Since 1970 Ottawa (or more precise, the National Capital Region) organises Ciclovias. The name Ciclovia was invented later, and originates in South America. Ottawa simply calls it Sunday Bikedays. A number of Canadian cities followed around 2011, so Ottawa really set the standard for Canada a long time ago. The NCC organises about 13 Ciclovias a year, between Victoria Day (late May) until Labour Day (early September).
The principle is the same: close a bunch of roads for motorised traffic and allow people to cycle for a few hours. While ideally people cycle every day, many people prefer to cycle on the 50 km or so car free parkways on Sundays only. It is a great training ground for kids, where parents can teach their kids the rules of the road, to stay along the curb and stop at intersections. It is good for skill development too.
Seniors and spandex
One also sees seniors (even a few on an e-bike lately), sporty types in spandex, women on Dutch bikes with baskets, the odd tandem, a roller blader and other means of human powered transport. All in all great to watch. Too bad there is virtually no place to stop for coffee, a light lunch or beer for that matter. I mean, what better way to spend a Sunday morning than watching people of all stripes cycling by.
1000 an hour
For the fun of it I counted cyclists for ten minutes on Colonel By around 11 am, just south of Pretoria Bridge: 160, which makes 1000 an hour. Here are a few sunny pics.