This Sunday– May 23 — marks the beginning of the 40th season of Sunday Bikedays. The program continues until Sunday, September 5, the Sunday of the Labour Day weekend.
This unique program closes more than 50 km (31 miles) of scenic parkways to motorized vehicles on Sunday mornings from 9:00am to 1:00pm, allowing cyclists, inline skaters and runners to enjoy the roadway to its fullest.
One of the most popular routes is along Colonel By Drive, which skirts the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other popular sites include the westbound lanes of the Ottawa River Parkway in the west end, running along the Ottawa River, from the Canadian War Museum to Carling Avenue; and the Rockcliffe Parkway in the east ened, also running next to the Ottawa River, from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum to St. Joseph Boulevard in Orléans.
Additional roads in Gatineau Park are closed to vehicular traffic from 6:00 to 11:00am on Sundays, including the Gatineau, Champlain and Fortune Parkways. If you’re a cyclist who enjoys steep hills, then this is where you want to be!
If you didn’t bring your bike with you to Ottawa, don’t despair. You can rent one from the friendly folks at RentABike, conveniently located in an old train tunnel under Rideau Street where it crosses the Rideau Canal. (Descend the staircase just to the west of the entrance of the Government Conference Centre (the former main train station of Ottawa), right across the street from the Fairmont Château Laurier hotel.
Sunday Bikedays are well-appreciated and well-attended weekly events, encouraging everyone to be more environmentally friendly and to enjoy exercising in the great outdoors. They are organized by the National Capital Commission, and sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent, Zerofootprint, KPMG LLP and Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP.
Enjoy the open road!