I can’t believe it either, but today I carried the tripod of the camera of an Ottawa Sun reporter. Such is life in Ottawa. In the newspaper, you tell your story, no matter if the newspaper writes favourably about your mission or not. And then you chat about holidays, the weekend and all that. I was walking down Laurier when I saw the Ottawa Sun reporter having lunch and was spontaneously interviewed about non cyclists in the bike lanes. I never heard cyclists complaining about it, but apparent opponents of the bike lane are upset that the bike lane is used by wheel chairs, skate borders and electric scooters. Did I have an opinion too? Not really, as the numbers of non cyclists in bike lanes are so low, that it it doesn’t skew the fantastic numbers we are counting. Did you know that all data of all counters are publicly available in the City of Ottawa’s Open Data Initiative, so that you can make your own informed decisions?
On Thursday I had a meeting at the City of Ottawa at 6 pm. While cycling to City Hall, I was amazed about the number of cyclists. Every so many seconds, a cyclist would cycle by. I also took this picture of the new counter on Laurier. The counter shows the number of cyclists in May.
Bike to Work Month meant that our building, Constitution Square, organised a bike maintenance lunch and learn in cooperation with Envirocentre. I sat in with 1 other guy and no less than 10 women. Constitution Square ordered fruit, squares and drinks, that was very nice of them. The building is very pro active in ‘catering’ to cyclists, by expanding the bike cage, providing notice boards etc. When the new car barriers at the entrance didn’t allow cyclists to pass anymore, cyclists asked for shorter barriers and within a day 15 inches was cut off the barriers.
On Saturday, we replaced my wife’s bike stand with a proper one. I bought this one in the Netherlands earlier this month (also available at Joe Mamma’s according to Charles). The top one is the new one, the bottom one the old one. Man, what a difference. It is fantastic. It holds the bike up, even with packed panniers. It claims to handle 40 kg or close to 100 pounds.
We also dropped in at the 2nd Kids Bike Ride in Hintonburg. The kids cycled along Armstrong to ArtsPark. We arrived three minutes late and the kids had gone already, they couldn’t wait one minute after ten am. We admired Lana’s brand spanking new Babboe Bakfiets (cargo bike), a Dutch import. What a great bike.
There was special bike parking, the street was closed off and considering the large number of bikes, it was a good choice to bring in bike parking. We dropped in at Rightbike’s booth to see their purple bike share program.
Then off to Wellington West, for coffee and squares. If one BIA (Business Improvement Area) has its act together in Ottawa, it is Wellington West. They go as far as marketing themselves as Bike Friendly, they have a brochure with all things bike related, with a little map, the number of bike posts (255), bike events, work shops and local resources. The website also touts bike friendlyness.
Sunday afternoon, we dropped in at Cycle Salvation for a few parts. Bumped into Richard -RGB- Biggs, who was counting bolts for his recumbent bike.
And that is what cycling in the City of Ottawa is about in 2012.