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.