Friday, May 3

From St. Hyacinthe to Montmorency - Quebec is Beautiful

Anyone who loves the adventure of riding their motorcycle in a beautiful place needs to plan a trip to the Canadian province of Quebec. This is a unique part of North America where French is the main language (in case you were completely unaware). Once you arrive in this majestic place, it is difficult not to notice the blue and white fleur-de-lis flag that is seen everywhere. Strangely however, the red and white maple leaf of Canada is somewhat scarce. The French certainly do value their own more - so than the country as a whole it seems.

Many motorcycle riders, who visit Quebec, enjoy going the short distance from Quebec City to see the impressive sight of Montmorency Falls. Located at the base of the Lawrence River, the Montmorency Falls were named after Henri II, duc de Montmorency. He was a viceroy of New France during the 1600s. A nice trip is to head from Montmorency all the way down to St Hyancinthe. There are many nice hotels in St Hyacinthe to choose from.

The falls are a spectacular site and almost 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls. If you have ever been to Niagara Falls and have been on the Maid of the Mist boat ride, you know how giant that waterfall appears to be from the bottom looking-up. Now take that waterfall and add another 100 feet to it - simply amazing!

Many routes provide the chance to ride among the numerous maple tree forests. During the trip, do not be surprised to witness how maple syrup is actually harvested. You may see the odd bucket attached to a tree. Actually if this interests you, be sure and visit one of the locations where they show you exactly how this is done. You even get to buy some real maple syrup as a bonus.

Another important place to visit is an area where motorcyclists like to camp. It is known as Notre-Dame-des-Pins. The city of Saint-Georges is close and motorcycle riders from around the world come to ride their bikes in this region. This is a special place, filled with the beauty of the wilderness, as well as farms and interesting small towns.

Anyone riding a motorcycle through Quebec needs to pay attention to the many warnings for moose in the area. I don't know about you, but if you hit a moose while riding your bike - you are going to have issues. If one of these large creatures wonders onto a roadway, the ensuing impact would not favor the motorcyclist.

There are many towns where you can see signs that read “Les Motos Sont Les Bienvenues,” and when translated into English, it means Motorcycles Are Welcome.

When stopping at different roadside restaurants there are some items worth trying. One of the favorites is a sandwich unique to Quebec called a "smoked meat sandwich". It is also recommended to try a dish called poutine. This is a serving of French fries topped with gravy and fresh cheese curds. If you think this sound amazing - that's because it is. This dish is so popular in Canada that they serve it at many of their major sports arenas.

When traveling in Quebec it is popular to travel on Road 108. This is where people can ride their motorcycle past an extremely long stretch of Christmas trees. Here there are enough Christmas trees to supply the holiday needs of all of Quebec and more. Riders have claimed that seeing so many rows of Christmas trees can have a bit of a hypnotic effect on them.

One of the other things that riders notice when traveling through different towns, is the strong influence of the Roman Catholic Church. Quebec was the stronghold for the Catholic faith in the early days of Canada and there is usually a church in each town, placed on the highest available ground. Granted that the faith isn't that strong here anymore - but this doesn't change the fact about how all of this came to be.

Before departing Quebec, every motorcycle rider should visit Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. Located here is a motorcycle museum. Visitors are able to see dozens of different motorcycles from many different manufactures. There are classic motorcycles such as the 1903 Clement, along with a wide range of films about bikes, plus more.

If you have the chance to go on this biking adventure, don't put it off for another couple months. Get started and make your plans. You will be so happy you did. It's a chance to see the beauty of a big city, along with the charm of small towns and camps in pristine wilderness. Motorcycle riders are always welcome and visiting the French dominated culture of Quebec is always an experience worth having.