Sunday, June 7, 2015

Breathless...

That's right. The Grand Prix is in town.
Lock your doors, hide your daughters, batten down the hatches, and grab the ear plugs.
Unless you prefer to take a walk on the wild side, that is.

It's the ideal way to kick off Montreal summer madness and set the tone for the rest of the rambunctious festival season to come.  Jazz, comedy, fireworks, indie-rock, all introduced by a heady mix of testosterone, gasoline, black spandex dresses, and screaming F1 engines.

I thought that you'd like a glimpse into the Saturday night festivities on gasoline alley (Crescent and Peel streets and everything in between, including pop-up high-end retail shops and restaurants, and more champagne and vodka than the volume of fuel that will be burned on the Ile Notre Dame track.  There are some chi-chi restaurants in town that rake in more money during the four or five Grand Prix days than in all of January and February.

Two years ago this coming July, Bob and I rode around the F1 track at a very sedate quasi-comatose 25 kmh.

Just in case you think it's all about four wheels, think again.
 Anyone care for a high-performance electric bike?

15 comments:

  1. This is the Montreal I remember: Getting the good vibes going (music & motors).

    You mentioned testosterone and spandex in the same sentence, does that mean there are actually guys in spandex running around? Well... interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just went over to revisit you and Bob hot wheeling (not) on the F1 track. Big smiles on his face.

      Delete
    2. Well Sonja, yes we have guys in spandex too, but they are all pumping pedals as they cruise along the lakeshore in Tour de France mode.

      You know it's summer when the Grand Prix hits, that's for sure. Fortunately way out here in western suburbia we can't actually hear the race.

      I made up for the peace and quiet by riding the Shadow (aka Black Betty, or the Tunderbird) along the lake, disturbing the peace.

      By the way, I hopped on the highway for an exit's worth, and the turbulence from the windscreen was shaking my head to where I had trouble reading the orverhead road signs (then again I had my helmet open, which didn't help).

      Delete
  2. In the videos it looks pretty quiet to me. Too many people but most are just milling around. Kind of like walking through a theme park at night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The crowds on Crescent were so thick, it was impossible to move. You're right, the crowds were tolerable on Peel. More than half the street was taken up with restaurant patios, with the rest given over to gawkers and super cars.

      Not my thing, but fun to watch.

      Delete
  3. My son, Sam, called me yesterday to say that he just returned to his house in Chicago from Montreal. His friend had pit passes to the practice and qualifying days and invited Sam to join him. The two young men had a fine time in your fair city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Goes to show what a small planet this is.

      Delete
  4. Now those are busy festivities. You are brave for venturing into the crowd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan and I are committed city folk, we revel in it :)

      Delete
  5. So how does Toronto compare to the Gallic madness described above?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It pales, to be honest. I has another vibe. A city rolling on money and privilege. Towers of power. A little raw and young.

      Delete
  6. Just what I loved about living in Montreal - always something going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, this place knows how to rock with lots of worldly class.

      Delete
  7. i have never had the opportunity to visit Montreal, but hope to one day, it looks beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as I'm here (which may not be that much longer), you have a guide, and bikes to ride.

      Delete

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.