It was a glorious morning for Ottawa's first ever Plaid Parade. As part of their month long celebration of all things local Ottawa blog Apt 613, together with one of our favourite bike shops, Tall Tree Cycles, and the ever fashionable Ottawa Velo Vogue and Victoire Boutique, organized a Plaid Parade.
The route started in the parking lot at Suzy Q, a neighbourhood gourmet doughnut shop. It was the perfect spot for folks to meet and greet and warm up with maple bacon donuts before the ride began.
Almost 150 cyclists of all ages and abilities joined in the parade, so it was a great opportunity to visit with old friends and to make new friends.
Because the route was longer (there were 5km or 9km options), my 6-year-old son, Jasper, rode on the back of my longtail Kona Ute instead of taking his own bike. My daughter, Anna Sierra, rode her own bike and has delighted to meet up with a dear friend of hers for the ride.
It was a treat to be a participant instead of an organizer as I often am on parades. And having organized parades, I was very impressed with the clear directions, well thought out route, waiting for stragglers to catch up and general friendly and helpful marshalling.
I had so much fun riding beside two lovely nine-year-olds who, as the kids of very enthusiastic cycling parents, take riding in groups of 150 cyclists for granted. They found the wind chilly but didn't mind joining in a 9 km route at all. Listening to the two girls chatter while we rode through our neighbourhood surrounded by fellow cyclists who dressed up, hopped on their bikes and joined in the party was a wonderful way to enjoy a fall morning in November.