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Roméo Morin  

Hommage à
Roméo Morin

romeo-morin.jpg (320653 octets)

Soixante-dix-sept ans de cyclotourisme

Curriculum vitæ Historique en cyclotourisme Parcours de fins de semaines Pensées

 


   
Il fut le premier cycliste à réaliser la traversée du Canada en 1947 ( Halifax à Vancouver, 11 265 km ). Il a accompli cet exploit en  67 jours.

    C'est le (14) quatorze août prochain que ce pédaleur devant l'éternel fêtera ses 95 ans. L'ouverture officielle du pont Jacques Cartier, le vingt-quatre mai 1930, demeure un souvenir vivant. Deux jours plutôt, monsieur Morin avait acheté son vélo au coût de quarante-cinq dollars. C'est avec lui qu'on le retrouve toujours.

    M. Morin est le seul survivant d'une famille de seize enfants. Il demeure à Montréal depuis 33 ans.

    M. Morin c'est marié en 1967, à l'âge de 60 ans avec Marie-Paule Journeault 52 ans.

    Fondateur de plusieurs clubs cyclistes à Montréal dont le défunt Club Cycliste Métropole, il s'est retrouvé à la tête du premier rallye cycliste qui se déroula entre Montréal et Ottawa en 1943.

    C'est trois tours complets de l'Amérique du Nord qu'il revendique, (23)  vingt-trois pays visités et plus de 327 000 km avec son vélo de soixante-dix ans, fidèle compagnon de toutes ses randonnées et aventures.

    M. Morin peut se féliciter d'avoir fait, en 1952, dix-sept milles trois cents soixante-quinze (17 375) km en (7) sept mois. En 1950 ; New York - Los Angeles (12 875 km). Il visite dix-huit pays d'Europe en 1951. Il parcourt durant ce périple plus de onze milles kilomètres. Le tachymètre de son vélo indique trois cents vingt-sept mille (327 000) kilomètres (220 200 milles) soit environ huit fois le tour de la terre. 

    Un beau coup de chapeau à cet homme et à sa fidèle monture.

    Je ne peux passer sous silence sa fameuse phrase:

    Un cycliste qui a beaucoup voyagé est un cycliste qui a beaucoup appris !

...et doit savoir réparer!

 

 

"94 years old Canadian a fonder of cyclotourism."

Roméo et son fameux compteur...

 

    Roméo Morin bought his bicycle from a french compagny BGA, may 22 1930, for $45. BGA made weapons, so this bicycle was made with the same strenght, it still has its original parts.

    Mr.Morin has traveled 325 275 kilometers and has made eight trips around the world. He used to travel from April 1 to October 1, an average of 100 kilometers a day, but he’s a little bit slower these days.

 

    He was the fist to bike from halifax to Vancouver.

    He did this trip in 1947, 67 days of traveling for a total of 11 265 kilometers. Mr. Morin bought his fist bicycle, a CCM, at the age of 19 year old. He used to make deliveries on his bike. At the time though, you had to be 21 to buy and ride a bike on public roads, so his mother had to sign for him to be allowed to purchase his bicycle.

    He used to go the cinema to see movies about U.S. National Parks, so one day he decided he wanted to see them with his own eyes. He traveled across Canada's Montains where there were no residents. Once, he rode on 255 km of impossible roads, the worst raods in North America. Half the trip was on unpaved road. He rode 37 kilometers in the middle of the wood with a bike who no gear and brake! 

    Once, Mr. Morin tried a bike with gears, but he will never try one again, he did not like it.

    He recorded a new personal record in 1950, 12 875 km- New-York to Los Angeles. 

    In 1952,  he rode 14 485 km from LA to Washington whit a stop by Mexico City and Miami. On his way, he went up to Evans in Colorado, the highest peak in North America.

    In his many trips, Mr. Morin has rode across 6 deserts including The Salten Sea Desert in California where he traveled 200 km in one day in 52C.

    Europe 

    In the spring of 1951, Roméo Morin took a boat to Southampton. In 3 months, he had traveled through 18 European countries for a total of 11 265 km.

    We asked him what he remembered of Holland. He answered: "I remember, in Holland and Belgium, there were many water channels. Also, that it is excellent bike terrain, quiet and flat. There were very few cars. Is it still like that?''

Reporter- ( Laugh) " No!"

Mr. Morin-" It was the fist time I had seen parking spots for bicycles."

Reporter-" What do you remember of the other European countries?"

Mr. Morin-" I rode through these small countries so fast, I don't remember them very well."

    Mr. Morin traveled in Europe 6 years after the war. He saw many bombed cities. Food was difficult to come by, especially for a tourist. " In germany, there were not enough food stamps for the population, so you can imagine for a tourist."

    Mr. Morin bought a weapon because he was sometimes days in isolated areas, so he needed protection mostly against animals, such as wolfs, bears and buffalos.

    Once in Alberta, he encountered a bear, so he hid behind a tree. The bear smelled the bike, and decided there was nothing interesting for him, so he left.

    Mr. Morin had no accident until the age of 72. He was hit by a car and had a bad fall but nothing serious.  The next day he was sent home from the hospital.

    He had plans to bike through Australia in 1953, and Russia in 1954, but his mom got sick and he wanted to be at her side. He cancelled for life. He got married at the age of 60.  He still biked, but ended his long travels. He has no regrets though, he doesn't feel guilty.

    Mr. Morin used to take two weeks of vacation time from work for his trips, but once into his trips, he would send postcards to his boss announcing that his trip would take longer (months) and he was having too much fun. He had the freedom to take these long trips because he had no family. For his fist 15 years of working, he never took one day off!  All of his trips equal to 660 days of wok days. "I could have built a nice house." Says Mr. Morin. But Mr. Morin has no regret he says "I lived like a prince"

    Apart from his bicycle Mr. Morin had hundred of pictures but a flood ruined most of the photos, maps of his trips that were stored in the cellar where he lived. He has no family left but 1 cousin. His wife, brothers and sisters are dead. "I bike and read 6 papers every day. I go to the opera to understand life." Mr. Morin says jokingly ``can you believe I was turned down by the Army because I was not athletic enough! ``

Reporter- Thank you Mr. Morin.

Citation from Mr. Morin-

"A cyclist has traveled a lot is a cyclist that has learned a lot."

 

Curriculum vitæ
de
Roméo Morin

    Née le 14 août 1908 dans le quartier Ahuntsic et baptiser à l'église de la Visitation Sault-aux-Recollets.

    Fils de Ernest J. Morin, Louiseville, (Québec) Canada   ?  -1973

    Fils de Maria Hubert, Boston U.S.A. 1871-1965

    Marié (1967) à Marie-Paule Journeault, Québec 1918-1992

Adresse: 9950, rue Laverdure,
Montréal ( Québec ) Canada
H3L 2L3 
Téléphone: 514-388-6067

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Historique en cyclotourisme

Année

Âge

Lieux

Parcours

1939 31 Tour du Saint-Jean, Qc. 1500 milles
( 2400 km )
  32 Tour de la Gaspésie, Qc. 1800 milles
( 2880 km )
1941 33 Visite au lac Mégantic, Qc. 855 milles
( 1368 km )
1941 33 Visite à Rimouski, Qc.
1942-43-44 Président, fondateur et organisateur du défunt Club Cycliste Métropole.
950 milles
( 1520 km )
1945 37 Visite aux sœurs jumelles Dionnes, Ontario 1650 milles
( 2640 km )
1945 37 Voyages dans dix États américains 4000 milles
( 6400 km )
1945 37 Voyages à Détroit Michigan 1650 milles
( 2640 km )
1946 38 Randonnée à
Baie Comeau, Qc.
1500 miles
( 2400 km )
dont 71 milles sur route graveleuse
1946 39 Visite à Amos et Rouyn, Qc. 1725 milles
(2760 km )
1947 39 Visite à Halifax, N.E. 1100 milles
( 1760 km )
1947 40 Halifax, Vancouver, Victoria, C.B. 6000 milles
( 9600 km )
1948 40 Tour des provinces Maritimes 3700 milles
( 5929 km )
1949 41 Visite à Washington, D.C. 1700 milles
( 2720 km )
1950 42 New York,
Los Angeles, Mexique
8000 milles
( 12800 km )
1951 43 Visite de quinze pays en Europe 7000 milles
( 11200 km )
1952 44 Los Angeles, Mexico, Miami, Washinston 9000 milles
( 14400 km )
Randonnée record
1952 45 Visite Terre-Neuve
( vélo, train et bateau )
100 milles
( 160 km )
1952  46 Visite en Alaska
( vélo, train et bateau )
125 milles
( 200 km )

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Parcours de fins de semaines

Endroit

Parcours

Ottawa, Ontario 235 milles
( 376 km )
Coolbrook, N.Y. 350 milles
( 560 km )
Malone, N.Y. 290 milles
( 464 km )
Saint-Donat, Qc.  290 milles
( 464 km )
Newport, VT. 285 milles
( 456 km )
Sherbrooke, Qc."> 290 milles
( 464 km )
Saranac Lake, N.Y. 325 milles
( 520 km )
Saint-Jovite, Qc. 225 milles
( 360 km )
Burlington, VT. 265 milles
( 424 km )

    À l'occasion des fêtes légales ; Pâques, fête de la reine, la Saint-Jean Batiste, la Confédération, la fête du travail et de l'Action de grâces, les excursions de fin de semaine de  M. Roméo Morin ont été de deux jours à trois jours et demi.

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De bonnes pensées pour cet homme…

      Monsieur Morin et moi nous nous parlons au téléphone une fois par semaine. Je me déplace régulièrement chez lui, surtout le dimanche. Ces derniers temps M. Morin éprouve certains ennuis de santé. Vos souhaits d'encouragement lui seraient très profitables. Si vous avez le goût d'établir un petit brin de dialogue avec ce grand homme de 94 ans ( bientôt 95 ), vous êtes les bienvenues.

     Vous pouvez le faire par téléphone.

    

    Si vous passez devant chez lui, sur la rue Laverdure, faites sonner discrètement votre clochette…ça lui fera grand plaisir. 

Romeo Morin devant sa demeure rue Laverdure février 2002.

 

Alexandre Pépin


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Dernière modification : 18 June 2009