Monday, June 23, 2008

Boring Sunday Ride, Punctuated by Unwanted Thrills

The highest point on this ride is actually a landfill near the Experimental Farm!

On Sunday the weather was not very cooperative yet again, and my plan to do a group ride with the Ottawa Bicycle Club was foiled by the wretched pouring rain, which did not let up until the early afternoon. It got so late that I was debating even going for a ride but I thought of the three hours of training time that I would lose through laziness so I took out the bike and rode out around 3:30 pm.

My cunning plan was to take the bike path into Gatineau Park and enter a bit further north than usual in order to avoid the terrible road surface on Blvd. Alexandre-Tache, but after a good start I soon found myself hopelessly lost as none of the numerous intersecting bike paths in Hull had any directional signs. In addition, the paths all go through the route of what must be the ugliest semi-urban landscape in Canada and this depressed me so much that I fled back across the Ottawa River and rejoined the bike path on the Ontario side.

I decided to do a big loop around Ottawa using the bike path, which I have not done since I returned to the city last September. This was not the best idea as I had forgotten that the bike paths are actually "multi-use recreational paths," meaning that everyone who wants to can use them. The result is that it is pretty well impossible to ride at any speed since there are joggers, dogwalkers, people with baby carriages and mental defectives everywhere. One rollerblader took up both lanes and I had some trouble passing, even though I called "On your left!" quite loudly. I thought he must have been using headphones but when I passed (and he came so close I had to shout again) I saw that he was not. He gave me a look of such contempt I wanted to lean over and hit him. Unfortunately, most of the users of the path are similarly inconsiderate of other people and I think in future I prefer to take my chances with motorists.

In many places the bike path is pretty lumpy so between that and the risk of hitting people constantly I was pretty relieved to make it back home after 55 kms. The fact that I had had a vicious headwind for 3/4 of the trip did not improve my mood much, although at least it did not rain on me. Once I arrived home and got cleaned up, a massive thunderstorm did hit and today I will be commuting to work in pouring rain again.

1 comment:

Donald said...

Riding your bike should never be that frustrating. But I understand those kinds of days.
Cheer up as best you can and hit your favorite route once the weather improves. Your nerves deserve it.:)