Why Ottawa is one of the Best Cycling Cities
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Perhaps the thing that I love most about cycling is that it has taken me to so many incredible places, all with their own unique routes to ride.
In the last few years, I’ve been fortunate to have ridden through several famous cycling destinations. But it may come as a surprise to many that one of the best places that I have ridden is actually right here in Canada – Ottawa, Ontario.
Why Ottawa? Though not everyone knows it as a cycling hotbed, anyone who has had the pleasure of cycling in the city will understand my appreciation for it. It is chock full of bicycle enthusiasts and has a cycling infrastructure that is as good as any city that I have been to.
The National Capital Commission has taken its responsibility to build sustainable transportation seriously – and it shows. The city boasts over 800km of mixed use trails that weave in and around stunning sights along the various canal’s rivers and historic (and sometimes very modern) architecture. Though work still needs to be done at the municipal level, Ottawa's bike infrastructure is off to a good start.
Just across the river lies the fertile cycling grounds of Gatineau, QC. In Gatineau you will find terrain that will test even the strongest cyclist. And to sweeten the pot that park is packed with off road trails that would be sensational on a short travel 29er or a hardtail.
The best part of riding in Ottawa, however, goes beyond the roads, trails and scenery – it is the fact that the city has a deeply ingrained cycling culture.
When I am in Ottawa, I feel that my passion for bikes is matched by the people I meet. When I visit bike shops and coffee houses the locals are always happy to share their bike recommendations and advice.
If you are under the impression that you have to plan a big trip to Europe to get your fix of riding – think again. Perhaps it would be easier to stay right in Canada and give riding in our nation’s capital a try. I guarantee that you will not regret it.