Forget Shadowfax Friday August 28, 2009, 0 comments

Forget Shadowfax, last night, the king of all steeds was my trusty Bixi bike!

I’ve been in Montreal most of this week for work, along with one of my developers, Matt, and we decided to rent bikes yesterday and see a bit more of the city.

The first step was to walk about 100 feet North of our hotel to the Bixi bike rack. These are scattered all across the city, and are really easy to use. Insert credit card, print ticket with bike code on it (or, for the environmentally anal, simply memorize it on screen instead), then choose a bike, enter code, and go. Yes, it really was that easy.

Bixi bikes

So, we got our bikes, and rode through the city. In many places, Montreal is much more bike friendly than Toronto, and what’s more, the drivers actually seem to understand that they share the road with cyclists. At no time did I feel threatened or aggressed by drivers. What a refreshing change.

The bikes are… okay. They’re relatively heavy, though not unbearably so, and they’ve got three-speed hub shifters which are pretty well geared, though not enough for the ride up the mountain we took. The brakes were my biggest concern. The drum brakes sometimes felt like they were connected to something else, a different bike, maybe. Cos sometimes I’d squeeze those levers, and get nothing back. Aside from that, they were great, if a little nerdy looking.

As I mentioned, we rode around town for a while, then up to the top of the mountain, where one is treated to an amazing view of the city.

Montreal

Montreal

Then we had a relatively hairy ride back down the mountain (brakes, remember?) and parked the bikes back where we got them. We could have returned them to any Bixi rack in the city, but we figured we were going for dinner near the hotel anyway, so why not just put them back where we got them.

All in all, my Bixi experience was incredibly positive. Next time Sarah comes to Montreal with me, we’re definitely going to take advantage of the system. I hope something similar makes it to Toronto!


Comments

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

Adrian is not currently available for freelance and contract work. Learn more.

It is better to be wrong than to be vague.”
- Freeman Dyson

Twitter

  • I didn't know they were making a movie. Great book. Looking forward to seeing how it translates. t.co/uzysPeR1PW via @YouTube Monday July 17, 2017
  • An F-18 just flew over our house. Sunday July 16, 2017
  • From a wookie's perspective, Chewbacca is the handsome rogue and Han is the dumb sidekick communicating in animal noises. Friday July 14, 2017
  • I'm kinda digging on this. t.co/AfDCjaEz9u via @techcrunch Wednesday July 12, 2017
  • Everything is something. Except nothing — that's something else altogether. Tuesday July 11, 2017
  • @BillBlair How can my school provide before/after care for JK/SK kids from out of area, but not provide spots for kids who are in area? Friday June 30, 2017
  • @MPPIndiraNH How can my school provide before/after care for JK/SK kids from out of area, but not provide spots for kids who are in area? Friday June 30, 2017
  • “D’you think I could interest you in a pair zircon encrusted tweezers?” Tuesday June 27, 2017
  • No more need to support IE10! That’s the 3rd obsolete browser (IE8 and 9 died first) we’ve killed support for at Kijiji since I started. Friday June 16, 2017