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…]

When Ottawa Wakes up from Hibernation

Reading Time: 3 minutes Talking about extremes. The Ottawa winter has been odd, to say the least. The canal wasn’t open for skating for long; on the other hand, only a week and a half ago we were still skiing in the Gatineau. All of a sudden the weather turned around and Sunday, Ottawa saw 25.1 degrees (as in 77F) . The normals are +4 (40F) max and -7 (20F) minimum for March 18. We hopped on our bikes and cycled along the canal to the Byward Market, and back along the Ottawa River via Parkdale Ave to Nepean. I have never seen so [Read more…]

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“The Iceberg” is Ready

Reading Time: 2 minutes It looks like an iceberg, the Royal Canadian Navy’s new monument at Richmond Landing, a peninsula like piece of land in the Ottawa River, between Victoria Island and the Library and Archives of Canada. It is to be unveiled this spring. It appears ready now, the grass is in, the flag pole (not in the picture) and the trees are planted. The design is from Team McWilliams/Bakker/Haden (Al McWilliams, Joost Bakker and Bruce Haden) from British Columbia. I wonder how long it will remain graffiti free. Not sure what to think of it yet. It doesn’t really wow me. From the Navy’s [Read more…]

Un Peu de Paris au Marché Parkdale

Reading Time: 3 minutes It has been a really nice autumn in Ottawa, and last fin de la semaine (Michael: that translates to ‘weekend’) was no exception. Sunny crisp weather, temperatures I wished we could have throughout the winter. It makes cycling so much more pleasant. Often we take the bicycle to Parkdale Market. It is one of those succesfully revitilised places, where an open air market, a park with a wade pool and a small stage make the area feel welcoming. It is also cycling and pedestrian friendly. There is a plan to build an enormous high rise at the north end, where [Read more…]

Visiting Ward 9’s bike infrastructure

Reading Time: 9 minutes Ottawa consists of much more than the usual suspects like Parliament Hill, the museums (musea), the Canal and the Byward Market. Not everyone who is visiting Ottawa will make it to places like Westboro, the Glebe, Old Ottawa South or up and coming Hintonburg, let alone making it all the way to a place like Nepean or Orleans, unless you have family there. Even most Ottawans don’t make it to the other side of the city usually. Before a number of municipalities merged into the current city of Ottawa, there was a place called Nepean. Mostly built up since the [Read more…]

Attractive New Low Impact Pavilion in Vincent Massey Park

Reading Time: 3 minutes Vincent Massey Park, across the Rideau River from Carleton University, North of Heron Road and West of Riverside Drive, is well known among immigrant groups, it appears, as often I see large numbers of East Asian immigrants barbecueing in the summer. The bike path along the river in Vincent Massey Park was closed for a while as the NCC has been widening the path. The NCC and the city didn’t really think of cyclists and simply closed the path, not realising the impact. Consequently, all of a sudden cyclists had to figure out another way around the construction site, which [Read more…]