Saturday, August 17, 2002

Path: LE-9

YouTube  l  Panorama
LE-9 Legault Stream / Ruisseau Legault
August 17, 2002


This was one of the better trips simply for the fact that the destination was closer: I did not have to cycle so fast. I could take breaks and explore more. Left Montreal towards Dorval taking the CN Rail shortcut. Soon I was on the lake shore path. I had done this route before with two cyclists in 2001, camping along the Ottawa river, and with Randonnée Aventure. Yet I was still anxious as I was not sure if I could remember the way off of the island.

There are two major bridges and a ferry ride to get to Oka. On one of the bridges I got on, I realized by the traffic flow that I was a major highway. And then I noticed other cyclists on the other side of the bridge. So I backtracked hoping that the drivers could see me, and started over. That is what I am learning. To watch – to spy on other cyclists – and see what they do.

Cycling on the West Island is so relaxing. There is ample space and sometimes there is even a designated path passing through Lachine, Dorval, Pointe-Claire, Beaconsfield, Baie d’Urfé and Sainte-Anne de Bellevue. Much of the West Island is anglophone and so the character of the towns are singular. They remind me of the South Shore in Nova Scotia. There is the whole gamut: big, beautiful mansions or estates, to little bungalows and even cabins by the water. You can smell the fish in the air at some points from what I first considered to be the fleuve Saint-Laurent but is actually called Lac St-Louis. You see a lot of people fishing.

There is a bike path across the first bridge onto L’Île Perrot and another onto the ‘mainland’. Then there is a route along the lake which leads to Hudson where there is a ferry. Again this route reminds me of the Maritimes. There are lots of sailboats and heron, ducks and geese in the water on one side of the road and on the other, bright ochre fields with red barns. The ferry across is quite fascinating. It is actually a barge – with cars and passengers intermixed – that is pulled quite effectively by a boat. There are about four crossings an hour and there are three boats. So there is never a long wait. And the crossing itself is a relaxing twenty minutes of watching the shores and water.

Once in Oka, I cycled past La Trappe. This is where you find the Abbaye Cistercienne d’Oka that sells the famous cheese. I passed this time. Could you imagine what would happen to the said cheese after two days in a sweaty enclosure? I also passed the Parc québécois d’Oka where you can swim and camp. Tempting but my destination was uphill to Oka-sur-la-montagne towards Legault Stream/Ruisseau Legault. This was total countryside, passing cabbage fields, cornfields and even a ‘vignoble’.

The river flowed between Saint-Benoit and Saint-Hermas. I ended up taking pictures of a creek I thought was my waypoint until I came to a bridge a few meters further up. There was a huge tractor that was trimming the weeds in the ditches and so I was rushing so that I was not in this way. We did a little dance where I would pass him and then he would pass me as I took photos and then I would pass him again so that he could pass me again taking the second set of photos. The sunlight was warm and reflecting on the water in a beautiful way.

I then biked to Saint-Placide and passed through Kanesetake (Mohawk territory) where I saw about three vans with the $20 cartons of cigarettes signs that I have been hearing about on the news. I am not sure why, maybe the long stretches of road are attractive: I have never seen so many bikers. I mean motorbikes, traveling in groups of 4 – 6 people. As this is part of Quebec’s Route verte, there was also many pods of cyclists.

Stayed at a B&B in downtown Oka and ate at the Marina which looked out on the boats and the water. Bought a paper and could hardly stay up to read it.

The next day I took the same way back except this time I took the scenic route around Île Perrot, following the lake shore, and stopped to dip my feet in the water. It was a hot humid day with lots of flies. I was hoping it would rain, but the sky only managed to force out a few drops before giving up.

I stopped at the Quinn farm for lunch. Fresh rhubarb pie. This is a farm where you can pick your own berries. I had been there before with Randonnée Aventure. The farm has passed on to Quinns through generations. I chatted with Mr. Quinn outside as I ‘unholstered my horse’ as he put it. Had an interesting conversation about theft.

I also stopped at a yard sale in Sainte-Anne de Bellevue. Got home early and had time to relax before going to work on Monday. This, I decided, was the way to go. The first day was 100 km but the second day was only 70 km so I was not burnt out afterward. Pleasant Sunday stroll.

Day 1 - August 17, 2002


Time Location Trip Odometer Moving Time Stopped Max Speed Moving Average



56th Ave

Beaconsfield Legault Street
N 45°26'882"
W 73°17'252"

9 km

22.5 km

Stop: 1:35 Depart: 3:30
Arrive 5:14

Île Perrot

Oka Ferry

N 45°36'02"
W 74°11'20"

33.4 km

46.5 km

73.1 km

N 45°267'794"
W 74°05'213"

88.4 km

101 km

6:50 1:05 50.4/h 14.8/h



Day 2 - August 18, 2002


Time Location Trip Odometer Moving Time Stopped Max Speed Moving Average

Quinn Farm
N 45°21'489"
W 73°55'471"
14.5 km 53 min      
Décarie 70.9 km 3:52 47 min 36.2/h 18.3/h


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