A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of enjoying a morning with a dedicated road event for cyclists on Mt Royal here in Montreal.

There was little fanfare about the event, and I only found out about it through word of mouth at the last minute.

Which was an unexpected surprise and bonus morning ride.

Had planned to ride further afield, instead cut short and rode over to meet some of the Martin Swiss guys there for some hill reps.

The event was well organized, and from the summit road Remembrance to the Ste-Catherine side bottom it was turned from a tourist trap and local rat run into a car free zone for riders to enjoy. I’m used to huddling in the corners on the road, or getting out super early, or after rush hour to avoid traffic.

The shoulders are wide there, so that even the busiest times facilitate reasonably safe riding for the experienced alert biker.

It’s great today, the whole road is at our disposal, which means being able to choose new lines, overtake way into the middle of the road safely, and most importantly of all spend time with friends to enjoy some honest to goodness hill climbing pain.

There’s an 80 rep challenge which earns you elevation equivalence of Everest (and god-like local biker status) – only a couple of mortals have achieved this ridiculous total.

I see all kinds of riders from recumbent to fixie, mountain to commuter. Most riders are road riders and clearly enjoying the day.

A few days ago (some time has passed since I originally wrote this little piece) a local rider was killed descending the Houde when a car pulled an illegal U-turn in front of him and left no room to avoid a collision, which in this case sadly was fatal.

It’s a sober reminder of the need for us all to play safe, respect other users on the road and make changes to the infrastructure on Houde to ensure that no further accidents like this happen.

Ride safe out there.