Bike Rides to Boucherville
& the Lower South Shore:
1993 Rides



Roger Kenner
Montreal, Qc,
Canada 2004


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Rides to Boucherville in 1992 & 1993


First Ride: Early Summer of 1992

It was the early Summer of 1992. I had long observed the bike path along the river's edge, next to Route 132 in Longueuil, and had newly noticed the ferries leaving for Longueuil from the Old Port. In my new-found freedom of bicycle exploration, I resolved one day to try these out. I caught the ferry from the Old Port and was delighted with the thrill of the river ride down through the Ste. Anne Rapids beneath the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

Click to Enlarge (Period Document: 1993)
Navette Fluviale

 

Click to Enlarge (Period Document: 1993)
Navette Fluviale

 

The excitement of the boat ride gave way to the thrill of exploration, as I found my way through Longeuil's 'Port de Plaisance' to the beginning of the Longueuil bike path I had so long observed while driving along Route 132. The bike path turned out to be a delightful, though far-too-short ride right alongside the river.

Click to Enlarge (Taken in 1999)
--- 1999 View ---
Longeuil Bike Path below Highway 132

 

I came to an inglorious end right at the point where Hwy 20 crosses over from the Lafontaine Tunnel. There was an elevated walkway, up three flights of stairs, which would take cyclists over the Route 132 freeway to the inland side. Beyond that, the trail came to an end beneath the shelter of the Highway 25 overpass. One could look out on the river beyond, and see the Boucherville bike path's end, tantalizingly separated by just a few hundred meters of freeway interchange and grassy shoulder

Click to Enlarge (Taken on Sorel Ride: July 14, 2003)
--- 2003 View ---
Longeueuil: Bikepath west from Crossing Longeueuil: End of Trail & Crossing

 

I already had it in my mind to pay a visit to my now ex-neice-in-law, Julie, a young girl of 17 or so, who lived on her own in Boucherville with her young baby. I pushed my bike up the three flights of stairs to reach the overpass. As a minor help to cyclists, they left a portion of the stairs as a ramp, but the 45-degree angle meant that this was no great help. After a lot of huffing and puffing, I was across.

I was totally lost on the far side. Now that I was over the Route 132 barrier, I still had the formidable barrier of the elevated Highway 20 freeway to content with. Only in 2003 would I learn how close I was to getting through. Without good markings or signs, the road under the freeway looked more like a freeway entrance, so I went the other way. I ended up nosing my way along until Boulevard Guimond brought me across the railway tracks and far inland to Boulevard de Mortagne. I crossed over Highway 20 on De Mortagne and came into Boucherville. Julie was certainly surprised when I rang her doorbell! I stayed and chatted with her for an hour or so.

Upon leaving Julie's place, I had occasion to ride back along the riverside drive of Boucherville, Boulevard Marie-Victorin. I discovered there a well-marked bike lane, painted alongside the rode. It made for a very pleasant, tree-lined ride right by the water.

Alas, I soon came to the point where the shoreline road climbs up and over the freeway. A ways ahead I could see the end of the Longeuil bike path, at its terminus underneath the Highway 25 bridge. I was loathe to double back and ride all the way around the way I had come. I decided, instead, to walk my bike along the narrow, grassy embankment separating the freeway from the river. I knew it was illegal to do so, but figured I could get across the intervening quarter-mile before getting caught. I started out without much problem, although the ground was not nearly as level as it had looked and pushing the bike was quite a problem. I came to a point, at the interchange between the two highways, where I had to cross an on-ramp. This took quite some doing, as there was hardly a break in the traffic. As I was racing across the final stretch, a badger came out of his hole in the embankment and began to threaten me. I was very happy when I finally made it to my destination and hiked my bike up and over the concrete barrier, to where I was legal again.

Click to Enlarge (Taken on Sorel Ride: July 14, 2003)
--- 2003 View ---
Boucherville: Looking back from Crossing

 

Explore Boucherville Islands on my own: May 22, 1993

The bicycle ferry dock at the end of the Longeuil bike path had tantalized me. I was curious to explore what lay at the other end. The timing between the two ferries, the one between the Old Port and Port de Plaisance and the one at the Boucherville Islands end was not good. There was no way to make the trip without just missing the ferry at the other end and having to wait nearly an hour for the next one.

Click to Enlarge (Period Document: 1993)
Longueuil Ferry

 

So, in early in 1993 I returned on my own, taking the ferry and riding to the end of the path, and crossed over to the Boucherville Islands. I had never been that way before, so all was new and exciting. I make one complete circuit of the Islands before beginning the long wait for the ferries heading back.

Explore Boucherville Islands with Jennifer: June 5, 1993

It was in June of 1993 that I returned once more, this time on a bicycle outing with my friend Jennifer. We retraced the same route I had taken earlier: The ferry to Longeuil, the bike path down to its Hwy 25 end, the ferry to the Boucherville Islands, around the Islands, the ferry back to the Longeuil side, the ride back to Port de Plaisance, and the wait for the ferry back to Montreal.

Click to Enlarge (Period Document: 1993)
Longueuil Ferry

 

By the time we got back to Port de Plaisance at just after 16:00, Jennifer was totally fagged out. We had the typical long wait, for it was impossible not to just miss the Montreal ferry, so we explored the Marina clubhouse and then Jennifer fell asleep on a park bench.

Click to Enlarge (Taken in 1993)
Beardless Roger at Old Port (June-1993)

 

Click to Enlarge (Taken in 1993)
Jennifer on Ferry at Old Port (June-1993)

 

Click to Enlarge (Taken in 1993)
Jennifer on Ferry at Old Port (June-1993)

 

Click to Enlarge (Taken in 1993)
Sailing Ship docked at Old Port

 

Click to Enlarge (Taken in 1993)
Heading on Out: Destination Longueuil Leaving the Old Port Behind

 

Click to Enlarge (Taken in 1993)
Jennifer is Wiped Out at Port de Plaisance

 

It would be many years before I would, once again, return to the Longueuil bike path or the Boucherville Islands. At one point in the mid-Nineties, I made the round-trip on the ferry to Longeueil with Alex, but we got off only to re-board.

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Prepared by Roger Kenner
February, 2004