Montréal’s amazing murals are a free street-level art gallery that’s always open

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Suddenly the wall comes alive with color and expression.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Public street murals are more than just pretty paintings on walls, they’re signs of a healthy city. By that measure, Montréal is full of life. The city is teeming with such a variety and volume of murals my head was literally spinning nearly as fast as my wheels as I cycled through its streets for the past four days.

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Riding Montréal’s Tour la Nuit (photos)

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Rolling down Rue Berri near the start.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you were in charge of a bicycle advocacy organization and needed to raise awareness about the importance of using lights at night, what would you do?

19 years ago Vélo Québec decided to have a night ride. They called it Tour la Nuit. The first year a few thousand people showed up. Tonight, under cool and rainy skies, I joined about 15,000 other people on the 12-mile route. We pedaled on gloriously carfree streets from the city center to an industrial area south of town, and then back again.

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Headed to Canada to cover the Go Bike Montréal festival

It feels strange heading to Montréal for a big bike festival on the first day of Portland’s big bike festival. But that’s exactly what I’m doing, thanks to an invite from advocacy group Vélo Québec.

From today through the weekend I’ll immerse myself in the street and bicycle culture of what has historically been considered one of North America’s most bike-friendly cities. Montreal built their first protected bike lane in the 1980s, making them a pioneer in prioritizing cycling. They also helped spark a global revolution by creating one of the earliest and most robust bike share systems from the ground up.

This summer Montréal celebrates its 375th birthday and Vélo Québec turns 50 years old. Those milestones will make the annual Go Bike Montréal festival — which is expected to attract over 50,000 people — even bigger this year. The event is a week of bike rides and events that aim to showcase the city and cycling.

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