Monday, July 4, 2011

50K on a gorgeous day...

No, I'm not actually holding up any sign; I'm trying to cool down my armpits at Rockcliffe Airport.

Every July 1st, Adam and I make it a point to get out to Rockcliffe as much to see the visiting airplanes as to get some exercise. In years past, we had taken the bus(es) to get there and then walked from there to downtown. We have made this trip through coolish days and even managed to get caught in a "sudden" deluge one year. This year, however, the weather was picture perfect for a trike trip. Sunshine, bright blue skies, light winds (if any) and even lighter traffic.

We packed a lunch and left the house around 8:30 after a good breakfast - of course. Our route was the same one we use for the weekly Sunday Bike day with one major difference. Once at the north end of Mooney's Bay, we veered to the right and headed towards Vincent Massey Park. Since the city re-profiled the path itself, it's been a lot smoother to sail downwards. It's also made the return uphill trip a lot less daunting, too.

The day was warming up very quickly as we rode along the pathways and even the occasional foray onto suburban streets as we transited from one pathway to another was an easy one. There were very few cars on the roads where we were even though the combination of it having been Canada Day and the presence of TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made Ottawa a huge attraction. In fact, the various pundits had predicted there would be close to 500,000 tourists milling about the city itself.

We stayed away from the downtown area and quite understandably so. We did encounter a few more vehicles along Sussex as we sailed the final few kilometres east to Rockcliffe but drivers and other cyclists were generally very well behaved.

So, we made it to Rockcliffe - a journey of about 24 kilometres by the pathways where I stayed with the trikes and Adam wandered around the collection of light aircraft, snapping pictures and taking movies. These made me smile. Our annual saunter to Rockcliffe is one of the rituals we do to - more or less - welcome summer and I was quite relieved that we were able to continue this tradition and on trikes no less.

After about half an hour, we decided to head back, stopping at Rockcliffe Park for our picnic lunch. The only minor glitch in all this was that the ice cream stand was not open and didn't look like it would be open this season at all. Getting an ice cream is a part of this tradition so we wound up racking our brains to come up with an alternative. Adam snapped his fingers recalling that the ice cream stand at Hog's Back is open. We knew this because we stopped there on the way out with me looking for a bathroom (long story).

So, we finished lunch, climbed into our trikes and continued our return trip by reversing our original path. Mostly, the day was getting quite hot but the low humidity made for a very pleasant journey. We got to Hog's Back and enjoyed a small ice cream all to the sounds of South American music belting out over the speakers. It was a lot of fun as people there were gearing up for Canada Day celebrations. In short order, though, it was time to make the final 20 minute trip back to the house before the day got even hotter.

An interesting thing did happen once we had maneuvered through Mooney's Bay heading south - I heard the first cicada of the season. I make it a point to note the date of the first cicada. That telltale buzzing of those elusive insects is a surefire sign that summer is, indeed, here.

The only other sniggly point I noted was having encountered a motorized medi-scooter in the bike lane on Hunt Club...going the wrong way. Please, people, bike lanes follow the same pattern as motor vehicles. You wouldn't drive a car the wrong way on a road, would you? It's no different in bike lanes so, please, follow the rules...

Okay, I'm done.


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