|Along the McIntyre on my way to work|
with flowers for my desk.
We're both in favour of the bike lanes, but regularly - as with all things - discuss all angles (which is one the many things I love about us). In this case, along John Street, I can see why he wondered about users - they are a little scarce, and I know why.
First, what the shared lane there does is give people the choice: to either follow the straight forward commuter route, or connect to the recreational trail. Personally, the decision is simple: recreational trail. As I explained to R,
"The reason you don't see as many riders using the shared lane here is because anyone who really rides in this city is in behind there (pointing beyond the houses south of John) riding along one of the best stretches of recreational trail in the city."
It rolls like a coaster along the McIntyre river bends. It's a quick trip, a fun one - there's no better way to begin your day. That was my route to work...., *fond memories* ...sigh.
If you've got wheels under your seat, (or under your feet), this trail is the one to ride. It would be a beautiful walk, but I haven't walked it since 8th grade at EQ - and people are all over it with dogs and children, so you have to be aware. That's what bike bells are for.
|faces along the trail|
I remember feeling heartbroken when I learned the city was moving the trail that follows McVicar Creek behind the 55+ Centre on River Street. They were cutting down trees. Thankfully I attended the Streamwalk, and heard all about the rehabilitation and conservation that has actually gone into the project - and though a few of my favourite trees are now gone, most remain, like this group standing a little too close to the old trail:
|Along McVicar Creek|
Impressed on my memory are my morning trips down this path. I didn't have a camera back then, but took the time to take it all in, remember it, appreciate it. I knew life would change and I wouldn't always take that route, it was inevitable. I did well though because it's all still there, even the sounds of the songbirds and the way the sun - when still low on the Giant's horizon - would dapple through the trees. I don't even have to close my eyes.
Evenings too are beautiful along this trail, but my memories of evenings aren't just of returning from work; rather all the evenings spent with Hannah when she was young, learning to ride her bike, and inline skating for the first time.
Back then I lived in a location that allowed me to take the recreational trails to work in less time than it took me to drive. I'd ride most of the way with my feet up, with my camera around my neck and a coffee in my hand; I’d arrive relaxed and refreshed.
|between the university and college|
along the McIntyre
It’s just a really nice way to travel around this city. From Current River to Westfort the recreational trails connect to commuter routes, and in many areas weave through residential streets connecting them to commercial areas, the hospital, and the university.
|to McIntyre Centre|
along the McIntyre
Drivers are always in too much of a rush, and the only talking your generally hear on a Thunder Bay street is that of jeering at jerk drivers who don't know how to use a turning signal. I find that stressful, even in little doses. Little does of these recreational trails can take away that stress.
I'm trying to come up with a short 300 words to use to describe the recreational trails for The Walleye and find myself stumped. I could go on forever about so many little things - things that mean something to me, that I love about so many places along the way. Where do I begin? Where do I end? Pick up a map, throw a dart at it and ride there by trail? Go for a walk in your backyard..., because there's probably a trail nearby...?
Hm....they make my heart go boom, boom, boom?
..and on that note I'm going to take a break.