Ever since I set out on my goal to ride down every street in Ottawa/Gatineau four years ago I’ve shied away from big industrial parks as they aren’t usually the safest places for cyclists. Or pedestrians. Or anyone else not encased in moving metal. This shouldn’t be the case as everyone needs to feel safe getting to work, but reality and desirability often don’t match up when it comes to bike infrastructure. Yet. That’s why, when I do venture in to these pedal badlands I often choose a quiet Sunday, and what quieter Sunday could there be than Easter? So on the 2/3 mark of 30 Days of Biking, between egg hunting and feast hosting, I rode over to an industrial park in the east end behind the Museum of Science and Technology. Blue line is how I got there. Red line shows how I got back to Chinatown.
To get to the east end of town I often pass under the Queensway along the path on the western shore of the Rideau River, and cross the river on the old train bridge, however having been warned via Twittersphere that it was closed for construction, and encouraged by a myriad of detour signs, I took the the Lees Ave bridge sidewalk over the Queensway. Another sign said to walk your bike because the sidewalk is pretty narrow. I recommend avoiding this route until the construction is completed.
I rode past the train station, then followed the bike path along Tremblay Road and crossed St Laurent Boulevard. That’s where the Industrial Park begins. While there is very little truck traffic in these areas on Sunday mornings, there are things to watch out for, like loose sand and debris along the edges of the roads, and GIANT POTHOLES! These are particularly treacherous on rainy days when they are filled with muddy water and less noticeable. This one’s about 3 inches deep.
I crossed Innes at Bantree where a ghost bike rests against a light post on the north west corner in memory of Tyler Brown, killed in an collision with a pickup truck. As I approached there was a woman quietly contemplating the roadside memorial so I rode on without disturbing her.
What I find most interesting within industrial parks are the designs of many of the buildings and surrounding landscapes occupied by various companies. Their need to be noticed often results in some audacious architecture shaped by the amount of visibility they desire, or by the large and unique scale of the service they provide. One particularly interesting building is the headquarters of RJW Stonemasons on Edinburgh Place. Their huge front facade is an exhibit of their fine craftsmanship in stone masonry, made all the more obvious in stark contrast to the blue metal siding of the rest of the building.
Here are a few other buildings and sites that caught my eye.
On the way back I rode along Old Innes Road, which leads to a desire-line path that takes you down to the bike path that running along Innes Road.
Industrial Avenue on the other side of St Laurent turned out to be pretty dangerous even on Easter Sunday with 4 lanes of speeding cars and small shoulders, so I turned on to Russel Road, then Coronation street to where it becomes Blair St. From there I wove my way back downtown along the route shown on the above map and described in more detail in this post.
A fine ride indeed.