We timed our visit to Montreal specifically to participate in the annual Go Velo Montreal bicycle festival. This event consists of an evening ride on Friday and a day ride on Sunday. Thousands of locals and visitors take advantage of the opportunity to see the city on a protected route closed to car traffic for the event.
Friday evening brought excellent weather and high spirits for the Tour la Nuit. Music blasting from speakers added to the natural energy of the crowd. As the last rays of the setting sun reflected off of the downtown buildings, we peddled off with 15,000 other cyclists of all ages on a delightful and easy ride.
We did discover one downside of riding in the dark: pavement irregularities like potholes are difficult to see!
Sunday’s weather for the Tour de l’Ile de Montreal was not nearly as good. The skies were overcast at the start, and the forecast put the chance of rain at 100%.
That did not deter us, but we did opt for the shorter route and got only partially soaked. We spent the remainder of the day watching completely soaked cyclists returning from the longer route.
In between the Velo Montreal events, we did a guided historical tour of the city by bike, put on by Fitz and Follwell Company. The cycling was easy and suitable for adults of any cycling ability, but not for children due to traffic concerns at some points. One stop on the tour was the campus of McGill University.
The tour was excellent and covered much more of the city than a walking tour could have. We recommend this company and this tour.
The city of Montreal has done a lot of work to reclaim riverfront and canal front land and to repurpose it from industrial to recreational use. The extensive network of trails and green spaces were abuzz with happy Montrealers enjoying a beautiful Saturday.