Velo Quebec does it all, operating as a cycling tour company, a publishing center, a lobby group for cyclists throughout Quebec and a cycling bookstore and café.
Montreal street bike lanes, designed by Velo Quebec, are often separated from vehicular traffic by long stretches of concrete curbs, so that cyclists feel secure even on the busiest of Montreal's major downtown roads. Visitors can safely visit prime tourist attractions using the Montreal BIXI system, one of the earliest bike-sharing programs in North America.
What's more, research and lobbying by Velo Quebec will see another 60 miles of bike lanes added to Montreal streets in the future.
La Maison des Cyclistes in Montreal — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell
They even organize the internationally popular Montréal Bike Fest, which allows participants to take over 30 miles of closed off streets in two events. Both the Tour d’Ile de Montréal and the shorter 12-mile mile Tour la Nuit (the Night Tour) offer different routes every year.
The Summer Challenges, a series of 50- to 90-mile-long bike tours, range from moderate to challenging and include accommodations and gear transport. The annual Grand Tour and Petite Adventure complete the Quebec offerings.
The independent cyclist – whether a local or a visitor who is planning a cycling trip anywhere in the world – should visit the bike bookstore at La Maison des Cyclistes ("The Cyclists' House"), across from Parc Fontaine on the Route Verte ("Green Route") in Montreal.
This award-winning, ever-expanding, 2000-mile Route Verte connects the various regions of Quebec and neighboring USA via a safe cycling route. Most Quebec highways, whether or not they are part of the Green Route, feature wide shoulders to accommodate cyclists, too.
La Maison des Cyclistes (The Cyclists' House) also functions as a good coffee and lunch stop, serving high-energy, healthy foods such as the daily homemade soup and quinoa salad special.
To greater encourage cycling by all family members, Velo Quebec has initiated the On the Move to School program, which encourages elementary school children and their parents to adopt cycling as a daily activity and alternative mode of transport, even though Montreal already has a well-developed public transit network; it's steadily becoming ever more bike friendly.
When planning your Montreal getaway, consider packing your bike or renting one here.