up on supplies.
There isn't much that I can tell you about the portion of the route in Canada, other that to say that we took country roads with almost no traffic. The distance from the border crossing to the city was about 60 miles. If you were to backtrack along our route, At some point you would hit something of a service road. This goes on for a couple of miles, then a little residential area with houses.. Then a Bridge over the river.. And then you're in Montreal.. Hope it helps.. I'll post some photos from our ride to give you an idea of what we saw.. Any questions you have, shoot em my way.
04-24-11, 09:04 PM
This is what you're dealing with, roughly..
Somewhere in Massachusetts, along Route 41
Check out these Shoulders in Vermont!
North Hero Island, Lake Champlain
North Hero State Park
This is what you are looking at once you cross the border into Canadia.
And this is a little something we did not expect to see..