The Tour de L’Ile is an annual biking event in Montreal that is held to celebrate this mode of transportation. The Tour de L’Ile is one of a handful of biking and music events that unofficially mark the beginning of Summer in Montreal. Local residents attending the event indicated that prior to this past weekend, the city was not quite as ‘full of life.’ During the event, the two larger sets of lanes on many streets in the city are blocked from auto traffic, and bikes have full access to the avenues on the 52km route. Since the event is officially a festival, rather than a race, the person who finished first received bragging rights, but no official recognition.
In addition to an estimated 25,000 riders, 2,600 volunteers assisted maintaining the integrity of the route. This included setting up and breaking down barriers for car traffic, as well as guiding pedestrian traffic, which continued to traverse the route while the event was ongoing. Most of the pedestrian traffic was very mindful of the bikers and closely followed the instructions of the volunteer cross guards. While some local media, including papers and television
, noted that the event had a substantial impact on auto traffic, drivers rarely used their horns, engaged in argument or otherwise indicated annoyance.
This was the second such event concluded this weekend, as on Friday, a similar 20km event was held.