Barrhaven Bicycling

December 11, 2013 Hansonthebike 3

Reading Time: 5 minutes This winter, to beat the winter blues, I will post some sunny material that is still on the desk from earlier this year. Late August, we wanted to go for a shorter ride on a Sunday morning, but we didn’t feel like doing the closed loop along the Ottawa River once again, so after some staring on maps, we decided to go to Jan Harder territory. We packed out passports and cycled to Barrhaven. Barrhaven! When we were pondering buying a house in the late nineties, we took a look at Barrhaven, but we were nervous that the commute into [Read more…]

Ciclovia, Ottawa Style Since 1970

August 13, 2013 Hansonthebike 0

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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 [Read more…]

Canada Day: Checking Out the Capital by Bike

July 2, 2013 Hansonthebike 5

Reading Time: 7 minutes We’re not big crowd fans. We’d rather be on our own on days like Canada Day, than be with 500,000 others in down town Ottawa. There is not much attraction in seeing people with flags wrapped around their shoulders and belting out “O Canada’ at any given moment, in pubs, in buses, walking along the road or sitting in parks. But it is a day off, the weather was nice and that makes for a good bike ride. To stick to the Canada Day theme, we thought we should cycle past about 20 national treasures in the Nation’s capital. We [Read more…]

Cycling Towards Hot Air

September 4, 2012 Hansonthebike 1

Reading Time: 5 minutes Gatineau is closer than you think. Mentally, Gatineau and Nepean are far apart for me. They aren’t really though. Mind you, Nepean is large, but we live just South of the Experimental Farm so although it is technically old Nepean, it is the closest area of Nepean to down town. Yesterday, we decided to cycle to the Balloon Festival in Gatineau along some scenic routes, but still fairly direct. The Experimental Farm is closed for car traffic in the weekend, and hence a great connector for people from Nepean cycling to Hintonburg, Little Italy and down town and further North. [Read more…]

Cycling with Just Food Ottawa on a Hot Summer Day

August 28, 2012 Hansonthebike 3

Reading Time: 6 minutes Checking out community gardens on excellent bike tour by Just Food Ottawa I never knew so many cyclists would be interested in food and community gardens. Gardening, food and cycling, three of my long term favourites. Last Sunday, after a failed attempt a year before, I finally made it to the Just Food community garden tour. “Just Food’s mission is to work towards a vibrant, just and sustainable food system in the Ottawa region. Just Food is a grassroots, non-profit organization that includes staff, volunteers, community partners, members and funders“, says their website. Both my grandfathers in Holland grew vegetables [Read more…]

A Balancing Act Along the Ottawa River

August 22, 2012 Hansonthebike 0

Reading Time: 3 minutes Just when you figured out that cycling is really a weird balancing act (technically as well as politically), you discover that other people are in the act of balancing too. So we cycled out to Remic Rapids last weekend to watch the International Stone Balancing Festival. Calling it a festival was probably a bit of a stretch, but balancing it is for sure. Says the website of the of the Balanced Art World International in its manifesto: – We consider the practice to place stones in balance an artistic expression; – We choose mainly natural environments, accompanied by silence as [Read more…]

Destination Kanata and the Greenbelt

July 30, 2012 Hansonthebike 2

Reading Time: 7 minutes Most of the cycling advocacy efforts are naturally focussed on the down town area. It is where the pressure of traffic is highest and where many people converge on their way to work. Besides commuter cycling, Ottawa’s down town offers great recreational cycling; there are lots of opportunities to bike around and this is an asset for Ottawa that has not been exploited very much. I am trying to convince Tourism Ottawa, but other than some polite exchanges, we haven’t really moved on that file. Judging by the name, you’d think they promote tourism, but the focus is really on [Read more…]

Along a Bike Route: the Royal Canadian Navy Monument in Ottawa

Reading Time: 4 minutes In March, I posted a picture of our new Royal Canadian Navy Monument here in Ottawa. I have noticed a lot of traffic to my blog from people who were looking for pictures of the monument. Last week, we were out for a bike ride with our friend André, who for the first time in five years, took his bike down from the attic of his garage and started cycling again. And to make the news even better, he also commutes to work again (for the insiders, he lives in Westboro and loves the bike lanes on Scott). It took [Read more…]

Video: “Summer Cycling in the City of Ottawa”

Reading Time: 2 minutes Two nights ago, I gave a presentation in Kitchener Waterloo about cycling in the Netherlands and Ottawa. Talking about another country is one thing, but feels sometimes somewhat remote.  I find it much more useful to add some of the work that we do in Canada. My latest presentations saw therefore some time allocated to Ottawa too. People seem to really appreciate the stories (and some great pics) about Ottawa’s growing interest in cycling as a means to get around. Over the years, we have had our share of foreign speakers but I think Ottawa is now at a point with [Read more…]

Hot Start for 42nd Edition of Ottawa-Gatineau Summer Sunday Bike Days

Reading Time: 3 minutes Where some cities in the world set aside -if you’re lucky- one day a year for a car free cycling experience, Ottawa has its Bike Sundays for 42 years already (and inline skating, walkers and runners, although the latter two are vastly underrepresented) . That makes it probably the oldest Bike Sunday initiative in the world. And not for one Sunday, but all Sundays between Victoria Day (somewhere around the 20-25th of May) until Labour Day, usually around the 4th of September. That probably comes down to 14-15 Sundays a year. Since 1970. No one outside Ottawa knows that the NCC has [Read more…]