Ottawa’s First Plaid Parade a Big Hit

November 3, 2012 Hansonthebike 8

Reading Time: 5 minutes It takes quite a bit to surprise me, but this morning on November 3rd at 11 am and only 3° Celsius (37°F) outside, I was taken aback by the large amount of cyclists gathering at Suzie Q Donuts on Wellington Street West. That is where the First Ottawa Plaid Parade started, yet another bike initiative that injects a bit more fun into Ottawa and nudging Ottawa forward to become a leading North American bicycle city. Usually, I am not so sure about cycling in a circle with a group through town, but I am slowly starting to enjoy these type [Read more…]

View of Queens St, Ottawa Danielle Nacu

First Annual Danielle Naçu Community Bike Ride

October 5, 2012 Hansonthebike 1

Reading Time: 6 minutes Ottawa is a very safe place to cycle. But sometimes things go wrong. Terribly wrong. People die. Traffic deaths declining About 20 years ago, Canada counted 3963 fatal traffic accidents, in 2009 it dropped to 2209. That is still 6 people every day, or one every four hours. Day after day, week after week. In 2005, 53 cyclists died on Canada’s roads, in 2006 (73) , 2007 (65) in 2008 (42) and in 2009 (41). There appears to be a downwards trend, and I am hoping that -considering the increase in cycling popularity- there are also relatively less and less [Read more…]

Encountering Kids in Wellington West, Ottawa

September 19, 2012 Hansonthebike 2

Reading Time: 4 minutes I remember as a kid in Holland, we always had a decorated bike ride on our Queen’s Day (which is basically our National Day). I didn’t think much of it and participated a number of times. Only now I realise, 45 years later, that it was probably organised to make us familiar with traffic. Or probably just to have fun. Who knows. In Ottawa, Kathleen Wilker has become the face of children cycling advocacy. She works for the Kitchisippi Times, won the Bruce Timmermans City of Ottawa award, and is a member of the Hintonburg Cycling Champions. She also writes for Momentum [Read more…]

Ottawa’s Wellington West Fashion Show

September 17, 2012 Hansonthebike 3

Reading Time: 4 minutes Wellington West in Ottawa is probably the hippest place in Ottawa. Last weekend, the Business Improvement Area organised a ‘Taste of Wellington West’. Food could be sampled, antique cars were on display (some very cool ones actually), there was a kids bike ride, RightBike offered free bike parking and there was a fashion show, with bikes offered by RightBike Ottawa and regular citizens of Ottawa as the models. While I rarely buy clothes as I hate shopping, I do enjoy watching the fashion show. Here are a few impressions. If anyone can help me with the names of the models [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…]

Destination Prince Edward County, Ontario

August 14, 2012 Hansonthebike 6

Reading Time: 6 minutes In terms of cycling, Canada is a hidden gem. In terms of wine, even more so. Tell your relatives back in Holland that you toured Canadian wine country on a bicycle, and they think you are kidding them. Canada: that is polar bears, RV rental in the Rockies, hard working farmers and Dutch Reformed Christians. The folks in Europe don’t associate Canada with wine and cycling. Yet, just 250 km (for my US readers, that is 150 miles)  outside of Ottawa, the second coldest capital in the world, you’ll find a place called Prince Edward County, a place so unknown [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…]

Cycling Advocacy at Work: The Ramps are a Go!

July 25, 2012 Hansonthebike 0

Reading Time: 4 minutes Bike troughs in Ottawa’s Light Rail Stations will be permitted Often in advocacy, you wonder why you spend all that precious private time meeting, explaining, presenting, convincing why a certain idea you have will benefit the citizens of Ottawa. You need to get to understand how the City works, in order to not to talk to the wrong people and wasting your time. Of course, you have to meet during working hours with professionals, which happens to be your working time too. You have to find allies, you have to defend yourself against those who haven’t seen the light yet, [Read more…]

Can-Bike 4 Kids

July 15, 2012 Hansonthebike 1

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ottawa’s oldest bicycle advocacy group, Citizens for Safe Cycling (CfSC), was -amongst others- founded by Bruce Timmermans. From Dutch descent, he was used to cycling as a means of transportation, before the word environment was invented and CO2 was mostly found in soft drinks. When he died in 1999, CfSC received donations which were set aside for good use in bicycle advocacy. In 2011, there was still a small amount left and Jamie Stuckless of Green Communities Canada applied for the remaining amount to use for cycling education programs for kids. Together with Can-Bike, they approached a number of schools [Read more…]