I plan a bit of a rest day with the idea of getting east of Ottawa by evening. I have the great pleasure to have lunch with our former Prime Minister and current Pearson College Trustee, the Right Honourable Joe Clark. As always, it is a delight to have such wide ranging conversations with him. His work with the Global Leaders Foundation is impressive and is a quiet force of support where it is needed in the world. And this fits in well with the book he is writing, to be titled: “Lead from Beside.”
I also have the chance to tour the IB World School, Academie de la Capitale, founded by Lucie and Francois Jacques. An ambitious project already making a big difference in the lives of the students who get to learn following a truly experiential approach in an intimate setting.
It is late afternoon by the time I get my bicycle all packed and ready to go. The very hot day has produced some wild thunderstorms so I wait them out patiently and follow their path on weather radar. With the skies clear in the direction of Ottawa I set out to get east about 40-50 km along with a stop on Parliament Hill.
After only a few kilometers, the sky darkens and I get caught in a wild downpour, complete with thunder, lightening, a bit of hail and a few flash floods. I manage to find refuge beneath an overpass and decide to wait.
The wait is well worth it as it becomes much cooler and I get to enjoy that lovely smell of the air after a summer shower. And I also get to enjoy the bike path along the Ottawa River into the city.
The pathway into the city is full of surprises, things you would not expect so close to the nation’s capital.
Pastoral views of the river.
Including one painted on the side of a tree.
And places to swim.
And create sculpture from rocks exposed when the river level drops in the summer. Art to enjoy until the river rises again.
I approach Parliament Hill from behind but nonetheless, an impressive sight and feeling.
It is getting dark by the time I am in front of the Parliament building and I try unsuccessfully to set up a time delayed photo but I do get something. It is a different feeling arriving here by bicycle from the west coast. With the sun set, I decide to stay in Ottawa for the evening.
Stats – for Monday 23 July 2012
Distance: 19 km
Time on Bike: 1 hr 13 min
Average Speed: 15.2 km/hr
Distance to Date: 5,781 km