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CYCLING HOLIDAYS AND BICYCLE TRIPS IN QUEBEC

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Bicycle vacations and cycling trips are great ways to tour Quebec. Several Quebec companies offer bike tours, bicycle rentals and biking cruises for groups and individuals.

Cyclist on country road
Cyclist on country road
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Vélo Québec, a non-profit organization, developed La Route Verte. The 4,300-kilometre bike trail links 320 communities in Quebec and 16 regions of the province. La Route Verte is the longest bicycle trail in North America.

Bienvenue cyclistes! is a Velo Quebec Association program that helps build local bike routes. It also helps cyclists with baggage transport and other services. Velo Quebec ranks Quebec bicycle trails by level of difficulty, from one (easy) to six (very difficult).

Biking vacations

Cycling vacations are a specialty of Velo Quebec Voyages. The Grand Tour, a bicycle trip of the Lower St. Lawrence, changes its itinerary every year. One year, cyclists biked from Montmagny to Matane. The following year, they bicycled south from Chambly or St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC to Lake Champlain, on the NY side.

Velo Quebec also organizes a bicycle camp to 13- to 17-year olds. On the bike trip, which includes outdoor and cycling activities, young cyclists pedal for seven days along the St. Lawrence River from La Pocatiere to Le Bic National Park.

Other bike holidays, organized by Velo Quebec, include a four-day Gaspé Peninsula bike package and a three-day cycling vacation to the Eastern Townships.

Group bicycle tour
Group bicycle tour
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Biking events

Vélo Québec Evénéments organizes special events for cyclists. The Montreal Bike Fest offers 75-km, 100-km, 125-km and 150-km routes along the Chateauguay River for the Metropolitan Challenge.

During Un Tour La Nuit, on the first Friday in June, up to 12,000 cyclists follow a 20-km route through Montreal, after dark. On the first Sunday in June, 30,000 cyclists bike the 52-km route, La Tour de L'Ile de Montreal.

Montreal bike rental

If you're looking for environmentally friendly cheap transportation in Montreal, look for BIXI public bikes. Three hundred bike stations, mostly in Ville-Marie, Plateau Mont-Royal and Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, stock 3,000 rental bikes.

You can buy a seven-month membership (May to November) or pay a monthly or daily membership fee. Bike rental is free for the first 30 minutes. Charges apply to each additional half-hour rental.

BIXI members pay with their BIXI keys, while visitors can borrow bikes and pay with credit cards. Designed in Quebec, by designer Michel Dallaire, the BIXI bikes are sturdy and safe. The bike dock has an antitheft device.

Quebec bike routes

The Veloroute des Cantons is a 225-km cycling trail in the Quebec Eastern Townships, which links to more than 250 km of additional bicycling routes. Cyclists can bike from Danville, in the north, to Farnham, in the south. Adventourus offers Eastern Townships bicycle trips between June and October.

Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region features the Veloroute des Bluets bicycle route. The 256-km cycling circuit, around Lake St-Jean, passes through 15 communities, offering hotels, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds and several attractions.

Cyclists wanting a bike tour of the Monteregie region of Quebec will find nearly 1,000 km of bicycle trails on 11 bikeways and 25 shared roadways.

The Laurentians also offer numerous opportunities for bicycle trips. On the "P'tit Train du Nord" linear park, cyclists can follow a 230-km-long former railroad path from Mont-Laurier to Bois-des-Filion.

Outaouais is a great region for cycling holidays. The Capital Pathway network has 170 km of bike paths leading to parks, gardens and museums. Cycloparc PPJ, a 90-km-long bicycle trail in the Pontiac Region, features the longest covered bridge in Quebec, still open to cars.

Parc National de Plaisance has 26 km of bike paths, with no cars and traffic lights. Cyclists can do a bicycling tour from Gracefield to Maniwaki on the 57-km Vallee-de-la-Gatineau bike trail along Blue Sea Lake.

Cyclist on bike trail
Cyclist on bike trail
Photo © Barb & Ron Kroll

Bicycle trips

Quebec City is also a great base for cycling trips. Cyclists can pedal Le Chemin du Roy trail, along the St. Lawrence River, from the two bridges to Place Royale and Montmorency Falls. The Marie-Helene-Premont bike route goes to Mont-Sainte-Anne.

Le Corridor du Littoral brings cyclists to Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures. For another bicycle trip, cyclists follow the Velopiste Jacques-Cartier/Portneuf from Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier to Rivière-à-Pierre.

Le Quebec Maritime has nine national parks and several bike paths. The Petit Temis bicycle trail follows a former railroad track for 134 kilometres. In Gaspésie, Route 132 is a scenic 900-km bike trail.

Cycling cruise

Several bike paths wind through picturesque villages and along beaches on Iles de la Madeleine. One of the easiest and most relaxing ways to get to Iles de la Madeleine is on a one-week CTMA St. Lawrence River cruise.

Beginning and ending in Montreal, the cruise provides 14 meals onboard, orientation and transportation for cyclists for three days on Iles de la Madeleine and one day in Percé, plus a free afternoon in Quebec City.


TRAVEL INFORMATION

Tourism Quebec: www.bonjourquebec.com

More things to see and do in Quebec:

Unusual Quebec Hotels

A Taste of Charlevoix

Bistro à Champlain and Jean Paul Riopelle

Things to See and Do in Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean