Friday, March 28, 2014

“First insure your bicycle, then study the map” – 1897 Montreal Bike Map

I just came across this awesome 1897 bike map of Montreal on reddit. Back then, Montreal had not yet encountered the automobile -- only in November 1899 did Ucal-Henri Dandurand drive the first car in Montreal. As you can see on the upper left of the map, the dotted lines represent "good roads," whereas the solid red lines are just "roads." It would be fun to do an overlay of the present-day bike network and the cycling roads of 1897...

Source: BANQ


  1. That is basically how I routed my 100 mile 2-day tour in New Hampshire. I found a historical book (on Google Books) describing the first turnpike roads built in the 1790s and tried to find which roads those were now. Roads mostly went between towns, and for the towns that did well, those roads turned into state routes or highways eventually. But there are many towns based around lumber or farming that didn't have a reason to be upgraded for higher traffic, and they made for perfect touring routes. They generally stayed in forest areas, had very little traffic, and had gentle bends and rolling terrain that kept it more interesting than a straight and flat road. Here's one of the days:

    1. Sounds like a nice way to explore new roads. I'll have to look at some old maps of Quebec and give it a try here.