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  1. #1
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    Moving to Ottawa

    After a 17 year stretch in Newfoundland Im moving to Ottawa. I have some questions about commuting. How is the attitude toward bikers there? How hilly is the area? Will I wear out my granny gears? I'm trying to compare to St John's. The saying here is "If your not biking up hill your coasting down hill. When does the snow show up...and stay? When does it leave? How much rain do you have in the winter? Right now the snow shows up in St John's around late december and is gone off biking trails mid June. Sides of the roads are clear around mid may. Thats if there is no....snow? I don't but away my "salt" bike till the end of june.
    Last edited by CarBad; 09-19-12 at 05:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    I'm in Montreal and visited both places. It's mostly flat or gentle slope, nothing like St-John's! You can cross the river to Gatineau park for hills and great roads. The city has nice trails along the Ottawa river and Rideau canal. Snow should be around november to april, with some flurries outside of that, and maybe an early storm in october. This year, I toured from MTL to Ottawa and back in late march. Temperatures hit a record high around 27°C. Can't say much about the day-to-day experience. It's a larger city with the traffic that comes with but there's a good biking infrastructure and culture. I go almost every year and always enjoy it.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  3. #3
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    Welcome to Ottawa!

    The attitude towards bikes is decent (but improving). There's lots of bike commuters in the summer time. There's a decent amount in the winter too. Seems there's more bike commuters every year lately.

    It's not very hilly. The few tougher hills we have can be avoided by taking a different route.

    Snow is typically on the ground from December to March.

    For winter commuting: Most pathways aren't plowed. Most bikes lanes become snow banks. Side roads are iffy. Main arteries and any roads with bus service are usually well maintained.

  4. #4
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    I look forward to cycling there. Can't be worse then the constant steam of insults and people forcing you off the road on a daly basis... Although when I'm hit with fountain drinks...BRRR it's soooo refreshing!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarBad View Post
    I look forward to cycling there. Can't be worse then the constant steam of insults and people forcing you off the road on a daly basis... Although when I'm hit with fountain drinks...BRRR it's soooo refreshing!!!!!!!!!
    That's nuts! I've never had someone throw a drink at me while commuting!

  6. #6
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    I had to start wearing ear buds because every 9th or tenth driver screams insults out their passenger window. CBC did a story were a cyclist wore a mic and camera and road threw St John's. You should see haw many times he is intentionally cut off and insulted. I stop at every red light, obey all laws and go out of my way to be courteous. But that does nothing to help. I am always cut off by right turners. I put over 400 km a month on my Trek in years past commuting, but after being hit with a fountain drink...Wendy's large I decided not to commute. That happened at the end of last year haven't been on my bike since.

  7. #7
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    If St John's is that bad you'll find Ottawa more pleasant in comparison. We still have our share of aggressive and clueless drivers out-here but with more and more bikes on the road they're getting used to us.

    Do you know which parts of Ottawa you'll be commuting to/from?

    I commute from Beacon Hill to Gatineau year round.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Shaun View Post
    If St John's is that bad you'll find Ottawa more pleasant in comparison. We still have our share of aggressive and clueless drivers out-here but with more and more bikes on the road they're getting used to us.

    Do you know which parts of Ottawa you'll be commuting to/from?

    I commute from Beacon Hill to Gatineau year round.
    We are still bouncing between Quebec or Ontario? Right now we are thinking Ontario side. Maybe hunt club. I work for purolator so I'll be working at the airport. Might be a long commute from Gatineau? My wife will be working at the old train station Terminal RD. Is Gatineau French or english speaking? My wife and oldest son 17yr are bilingual. My younger son 8yr and I don't speak french. However I would like to learn.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarBad View Post
    We are still bouncing between Quebec or Ontario? Right now we are thinking Ontario side. Maybe hunt club. I work for purolator so I'll be working at the airport. Might be a long commute from Gatineau? My wife will be working at the old train station Terminal RD. Is Gatineau French or english speaking? My wife and oldest son 17yr are bilingual. My younger son 8yr and I don't speak french. However I would like to learn.
    For car commuting from Gatineau to Ottawa in the morning (and Ottawa to Gatineau in the afternoon) is chaos due to limited capacity on the inter-provincial bridges. Of course that won't be an issue by bike but it could be a 20km or longer commute from Gatineau to the airport.

    Gatineau is mostly French, so is a good chunk of the eastern half of Ottawa (such as Vanier, Orleans and rural areas). Even though I'm Francophone myself I have never lived on the Quebec side, only worked there.

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