Old Colony Bike Trail

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The Old Colony Rail Trail left the Cape Cod trail at the bike rotary (roundabout, or traffic circle). This was our third cycle date.  It was built to a different standard than the Cape Cod trail so I suspect it wasn’t a state recreational facility.

As everywhere, signage was excellent:

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The rail line used to run through an area now used for the airport, called Training Field. It is very relaxed: residential houses and backyards back onto the runways, so you can sit on your patio and watch the planes take off. While there were perimeter fences, they weren’t designed to keep everyone anyone out.

In fact, this gate, tied open, led to the taxiway and apron where airplanes were parked. Notice the coloured path inviting you the small cafe in the hanger. And the almost-legible sign at the edge of the apron warning you not to cycle around the airplanes.

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The engineering of the path was excellent. In Ottawa, the NCC and City grade slopes down to a pathway and let the run off go over the top of the pathway. This keeps the path wet. It also provides a slippery surface in early mornings or autumn evenings if there is frost. But along this trail, the paved surface drains towards the upslope, and slight depression in the asphalt  surface directs the water to a catch basin that went under the path. When on the advisory committee for the OTrain path, we asked for this design but didn’t get it.

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An upscale neighbourhood found the path an asset, providing this celebratory entrance:

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It would be convenient for kids finding there way home, or for those who accidentally cycle out without their GPS or smart phone to find their way back.

The Old Colony trail isn’t as interesting as the Cape Cod trail. It also shares the road in a few places, and winds through residential streets to get into “central” Chatham.

On our way back to our starting point, we passed a lot of turtles on the trail. We stopped to “supervise” this one’s walk, so that others would not accidentally hit it:

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Another cyclist picked it up, and Mr Turtle withdrew into his shell and closed the door firmly to visitors:

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Twice we came across these odd splits in the path: there is an island, and sort of a bike rotary but with no other paths. Upon inquiry, we found out they were located before a major cross street, and marked a U- turning around point so people could cycle out and back a fixed distance, without crossing the highway, and without having to stop to turn around the bike.

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Soon, we were back to the “real” bike rotary, and then to home, to sit out with a nice cuppa tea, before dressing for scallop dinner down the road.

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