Beautiful Day for a Ride: Mason Ferry Crossing Cycle Tour.
By: Megan McTavish (2004/06/06)
Well, Saturday was definitely what you would call a beautiful day. It was about 23 degrees and sunny, a perfect day for a long bike ride! Four members of XC Ottawa and two others joined up to do a long tour (about 150 km we think). Some of the group were preparing for next week's Rideau Lakes Tour, an annual event in Ottawa where thousands of cyclists ride from Ottawa to Kingston on Saturday and back on Sunday. In order for the event to be as fun and comfortable as possible, it is best to have a few long rides under the belt going in.
This week we chose to do a loop that we had tried once last year as well and had really enjoyed. The people from town (Ottawa) met up at the National Archives at 8:30 and rode through the park up to Old Chelsea where they picked up Karl and myself. From there we headed to the Alonzo-Wright bridge across the Gatineau River and rode towards Nakkertok Ski Club. On this side of the Ottawa River, the road is twisting and rolling, with a number of steep little climbs. It ventures through the towns of Perkins, Buckingham and Masson. At Masson, we took a short break while riding the ferry across the Ottawa River (cost $2 per person). On the Ontario side, we took the scenic route through Navan finally ending at the Rockcliffe parkway and rode that back into downtown Ottawa. Here we parted and everyone rode home, while Karl and I continued up to Chelsea through the park. The whole loop took about 6 hours (including some rest stops).
As it always is on a bike adventure, it was great that our "mechanic" Arno was along, we used him on a few occasions. I know for a fact that he enjoyed the day, I think he told me about 20 times how great it was!
The lesson of the day was that you shouldn't wave enthusiastically at the car letting you go at a four way stop while trying to get across the intersection and get your cleats in the pedals at the same time!
If you are interested in trying this loop yourself, you can get more details from Karl by emailing email@example.com.