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  1. #1
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    All dressed up and no place to go

    You could say I`m a bit of a frustrated tourist. But besides having lived in Montreal for about 40 years, I`ve also put in about 200,000km on the road and visited just about every national park in North America. And the last 6 years I spent a total of about 3 years total exploring parts of Peru and Colombia.

    And basicly I find the same story everywhere - whatever restaurants get advertised the most are the ones catering to tourists with no price limits. In fact locals seldom eat there.

    So here in Montreal we have a similar situation with the bicycle paths extensively mapped, but no references for some of the really important things like: Where are all the Ben&Jerry ice cream shops? Is there a super take out restaurant close to a nice park so I can take the girlfriend out for a picnic as well as a bike ride? Who has the best desserts and are they bike friendly? ie is there a place to lock up a bike?

    In a city that went out and bought 3,000 Bixi bikes and opened 400 rental areas, you`d think this is really the kind of info that might actually get people more interested in getting on a bike and disappearing for a day but ...... it ain`t there!

    So I guess like everything else - I guess that leaves us poor underappreciated rider to fend for ourselves. Personally my biggest reluctance to using a bike for anthing expect recreation is limited by the bicycle theft rate in this city. Some grocery stores have installed bicycle racks, but they`re not common in shopping centers in general and very rare outside restaurants and convenience stores. But there is lots of parking for cars.

    As a contrast. shopping centers in Cali colombia have security at all entrances and weither you enter by car or bicycle you get a ticket. When you leave - the lisence number is verified against the ticket and the serial number on the bike is verified againt the ticket. Needless to say - theft rates aren`t the same problem there that they are in Montreal.

    But the purpose of this thread is to invite any other riders in the Montreal area to share their favorite stops. Hopefully that will include some great places to eat, pick up an ice cream, or do something else interesting - all while not having to worry about the bike. Yup - you can expect to see a number from me here too!

  2. #2
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Great idea. I occasionally get to do short rides in Montreal and surrounding area, so I'd be very interested in this.
    I have stumbled on some pretty nice stops, but I can't remember exactly where they are right now.
    Wish I could remember the name and exact location of that Mexican restaurant I found by the trail. I think it was in Lachine. I'd certainly recommend that one.
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  3. #3
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Probably El Meson

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    Great idea. I occasionally get to do short rides in Montreal and surrounding area, so I'd be very interested in this.
    I have stumbled on some pretty nice stops, but I can't remember exactly where they are right now.
    Wish I could remember the name and exact location of that Mexican restaurant I found by the trail. I think it was in Lachine. I'd certainly recommend that one.
    Hi Dan,

    There aren`t lots of Mexican restaurants in the Lachine area and so I`m willing to bet El Meson is the one you`re referring to. Located on Blvd Saint Joseph right beside the Lachine Canal and the Lachine Bike Path, this has a small outside terrace and is just down the street from the historical fur trade museum. There is actually a bike rack right across the street on the bike path itself where the bikes are visible from the terrace or front tables inside the restaurant, or alternaticely a bike can be secured to the parking meters in front of the restaurant.

    Yup! Great place to stop for Mexican and Latin American food or for beer or sangria on a hot afternoon. Quite coincidentially - I happen to be just down the street from there.

  4. #4
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Hi Dan,

    There aren`t lots of Mexican restaurants in the Lachine area and so I`m willing to bet El Meson is the one you`re referring to. Located on Blvd Saint Joseph right beside the Lachine Canal and the Lachine Bike Path, this has a small outside terrace and is just down the street from the historical fur trade museum. There is actually a bike rack right across the street on the bike path itself where the bikes are visible from the terrace or front tables inside the restaurant, or alternaticely a bike can be secured to the parking meters in front of the restaurant.

    Yup! Great place to stop for Mexican and Latin American food or for beer or sangria on a hot afternoon. Quite coincidentially - I happen to be just down the street from there.
    That sounds like the one. North (Oops, nord) side of the street, right?
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  5. #5
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    LOL Dan, along Boul Saint-Joseph anything that wasn`t on the north side of the street would either put you in the the Lachine Canal or Lac Saint Louis!

    I`ll see about taking and posting a few pictures later in the week. That should be conclusive one way or another.

    OK here' that photo - that should tell you if thats the one you"re thinking about Dan.

    El Meson 600 x 800.jpg
    Last edited by Burton; 03-11-11 at 04:58 PM. Reason: Photo added

  6. #6
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    LOL Dan, along Boul Saint-Joseph anything that wasn`t on the north side of the street would either put you in the the Lachine Canal or Lac Saint Louis!

    I`ll see about taking and posting a few pictures later in the week. That should be conclusive one way or another.

    OK here' that photo - that should tell you if thats the one you"re thinking about Dan.

    El Meson 600 x 800.jpg
    Yup. That's the one. Pretty good grub. Sadly, there is a serious dearth of Mexican restaurants hereabouts. I have to look for them in my travels.
    Last edited by Dan Burkhart; 03-11-11 at 08:14 PM.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  7. #7
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Ya know - I really DIDN`T want disc brakes!

    But in spite of that line in my bio - no-one offered to sell me an older mtb bike to turn into an urban assault machine.

    So instead I got offered a 17in full carbon mtb frame with Shimano Deore XT wheelset, DT Swiss 130mm carbon fork, SLX drivetrain and shifters, and Hone hydraulic discs and dual control levers.

    I kinda reluctantly accepted. Really would rather have had rim brakes.

    So the next step is a sched and plan. Gotta at least take a bike like that out for an ice-cream! So I`m thinking of nailing down all the botique type ice-cream shops within an hours drive, and at the same time locating any outstanding buffets worth a trip. One thing about bicycling - you can eat all you want and not put on weight if you`re active enough!

    I`l be posting photos as things progress and may plan a sched that would let any other interested bicyclists get together for a meet over a snack.

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    St. Ambroise Brewery is always a great place to stop for a pint after a ride on the Lachine Canal. They often have live music on a small stage (DJs, Jazz, Reggae.... I have seen all of those at one time or another), and BBQ with a couple of options for food. Only open in the summer though... I think May - end of Sept.

  9. #9
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colossalhead View Post
    St. Ambroise Brewery is always a great place to stop for a pint after a ride on the Lachine Canal. They often have live music on a small stage (DJs, Jazz, Reggae.... I have seen all of those at one time or another), and BBQ with a couple of options for food. Only open in the summer though... I think May - end of Sept.
    Excellent suggestion! Actually called `Terrasse St Ambroise` and part of a local micro-brewery success story. Historic surroundings and ..... where else are you gonna have a chance to try unusual stuff like pumpkin or rasberry flavored beers as well as their regular line of excellent selections!

    I`ll see about getting some photos up - they`re due to open on the 7th of May - this week!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Spudd's Avatar
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    The 7th of May is actually a month away... sorry to break it to you!

  11. #11
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    I am still fairly new to the Montreal area... just moved here about a year and half ago - but I did find a few other nice spots in my one season of riding last year.

    Cap-St. Jacques Park is nice destination. You can get there most of the way by bike path from downtown or the plateau. There is a beach there if you feel like having a swim, and there is a great little organic farm run by the city that you can buy fresh produce, etc. from. If you make a day trip out of it... you can do the circumnavigation of the West Island as well and there are some nice places to stop and grab an ice cream/food/beer along the way in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue. On Sunday last year I went from St. Henri -> Plateau -> Cap. St. Jacques -> Senneville (and around the west island) -> Lachine -> and down the canal back to St. Henri and the whole route took was about 90km (according to Google Maps).

    Another cool ride is the jetty that runs along the South Shore. You can get on to it at couple of locations (you can access from the South Shore just past Pont Victoria and there is a old bridge from Verdun that runs next to Pont Champlain that takes you there as well). More of a pack your own picnic ride though. No food stalls that I found (but I did not make it all the way down the entire length).

    Also +1 satisfied customer of the Mexican place described above. If you can get on the small patio out front on a nice summer day it is a great spot. There is also a great little ice cream stand at the Atwater Market (Market side of the canal - right at the crossing). Can't remember the name though - but it is the only one and you can't miss it.

  12. #12
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudd View Post
    The 7th of May is actually a month away... sorry to break it to you!
    (sigh) and on top of you bursting my bubble .... it actually snowed today!!

    Yeah - guess I`m gettin` a little overanioux to see spring finally roll in.

  13. #13
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    Going north to Laval and Terrebonne is also a nice ride. There are several possibilities how to get to the Riviere des Prairies from the city centre. You can do a tour around the Laval island and cross to Terrebonne on the north-east side. In Terrebonne there are several nice restaurants. Eventually, you can combine this trip with a tour of Ile Bizard for a full-day trip.

  14. #14
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    If you're doing the Laval Rene Levesque ride be sure to stop at the Marina. Its a marina with a huge casse croute and a "terasse" that's just a bunch of plastic patio chairs out back, they serve beer.

    But to the OP, Montreal really isn't so bad for bike theft. Perhaps in the plateau, mile end, downtown, and southwest. In residential areas its really not a problem. Aside from using a good lock don't leave your bike outside. I was a messenger here for 3 years and never had so much as a component jacked.
    "tongue is big, like dog"

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