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Sunday, July 29th 2007

17:40

Another Beautiful Morning On the Colonel By Drive

Today was Sunday and the sun was shining. That meant that not only was it an Alcatel-Lucent Biking Sunday but that there were lots of people out on the closed-to-cars road. Actually there were lots and lots of people there, thousands in fact, and they were riding all kinds of interesting bikes, skating, walking, running and pushing baby carriages. It was an amazing sight!

We took some photos of some of the many means of getting around.

We were actually later than usual on the road. We usually hit the Colonel By Drive at the south end just after it closes to cars at 0900 hrs. This morning we were late leaving home and then had to stop and make an adjustment to the quadracycle on the way. That was a result of the gear shifter change-over to the right side. The right rear dérailleur was slightly out of adjustment. Fortunately we brought lots of tools with us (they only take up a small amount of the bin we carry). That took 20 minutes and meant that it was almost 1000 hrs by the time we hit the Colonel By Drive. It was definitely busier at that time of day than at 0900!

At our first halt near Carleton University we ran into Antonio who was riding his “Strong” e-Bike. While we were chatting with him Peter arrived with his brand-new Rans V long frame recumbent. It is a really gorgeous bike, only 32 lbs with its aluminum frame and comfortable seat. It certainly goes fast as Peter zoomed away on it.

We went as far as the University of Ottawa and then turned around to come back. The day was growing late and, with all the stopping to talk with people, we didn't want to be still on the Colonel By Drive when it re-opened to cars at 1300. Besides the day was heating up pretty quickly and lunch was calling!

On the way back south we talked to a few more cyclists while travelling along. We have had a number of people just bike up beside us to chat about the quadracycle – great fun! These bikedays on the Colonel By Drive are like an entire culture.

Passing Mooney's Bay the park was filled with picnickers. That isn't surprising really. The beach beckons and it really was a great day for weather. We should have brought our own lunch along and joined them – perhaps next weekend.

As usual we have been getting lots of great response from people to the quadracycle. Small kids point at us and say things like “Daddy looky-that – I want one!”. Many adults give us a thumbs up or shout encouragements. It is amazing – we have heard very very few negative things from people about the quadracycle. Perhaps one day soon Ottawa will have a second four-wheeled bike on the road? We still haven't seen another one yet!

We made it home after noon, wiped the cycle down and had some lunch.

On this trip we swapped seats from the last local ride we did and Ruth tried out the shifters on the right side. She said that the new installation is great, she is quite impressed that she can shift her own gears when sitting on that side now. Even with her shorter arms the location for the shifters on the new mount works fine for her.

For my part I must admit that sitting in the left seat without having to shift gears for the right seat is a great improvement. It actually greatly reduces the workload and allowed me to concentrate on other tasks.

We didn't use the GPS today for this 30 km trip so I didn't get any data on whether we did the trip more quickly than with the previous shifter set-up. It seemed like we were moving faster as we optimized our individual shifting. We haven't found any disadvantages to the modification yet!

One modification that would add some more speed would be swapping the 35 psi, 2.125” wide all-terrain tires on 20” steel wheels that we have for some slimmer road tires, perhaps on a slightly larger rim. Maybe we will do that next year and give it a try?

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