The Labour Day weekend was the last weekend of the popular Ottawa bikedays. We take a tour past some Ottawa landmarks, stop for a beer and collect bike counter data on the fly.
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…]
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…]
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…]
While some cycle year round and others dust off their bikes when the snow is gone, there are also many people who wait until May before they finally get the bikes out. Last year, I participated in Bike To Work month by volunteering in one of the booths along the paths along the canal. It was really early and it was really cold. It was good to see however, that so many cyclists were out already. I vaguely remember the spandex types out cycling early between 7 and 7:45 am and then slowly the cyclists change to the casually dressed [Read more…]
Ottawa City council gets input from several advisory groups (soon to be abandoned apparently) on specific issues. One of those groups is called the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee aka RCAC. RCAC has 9 members at large and 3 representatives from the cycling community, amongst others the Ottawa Bicycle Club and Citizens for Safe Cycling. This is a valuable channel for citizens to stay in touch with decision makers. The City of Ottawa’s website says the following about RCAC: The mandate of the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee is to provide advice and guidance to Ottawa City Council and its [Read more…]
For a North European, closing the road for people to cycle feels a bit odd; people simply cycle every day everywhere over there. As long as you have to close roads, you obviously have a (perceived) safety issue among the population. However, North Americans consider cycling still mostly a sport (although it is changing), which you do in an enclosed environment, like on track, in a hall, or in this case a closed circuit. Canada’s National Capital Commission has been closing a number of parkways (kind of beautified roads, with lots of landscaping to impress locals and foreign dignitaries alike) [Read more…]
. A few weeks ago, during the Tulip Festival or so, lots of cars where leaving the parking at Dow’s Lake. Rather than waiting, many of them used the bike lane to pass the left turning lane. When I pulled out my camera, they stopped doing it but I bet these are the same people who complain that bikes cycle on sidewalks. In autumn and spring, when traffic is busy, it happens all the time. Just before I took this picture I actually saw a girl sandwiched between two cars on the bike lane, as car-cyclist-car. Truly unbelievable.