gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for the ‘Cycling’

Don’t be an invisible cyclist!

April 14, 2015 @ 23:08 By: gordon Category: Cycling, General

On my way home from a meeting this evening, I passed at least four cyclists, two of whom were cycling two-abreast and none of whom had reflectors or lights on their bikes, light-coloured clothing or anything else that made them visible from any appreciable distance. And they were on relatively dark sections of road, so they were even more invisible.

According to the Highway Traffic Act

Lights and reflectors on bicycles, etc.

(17) When on a highway at any time from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise and at any other time when, due to insufficient light or unfavourable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 150 metres or less, every motor-assisted bicycle and bicycle (other than a unicycle) shall carry a lighted lamp displaying a white or amber light on its front and a lighted lamp displaying a red light or a reflector approved by the Ministry on its rear, and in addition white reflective material shall be placed on its front forks, and red reflective material covering a surface of not less than 250 millimetres in length and 25 millimetres in width shall be place on its rear.  2009, c. 5, s. 28 (1).


(18) Every person who contravenes subsection (17) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $20.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 62 (18).

So, basically, on your bike you have to have a white or yellow head light, a red tail light (or red reflector), and reflective tape on the front and rear forks. None of this stuff is terribly expensive, so there’s no excuse not to have it.

Don’t be an invisible cyclist… buy some lights and reflective tape and use them!

Cyclists on sidewalks in the news

September 10, 2013 @ 16:40 By: gordon Category: Cycling, In the news

IMG00050-20110902-1206.jpgI see that the issue of cyclists riding on sidewalks has been in the news lately. This is something that I have blogged about in the past  and I still encounter on a regular basis on my walk to and from work — my 6-minute walk to and from work. In the span of the couple of hundred metres along Holland Avenue that I walk, I often see cyclists riding on the sidewalks when they could easily be on the road. Holland Avenue was recently repaved so they can’t use the excuse of the curb lane being full of potholes. Personally, if I encounter a cyclist riding their bike on the sidewalk, I feel no obligation to move aside so that they can pass. If that upsets them, then tough.

If you’re a cyclist who is not confident enough to ride on the road where you belong then you need to re-evaluate whether you should be cycling at all. If, upon reflection, you decide that you should be cycling, then you need to either a) find a different route that avoids the streets that scare you, or b) recognize that as a cyclist you have a right to be on the road (following the rules, of course) and that most drivers really aren’t out to get you.

Either way, you need to stop cycling on the sidewalks. Now.

And, for the record, I am a cyclist and I do not ride on sidewalks.

One of my favourite cycling routes

May 28, 2012 @ 08:45 By: gordon Category: Cycling

I have three or four regular routes that I follow when I go cycling. When I’m looking for a longer route, I often take this one, which includes crossing the river over Portage Bridge, riding along the Quebec side of the river to the museum and then crossing back over the Alexandra Bridge before picking up the path on the Colonel By Drive side of the canal. Following the path to Hartwell Locks, it winds its way through the Experimental Farm to home.

The track in the map is from a ride I took last Thursday evening after work.

First ride of the season

April 20, 2012 @ 08:52 By: gordon Category: Cycling, Out and about

I picked up my bike from Fresh Air Experience at lunch on Wednesday and headed out after work with a friend for the first ride of the season. We followed one of my regular routes, which starts at the north end of Parkdale, follows the bike path along the Ottawa River to the locks below Parliament Hill, continues up the hill beside the locks, heads through the NAC and the along the path next the canal to Dow’s Lake. From Dow’s Lake it heads a couple of hundred metres along Prince of Wales to the greenspace just past the O-Train cut, through the greenspace and then along Sherwood and some local streets to home. It was nice to be back in the saddle and with the early spring I’m looking forward to many more rides.

Cyclists on sidewalks

September 06, 2011 @ 08:30 By: gordon Category: Cycling, Out and about

IMG00050-20110902-1206It seems like there are more and more cyclists riding on the sidewalks rather than in the streets where they belong.

Aside from being illegal, it can be dangerous for the people walking on the sidewalk (where they belong).

I was out at lunch with some people from work one day last week and we were approached from behind by three cyclists – two women and a man – while walking along Parkdale. When I pointed out to them that they weren’t supposed to be on the sidewalk they responded that there “wasn’t room” on the street. Me and my friends responded that there was room and that regardless they shouldn’t be on the sidewalk.

The guy on the bike decided to respect the law and rode off the sidewalk and off in to the distance on Parkdale. The two women, however, continued to ride on the sidewalk behind us, so we eventually stepped aside to they could go past us. The picture above is them riding off into the distance.

The fact of the matter is that if you’re riding a bike, you belong on the road, either in the bike lane if it exists, or at the side if it doesn’t. It is illegal for you to ride on the sidewalk. If your comfort level is such that you don’t feel comfortable riding on streets that have traffic then you shouldn’t be riding on those streets. You, like the women I encountered, should be taking side streets and bicycle paths where you won’t have to deal with traffic.

Photos around Parliament Hill

June 24, 2010 @ 23:58 By: gordon Category: Cycling, Out and about, Photography

I headed out for a short bike ride this evening and ended up at Parliament Hill shortly before sunset. While I was standing at the fence behind the Library of Parliament, I watched a family taking the usual tourist shots. One of the RCMP officers that was nearby went over and offered to take their picture. He got them organized, but something wasn’t right. Reaching into a pocket in his vest, he pulled out a small Canadian flag, gave it to the little boy and then took the pictures. Then he swapped places with the father and posed for a couple of pictures with the rest of the family.

Though he wasn’t wearing the Red Serge or sitting on a horse, I’m certain the family didn’t care.

First ride of 2009

March 18, 2009 @ 23:52 By: gordon Category: Cycling, Out and about

Ottawa has been having some nice weather the last couple of days, so yesterday I checked over my bike and got it ready for the road. It was nice again this evening so I grabbed my stuff and headed out for the first ride of the season.

I made my way to Dow’s Lake where I picked up the bike path along the Canal. Following it down to the NAC, I headed to Parliament Hill where I did a quick lap past the Library of Parliament before making my way back along the Ottawa River Parkway. Normally, I would have taken the bike path, but there were still sections blocked by snow.

This is one of the earliest first rides I’ve taken. Last year, I wrote about the first ride of 2008 on April 25th. Hopefully, this is good omen of the weather for the next few months.