Where’s the warm weather? I want to go biking!

Getting distracted from working on school things, I stumble upon GoBiking.ca and remember the promise I made to myself last summer to explore the Ottawa-Gatineau region on my bike.

Last summer I went on two long trips. One was from The Hogs Back area into Gatineau Park’s Lac Meech. The other trip was from Hogs Back to Britannia Park.

Stone balancing along the Ottawa river

Over those two trips I had my beater Super-cycle generic mountain bike. Since that got stolen, I ended up getting a nice road bike. The weight difference and amount of speed you can get up to effortlessly has changed me for the better. Unfortunately I never went on a nice long trip with this new bike yet, only commuting the 7 kilometres to work every day, which was fine, but I’m regretting it now.

That regret is about to get flipped this year! When the nice warm spring weather comes, I’m immediately hopping on my bike and heading over to Timbuktu. Okay, maybe I’ll coast up the east side of Ottawa river and back, since I haven’t done that route yet.

I do plan on heading back into Gatineau park this year to do more sightseeing and to see if I can reach Lac Philippe. Me and my friends were considering camping up on Lac Philippe one of the weekends, but we never got around to planning it out. I recently head that the park shuts down the roads to cars on Sunday which is awesome! No fear of cars sneaking up on you.

The Lac Pink lookout point provides a good view

Just out of curiosity I looked up the biking directions from Ottawa, to my cottage in Gravenhurst, Ontario. A good 440 kilometres. Practically a 2 or 3 day bike. One time my family and I drove that route. I remember it being immensely beautiful with the fog rolling in among the hills. I’d definitely take a sports car along that route, but this is a post about bicycling, not one about cars. This trip is definitely out of my skill range, but a boy can dream, can’t he?

A female deer along the west end of the Ottawa bike paths

Some maintenance I definitely have to do to my bike this season is to get better tires and brakes. I managed to pop both the front and back tires multiple times last year hitting potholes and sewer drains. It might just be me not pumping up the tires enough. The brake pads can definitely be replaced. If I remember correctly, only one set of brakes works fully. The other just slows the bike to a stop.

I can’t wait for the warm weather to come. I’m setting a goal for myself to get out and ride around the Ottawa-Gatineau region more than last year!

Of Recent Events

I was going to write a post about looking forward to tonight’s Ottawa WordPress meet-up, but as of today’s events I find that there is a more important topic to blog about.

Today’s attack on Parliament and the shooting of Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial reminded me of 9/11. When 9/11 happened, the event seemed so surreal. Broadcasted over the TV or on the internet, it was hard to understand the scene for someone who has never walked the streets of New York or understood what this meant in a geo-political sense. I was only a month shy of being 8 years old.

Back to October 22nd: Never having lived so close to an attack like this, I originally thought this was just a random shooting. As I followed CBC’s live blog though, I started to put things into perspective. This wasn’t just a shooting, this was an attack on the Government of Canada.

Living in Ottawa and knowing the downtown core area very well has made this event more personal than it would have been if it had occurred in another city. Having walked those streets and visited those landmarks on many occasions, it’s hard to believe something so bad could occur at the same place where I associate safety and good times with.

Standing at my desk, trying to get work done as I constantly check for the latest twitter updates, I eventually break for lunch quite late in the day: sometime past 2 pm. Hitting up my favourite shawarma place, the day seems even eerier when the restaurant is dead empty. Here I begin to write this post while chowing down on a healthy serving of garlic potatoes.

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