Getting started

Don't expect words of wisdom or earth shattering revelations, just my thoughts and observations about living in Ottawa, being a public servant and trying to live life every day to its fullest

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer sunshine - it has been a while since my last post ... I have been enjoying the summer that has finally arrived. Been rowing (well, coxing), been camping. been hiking and hanging out, have found patios, BBQ's and get-together with friends - generally been busy. How do I do it? By bike!

I used to bike around Toronto a lot. It was a great way to get around but in the years I did I had three bikes stolen and as many unfortunate encounters with vehicles, usually thanks to the people driving them (but not always, I was also door-prized by a kid). I have been on my bike around Ottawa (and Gatineau) for five years now and I have to say that this city has it going! Of course, things could be a lot better and every afternoon when I cross the Cummings Bridge I really believe I am taking my life into my own hands, but on the whole there are bike lanes and bike paths and sweet smelling air to breath.

A few of my favorite bike moments:
  • Biking along the canal late at night, zipping past couples snuggling on benches, runners enjoying the cooler air and people just enjoying the sites. The lighting isn't the best, but it has this strange other-worldly quality that puts me in a zone and just slows me down. There is peace to be found at night even in the heart of this city.
  • Biking home late at night after a patio with friends. Nothing beats racing up Rideau in four inch heels at 2am. There is little to no traffic and finding a cab or bus at that hour is impossible. There is a certain reckless abandon that overtakes me as the cool air rushes up and I slalom the pot-holes.
  • Riding to work. I usually do not choose my attire to suit my bike, I make my bike suit my attire, so I have been known to show up at work in a skirt, heels and helmet hair! A little cardio and fresh glow to start the day. Although the double takes some people give me as I walk up Sparks street with the panier and dress is also wonderful.
  • Doing stuff for the Roads and Cycling Advisory Committee. This one sounds really geeky, and it is! We are a city advisory body that helps provide insight on roads and cycling issues around the city. I feel we are actually doing good and helping improve the environment for cyclists.
I own three bikes - only one has seen any road time yet this year. It is a shame, each year I spend less and less time on any of them, but when ever I do get out, I love every minute of it. I don't break any speed records, and get there is something fast about being on a bike, something nimble and liberating and I do hope that my road bike gets some serious mileage this year.