I hated the ride into work.
I used to do it all the time, when I first worked up in the Gatineau Hills, just before Highway 5 came to Chelsea, just beyond the Hautes Plaines exit. It was almost a 32-kilometre ride, the last 10 or so a cardio-intensive workout uphill, along the upward-winding paths of Gatineau Park.
One part of the path, between Centre Asticou and the Plein-Air turnoff, the path starts to climb, veer to the left, and climb even more. If you round that bend in the wrong gear, the incline can literally stop you in your tracks.
That happened to me on my ride to work, on Wednesday. I had to quickly free my foot from the clipped pedal to avoid falling over. I have never fallen over on my bike, have yet to put a scratch on it.
That hill, plus other steep inclines, plus a relentless wind that slowed me in almost every direction, especially across the long traverse of the Champlain Bridge, made Wednesday's ride most unpleasant.
My new building, almost a kilometre further down the road from my original office, made the morning trek a 32.6-kilometre ride that I didn't want to repeat. The return ride, though mostly downhill, still had some challenging climbs that I didn't want to face.
So I searched Google Maps to find a different ride home.
I knew I could avoid Gatineau Park by taking a path that followed Highway 5, down past my old school, Philemon Wright. I knew the path eventually led to Lac Leamy and past the casino, but I wasn't sure how I would get across the Ottawa River and back into Ontario.
Google Maps showed me the way. I studied the map as much as possible, relying on my knowledge of the area and my memory to get me home. Either I would find my way to Ottawa or on my way to Montréal.
When the paths took me to the intersection of Maisonneuve and Allumettières, I knew how to get across the Alexandre Bridge and into Ottawa. I also had the chance to stop at a structure that I had seen before, while driving, but had never gotten close. And the lighting was great.
I have often thought of using this location for Where In Ottawa (still unsolved for July at the time of this posting), but I thought it would be too easy. So, here it is, now, shot with my Android phone.
I really enjoyed the ride home: not too much wind and just the right amount of climbing. I'm going to make this route my regular cycling course to work. Starting today.