More Bike Fun in Montreal - Grampies Go By The Books - CycleBlaze

April 28, 2014

More Bike Fun in Montreal

Dodie woke up this morning with the thought that the replacement Ortlieb handlebar bracket we had bought at La Cordee two days earlier might not fit.We had not opened the packaging since after all, the man said this was the one. So now we opened the sealed bag and oh, oh, could not make the bracket fit Dodie's bag.

Over the years Ortlieb has varied its designs a bit, and in handlebar bags they have Ultimate 4, 5, and 6 series. Within these they have a variety of models, making a quite confusing picture.The bracket we got for Dodie's medium sized Ultimate 5 bag was called a mounting kit for Ultimate 2-6, but it looked unlike the one Westjet broke for us.

So promptly at 9 a.m. we presented ourselves at La Cordee bike shop. Actually, we presented ourselves next door, at Amandine bakery. There is no use trying to solve any type of problem without a cappuccino and croissant!

When finally we did toddle into the bike shop, Dodie began a long dialog with the manager about what bracket she had had, what bracket we were sold, and what brackets could be ordered, and when. Interestingly she did this half in French, only switching to English when the discussion got too technical. Since it was all to complex for me, I wandered off, and had the adventure of being shown an electronic gearshift system on a Trek bicycle. I can see it now - having to stop and reboot the bicycle if it stops shifting, or getting a virus in its shift computer?

Having found that the freewheel needed to come off to adjust and grease the rear bearing on Josh's bike, I had also brought the wheel in, either to get the right puller, or to have them pull the freewheel. This gave me a chance to compare Josh's old steel wheel (worth about $5, except for its new $20 tire) with an $1100 one on display!

Dodie and the manager surfaced with the conclusion that the bracket we had been sold was fine, and you just needed to know how to use it. OK! So we left La Cordee miraculously without leaving any more money with them.

Dodie and a manager at la Cordee, work the computer. Too complicated for me!
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The tricky Ortlieb handlebar bag mount.
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Dodie's red series 5 bag, and a newer series 6. Dodie would not have wanted to part with hers because of the stickers. The one visible is from Big Sur (Grampies Go Coastal)
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Joshua's $5 wheel displayed with a Mavic $1100 effort.
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We got back in time to head out to one of the breakfast/brunch places that have become very popular in Montreal in the last decade. We went with the kids, no problem since the place features a play area for them, and we met up with my brother Harold and his wife, Francine.

Harold and Francine, like many Quebecois, spend the winter in Florida. So they followed the Florida portion of our Southern Tier sojourn with some knowledge. They took special note of our report on the Buffalo Tiger air boat tour of the Everglades, and though they themselves have not yet made it out there, they directed some other members to give it a try, and got back a very favourable report.

Steve and Harold at the restaurant today
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Steve and Harold at an earlier time (aged 11 and 16)
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Then came my chance to pop the wheel on Joshua's bike and give it a try. It's amazing just how fleet an unladen bike with skinny tires is, no matter its age. I fairly flew through the streets, appreciating once again the urban scape of two story houses with external iron stairways, the shops, and the feeling of neighbourhood, here in the urban core.

I directed the bike onto the Rachel Street bikeway, noting with satisfaction how heavily it is used. From there to the Brebeuf Street bikeway, and finally to the ultimate destination, the bagel bakery!

Bagels and Montreal make up a long story. For me it"s about wood smoke, toasted sesame seeds, and lineups outside in the snow. No snow or lineups this time, but oh, the wood oven and sesame seeds!

Back along Rachel, I passed the headquarters/cafe of Velo Quebec, the organization that had engineered the vast expansion of cycle routes in Quebec. It was here a couple of years ago that we met Volkmar from Munich. About 75 years old, he was on his way to Key West to begin the Southern Tier. Although he had no blog, we learned later by email that he made it to Dan Diego! Perhaps we will meet up with him in Bavaria this time around. One of the pleasures of cycling is in the people from all over that you seem to meet, and the hope to see them again somewhere, some time.

The quick swoop through the interesting city reminded me that in two days we would begin a cycle trek through dozens and dozens of similarly interesting places. Wow, it's going to be a great ride!

The Rachel Street bikeway
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Streets of Montreal
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Wood fired bagel oven
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Brebeuf bikeway
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Velo Quebec. On the pole is a route marker for Quebec route 1, part of the really nice Route Verte system through the province.
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