Ottawa Cycling Tour

With my love fully immersed in her conference, I decided to rent a bike and take advantage of Ottawa’s wonderful bike paths.  I got an early start to get some riding in before the heat would become oppressive later in the day.  After picking up my bike and helmet from a local shop downtown, I’m off along the Ottawa River trail heading west away from downtown.

The bike trails around Ottawa are beautiful, and a great feature of the city helping to promote a healthy lifestyle:

Ottawa River cycling pathAs I start to make my way away from downtown, I stop for a quick picture of the Supreme Court of Canada:

Supreme Court of CanadaAfter a short ride, I pause at Remic Rapids Park, drawn to the balanced rock sculptures along the river.  These sculptures are done every year by artist John Felice Ceprano.  He uses no bolts or adhesives, so there’s a delicate beauty to these sculptures.  Here are a few pictures from my short stop here.  First, the sculptures with downtown Ottawa in the background:

Rock sculptures by John Felice CepranoA couple of close-ups to give an idea of how fragile the balancing act is:

Rock Sculptures by John Felice CepranoRock Sculptures by John Felice CepranoI keep cycling west until Britannia Beach near Lincoln Fields which makes a nice spot for a quick rest and a bottle of water.  This is a beach I used to frequent a bit one summer when I lived in the west end of Ottawa in the 90s.  I head back toward downtown so I can take in some spectacular views and so I can save my legs for the rest of my planned trip along the Rideau Canal.  Here’s the Peace Tower and the Library of Parliament (with the National Gallery just off to the left) as I arrive back in downtown:

Parliament BuildingsHere I am taking a quick break before cycling beneath Parliament Hill:

Taking a break just outside downtownThe Chateau Laurier from the bike path:

Chateau LaurierAs I start to make my way south beside the Rideau Canal, I get held up by a parade after the daily changing of the guard at Parliament Hill:

Stopped by a paradeThe ride along the Canal is really beautiful and peaceful.  It’s about 11:00 or so and there are lots of people out running, cycling and walking.  My route takes me south, around Dow’s Lake and then across the Rideau Canal at one of its locks:

Rideau CanalBy the time I start the final leg north back into the city, my legs are starting to get a bit tired.  The heat index has climbed to 35C and I’m on my last bottle of water.  As the canal makes its final turn south of downtown, I’m happy to see my destination in sight:

Rideau CanalIt was a great way to spend a morning in Ottawa, and was a wonderful reminder of the outdoor pursuits so easily and comfortably available in the city.   Slightly weary, here’s a picture of me and my ride just before I turned my bike in:

End of the cycling tour

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