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Old 01-18-09, 06:46 PM   #1
whoosh!
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Tour de St. Lawrence!

Hello all! I have plans this summer to explore the big river of my childhood with a close friend. I'm in the planning stages, (my favorite part of touring) and I'm just looking for a little input. We'll be leaving from my home in Chaumont, NY (where the river meets the lake) heading west. I'll only have limited time off from my work as a fish-cutter at my family's business. (peak perch eating season!) So either we'll go all the way to Quebec City and take the Via back, or do Chaumont-MTL-Kingston. I'm really excited about this as I'll be learning more about my favorite river, and hopefully getting in touch with the long forgotten Quebecois ancestry of my family.

I've done some searching, but most of what I've gotten back is from a few years ago. I've toured before and know that things can change over the years. We plan on taking the NYS Seaway Trail which runs through my town, to Massena/Cornwall. There we will cross the two bridges and link up to the Waterfront Trail, which runs into the Route Verte to Montreal. Either we'll take the Waterfront Trail back to Kingston or continue on the Route Verte to Quebec City.

My main questions are, is the Via bike-friendly and is crossing those bridges impossible or frightening? I was reading a journal on crazyguy from '01 or so and a guy crossed it with no prob. I also read about some guy from Akwesasne saying it was rather frightening. Opinions?

Where's the best poutine at?

Any recommendations on hostels in MTL/Quebec City? Any must do touristy stuff? I guess an Expo's game isn't an option.




...oh yeah. We're doing it fixed gear.
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Old 01-18-09, 07:05 PM   #2
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Re: Via Rail: There are certain routes that you cannot take a bicycle: Toronto - Ottawa is an example. On the Windsor - Toronto - Kingston - Montreal - Quebec City (or Charny) corridor, yes, you can bring a bike, but only on trains that have baggage cars, which is not every train.

Via Rail does not make it easy to travel with a bicycle, but it is no harder than taking a bike on an aircraft. You need to pack up your bike in a cardboard box, similar to flying. The boxes are available at the stations, and cost about $20, if memory serves me correctly. You also need to remove the pedals, rotate the handlebars, etc. So it's doable.

As for touristy things to do... just make sure you stay in the old city of Quebec City. There is no other place to stay!!
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Old 05-18-09, 10:22 AM   #3
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I have passed through Chaumont, NY while riding the Seaway Trail. The ride east to the bridges at Cornwall is a nice ride as is the Waterfront Trail on the Canadain side. You will have the wind at your back east from Cape Vincent.
There are two bridges at Cornwall and I have crossed the a couple of times in recent years and found them to be OK. Just be careful and don't go too fast. Crossing any bridge is always a challenge. There were a couple of expandsion joints that will eat your tires pretty fast.
Happy Touring!
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Old 05-18-09, 12:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by whoosh! View Post
Hello all! I have plans this summer to explore the big river of my childhood with a close friend. I'm in the planning stages, (my favorite part of touring) and I'm just looking for a little input. We'll be leaving from my home in Chaumont, NY (where the river meets the lake) heading west. I'll only have limited time off from my work as a fish-cutter at my family's business. (peak perch eating season!) So either we'll go all the way to Quebec City and take the Via back, or do Chaumont-MTL-Kingston. I'm really excited about this as I'll be learning more about my favorite river, and hopefully getting in touch with the long forgotten Quebecois ancestry of my family.

I've done some searching, but most of what I've gotten back is from a few years ago. I've toured before and know that things can change over the years. We plan on taking the NYS Seaway Trail which runs through my town, to Massena/Cornwall. There we will cross the two bridges and link up to the Waterfront Trail, which runs into the Route Verte to Montreal. Either we'll take the Waterfront Trail back to Kingston or continue on the Route Verte to Quebec City.

My main questions are, is the Via bike-friendly and is crossing those bridges impossible or frightening? I was reading a journal on crazyguy from '01 or so and a guy crossed it with no prob. I also read about some guy from Akwesasne saying it was rather frightening. Opinions?

Where's the best poutine at?

Any recommendations on hostels in MTL/Quebec City? Any must do touristy stuff? I guess an Expo's game isn't an option.




...oh yeah. We're doing it fixed gear.

Cool, I live in Cornwall and I have cycled over the bridge numerous times [@Cornwall]. It is called the wheel eating bridge, it has huge expansion joints but they are not a problem if you go diagonal, or hop them. If you are loaded I would get off at the expansion joints. The crossing is not that bad but it is intimidating and the bridge exits in the middle of about of Brookdale Ave. and there can be lots of traffic.

To get to route Verte you take the service road that is right beside the 401 highway. I have ridden to St-Zotique, and you can get some nice views of the St-Lawrence. The Path along the highway 2 to get you to service road is excellent. There is a huge bike lane, near 5 feet wide with a nice rumble strip running along the side of it so you have a good warning when there is a car coming to close the shoulder.

Have a great tour, hopefully I will see you along the 2.
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Old 05-18-09, 08:58 PM   #5
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I stayed at Auberge internationale de Québec one night. If you want to stay at a hostel it is a great location in the old city. Make sure you make reservations at the hostels early. Both Toronto & Quebec were booked when I came in to town so I had to find other accomodations.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:08 PM   #6
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Any recommendations on hostels in MTL/Quebec City? Any must do touristy stuff? I guess an Expo's game isn't an option.
In Old Quebec my favorite thing to do was watch the street performers.
Eat & eat some more.
Ride your bike down to the farmers market.
Walk & walk some more.
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