Last Monday and Wednesday the weather conditions were exceptionally nice for bike riding. I have a choice of two routes that are reasonably safe for bikes, one heading north and the other one south, both involving the Parkway trail. Starting from downtown one can follow a route through Bowen Park and around the outside of Buttertubs bird sanctuary to get to the start of the north leg of the Parkway
This trail paved with asphalt generally follows the 4-lane highway. It changes from one side of this highway to the other using overpasses and tunnels. It has many steep slopes up or downhill.
The trail traverses mostly forested or parklike settings that were preserved on both sides of this Highway, hence the term Parkway. It is quite pleasant if one can live with the constant noise of the motorized traffic. There are a few park benches where one can take a break and make a sketch of mundane subjects such as a shopping cart left behind by somebody or a truck from maintenance workers who are trimming back branches and bushes.
There is an almost continuous hedge of blackberry bushes along the trail producing fruits during the summer that I like to feast on.
The trail ends at the Woodgrove mall where I usually stop for coffee and visit the bookstore before heading back. I don’t trust car traffic so I use the sidewalks for a few kilometers to get to the E&N trail. This is another paved trail running north-south dedicated to bikes and pedestrians following the old railway grade through urban areas back to downtown. It traverses the railway and side streets protected with traffic lights several times forcing you to stop at signage requesting cyclists to dismount. It ends close to downtown. Here it gets confusing as some paved trails along the waterfront allow bicycles while others don’t. One can often observe policemen on bicycles ride on pedestrian trails and on sidewalks; I follow their example as it seems to be the only fail-safe method to avoid cars and arrive home unharmed, mind you….. make sure to always yield to pedestrians.