Archive for July, 2011

A bike tour around Ottawa

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Since I haven’t had much opportunity to get out on overnight tours this year, I decided I’d do a photoblog of a cycle tour along the pathways in Ottawa. I’d also like to put out a challenge to all my cycle touring friends out there – if you aren’t blogging and aren’t touring, then how about showing the world what your regular ride looks link? If you take up this challenge, please post a link in the comments.

When I decided to do this – and have some fun with it – I found myself slowing down and really appreciating the beauty in the ride. We are so vary lucky to have great urban bike routes that include to much nature. It is a rather lovely ride. Hope you enjoy the tour!

The first three photos are from the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, between the Champlain (Island Park) bridge and Alymer.

Gatineau Bike Path

Gatineau Bike Path

Gatineau Bike Path

And here is a picture of the same rapids, from the Ottawa side of the bike path.
The rapids, from the Ottawa side

An now my photos get a little more creative. Starting with a bridge across the Pinecrest creek.

A bridge across the path - Pinecrest creek

When I started to look for photo opportunities, I realized just how big the trees were on this part of the path.

Big tree, little bike

The initial view of the Ottawa River (I live about 5 km from the River).

First view of the Ottawa River

Rather than biking, some people enjoy the swimming at Westboro beach.

Westboro beach - one of the many public beaches on the Ottawa River

Each year, the NCC hires an artist who builds these statues in the river. The water is really high this year, so there aren’t as many as in years previous. I actually stopped and talked to the artist one year, and posted about it here.

Artwork on the Ottawa River

A brief stop on Bate Island on the over the Champlain bridge to Quebec.

Kayak lessons anyone? Bate Island (in Ontario, between Ottawa and Gatineau).

And Bate Island as seen from the bike path on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River just east of the Champlain bridge.

Bate Island as seen from the bike path on the Quebec side.

The parliament buildings from what I think is one of the prettiest stretches of the Ottawa River pathway (Quebec side).

Ottawa Parliament buildings

And the National Art Gallery.

The art gallery

The paths follows along behind the museum of Civilization, providing another great photo opportunity.

The gallery as seen from the Museum of Civilization lawn.

Crossing back on the Alexandria bridge into Ottawa provides a great view of the Rideau Canal locks.

Crossing back to Ottawa

And a fun close-up shot of one of the locks with a bit of the Chateau Laurier in the mirror background.

A close-up of one of the locks.

A close-up the Rideau Canal above the locks.
A close-up of one of the locks.

Some folks choose to explore the Rideau Canal by kayak.
Some folks exploring the canal via kayak.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time and needed to get home. So I conclude this journey with a photo of the sunset from Britannia beach.

Sunset at Britannia Beach

What do you think? Will you take up the challenge and show the world pictures of your regular bike ride? I, for one, would love to see it.

Reflections on the past

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

On July 7th, 2008 is a date that will forever be stuck in my mind, not only as my father’s birthday, but also the day we left home on our Going East journey around the world without airplanes. That was a long day of doing all the final bits and pieces of packing – making one last run over to the storage locker – and finally (at 8pm) packing up our bikes and leaving.

It has been three years since then. We made it around the world, and successfully returned home. We returned rich with experiences and a new outlook on life. In the almost two years since we’ve been home, I worked full time for 8-months and now I’m a full time Ph.D student. Scott took a year off to explore and is now working for Alcatel-Lucent.

Looking back – and looking forward – the biggest thing I learned on the trip was a strong belief in fate. I don’t mean fate in the “I’m not going to do anything and see what happens” sense, I mean fate in the “looking for opportunities and taking advantage of them as they present themselves” sense.

So now, I think about putting it out my desires to the universe and if the support structures appear, then I know I’m making the right decision – if I’m blocked at every corner, then I need to re-evaluate. But looking back, fate always took care of me, and it still is.

We’re back

Monday, July 11th, 2011

After a much too long hiatus, I’m happy to report our site is back up. Sadly, we got hacked and recovery took much longer than we thought. Scott will share his reflections on this in the coming weeks.

With any luck, you’ll see updates of our summer cycling adventures.

We are just happy to be back!