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…]

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…]

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…]

Capital Velo Fest 2012 Fashion Show “A Model Event”

Reading Time: 5 minutes Last year in 2011, we had our first Capital Velo Fest at the front lawn of City Hall, better known as Marion Dewar Plaza. Ms. Dewar was a former mayor of Ottawa and mother of current MP for Ottawa Centre, Paul Dewar. The sun was out most of the day and hundreds of people dropped by. At the second edition of Velo Fest, the weather was unfortunately not very cooperative. This has obviously an effect on the numbers, as most of the day it was very quiet. There were a number of bike retailers, the MS Society, Envirocentre, Ottawa Bicycle [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…]

Tulips on Two Wheels: Saturday May 5th at Canal Ritz

Reading Time: 4 minutes Everyone in Ottawa knows why we have tulips, but for those who don’t live here (and I have readers as far as Chicago and Charleston, SC), here is the short summary: Dutch Princess Juliana stayed with her daughters in Ottawa during World War Two. As a token of appreciation, the Royal Family donated thousands of tulips and still continue this tradition until today. The Dutch bulb growers chip in too, so every year hundreds of thousands of tulips bloom in the Capital. Add a canal and lots of bikes and the occasional waft of weed, and you’d swear you are [Read more…]

May is Bike to Work Month in Ottawa

Reading Time: 4 minutes 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…]

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…]