Monday, May 21, 2007

Tulipfest Bike Tour

Painting the tulips

This was the last weekend for the Tulip Festival and you couldn't ask for a better day to cycle around on Ottawa's famous bike paths. Agenda set, all I had to do now was put the bike rack on the van and load up the bikes and helmets. Sounds easy enough right? Wrong.

Turns out that leaving my trailer hitch on my van all winter was not a wise thing to do. And apparently locking my trailer hitch to my van was another act of brilliance on my part. Thanks to a coating of rust and road grime the lock was...well...locked. Hell, I couldn't even get the damn key in.

Luckily I have tools. Armed with a can of WD-40, a can of compressed air, a hammer, and a page or two of choice curses, I set to work. Twenty minutes later... success! "Git in the van kids we're running late!"

So with the kids ready to go and sitting in the van I then proceeded to wrestle with my trailer hitch which apparently had also rusted and welded itself to the van. Fun.

After 10 minutes of jerking the van back and forth (all the while, gas sloshing and kids laughing) and banging the piss out of it with the hammer I yelled (yes yelling at this point was acceptable behavior) for my wife to get some rope and get in the van. The plan? Find a tree to tie the hitch to and then squeal away in the van and hope the tree doesn't fall on us.

And then it happened. BLAMMO! I had movement. A few more strategically placed whacks and off came the dang hitch.

Crossing over

From then on the day was nothing but smooth sailing... or in this case smooth biking.

Locks in action

We cycled from Mooney's Bay, along the canal, crossing at one of the locks, and then circling around Dow's Lake. Stops were made to check out the flowers and festivities. For lunch we had beef donairs and french fries.

The history behind the tulips

In the end, we chalked it up as another great day.

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