Ottawa’s Northern Belles

Update on July 20, 2012:

Today, also Robyn Bresnahan of CBC OttawaMorning cycled to work to be there at 5:30. Good for you:

I am having a go at cycling to work today. It will be a success if you hear me on air at 530 am

She was there.

Today, July 10, 2012, it is the Laurier Bike Lane’s pilot first anniversary. It is doing just fine with its 365,000 bike rides counted at O’Connor. What few people know, is that the lane is just as popular as Dunsmuir St. and Hornby St. in Vancouver. Vancouver has a much higher density and lots more people within its borders, so Ottawa’s numbers are actually very good.

There has long been this stigma that cyclists are mostly middle aged men, who cycle out of principle. That was probably true until a few years ago, but the tides are changing very rapidly here in Ottawa. I think one of the big changes in 2012 is that large amounts of women have taken to their bikes.

I don’t know if that is for health or macro-economic reasons, or that people somehow just feel a bit safer on the road because of all the positive publicity around bike lanes, Bixi bikes, the Velo Vogue Fashion Show or the many positive messages from Citizens for Safe Cycling. Or perhaps women too discover that sitting in traffic isn’t the greatest way to spend your summer. In the end, It doesn’t really matter what the reasons are.

I had a twenty minute gap in my schedule recently and decided to stop by to see the new pop up place North of the Corkstown bridge and noticed the large amount of women cycling by in fashionable casual clothes. Here is a selection of Ottawa’s Northern Belles….

Don’t know what to wear? You may also want to check the blog post on the Velo Vogue Fashion Show in Ottawa.


  1. I was driving through downtown yesterday, bike on the back heading to an MTB ride and saw lots of cyclists chic, including a dapper guy on a euro style city bike in a suit. Ouch

  2. I see lot’s of women on the trails in Ottawa!
    Probably in equal proportion to men…
    I myself own 3 bikes!

    The only thing is, I don’t really understand all the hoopla about the bike lanes on Laurier. It’s only one street, and since I live and work in the east end, I never get to ride on it…

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