Montreal is pretty biker friendly. At the time of writing, during COVID, Montreal is actually re-doing a bunch of roads to add bike lanes.
There is also a culture of biker appearance. Meaning, people are very particular about what they look like biking and having good equipment. Not everyone, but a lot.
I assume this is what a lot of people think about when they think about cyclists. There is the Tour de France, which is watched around the world.
They often have the best equipment, the nicest clothes, the latest bike technology, etc.
They are not using their bikes to commute, they are not chaining their bike to a fence during the day.
They eat, sleep, and breathe bike.
You see these types of cyclists quite a bit in Montreal. Often, they are broken down into sub-categories. As a long distance cyclists, I can’t tell you these sub-categories exactly.
They usually bike in groups – at least 3 of them as they ride around Montreal. In the winter, they use a “trainer.” It is a machine they can hook their bike up to and still bike inside. It is not a stationary bike. It replaces the back wheel so they can still use their own bike.
Which they should. Because their bike could be thousands of dollars.
Cyclists in Montreal can have Nice Equipment, but not Racers
This category would be where I fall into. I have some nice equipment, but I am not a racer. I also do not commute with my bike because it is a bit more expensive and I don’t feel comfortable leaving it outside for long periods of time.
Usually in Montreal, this category isn’t really long distance cyclists like me, but they have some nice bikes that they don’t really use in a racer way and sometimes use as a commuter bike. They are kind of in the middle of the two categories.
You might seem them doing some racing activities, but they are not as comfortable or trained as the actual racers.
Commuters, Walmart Bikes
Walmart bikes have a bad connotation, but I don’t mean it here! Having a simple inexpensive bike can be perfect for your day to day commuters who value bicycling more than just using Biki (see below). They might even use it in the winter.
This inexpensive type of bike is perfect for this for two reasons:
You aren’t too paranoid about locking up your bike. Having a cheaper bike makes it more undesirable to steal as well as gives the owner some comfort when leaving it outside for longer periods of time.
Winter and Rain tends to rust out the bike and if it is more inexpensive, owners might not be too hesitant to leave it out in bad weather.
Cyclists in Montreal use Biki
Biki bikes are those city bikes that you can have an hour free or 30 minutes or you can rent them by hour or by day.
During the summer, Biki’s fill the city. There is pretty much a station every few blocks.
Biki riders then to be summer commuters. Those who don’t want to invest in a bike or don’t want to worry about storing it and fixing it. Just a quick trip to the store or to the park.
What type of cyclists are you? Do you see these same categories in your own city? Let me know in the comments!