Friday, June 16, 2006

Visited Ottawa

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Well, I still bike to work, but that's a little short of where my late spring cycling goals should be!

I visited Ottawa and rode the Park Gatineau up to to Pink Lake, which is mtn bike for the last part, where I puked my greasy non-cyclist-type breakfast. I wanted to go all the way to Belvidere Champlain, but it was a bit far and I would have been cutting it close to my time deadlines.

Pink Lake used to be three times as good, but the trails is more or less extremely very rolling and it used to be both more rolling and longer section of rolling, but some trail maintenance types smoothed it out. It was literally as if hundreds of dump trucks had dumped a few cubic metres, then gone ten feet further and done it again, and did it for a mile. After a bit of weathering, this becomes some sweet singletrack with great rolling bumps characteristics.

Ottawa area bike paths remain some of the best anywhere. A huge network, lots of bike-only trails, some integration of bike lanes INTO the traffic circulation (i.e. not just added at the outside and good luck crossing big intersections) . A truely fantastic town for cycling both in and out of the city, with Parc Gatineau on the urban doorstep; and hundreds of miles of quiet countryside ooutside the city/burbs line.

Went to National Gallery (i.e. national art museum) and the new Canadian War Museum. 2nd was amazing, first had moments of dazzle.

War museum had a great special show of the world in 1700s, when various imperial empires clashed, and won and lost things. Like France lost Canada, the U.S. won the U.S. from England, and so on. This was displayed on both the global scale and down to the specific wars that shaped the shape of US/Canada today. Very interesting. Fantastic in parts. Highly recommended, The Regular exhibit at war museum was goreat, a big improvement over previous cramped location. It amply demonstrated that we got better and better and better at killing each other. But it showed hope too, with peace-keeping efforts - our nation has tried to get people to just try and get along. Sometimes, it works!

Saw Emily Carr exhibit at National Gallery. Some modern including what seems like floor droppings from Jackson Pollack and a for a time warp, a bit of baroque. Found a few water fountains around the inside and in inner courtyard for rehydrating from bike adventure.

Both museums were very affordable, 5 for one and 4 for the other I think. There are lots (LOTS) of museums in Ottawa. A great holiday town for hardcore cyclist who want touristy stuff after the ride.

Ride Safe!


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