July 1 is Canada Day but it’s also moving day in Montreal. Yesterday Le Devoir had a delightful story about one young man who’s making a career moving people on bicycles, which combined the annual ritual (standard leases run from July 1 to June 30) with a light-hearted approach to life suitable for a holiday.
Julien Myette now has three bicycle-powered carts which he and two employees use for small moves. Hiring them is cheaper than hiring a truck, he says, adding that people are charmed by what he does. That includes wrestling refrigerators down stairs from third floor apartments and then peddling them to their new home.
At the same time, Montrealers appear to be taking a lot more bike rides. The new bike path in our neighborhood which connects the Université de Montréal with a major bicycle thoroughfare is getting a lot of traffic, while bike racks on shopping streets are full of bikes parked as their owners run errands. But the big news is the welcome Bixi, the rental bicycle scheme, has received. Launched officially May 12, in six weeks time 5,300 people signed up for monthly or yearly subscriptions and 150,000 individual rides had been taken, The Gazette reports. Some bikes and racks have been vandalized but so far no more than had been anticipated.
Well, you aren't going to get me on a bike any time soon (got run over by one at an impressionable age, if you have to know) but I like to see people using their muscles to get around. The Walkable City should also be the Bikeable City.