Lanes for Casual Biking

Lanes for Casual Biking

Dec 27, 2016

Ottawa is a city heavily immersed in what we call “bike culture”. On any given day you can spot cyclists biking for transportation, sport or simply for fun. As with any activity there are different levels of cycling. Those who do it for sport are likely pedaling at higher speeds than those who are doing it for fun. So where do you go in the city if you want to cycle for fun and not be in the way of those cycling faster than some cars drive?

 

Ottawa has many different bike lanes in and around the city and the number continues to grow. For a more leisure bike ride you might take to the Sir John A. MacDonald Parkway. Although many serious cyclists do frequent this bike path there is plenty of room for all cycling levels. With the beauty of the Ottawa river and views of Gatineau hills, the Parkway is an excellent location to have a leisurely cycle. Bring a snack and take a break to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

 

Over the summer Ottawa participates in Sunday Bikedays which is put on by the National Capital Commission. Sunday Bikedays is a program that designates certain areas of roadway as solely bike lanes for a period of time. This is an event open to cyclists of all skill level and is very family friendly. Check out the link for participating locations and further information. http://www.ncc-ccn.gc.ca/places-to-visit/parks-paths/things-to-do/nokia-sunday-bikedays

 

What if you don’t live near the Parkway? Not to worry because as part of Ottawa’s commitment to cyclists there are bike paths located all over the city! For those who like to ride a little slower, the road is not necessarily the best place for you to be. Not only can it be nerve racking for the cyclist, but it is also dangerous for motor vehicles if a bicycle is travelling too slow and impeding the flow of traffic. There are plenty of bike trails that are off the roadways and provide a safe and oftentimes scenic place for slower biking to occur. Take some time to investigate around your neighborhood to discover the paths near you. Chances are good that there will be a bike path close by where you can ride at a leisurely pace.

 

Don’t be intimidated by the professional bikers who glide by at top speeds without seeming to breaking a sweat. Find a path that suits your biking comfort level and safely enjoy your cycling time.

Bike Safety for Kids

Bike Safety for Kids

Oct 25, 2016

We all want our children to be healthy and live active lives. Cycling is a fantastic family friendly activity that can get everyone outdoors and in better shape. Before you take your children out on the bike paths, be certain to check the following 5 safety tips to ensure safe travels wherever you go.

 

1. Proper size bike

Most bikes are adjustable to accommodate for growth over time. Take time to properly fit your child’s seat and handlebars to their height. If your child outgrows their bike be certain to invest in a new one to ensure safety. It’s equally important to not have a child ride a bike that is too big for them.

 

2. Helmet safety

In Ontario it is law that anyone under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle. Although it is not law for anyone over the age of 18 to wear a helmet it is good practice. Especially for parents to provide a good safety example for their children.

 

3. Teach proper signaling

The best way to ensure your children will be safe operating a bicycle on the road is to teach them at a young age about proper signaling and road safety. If you arm your children with the proper left, right and stop hand signals at a young age and teach them how to safely make turns on the road they will be safe travellers for life.

 

4. Teach proper cycling attire

Along with your child’s first bike be sure to give them plenty of brightly coloured clothing. Teaching them at a young age that visibility on the road is important could potentially save their lives one day. Reflectors and flashing lights added to the bike are always a fantastic extra safety touch. Take your child on a shopping trip and have them pick out some of their own bike safety gear!

 

5. Always have a bell

With the absence of a horn, bikes require a means to alert cars and pedestrians to their oncoming. Having a bell loud enough to be heard could be key to avoiding serious accidents. It is also a helpful tool in alerting slower cyclists of your desire to pass them on a bike lane.

 

Bicycling is not only fantastic exercise but it is also an excellent source of exercise for children and adults alike. Teaching children at a young age the safe way to ride on the road and on designated bike paths is the best way to ensure their safety as they grow up.

Paths for Adventurous Riders

Paths for Adventurous Riders

Oct 11, 2016

Although some bike for pleasure, others bike for sport. If you have ever taken a spin class you may have some idea of what it is like to bike up a mountain bike trail! For those who are dedicated to cycling there are some truly spectacular bike lanes in the Ottawa area.

 

Champlain Lookout

The trek to the Champlain Lookout in Gatineau Park is among the most difficult and most rewarding bike lanes in the Ottawa area. However it is not for novice bike riders. The entire trip from ground level to the top of the Champlain Lookout is a distance of 57.36km and a climb of 350ft. It is not an easy trip to take but the rewards are visually amazing. Take a break at the many breathtaking lookouts along the way to the top. http://gobiking.ca/local-rides/the-gatineau-park-3/

 

East End to Petrie Island

From a beautiful ride along the Ottawa River Pathway transitioning into a residential area that leads to an 8km bike path this east end trail is for both professional and leisurely bikers. At the end of this marked trail take an easy left to Petrie Island and enjoy the beautiful wetlands and beach area.

 

Prescott Russell Pathway

For those looking for a long ride, take a trip east from the greenbelt near Blair Rd through the Village of Navan and explore the beautiful 20km Prescott Russell pathway.  If 20km doesn’t peak your interest don’t be discouraged, the path connects to Prescott-Russell Recreational Trail at Canaan Road which spans 72km.

 

Experimental Farm Pathway

The experimental farm is not only for animals! Ottawa is fortunate to have this beautiful farmland in the middle of the city which also hosts 8.5km of paved bike lanes. There are many sights to see along the way and this trip can be enjoyed by professional bikers or by a family looking for a biking adventure.

 

Greenbelt Pathways

Residents of Ottawa are lucky to have an expansive greenbelt running through the city. In the West end of the city the greenbelt trails are mostly flat and paved or stone dust. There are about 10km in the west end of greenbelt paths. The East end has about 4.5km of paths and is mostly stone dust. Becoming acquainted with the greenbelt pathways and discover the beauty the inner city has to offer!

 

Whether you are looking for a challenging day up a difficult bike path or if you are looking for a leisure trek down the waterways, Ottawa is the best place to be for cycling fun.