This post is written by Katie, about her time in Canada before the 15th Annual North American Bird Strike Conference.
I awoke at 9am, enjoyed bagels and boiled eggs for breakfast, and then worked on my slides and rehearsed silently in the dining area until 1:30pm.
I cooked two grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, met an Above & Beyond fan from Norway, and then took my belongings back to my room. The weather was looking better, so I decided to go explore. I headed to the Jean-Paul Mousseau metro stop first, where I rented a Bixi bike. I bought a 24hr membership for CAD5. As long as you return the bike to a station before 30 minutes have elapsed after each bike checkout, you incur no extra charges.
I biked to the Olympic area, where I saw the rowing basin and the cycling(?) track which was very popular with road bikers and runners. Then I took cycling route 1 over to the Lachine Canal route, where I biked for a while. Of course, I had to check in my bike at various stations along the way, which usually required a detour since there are very few Bixi Bike stations actually on the Lachine Canal route. The entire route was relatively flat and pleasant. I recommend it!
The Bixi bikes, although very cheap, were not easy to pedal. One of the CAD25/day HI-Montreal rental bikes certainly would have been nicer. The benefit of the Bixi bikes was the fact I could pick up at bike at a station and drop off the bike at a station, removing the need to bike to/from the hostel or navigate public transit with a bike (both of which seemed undesirable).
Near the end of my bike ride / near the last Bixi bike station near the Lachine Canal, I saw St Ambroise Terrace at St Ambroise brewery. I recognized the name as a place HI-Montreal stops on their bike rides, so I stopped in for a CAD6 20oz beer. It was probably one of the tastier beers that I’ve had at a brewery!
After drinking my beer on their terrace looking towards the Lachine Canal, I walked back along the Lachine Canal for a short time before heading for a nearby metro station. The metro quickly took me back to HI-Montreal, where I cooked dinner, did another practice talk with my slides, and then went to sleep early so I would be well-rested for the conference.