Day 57 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: Bikeology 101, Montreal


The sheer number of bikes on the street in Montreal is extraordinary. Everywhere you look there is someone on a bike. Some are careening along at break-neck speed, many are peddling along at an enjoyable pace, while others are walking with their velos. On our street alone there are probably 25 bikes locked up to fences, poles and posts outside. And these aren’t just your typical bikes.

Montreal’s bikes fit in well with the eclectic and aging architecture of the city. Vintage bikes are abundant and outnumber new bikes. There are old Peugots, ten speeds with curved handled bars and the rusted-out fendered types. Bikes that people ride around on here end up in the dump in other provinces. It almost seems like a contest to see who can keep the oldest bike going. It is as though all of the old ten-speeds that went by the wayside years ago migrated to Montreal and were reborn. 

The baskets are their own thing. Many have milk crates zip-tied or bungeed on, others have quaint woven baskets, and some have metal baskets. We have seen a few sporty paniers, but those are not so common. 

People decorate their bikes in Montreal. Many have plastic flowers or vines on them, some have signs or bells or special seats. Tim and I have seen a black and white-spotted Dalmatian bike, a multi-colored polka dot bike, and many other individually painted and artistically rendered bikes. 

Biking is a fantastic way to get around in this city. There are a number of bike lanes (this has increased since I lived here) that make it possible for bicycles and cars to co-exist peacefully on the busy roads. It is a culture in and of itself, and it is yet another part of Montreal that makes it colorful, special and unique.


3 Responses to “Day 57 of a 365-Day Portrait of Canada: Bikeology 101, Montreal”

  1. December 1, 2008 at 5:50 am

    nice shots!

    check out this site for other really cool montreal biking stories & photos

    glad to be in both 🙂

  2. 2 3limes
    December 6, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    love the bikes. Gorgeous pics. Also love the canadian tire flag story. How Montreal!

  3. 3 kara
    January 8, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Thats alot of bikes

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