North Gloucester

When Jane and I both realized that we were on the same quest to bike to Ottawa’s library branches, we hoped that our paths would eventually cross. On a hot Thursday morning in early July, the stars aligned and we decided to cycle together to North Gloucester.

I set out across the farm as usual, then down the Prince of Wales hill to Carling Avenue. I hadn’t spent much time biking along Carling before, and am not sure I would choose to again if not on a quiet Sunday morning ride. The bike path is shared with a bus lane with several stops along the road.

I rode through the Glebe on Glebe Avenue, which was fairly sleepy at 9 am. I emerged at Patterson’s Creek, then biked north along the Rideau Canal Western Pathway to the uOttawa O-Train station to meet Jane.

We set out to Somerset Street East to cross Sandy Hill, then stopped at the Adàwe Crossing for a bridge selfie before continuing across the Rideau River to Overbrook. While the official bike route runs along McArthur Avenue to the North, we decided to carry on in a straight line along Donald Street instead. Just past St-Laurent Boulevard, we reached a T-junction at Cummings Avenue, then cycled south to Ogilvie Road.

These are big, wide arterial streets. We were able to join an unprotected bike lane along Ogilvie, and I was glad that the traffic wasn’t too heavy.

It turns out that Jane and I have similar “rituals” too — taking a picture of our bikes near the entrance, maybe a sign or two, and any public art that strikes our fancy. North Gloucester has a bookish logo, presumably a pre-amalgamation artifact, and plenty of colourful art.

After a coffee break at Starbucks, we retraced our route west on Ogilvie Road, then continued past the St-Laurent Shopping Centre to join the bike route across the Belfast Road bridge toward Hurdman.

Our routes home branched at Hurdman, so I bid Jane farewell and proceeded along the Rideau River Eastern Pathway to Heron Road, then into the farm and home.

Fourteen branches down, 19 to go.