Guide to bike tours in Montréal
If you want to see the most of Montréal, rub shoulders with locals and stay active while on vacation, hop on a bike. With 645 kilometres (400 miles) of bike paths running through one of the most bike friendly cities in North America, you might want to defer to the experts first: Montréal’s friendly bike tour companies can take you on a tailor-made trip, whether you’re looking for historical insights, excellent food or a work-out challenge.
This is how we roll
Look no further than the picturesque, tourist-central Old Port, for long-running and knowledgeable Ça Roule Montréal On Wheels. A trusted bike shop and bike rental location as well as an extensive tour operator, Ça Roule has created themed tours on extremely comfortable bikes for any level of bike rider (including tandem bikes for anyone unable to ride a bike). Two professional, licenced guides lead each group – never bigger than 15 people through city streets and along bike trails, pointing out details that you won’t find in a guide book. Along with private or customized tours, tours for young families and guided bike rides, choose tours such as City of Contrasts from Old Montreal and downtown, west to Westmount and Saint-Henri, Montréal Plus covering the urban core to La Fontaine Park and Mount Royal Park, Vista Architecture, a history-rich ride from the Old Port, past past Habitat 67 and over the Saint-Lawrence River to Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Biosphère, and the eat-as-you-go Street food on Bikes. Each tour includes snack breaks at local favourites like St-Viateur Bagels or Atwater Market.
Pedal the Plateau
Another excellent tour operator that also runs a rental and repair shop, plus leads walking tours, is Fitz & Follwell Co., located near the foot of Parc Mount-Royal in the urban-residential Plateau neighbourhood. If it’s your first visit to Montréal, take a long or short tour of the city’s highlights (there’s even a family friendly option to accommodate younger kids), bike from mountainside to riverbank, or take an autumn ride up the Mountain. If you want to learn more about what makes Montréal tick, explore the city’s most happening neighbourhoods in the Creative Montreal City Tour, ‘Hoods and Hidden Gems tour or Bike the Brewpubs tour.
Get the inside track
Located near Little Italy, the Jean-Talon Market and the Mile Ex neighbourhood, in-the-know Spade and Palacio extends their focus on speciality small-group walking tours – Beyond the Market, Beyond the Dumplings, and Beyond the Village – to include a Beyond the Bike Lanes bike tour. Relaxed and community-minded, the bike tour emulates the same attention to detail as their walking tours do, with attention to local food, street art and culture, including a gourmet catered picnic in a beautiful park and a microbrewery visit.
Down by the canal
A tour, rental and repair specialist in the city’s south end, My Bicyclette (Ma Bicyclette in French) can be found near the Atwater Market along the Lachine Canal national historic site and multipurpose path. All spring and summer, they pair up with Round Table Tours to offer an “eat and ride” food and history tour that takes you along the banks of canal, into Old Montréal and downtown.
Electric and communal
Add zip to your ride at Dyad, specialists in new electric bikes and scooters as well as conventional bicycles – choose from morning, afternoon and evening sightseeing tours, each with a specialized itinerary. With two rental locations, at Parc Jean-Drapeau and in the Old Port, Écorécréo is another go-to bike pro – and they offer Segway tours of historic Bassin Bonsecours too. Or opt for something completely different with Party Bike Montréal, equipped with 16 spots with 16 sets of peddles, made for people ready to roll together with stops along the way for food and drink.
Robyn Fadden, blogger
Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.
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