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To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26 (Ride Report Posted!)

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To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26 (Ride Report Posted!)

Postby timtimtim2000 » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:58 am

I'm taking a ten day trip to Montreal from Sept 17 to 26 with a college friend from Pittsburgh. We'll be mostly camping, except for a night or two in Montreal. We hope to visit the Finger Lakes, Lake Placid, Montreal, Green Mountain National park, the Catskills, PA Grand Canyon, and Centralia, PA to name a few. Our trip has a rough outline, but we don't have every detail planned. Mostly just going and hoping for the best.

Here's a rough outline for the trip:
http://bit.ly/bi3B7D

I'm starting this ride report thread early to solicit trip advice from the members of the club. So, anyone been up this way? Have any places that I must check out?

Ill post pictures and ride stories as I get 'em. Looking forward to your advice.
Last edited by timtimtim2000 on Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26

Postby Chiba » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:26 am

I've been to Montreal, but not by motorcycle. Cool city, I recommend eating in Chinatown :)

Have a fun trip!

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Re: To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26

Postby BMWGirl » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:40 am

I was in Montreal this summer, it was a cool city! I have some friends up there that could take you guys on some cool rides if you want? I didn't have a chance to go but I'm sure there are some nice roads.
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Re: To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26

Postby Deano » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:43 am

I spent several days in Montreal this summer as well. Pretty cool. Good metro system gets you within walking distance of most everything worth seeing. The Notre Dame Basilica was impressive, and the $5 CAD tour provides a pretty good history of the founding of Montreal, etc.
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Re: To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26

Postby endobobdds » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:43 pm

When the MOA was in Burlington, VT a couple of years ago I went up to the BMW/Harley dealer in Montreal for a set of new tires.

I did roughly the same route up and back to Montreal you have planned and did not find it to be very interesting. :(

You might want to talk to one of Tina's Canadian friends to see if there are any more scenic or interesting rides to and from or around Montreal.
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Re: To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26

Postby timtimtim2000 » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:04 pm

OK, folks. Here's the ride report as promised...

Here's the route we took..


View Larger Map

Day 1:
I left on Sept 17th after work and took to the super slab to Williamsport, PA, where I met my buddy Chris from Pittsburgh. Chris and I have been good friends since college and have taken a couple of trips before. We went on a motorcycle trip to West VA last year and to Greece this year.

Day 2:
After our last good night's sleep in a hotel for a few days, we headed towards Watkins Glen, NY on a wonderful motorcycle road, Route 14. Beautiful road that bends through a canyon all the way to one of the finger lakes. As we neared Watkins Glen, we headed east towards Ithaca. I really liked Ithaca. Very cool college town in the middle of nowhere upstate NY. I wish I had the sense to take some pictures... #-o

We arrived in Cooperstown, NY late on Saturday night. I completely forgot that this was the Cooperstown... like Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. :lol: I saw all this baseball memorabilia in the town and was thinking, 'boy, that's weird.... ooh wait a minute!' I was so happy that it was, though, cause I'd always wanted to check out the Hall of Fame. We camped for the night and headed to the HOF in the morning.

Day 3:
After breakfast at the Doubleday Cafe, we headed towards the HOF. We were lucky enough to run into a stranger who had two tickets to the HOF that he didnt' want! He gave us his tickets for free, which saved us $17 each. :D

The HOF was awesome...
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I'm thinking about adapting this concept for a motorcycle helmet... :lol:
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More HOF pics:
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I sent this picture to my boss (I work at the Patent Office) and asked him if he worked on this patent (implying that he is super old!):
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The 'hall' part of the Hall was probably the coolest just because of the incredible feeling of history and solemnity. It was very quiet and almost surreal. Here are some of the notable busts:
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After the HOF, we headed towards Lake Placid, hitting some great roads in the Adirondacks. Beautiful country. Really really nice. (Again, I should have snapped some photos, but was having too much fun riding...)

OK, so let me just say, for the record... Lake Placid is cool. I really enjoyed this town... beautifully set on a mountain lake.... lots of cool stuff going on... and plus all the old Olympic stuff is there... it was great.
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Here's me, followed by Chris at Lake Placid:
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I couldn't pass up this photo op:
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We camped for the night just outside of Lake Placid, where the overnight low temperature was 37F. Yikes! :shock: It was cooold...
I got a bit artsy before bedtime. Here's a long exposure of the neighbor's sweet campsite setup and the road under the stars:
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Day 4:
I wanted to take few more pictures of the Olympic facilities before we got out of Dodge... This is the super tall Olympic ski jump. It is such a tall structure. I can't believe anyone in their right mind would go down this thing!
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Apparently, Olympic cross country skiers have figured out how to train in the summertime:
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As we head out of Lake Placid, I got this shot of our bikes all loaded up:
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We then headed to Ausable Chasm. Very cool rock formation that's worth a stop by. Although my picture leaves a bit to be desired, it was awe inspiring:
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Next up, Montreal! The border crossing went very well. No problems, no long line, and no extended questioning. Just the standard who/what/when/where and we where on our way.

We stayed at the Hotel de Paris, right near the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). Fun part of town. Being so close to a college campus meant that there were plenty of bars and restaurants close by.

Day 5:
So one of the coolest things about Montreal is a bike sharing program called Bixi. For $5 a day (or $50 a year) you have access to bicycles at 300 convenient locations all over the city. The best part of the Bixi system is one-way rentals, i.e., you pick up here and drop off there. Just look at this station map. There is a friggin Bixi station within a block or two of anywhere you are and anywhere you want to go. Chris and I really enjoyed the bikes, we probably made 8 different pickups during our time there (still only $5).

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The Bixi bikes were a great way to see the city and get a little exercise. It was a good change of pace getting some exercise, although my butt wasn't too happy with me.
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Montreal is a great city. Your average French-Canadian is a great mashup of the best aspects of two cultures. Imagine the cool, hip part of the French, with all of the attitude and smirkyness of the French replaced with the friendliness of the Canadian. :D People there were very cool and very nice. It was fun.
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Here's the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal, with a bit of color from Picasa 3:
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More shots around Montreal:
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I didn't get to see this building up close, but it was really cool looking from a far. Just a hodge podge of apartments stacked near the river:
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Later that night, I took some pictures around town. This was a park near UQAM. Really cool:
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I really like this one! I was walking by this antique shop and snapped this shot just as the people inside first noticed me. They both have the same surprised look on their faces:
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I got a few more nice shots that night:
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Day 6:
We packed up our bikes and got ready to depart Montreal for the states. We made a quick trip to Mont Royal, which overlooks the city of Montreal. The sightlines would have been incredible, but they were mostly spoiled by a light rain.
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On the way out of Montreal, we crossed a very old, very long, open grate bridge over the St. Lawrence river. It was raining and traffic was heavy. This was a very tense ride as the bike seemed to wander back and forth on the slick bridge. It made for a tense two minutes of riding!

Getting through the border to the US was easy. No problems at all. We headed towards Burlington, Vermont. We went through Lake Champlain, VT, which had some incredible lake views. Pretty windy ride.

We stopped at Magic Hat Brewery in Burlington. Too bad we had to ride all day or I would have loved to drink FREE samples of beer all night... :cry:

One of the roads that I was excited to ride was the famous Route 17 through Mad River Glen in Vermont. It's got any incredible amount of turns and hill climbs which has earned some youtube fame. However, our ride of Route 17 wasn't all that fun. It had rained earlier and mud had washed out on most of the corners of the road, which meant that we had to take it easy. It's a good thing we weren't pushing the limit because we may have rear ended a farm tractor that was slowly chugging up the road!

(I've got some video footage of the ride up the mountain, but to be honest, most of it sucks! I didn't properly secure the camera and it bounces a lot. I may post a video later, but nothing for now.)

A pic from the top, you can kindof see the twisty road on the left:
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It was a great time of year to ride. The leaves were just turning colors, so it was beautiful scenery without the roads covered with slick wet leaves.
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We camped for the night in White Mountain National Forest:
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Here's me, nerding it up in my full garb:
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Day 7:
As the days wore on, Chris and I were beginning to feel the exhaustion of the trip. We decided we wanted to get a lobster dinner around Portland, ME, then head for home. Our lobster dinner ended up being a lobster lunch, but it was delicious none the less.

We took the highway south to make up some time and rounded the corner towards home. We camped in Northwest Massachusetts for the night.

Day 8:
Kickstands up at 8, we took mostly highway towards Albany, cutting through some back roads near Woodstock, NY. We made excellent time and were in Scranton, PA by lunch. At this juncture, we both decided we'd rather see if we can make it home tonight than sleep out in the woods again!

I got stuck in some awful hot weather (it was 90 degrees in freaking September!) and some awful construction near Harrisburg. :evil:

I made it home safely around 9pm exhausted. Over 500 miles of riding in a day makes you realize you never ever want to do an Iron Butt! :shock:

All in all, a great trip with a great friend. Our trip was about 1900 miles. I need a new front tire and an oil change.... :lol:

For more pictures, check out my Picasaweb
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Re: To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26 (Ride Report Posted!)

Postby JimVonBaden » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:46 am

Great report Tim!

I agree, Montreal is a beautiful city, and lots to do there. I went in December once, and saw it from a whole different perspective.

I also spent some time in Lake Placid, both in summer and winter. The view from the take off point on the ski lift, covered in snow, is one not to miss!

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Re: To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26

Postby Rick F. » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:56 am

tim^3,

Wow, looks like it was a super trip--thanks for writing it up for us. Between lobster dinners, beautiful scenery, forgone beer, and open-grate bridges in the rain, it sounds like you had the full panoply of experiences.

I enjoyed your pictures and absolutely loved these two in particular:

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Thanks again!

Rick F.
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Re: To Montreal - Sept 17 to Sept 26

Postby Slider » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:55 pm

BMWGirl wrote:I was in Montreal this summer, it was a cool city! I have some friends up there that could take you guys on some cool rides if you want? I didn't have a chance to go but I'm sure there are some nice roads.


Chinatown? You were in French Canada & you ate in Chinatown?

good wasn't it? =D>

I hope you eat a good cross sample of the food there!

The food in Quebec city is super too, as it is in toronto!

Ciao!
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