Ottawa: Proud of It's Municipal Water Supply and It's Pathways - The Disconnect

Ottawa is very proud of the quality of it's municipal drinking water supply and goes to great lengths to assure people they do not need to buy bottled water.

Ottawa is also very proud of it's shared recreational pathway system which, along with the NCCs pathways, provides a great opportunity for lengthy bicycle rides. Indeed, I regularly ride over 40 km, often over 70 km and occasionally even over 100 km.

All the experts will tell you that it is very important to keep hydrated when exercising in the hot summer weather and the best way is to just drink water.

However it is almost impossible to take advantage of the municipal water supply when riding the city's pathways as there are very few water fountains available along them and those that are require you to almost swallow the fixture to get a drink making it impossible to fill a water bottle from them. On many long rides I have had to purchase bottled water to provide the required hydration to ride safely.

This, along with the shortage of public toilets (which I have already written about), limits the useability of the pathway system and may discourage many Ottawa residents from being as active and fit as they could be.

Along with providing the necessary missing connections in the pathway system, the City also needs to provide the proper infrastructure (water fountains and toilets) for a proper pathway system that people can use all day, rather than just for a few hours at a time.


Scary Bear Soundtrack Performs "Beaver Pond Forest"

I recently had the opportunity to hear Scary Bear Soundtrack perform both their acoustic and rock versions of "Beaver Pond Forest" live and I have to say that I prefer the rock version of it, and of all their music. Those women can really rock and their drummer is amazing.

beaver pond forest

written by gloria (2010)

when the movie stopped, we took a walk
into the woods behind the cinema
you touched my mouth, those words came out
you held me so tight you bruised my fibula
the trees in that spot where my cherry popped
were all removed like they were eczema
now those parking lots where Beaver Pond was bought
flush out my memories like an enema

meet me at the pond
meet me at the pond

as soon as school was out, we’d bike to Beaver Pond
hidden from our parents and our teachers
there we’d talk of life, and the bands we liked
blissfully untold of the future
sometimes the kids would smoke, sometimes the kids hooked up
we all grew up inside these woods
one day when we returned, it was all blocked off
with the ashphalt burying our childhood

coyotes and the deer
the beavers and the pond
bulldozers came
now my playmates are gone

i’ve watched these neighbourhoods
swell up like a blob from a horror film
eating everyone
all i want to know is where your children go
is it better in malls than in the sun
they’ll never learn to play
just to consume and wait
when you speak of love they won’t understand

they’ll only know beauty as Angelina Jolie
and not the way the milkweed feels when you press it in your hands.

They also make reference to the Beaver Pond Forest in their song "Time to Riot".
time to riot
written by gloria (2010)

it’s time to riot: take to the streets
make known our cause as leaders meet
they send their cops; they build a wall
they cannot possibly arrest us all

turn off the radio,
they don’t sing about, they don’t sing about us
these saccharine dreams and vapid love songs distract us while we’re robbed

it’s time to riot: let’s start a mob
no education, no cash, no jobs
they rob the youth so the old can feed
we’ll show our outrage, we’ll show the queen

it’s time to riot: the games are on
rich countries gather to show off their brawn
they cast us off with careless shrugs
we don’t be swept under the rug

it’s time to riot before it’s gone
rally to save our stomping grounds
to save the future, to save the past
they’ll tear down beauty in exchange for cash
it’s time to start a riot
it’s time to fight

Scary Bear Soundtrack is Gloria Song, Ainslie Lahey, Dannik Leduc and Maggie Woodley.

Photos from their latest performance at Babylon can be found here.


Riding on the Hottest Day of the Year

Knowing it was supposed to be the hottest day of the year I decided it would be a good day for a hybrid ride, but not being a fool I set out at 9:00 in the morning when it was only about 25 degrees with a humidex around 30, and headed towards Westboro Beach.

It really wasn't too bad and I passed several other cyclists, mostly my age or older. There were actually very few people at the beaches between 9:30 and 10:00 but a few were in the water, despite the beaches being closed.

I noticed I had one of my best times for the season at 20.6 km/hr average (22 km/hr average on the way to Wesboro with the wind). I think the heat does help your muscles perform plus the added incentive to go faster to create more wind.

On the way back it started to get hotter, which was most noticeable when I had to stop at the lights at Moodie and Corkstown, and during the last half hour it was really starting to get uncomfortable. When I arrived home at about 11:30 the temperature was 30 and the humidex was 42 and I was glad that the ride was over.

Distance 46.2 km
Time: 2 hrs 14 min
Avg Speed: 20.6 km/hr
Max Speed: 35.2 km/hr


Back From The Great Green North

The Fifth Column has been idle for a few weeks because the Fifth Columnist has been on vacation in Northern Ontario.

We spent about a week at our favourite bed and breakfast, Whispering Pines on the Bay between Killarney Provincial Park and Sudbury. After that we spent almost a week at Killarney Lodge in Algonquin Park. Although a bit pricey, Killarney Lodge is a family operated lodge on Lake of Two Rivers with absolutely wonderful service and owners that really care about their guests.

I hope to soon post some photo blogs about our northern vacation as well as get back to regular blogging, although that may still be intermittent throughout the summer.