Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Commute

I grew up in the Ottawa Valley, and though I spent little time in the city , I had come to the conclusion that it was kind of lame. 

I went away to Southern Ontario for university, and I fell in love with London - I loved its many parks, and particularly the paths that followed the river.  I even developed an odd affection for Windsor, and I loved its bike paths too.  Then life brought me back to Ottawa.  Now living in the city, I finally got to experience it on two wheels, and it brought me to two important conclusions: First,  that I will fall in love with any city that has good bike paths, and second, that Ottawa has the best bike paths of anywhere I've been so far. 

I think something changes when you get to know a city by bike.  You get to know it more intimately, as though you and the city share some important secret that those driving around in cars will never have the privilege of knowing.  You can go places on bikes you can't go in a car.  You see more of the city from the saddle of a bike.  Most importantly, the best parts of the city are the parts with the bike paths - the canal, the riverbanks, the parks, and the beaches.  Like looking through a person's profile pictures on Facebook, Ottawa only shows you its good side when you're touring the pathways.

Another bonus of biking the city - suddenly your commute changes from a daily annoyance, to a heart-warming daily reminder that life is pretty good.  My commute from work looks a little something like this. 

A tour through the farm (yes, Ottawa has a farm in the middle of the city)

Down a lushly treed, private lane.

Across a fully functional, 200 year old lock.

Along a canal that every winter is transformed into the world's largest skating rink.

Around a bay.

Through a park.

And past a busy, sun-filled beach.

This is one of the many reasons why I love Ottawa, and I get to experience it every day. :)

Gratuitous Tulip Post

It's spring again, and the tulip fest has come and gone - but not before I snapped a few photos of course!  Here are some of my favourite shots from this year (taken May 17th).

It was a perfectly beautiful day at Dow's lake
This pretty, powdery combo was my favourite this year!

Not only are the individual tulip beds lovely, but the combined effect of  multiple tulip beds is always breathtaking!

Waves of tulips - the wind had taken its toll on some of the taller varieties 

Silver Linings

Back in April I was in an accident and totalled my car.  Aside from a slightly busted wrist, I came out of it alright.  I was given a bunch of money for my car, but instead of buying a new one, I decided the time had come for me to invest in a sweet new bike.
1st cast ever! Thank goodness I only had it for 8 days!
You see, dear reader, to this point I had been riding around on an old CCM mountain bike that I got from Canadian Tire back in the mid 90s.  Don't get me wrong - it is a sturdy bike with a good heart, but it wasn't exactly built for performance.  More than that, I'm pretty sure the frame is made of solid steel - this thing weighs a ton!  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love biking, especially in Ottawa.  So it was high time that I got myself a bike that suited the avid cyclist I had become.

Sturdy old Cici

Just after my accident I was in a cast for 8 days until they determined my wrist wasn't broken.  At the time I was pretty bummed about this whole accident situation.  Now that the cast is off and I have an amazing new bike (that I love like a third pet), I feel like the accident was one of the best things that happened to me and makes me feel hopeful that this year is going to be a very good year.  If I hadn't been in that accident I'd still be driving around in a car (that I had been talking about getting rid of for over a year) and I'd still be riding around on my beastly old mountain bike.  In all situations, life is what you make of it.  In this situation, I made my life more awesome!

Touring with B'Elanna through the Arboretum