bclark's picture

How Was Your Ride Today? Week of September 3rd through 9th

Didn't see anyone having posted a thread for this week.

Busy streets with it being the first week back to school for most kids and back to work for a lot of adults. I had the opportunity to ride to downtown during the morning school drop off and then home during the afternoon pick up. I was astounded by the sheer number of cars full of excited kids and anxious parents. Certainly good to see the excitement, but disappointing to see how the sheer volume of traffic makes the streets seem so hostile to anyone riding a bike. Both the morning and afternoon trip drove home how significant a barrier Calgary still has to overcome to truly start making streets safe and navigable for all ages and abilities. I hope it doesn't take more political will than we have available.

Anyway, maybe things will calm down into the year. Happy cycling for another beautiful week!

Oh, if you get time, don't forget to check out the City Charter Engagement Opportunity link (http://www.bikecalgary.org/city-charter-engagement-opportunity). There's a lot of juice in there that could help lead to an improved cycling environment and it's important (essential) we all have our say!


Kerryv's picture

Awesome Awesome

Another great week for biking.  Can't believe how nice it is out.  It certainly is much busier this week as you mention!

tlyyc's picture

25% of my commute spent sitting at lights and intersections

This morning I rode from Max Bell Park N Bike to the west side of downtown using some pointers from Namasteve (Thank you!) and a relatively direct route for about 7km.  I'm not a fast rider and anticipated about a half an hour ride.  Wound up being 32 minutes from start to finish, but my tracking software says only 24 minutes pedal time.  That means I was sitting at lights and intersections waiting my turn for 25% of the time on my commute.  Seems to be a trend for me any time I need to cross major roadways.  Riding with my daughter weekend mornings from home to her place of employment (also 7km and crossing Country Hills Blvd and Beddington Trail) was averaging 36 minutes with 26 minutes pedal time.  

Realized how fortunate I am to also have access to a wonderful pathway system that eliminates the waiting if you want to go for a long, steady ride.  

Namasteve's picture

Glad to hear!

Glad to hear you had a good ride. Enjoy!

Crivak's picture

Detours.  Really not liking

Detours.  Really not liking some of these detours. The one cramping my style is still the one at the hextall underpass. Been taking the left turn from Home Road onto Bowness Road instead but it really sucks during rush hour. Haven't tried the 37th St NW route along the Hospital/University area yet. Certainly seems like there isn't an alternative route as safe and convenient as shouldice. Suppose turning at 17th into the Safeway parking lot towards 49th street would cut down on a lot of friction points, granting there's an opportunity to turn. 

Really hope they get the hextall ready in time for winter. 

bclark's picture

Bit out of the way, but...

You could cross 16th Avenue and Bowness Road at 43rd Street and go up to 19th Avenue, which would take you all the way across to the 52nd Street cycle track. I've never ridden 19th, but it looks like a fairly quiet residential street (not sure about stop signs slowing things down). Given the distance though, my thought would simply be to go through Shouldice and cross at the awkward pedestrian crossing at 52nd Street and then go on the pathway.

I am looking forward to the pathway finally being repaired under the Hextall Bridge though.

DarrenB's picture

19th Ave through the length

19th Ave through the length of Montgomery isn't great - lots of stop signs/uncontrolled intersections and narrow streets. But there certainly isn't much traffic to worry about because of it, so that might work.

Crivak - have you tried cutting through the parking lot at Shouldice pool and using the pedestrian crossing to get across Bowness Road? That might be the easiest solution.

Crivak's picture

I try to avoid crosswalks

I try to avoid crosswalks whenever possible because part of the reason I ride the bike is from how stiff and sore I've been getting - dismounting and remounting is doable but I'd prefer not. Plus then I get grumpy because my mind starts firing off lines like "if I wanted to walk I'd have walked" :)
Think that speaks for itself when I'd rather do the turn from home road to bowness road than take the double crosswalk at the aquatic centre... greatly dislike "cycling solutions" like this. You're right though, it is probably the easiest solution. 

edit; that said I really liked how nice and wide bowness road was when I came from the east off 43rd street. Maybe one day they'll put a pedestrian overpass from the pathway -> 43rd to cut that crosswalk out too - then that'd be a route alternative I really like. 

DarrenB's picture

I dunno

I dunno. I'll admit, sometimes I like making all those drivers stop for me while I gradually saunter across the crosswalk.


bclark's picture

I hear ya'

On the thoughts about dismounting and crossing in a cross walk. I definitely dislike it as well. It's also a pretty big complaint in my family when we all ride together. 

bclark's picture

43rd Street over 16th Avenue Will Change

Here's some info on that 43rd Street crossing that ties in with the South Shaganappi Study plan.


There are plans to improve the crossing, though not as an overpass in the near-term (longer-term, yes). That all assumes funding of course and, from the sounds of things, funding for near-term projects, designed to be cheaper quick-improvements, is more likely than the larger complexity long-term projects, so we may actually have a chance of seeing the near-term improvements in the next few years.


themacneils's picture

First Commutes From Home in a While!

This week and last week have been my first commutes from home since rupturung my Achilles this past April.  Thankful to say that it has gone surprisingly well, other than the odd mishap getting used to flat pedals and my stiffer leg in the first couple of days.  Feels so much better than hobbling to the train and back!!

If you happen to see someone with a knee length compression sock on their left leg come say hi and please don't crash into him lol!


Dionysis's picture

just back from a week in Victoria, B.C.

Interesting to see how many cyclists there were and how they and the cars got a long just fine.  In fact, the cyclists almost rode with a touch of arrogance that would get you run over here in Calgary i.e. casual signals and taking the whole lane.  Still some jerks that blew through stop signs of red lights but they were much rarer than here.

I also rarely heard a bell but then most of the people were travelling on streets and not paths and it was unsual to see someone passing another person.  And almost all the people I saw, including tourists, were wearing a helmet.

Back to riding for me this past Monday and had a guy blast past me early in the morning as I was about to go under Crowchild - no signal, no lights and passing in the dark on an obscured-view corner.  Saw a bunch of spandex-clad Pathletes racing on the way home, one guy that must have been going as fast as the cars on the street!

So much for the relaxation sticking around for a while after a vacation!