I wasn't going to get on my bike and go for a ride. I mean, I wanted to, but the weather forecasts did not look favourable, had even warned about severe thunder storms. To back up those warnings, an hour before I left, the skies grew dark, thunder rumbled overhead, the wind picked up, and a few raindrops fell.
And then, almost as quickly, the clouds moved on and the sun came out. Even the wind seemed do die down, a little. I looked at the online radar images from Environment Canada, and though there were storm clouds registering, their path seemed to indicate that they would not pass through the capital.
I'm no meteorologist, but I took a chance that my interpretation of the radar images was right, and I got on my bike and rode.
I have mapped out a new 50-kilometre route around the city. It's similar to my old route, which was only 48 clicks: this one has me crossing the Alexandra Bridge, instead of crossing the road from the National Gallery, down to the Rideau Canal, across the locks, and onto the path under Parliament Hill.
Once on the Québec side the Alexandra Bridge, I turn onto the pathway that runs behind the Canadian Museum of Civilization and follow it to the Portage Bridge, where I cross back into Ontario and re-connect with my old route.
I also cycle onto Lemieux Island, where I speed to the water filtration plant, and back to the Ottawa River Parkway cycle path, where I continue home.
This new route is more than 50 kilometres (50.42, to be precise), which to me sounds better than the 48-point-something kilometres I used to do. This is my new normal, is something I've done twice so far this week and will do again over the weekend.
One of the things I really like about this ride is the view of the Parliament buildings from the Museum of Civilization. Perched atop a high, tree-covered cliff, the library and Peace Tower are majestic. This would be a great place from which one could watch the fireworks on Canada Day.
I just might do that.
Because I ignored the rain-storm warnings, I arrived at this place when the sun had begun its descent. Still hours away from sunset, but just as it was beginning to cast a warm glow. As an added bonus, a cruise boat was in the river, just below. I unclipped my iPhone, the only camera I had, and snapped a shot.
Sometimes, we happen upon photo opportunities by chance. Those moments can often be the best.