Sunday, October 01, 2006

more bridge fun

A different one this time, and Kyoto's first trip across the interprovincial Champlain Bridge.

My friend Andrea recently moved into a house on the Quebec side, quite near the Ottawa river and the bridge. She had a surplus microwave oven for me, and I decided to fetch it. Now, the cargo trike was overkill for this trip (could've used the trailer), but I wanted to see what it was like using the bridge's bike lanes, as I had only ridden on them with my 2-wheel bikes.

Yes, could have moved a few microwaves, or a refrigerator!

Andrea exclaims "no, don't show my messy garage!" But she is still moving in, so she is forgiven. ;)

Heading home, and the bike lane is just wide enough for Kyoto. The bridge has three motor vehicle lanes, with the middle HOV lane switching directions depending on time of day.

Looking west on a cloudy Sept. day (railings will be in the way of these shots, as I took them while in motion)

Crossing over Bate Island, the east end of which is a fave launching area for kayakers, as the rapids make for a fun play spot. Above is a quiet inlet.

My little camera strained as far as it could to bring you this ill-defined shot. The river is quite shallow here, especially at this time of year, and someone planted a bird-shaped sculpture on one of the rocks!

My only challenge on this trip was at the Ottawa end of the bridge. The bike lane narrows down to the old standard of about a metre wide, and Island Park Drive is one lane each way. If I take the main lane I slow everyone down, so I stuffed myself into the bike lane, as I only had two blocks to go before turning left into the residential area and onto my cross-town route. I always wonder what the cars behind me think as I put on the turn signal from the bike lane and move into the main lane. And I don't wait for someone to let me in, as that route is busy and no one wants to stop, so I just wait for a gap and toss the trike into it. As usual, no grief from anyone, either because they're being nice, or that they can't quite figure out what the thing is and they probably shouldn't provoke it. hehe


Tanya said...

Hey actual turn signals sound very cool. Was this a DIY project?

Mark said...

Well, the lighting set-up was homebrewed by my friend Richard and I, while the trike itself was copied from a commercial design (with permission, but no actual plans). Read all about it at

The lights are all LED, so the current draw is only 4 watts, which means I can use the tiniest 12-volt battery. I knew I wanted signals from the beginning, since the trike was going to need corner marker lights anyway, given its 4-foot width. The lights are visible in bright sunlight, but are really fabulous at night.