Sunday, March 13

Tim Horton and a Cyclist's Impression of Quebec

Tim Hortons, Saint Sauveur des Monts, Québec. The Closest Tim Hortons to Dallas is in Kentucky. I Wish it Was Otherwise
The Ski Hill is Up on the Right. Québec Snow in Late February is Much Icier than BC Snow at the Same Time
OK, OK, it isn't enough to talk about Tim Hortons in comments about a post that actually SHOWS a photo of a bike rack at a restaurant of a chain that has its world headquarters in Des Plaines, Illinois. Tim didn't have bike racks. I looked. Tim also didn't have free wi fi, as did that place with the maple leaf grafted on to its arches. Free wi fi is highly desirable when you get a message from ATT telling you that your unlimited data does NOT apply and you'll get stuck for  $15.36/MB.

In many ways, Québec was infused with bicycle indications. The first of these came when I arrived at Montréal's Trudeau Airport. Right in the area where we arrived at customs, there was - a bicycle cop. She was outfitted much the same as the Fort Worth bicycle police officers, but I'm not sure exactly how useful a bicycle would be in a crowded terminal. About as useful as a Segway, I'd guess. Do Segways have locks? Regardless, the bike would be good to get to the other end of the terminal but then you'd capture the scofflaw on foot, or so I'd imagine from having watched too many movies.

The airport was lacking in some other bicycle amenities, however. There was no place to rent a bike at the terminal, nor did they seem to know where I might go locally to rent one. There also appeared to be no practical way to depart the airport by either bicycle or even by car. Fortunately, the GPS in my rental car eventually got me out of the airport, where soon I noticed that all the freeway onramps had signs posted to let me know that no bicycles or pedestrians were allowed on these limited access roads. This is different than Texas, where cyclists are not, technically prohibited from any but a few toll roads. Montréal's freeways in the city center were more logical than those in Vancouver, but neither place made paving over the city center the priority it would have been in an equivalent US city.

In the morning, I got to my business meeting and noticed that one intrepid cyclist had tracked through the snow and ice to work. Later on, I talked to an engineer that knows the cyclist and noted that he lived fairly close by. I can empathise. I was also told that cyclists were catered to by the businesses around Québec. This time, I didn't have a chance to spend much time around downtown Montréal. Perhaps in a future trip. I shall try out those separated pathways for myself, though the local reports I heard were less glowing than what you read in the press.

I also searched for some Jakeman's syrup, but all I saw was the stuff in maple leaf bottles. You know, the stuff that Rantwick showed in his very initial FARATS post. I didn't buy any because it's readily available here in Texas at TJ Maxx for less than half the price. Rantwick chose wisely when he elected to pick Jakeman's instead.

Airport Syrup - Same as Texas TJ Maxx at Twice the Price
Snow is No Big Deal at Trudeau Airport


Big Oak said...

We have no Tim's in northeast Indiana, but there is one about 40 miles straight east, in Defiance, OH. We usually hit a Timmy's or two on our summer trips out to the Adirondack's. I love their chocolate cake doughnuts!

Montreal, I hear, is the competitive cycling capitol of Canada. Many great racers have connections with the city, plus some great frame builders are located there also.

Doesn't surprise me, though, that cycling is not supported around the airport. Hopefully that will change their, and elsewhere soon.

limom said...

Did you get a tuque?

John Romeo Alpha said...

I think if I ate poutine regularly, I would have to cycle twice as much to burn up the calories. Did you try any?

Steve A said...

I did not get a tuque. I brought along my balaclava.

Poutine is an odd concoction. I didn't notice it on the menu at that "American burger chain," though they DID have "frittes." Apparently, french fries are not served in Quebec, despite the presence of frittes in poutine. Regardless, Dr Atkins does NOT approve of poutine, or Jakeman's either...

Justine Valinotti said...

We have a couple of Tim Hortons here in NY. They are to the Tim Hortons of Canada as the Raleigh Moultons are to the originals. The donuts in the NY branches are just Dunkin' Donuts with maple flavoring.

It's been about a dozen years since I've cycled in, or been to, Montreal. I recall some really nice rides in and around the site of the Expo and Terre des Hommes. And drivers in the city seemed more conscious and respectful of cyclists than in American cities in which I've cycled. I wouldn't mind going again.

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