Bike Rides about Town:
in 2004


Roger Kenner
Montreal, Qc,
Canada 2004

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Bike Ride to Oka Park
June 11, 2004


This would be my first return to Oka in a couple of years, since the Fall of 2002. For the first time would I be making my traditional Oka Tour in the clockwise direction. I re-visited many old haunts along the way. The contretemps of trail closures due to construction would lead me to discover, for the first time, Oka's nude beach (known locally as Okapulco. I returned to the top of the Two Mountains, by the Trappist Monastery, for the first time since 1992 by bike. On the way back, I had the occasion to explore Pointe-Calumet more closely.

See the Original Write-Up of this ride, made at the time.

I had announced earlier in the week that I had wanted to take a bike ride on the weekend. I had originally planned it for Sunday, but this posed a problem since I would have had to have been back by 17:00 to meet Alex. So, when Friday turned out to be a fine day, I promptly decided to take the ride on that day instead.

Friday indeed dawned as a beautiful, sunny and (mostly) warm day. There would not be a cloud in the sky all day. though there was a constant wind from the northwest.

I could not decide until the very last moment in which direction I wanted to ride, though I had been looking over my map book the night before and trying to decide. Thoughts of heading east, across to the South Shore and over to the Richelieu River, were dashed by the hassle of passing near the Grand Prix location on Ile Notre Dame. Besides, I had been to the South Shore just a few weeks earlier. Finally, I decided I would head out in the direction of Hudson & Oka, where I had not been since the Fall of 2002. As part of this ride would be my first ride out to Ste. Anne de Bellevue for the season.

I would end up cycling for nearly 12 hours, from 07:45 to near 19:45, and would cover a distance approaching 100 km

Heading on Out

07:45: I set out on my way, having gotten up at 06:00 and after having a quick breakfast of cereal out on the terrace.

It was a cool morning. Over my bicycle outfit (the new set Sheryl had bought me in Fredericton), I had to wear my windbreaker and on my legs I had to put my leggings. I rode west along Monkland to Westminster and then down the hill on St. Jacques, through Ville St. Pierre, to Notre Dame. I took the Victoria Street Bike Path through Lachine to the Lachine Light.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 08:15)
Lachine: End of Victoria Path at Lighthouse

 

West Island

08:15 (0h30 of cycling): I reached the Lachine Light, where I headed west along the Riverfront Bike Path to...

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 08:15)
Lachine: Lake View & Ship - from Lighthouse Pier

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 08:15)
Lachine: Levesque Park jetty from Lighthouse Pier

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 08:15)
Lachine: Along Shoreline - Approaching Old House Property

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 08:15)
Lachine: Lake and ship from shoreline

 

08:20 (0h35 of cycling): ...the Dorval Line. I was driving against a strong headwind. At the Dorval Line, the protected bike path came to an end and I was off onto the street.

08:35 (0h50 of cycling): I reached Dorval Centre, at Dorval Boulevard and the Dorval Island ferry dock.

Not too far west of Dorval Centre, I noticed a sign indicating one of the few remaining lakefront estates in Dorval was about to be subdivided. The whole property was marked off with red stakes and I saw people walking around the grounds accompanied by salesmen.

I made a ten minutes stop just past Pine Beach at 08:45, exactly one hour out from home, to take off my windbreaker and leggings and to put on sunscreen. At this location was one of the original mileage markers of the old Lakeshore Toll Road, now turned into an historical exhibit.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 08:45)
Dorval: Mileage Marker

 

I noticed on approaching Whitehead Terrace, the final point of land before turning into Valois Bay, that it was a beehive of construction. I took a short detour to investigate, for I felt sure that the vacant lot I had discovered on an earlier ride had succumbed. Surprisingly, the vacant lot was still there. One (or more) of the houses that had on the east side of the street were now gone and were being replaced by six new homes, built in a semi-circle.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 08:50)
Dorval: Point Construction Dorval: Point Property

 

09:00 (1h05 cycling; 0h10 rest): I reached the Pointe Claire line on Valois Bay

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 09:05)
Pte. Claire: Chapel

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 09:10)
Pte. Claire: Church

 

09:20 (1h20 cycling; 0h15 rest): I reached the Beaconsfield line, having stopped briefly in Pointe Claire Village to buy a couple of bottles of water. I bought a smaller bottle to fit into my holder and a larger one (and cheaper!) with which to refill it. I put the larger one into my panier.

09:45 (1h45 cycling; 0h15 stops): I reached the Baie d'Urfé town line, after having ridden straight through Beaconsfield along Beaconsfield Boulevard and eschewing the two bike path detours that I typically take. This was the second time in as many crossings when I had taken this direct route. In Beaurepaire, they were still working on the road, but things were not as torn up as they had been the previous September, when I had last passed. I was now two hours out from home.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 09:55)
Baie d'Urfé: Approaching Ste. Anne along Lakeshore

 

10:00 (2h00 of cycling; 0h15 of stops): I reached Sainte Anne de Bellevue. It had taken me 2 hours of riding time to make the 30km to Ste. Anne, for an average speed of 15km/hr.

At the waterfront, I found an information plaque explaining the strange, parallel "canal to nowhere" which lies just downriver from Ste. Anne:

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 10:00)
Ste. Anne: History: The Becker Dam
Learn more about the Becker Dam

 

I saw that the condos being built on the island, mid-stream, were nearly completed. It was hard to remember how the island looked when there were just two or three houses on it.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 10:00)
Ste. Anne: New Condos on Island

 

The waterfront was still nearly deserted and so I had no trouble riding up along the boardwalk. Only a few restaurants were just beginning to open. The iced-cream stand where I typically get my cone was still closed. There was little point in pausing, so after a brief stop, I rode right on up to the bridge access at the back of the parking lot, under the highway.

10:10 (2h05 of cycling; 0h20 of stops): I rode up onto the bridge, stopping briefly for some photos.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 10:10)
Ste. Anne: Bridge Approach

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 10:10)
Ste. Anne: Rail Bridges

 

Ile Perrot/Vaudreuil/Hudson

10:20 (2h10 of cycling; 0h25 of stops): I reached the Ile Perrot side. I had stopped briefly to talk to this man I had found waiting on the bridge approach, his camera mounted on a tripod and aimed squarely at the railroad bridge. He hold me he was waiting for the passage of the steam engine that had been visiting Montreal. He had been waiting there for two hours, and did not know what was holding up the train. Now that he had invested so much time, he was afraid to leave. He had left his wife in the car at the far end of the bridge.

10:40 (2h30 of cycling; 0h25 of stops): I reached the bridge at the far side of Ile Perrot, having taken the northern route. The bike path now made it quite evident how to find this route at the Montreal side. At first, after a tiny settlement, there is the winding road through the Molson forest reserve. Then the road opens out into the residential town of Terrace Vaudreuil. I managed, this time, to find the correct street on which to head back up towards the tracks. I kept looking out for the train that photographer had been waiting for. Over the tracks and under the underpass and around by the shopping centre I went.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 10:40)
Bridge Approach to Dorion, At Western Side of Ile Perrot

 

10:45 (2h35 of cycling; 0h25 of stops): I reached the Dorion side. The bike path still brings one down on the wrong side of the street, and one has to ride along the sidewalk and through parking lots before reaching the first set of traffic lights, the turn for St. Charles Road. I took St. Charles road north towards Vaudreuil, passing from Dorion, along the shores of the Bay of Vaudreuil, and into old town of the same name. I was now three hours out from home.

11:00 (2h50 cycling; 0h25 stops): I reached Vaudreuil and crossed through to the newer, suburban strip mall section near the Hwy 40. I stopped at the Tim Horton's for a coffee and some lunch: I had the toasted whole-wheat bagel and Clam Chowder special. It came with coffee. It felt good for my rear end to be off the bike seat for a few minutes. I sat inside and peacefully ate my lunch for 15 minutes before taking comfort and being on my way.

11:15 (2h50 cycling; 0h40 stops): I continued north along St. Charles, crossing over the Hwy 40, where I stopped briefly to take some new photos (to see what had changed since I first took photos there in 1998).

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 11:15/1998 Oka Tour)
Vaudreuil: 40X view West Vaudreuil: 40X view East
1998: Looking west on Hwy 40, towards Ottawa
 

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 11:15/1998 Oka Tour)
Vaudreuil: 40X view North
1998 view

 

On the far side, I followed the road past the high-rise and turned onto Chemin de l'Anse towards Hudson. It is always pleasant when the road runs right alongside the water. In this vast cove, however, the water seems very dirty. It is probably from the run-off from the farms. Housing developments have crept along behind more and more houses along the cove, but eventually open farms back the houses. There is even one farm lot that still comes right down to the road, without a house! The head wind was very strong out in the open and progress was slow.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 11:25)
Vaudreuil: La Grande Anse

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 11:25)
Vaudreuil: La Grande Anse - Heron

 

Riding was more pleasant once the road reached the point and turned inland. The trees along the riverfront properties provided some relief from the wind. Just before reaching the Hudson town line, there was a big property with an almost resort-like estate. Built up around the pool is a 2nd floor walkway, like a terrace. This property was now for sale.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 11:50)
Welcome to Hudson

 

12:00 (3h30 cycling; 0h45 stops): I reached the Hudson/Oka ferry at Noon. From Ste. Anne de Bellevue to the Hudson ferry was 15km and I had made the distance in 1h30 of cycling, for an average speed of 10km/hr

The Hudson/Oka ferry represented a decision point. I had toyed briefly in my mind with the idea of riding all the way to Pointe Fortune, crossing there, and returning via Carillon. In retrospect, I am glad I was not so ambitious. Such a detour would have easily added four hours or more to my ride, and it is doubtful I would have been able to complete it.

I had been planning to call Sheryl from the ferry dock before embarking, but a ferry was near departure when I got there, so I rode right on. I called Sheryl to tell her where I was, then I paid the ferryman his fare ($2), losing another dollar as the coin dropped out of my hand and rolled off the barge into the water.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 11:50)
Hudson: Approaching Ferry

 

Oka

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 12:00)
Ferry: Tow Boat & Oka Shore Ferry: Other Ferry & Oka Shore

 

12:20 (3h30 cycling; 1h05 stops): The crossing was pleasant. It remained a bright and sunny day and the breeze was not too cold. The approaching town of Oka was bathed in a brilliant light.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 12:20)
Oka: Oka Church & Shore

 

Upon reaching the far shore, I set right out along the Two Mountains Bike Path, having discovering that the town's public washrooms were locked. The trail led along the waterfront street until it entered its own right-of-way.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 12:20)
Oka: Oka Street

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 12:30)
Oka Monument

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 12:30)
Oka: Trail Entrance

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 12:40)
Oka: Trail Oka: Trail Climbing to Road

 

Oka Park

12:40 (3h50 cycling; 1h05 stops): I reached the gate of Oka Park. Quite a long line of cars were waiting to pay. I rode up to the front of the line, parked my bike, and strode across to the window. No longer could cyclists just ride in as before; now everyone had to pay the $3.50, per person entrance fee. Those with cars were getting dinged an additional $5 for parking.

12:50 (4h00 cycling ;1h05 stops): It took me ten minutes to ride on through the park to the beach, where I locked up my bike and took my camera panier off and with me into the new pavillion. When I came out, I sat on the terrace and changed the film in my camera before getting some shots of the crowd. I scanned the far shore with my field glasses. I could plainly see the road along the cove in Vaudreuil, where I had been earlier.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 13:00)
Oka Park: Beach Looking East Oka Park: Beach Looking West

 

13:10 (4h00 cycling; 1h25 stops): I set out from the Park Pavillion, following the Two Mountains trail on its first leg, which, since the changes of a couple of years ago, now lay eastward along the beach. I had absolutely no hint anything was amiss until I reached the point where the trail would left the gravel beach walkway and turn inland as a paved trail. The entrance was blocked off and a sign indicated that the trail was temporarily closed due to water main construction. I was stuck dumb! What should I do?

In the hope of finding some other access, I continued eastward along the beach trail. As this trail continued, it grew more and more secluded. I rounded a point and the trail, now clearly a gravel road, ran under the trees, just behind the beach. I discovered, then, that I had come upon the nude bathing section. I am sure it is unnoficial, and may only be allowed on weekdays, but it is impossible to conceive that the Park officials did not know of this. Dozens of people were stretched out, sunning themselves, and totally naked. Some had brought boats in and tied them up along the shore. Other, fully-clothed, beachwalkers proceeded along and did not seem to pay them any mind. One nude family sat on their boat, while their two nude children played on the sand.

See the Gazette Article on the Nude Beach. (Removed from This Version: The Montreal Gazette: August 2, 2004)

I continued along until I found another road heading inland. The road was pretty sandy and the going was rough. I came out at a body of water. At first I headed east, but then realized that the body of water was probably an inlet from the lake, so east would be a dead end. I re-traced my steps west and was rounding the body of water when I came upon the construction crews. They were digging a trench and burying huge plastic pipes about a foot thick. I doubted that I could get through unchallenged, so I turned around and headed back to the beach.

Once more at the beach road, and resigned to the fact that I would probably have to backtrack and ride all the way around the park, I decided to make good on my investment of time. I turned east once more to see just how far the road went. I did not have far to go. It soon it came to an end at what seemed to be a sandy point. Re-tracing my route westward, I came upon the construction point where, on the way out, it had been deserted and I had walked my bike through. Now a crew was there and were busy digging. I dismounted and walked my bike out onto the beach. Thankfully, where the sand was wet it was also fairly firm and so I could wheel the bike without too much trouble. The nude sunbathers looked on as I passed and I did my best not to gawk. Once past the construction, I got back onto the road.

I got back to the point of the blocked-off trail entrance. It was clear there was no other way to go: Either I got through, or I would have to go all the way around via the main highway. I walked my bike past the barricade and started cycling. I rode quietly and quickly, not sure when I would encounter an obstacle that would bar my path. I passed by some construction that was off the path, but the workers did not notice me. Along I went, and seemed to be in the clear. As I neared the end of that section, as it turned below the reservoir, I came upon another crew, busy burying the pipe alongside the trail. I rode by quickly, and none said anything.

At the point where the trail meets the park road was a park attendant. She was busy turning someone around those who were trying to access the bike trail from that end, when she saw me coming up from behind. She stopped me and told me the trail was closed for the weekend. I thanked her and rode on. I think she also told me I would have to turn left (west), as the road east was closed because of construction. I made like I did not hear her and turned right (east) and up the hill. The signs of construction were all around. It looked as if they had dug up the shoulder of the road, where the bike path had been, had buried the pipe, and then had freshly paved over it. Cones along the road blocked off the newly paved shoulded, so I proceeded up the road itself, along the firm pavement.

As I slowly climbed up the hill towards the park office at the summit, I was unsure what I would encounter. I would be a shame to be turned around at that point. A couple of cars passed me in the opposite direction, but I saw no other cyclists.

At the summit things happened quickly. There was, indeed, a detour arrow pointing into the park office and a barrier across the road heading east. I rode right by, and then started the descent on the far side. My spirits were heightened when I saw, ahead of me, a cyclist coming up the hill; clearly she had gotten through. I saw no signs of any activity until I came nearly to the point where the Bike Trail would leave the road. Here were the full construction crew, with the paving machine and asphalt rollers. Beyond them were crews filling in the trench, and beyond that crews putting in the pipe. All hope of turning right onto the bike trail which descended the slope were dashed. I continued along the road until it came out at Oka Road (Route 132).

As the park road approaches the intersection, it opens out into a four-laned road, to meet the Hwy 640 freeway, which begins/ends just at the far side of the intersection. Police were clustered on the far side, around a car which had somehow found its way into the trees. No one paid me any notice and soon I was at the intersection.

Climbing to Trappist Monastery

14:10 (5h00 cycling; 1h25 stops): Ultimately, it had taken me an hour of false starts and explorations to find my way through the park. I was now at the base of the mountain. I had decided earlier that I would ride up to the top of the mountain along the highway, a ride I had not done since the Fall of 1991. Once I had learned of the much-lower Oka Park crossing in 1992, I had abandoned the main road crossing of the Two Mountains.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 14:10)
Oka Park: Hwy 640 at Chemin d'Oka

 

I started out westward along Route 132 as it climbed up the hillside. This would only be the third time I had ever cycled up this hill (1974, 1991).

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 14:15)
Route 344: Climbing the Mountain Route 344: Looking Back on Hill

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 14:20)
Route 344: The First Curve

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 14:25)
Route 344: View over Lake

 

The climb was not nearly as tough as I had remembered it. I guess my legs are stronger now and my hill climbing technique is better. I took it nice and slow and was never winded or huffing and puffing. There was one long straight slope, followed by a curve and then a more gradual slope. Finally, there was a last climb before reaching the crest. Along the way were apple orchards and a lot of tourist stops. From the crest, one could look down at the Oka Monastery, nestled at the foot of the small cops. I rode on down to the base of the hill and into the monastery grounds, to explore. I had never found the grounds open before.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 14:30)
Oka Monastery: Entrance Gates

 

14:30 (5h30 cycling; 1h25 stops): I dismounted and walked around trying to get some good shots with my camera. It appears people can now lodge at the monastery. I saw one family unloading a mini-van and saw a young lady sitting in a peaceful spot lost in a book. Back out at the gate, I found, far below, the gushing stream that fed this tiny, hidden valley.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 14:30)
Oka Monastery

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 14:30)
Oka Monastery: Quiet Repose

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 14:30)
Oka Monastery: Creek Oka Monastery: Gate House

 

Climbing to the Top

Ahead, the road climbed sharply back up out of the cops to cross a high ridge. Armed with confidence from the climb I had just made, I set out to climb up to the top, which I felt would offer a great view.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 14:50)
Route 344: Climbing out of Cops Route 344: School on Hill

 

15:00 (5h50 cycling; 1h35 stops): I was not disappointed. Sitting high on the hill and facing out over the Lake of Two Mountains and the whole valley was this picturesque old church academy buiding, which was now a high school. I rode into the parking lot, whence I could get an unobstructed view out over the panorama. I called Sheryl to tell her I was still in the Oka area. With my field glasses, I could see all the way south to the farms in New York, on the slopes of the Adirondacks.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 15:00)
Route 344: View over Lake

 

Descending the Hill

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 15:10)
Route 344: Descending Hill

 

15:10 (5h55 cycling; 1h40 stops): It was a thrill riding back down the steep hill to the monastery. The momentum carried me partway up the far slope and almost to the monastery store. There are now two stores. The agro-company that now handles the famous Oka Cheese runs a store, and this has usually been the only one open when I have come. The monastery's own store is only open Monday - Friday, at normal business hours. Inside, besides cheese and footstuffs, they also sell a lot of Catholic literature. I bought a couple of postcards.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 15:20)
Oka Monastery: View from a distance

 

Before leaving the area, I rode down a side road behind the monastery, up to the point where it started to head downhill. Again, I had a panorama over the valley, but this time I was looking more eastward. I could see out over Vaudreuil and the western end of the Island of Montreal.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 15:20)
Panorama From Two Mountains Hilltop

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 15:20)
Closeup

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 15:20)
Closeup

 

Once back onto Route 132, I had to climb back up to the crest before I could head down. Descending the mountain was a joy, however. Although in the places where the slope levelled off, my speed decreased, I still did not have to pedal all the way down. I only had to stop once I reached the Hwy 640/Oka Park interchange.

Just past there, I took the road on down the slope towards Pointe Calumet. When I reached the Bike Path crossing, I turned right (westward), back into the park. A ways inside the park was the spur trail leading down to the waterfront, which I had only first followed the last time I was there. This led me down along the top of what was clearly a levee. On the park side as a dark forest, the ground of which was wet and swampy. On my other side were the homes of Pointe Calumet.

Pointe-Calumet

15:45 (6h30 cycling; 1h50 stops): I stopped at the public beach access at Pointe Calumet for a brief look-around. It had been dull and dreary on the Fall day of 2002 when I had last been here. (And that had been only the second time, the first having been by car with Sheryl not too much earlier). Now all was bathed in bright sunshine and looked totally different.

My riding around the Oka area had taken me 18km, over 3 hours of riding, for an average speed of only 6km/hr.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 15:45)
Pte. Calumet: Flood wall Pte. Calumet: View East

 

I set out eastward along the shoreline of Pointe Calumet. I was not sure how far east I would be able to go, but figured I would join the bike path at that point. First I rode along Boulevard Proux. At the road leading up to the waterpark, Proux came to an end, but I was able to continue eastward along Boulevard Chapelle. At 16:00, I was at a waterfront park along Chapelle, standing on the levee. My eastward progress ended at 13th Street, which I followed inland as far as the bike path.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 16:00)
Pte. Calumet: Park & Levee

 

Eastward On the Oka Trail

I came to the bike path at a point which I recognized, where the bike path runs alongside a marshy forest, just below the level of the road, which runs along the inland side. The forest is some sort of preserve, for there is a point where a wooden boardwalk leads into it. I guess the marsh must extend all the way in from the lake, which is why I could no longer go along the shoreline. At around 7th Ave (of Pointe Calumet), the road turns to the right, to service a few, isolated streets, and the bike path plunges on, into the forest.

It comes out the other side at Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-lac. I never noticed before that a huge, grass-covered levee forms the western boundary of Ste. Marthe. I guess there is no road connection between Pointe Calumet and Ste. Marthe, except for Oka Road, which is far inland.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 16:10)
Ste. Marthe: Levee

 

The bike path led through its familiar route through Ste. Marthe. At one point, where once had been open country, was now a new housing development.

16:20 (7h05 cycling; 1h50 stops): I reached the Ice Cream stand where the Two Mountains Trail crossed Oka Road and stopped there for an iced cream. I sat down and had a ten-minute rest as I ate my cone.

After the Trail crossed the Oka Road, I encountered massive construction as whole sections of the woodland I had known before had given way to new shopping centres and whole new housing neighbourhoods. I stopped to get some photos.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 16:40)
Two Mountains: Construction Galore!

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 16:40)
Two Mountains: Construction Galore!

 

Two Mountains Train Station

16:50 (7h20 cycling; 2h05 stops): I came out at the Two Mountain Train Station, after having passed through the two confined and narrrowly delimited sections of trees that remained to the Trail. It was a work day and the parking lot and bike racks around the station were full. I sensed a train must come soon, but I did not feel I could wait for it. After cycling around to get a good, sunlit view of the station and a photo, I rejoined the trail.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 16:50)
Two Mountains: Train Station

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 16:50)
Two Mountains: Train Station: Tracks East Two Mountains: Train Station: Tracks West

 

Heading Home

The bike trail led around a short ways along the track until it came out at the 16th Ave. trailhead. I followed the marked trail along the streets as it led me towards the bridge at the foot of 8th Avenue.

17:00 (7h30 cycling; 2h05 stops): I was once more crossing the Oka Road.

17:05 (7h35 cycling; 2h05 stops): I was at the bridge. As I was crossing the bridge, the train came in the opposite direction across the trestle. If I would have had my camera ready, it would have been a great shot. At the far side, as I crossed the tracks, I noticed there was only a single track. The train would have to come back soon, but how soon? How long could I wait for it?

The route across the shoreline from Pointe Calumet to Two Mountains had been 11km and it had taken me roughly an hour, for about 10 km/hr.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 17:05)
Two Mountains: View Downriver from Dam

 

I followed the bike trail along Pine Ave in Laval-sur-le-lac until I reached Bord-de-l'eau, and then passed under the town arch and past the ferry to Ile Bizard.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 17:15)
Laval: Laval-sur-le-lac Gate along Lakeshore: View East

 

17:15 (7h45 cycling; 2h05 stops): I passed the Ste. Dorothée station and left the railway behind. Bord-de-l'eau was a busy road, and the pavement was in poor shape.

17:30 (8h00 cycling; 2h05 stops): Once I passed the Boulevard Samson cut off, traffic subsided to near nothing and the road pavement improved. At Cry Street, just past the waterfront park, I came upon a rapidly-flowing creek that I had never noticed before.

For a stretch, Bord-de-l'eau resembled a city street running through suburbia more than a county road. After a while, the 'road' character returned. There was lots of development along the way, as more an more long, narrow waterfront properties were being transformed. There were so many residential developments that at the next major intersection, the city of Laval had a direction sign put up, showing direction and distance to well over a dozen of these.

I passed by familiar Montreal shore landmarks, such as the rapids by the apartment buildings in Pierrefonds. I also came upon the familiar Calvaire Sauriol, at the entrance to what a few years ago had been a new development, but now looked like an established neighbourhood. For the first time, the Calvaire was open.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 17:30)
Laval: Bord de l'eau: Calvaire Sauriol Revisited

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 17:30)
Self-Portrait in the Glass

 

Eventually, I came to the end of Bord-de-l'eau, rode up over Hwy 13, and caught the trail on the far side, back down to Boulevard Levesque. I did not follow the trail down through Ile Paton, but continued on Levesque as it rejoined Boul. Samson. I was able to correctly just when to turn right to re-gain the trail. I judged by the number of cars coming off the street: It was the main road into Ile Paton.

18:00 (8h30 cycling; 2h05 stops): I was at the park on Levesque, just where the road leads down into Ile Paton. I called Sheryl to advise her of my progress.

18:15 (8h40 cycling; 2h10 stops): I reached the Cartierville Bridge, after a brief stop by the waterfront, to catch a bridge photo in the good light.

The route across Laval had been 12 km and it had taken me roughly an hour, for about 10-12 km/hr.

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 18:15)
Cartierville Bridge: New Span

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 18:15)
Cartierville Bridge: View Downriver Cartierville: Parc Belmont

 

Click to Enlarge (Oka Tour: June 11, 2004: 18:50)
Montreal: New Blue Bonnets & Oratory View

 

I crossed the bridge on the east sidewalk and followed the main flow up traffic up this hill. When I got the chance, I cut over to Grenet.

18:25 (8h50 cycling; 2h10 stops): I crossed Henri Bourasssa Boulevard.

I followed my normal route, cutting over to Marcel Laurin at Timmens, for a couple of blocks, and then over to St. Aubin at Cote Vertu. I followed St. Aubin up to the rail crossing by the Kraft plant.

18:45 (9h10 cycling; 2h10 stops): Part of the pedestrian crossign was gouged out and I had to dismount to carry my bike across the track. I hope they do not close this crossing, for it is most convenient!

I continued up through the industrial park and around by Blue Bonnets, passing underneath the underpass along Decarie.

19:00 (9h25 cycling; 2h10 stops) I was at Decarie Square.

I rode up MacDonald and then cut over at Bourret to the parallel street in Hampstead. At Merton Road, I cut across to Grand, which I took up the hill towards home. Over these last few km, I was going slower and slower, as I pedalled in my near easiest gear.

19:20 (9h45 cycling; 2h10 stops): I reached home.

The last section, across Montreal, had been roughly 12km and it had taken me roughly an hour, for about 12km an hour. Altogether, I had ridden 9h45 and had covered 98km (say 100 with my margin of error), for an overall average speed of just over 10km an hour.

It had been a good ride. My legs were tired, but not exhausted. I took a hot bath and then descended to a hearty supper and a movie. I fell asleep three-quarters of the way through the movie (Misty River), however, and had to pick up the rest the next evening.

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Prepared by Roger Kenner
December, 2004; February, 2005;Lite-version: November, 2005