Before we begin, I can't stress enough the importance of cycling safety! As an avid BMXer and Mountain Biker, I've experienced my share of wipeouts. Wearing a helmet is crucial when cycling and it's the law for those under the age of 18 years.
Hey adults, the youngsters are watching you . . . so lead by example!
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Life can be a balancing act of family, work/school, friends, commitments and personal time, so finding opportunities for casual bike rides can be challenging even for the most organized among us. I'm fortunate because my kids love cycling as much as I do, so what better way to spend time together than outdoors, staying active, and exploring the city we live in.
Mapping the ride in a 'circuit' allows us to begin and end anywhere along the route :) From time to time we substitute any appropriate start location along the circuit. I hope you enjoy the post !
Moving east along Melvin Avenue, it's on to one of my favourite trails, the Red Hill Valley Trail. We cross Barton Street heading north toward Lake Ontario. The valley from north to south is beautiful in any season and worth setting aside the perfect day to explore on bike or on foot. Take a moment and visit the City of Hamilton's website to view it's 10 Great Bike Rides page... (Mapping point A)
For many, the East Hamilton Waterfront Link Multi-Use Pedestrian Bridge is a sound choice for providing connectivity of the city's recreational trail system. We make a brief stop at the Red Hill Valley Lookout Point and then make a seamless leap over the Queen Elizabeth Way to Hamilton's beautiful Breezeway Trail at Van Wagner's Beach, Confederation Park. If interested in the many fascinating structural details associated with this Multi-Use Pedestrian Bridge, check out the 2012 Engineering Awards Submission PDF below... (Mapping point B)
Once on the Breezeway Trail it's clear that the City of Hamilton is home to one of the most pleasant Lake Ontario shorelines. The Breezeway Trail (maintained by the Hamilton Conservation Authority) is an asphalt-surface trail that extends along Hamilton Beach from Beach Boulevard to Grays Road, and is approximately 3 kms long by 3.5 m wide. The trail forms part of the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail and in my personal opinion has one of the most amazing waterfront views. For those wanting to learn more then visit the Hamilton Conservation Authority's website... (Mapping point C)
While riding the Breezeway Trail we admire the subtle public art pieces along the way. Just west of Lakeland Kartway there's a wonderful sculpture called "Pebbles On The Beach". Here we find our tie in point to the Woodward Avenue bike lanes via Beach Boulevard and Eastport Drive. Using the short road tunnel under the Queen Elizabeth Way, we head south onto Woodward Avenue over Burlington Street to begin our ride back to the McQueston Urban Farm. Recently resurfaced the Woodward Avenue bike lanes are well marked and offer a comfortably smooth ride. Along this stretch there's the ever popular Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology, which is definitely worth a visit. Check out the Museum's website below for schedules and events... (Mapping point D)
We continue heading south on Woodward Avenue then cross Barton Street toward the McQueston Urban Farm. I always warn my kids to stay alert at intersections. This one is particularly large and busy. Intersections are where many collisions occur. For those wanting to brush up on their cycling-skills, I've found Ontario's Guide to Safe Cycling a great start... (Mapping point E)
And... We finish our 7km East Hamilton circuit in just over 25 minutes. A combination of urban, off road, and scenic features, with each presenting an opportunity to plan future rides. I've found the City of Hamilton's website to be an excellent ride planning resource. Check out their online website for 'biking and cyclists' below... (Mapping point F)
Always enjoy the ride !
East Hamilton Cycling by Damin Starr
7 kms (Approx. 25mins continuous cycling)
Features along the way...
McQueston Urban Farm (400 Melvin Avenue, Hamilton, ON)
Red Hill Valley Trail (North)
Red Hill Valley Trail Look Out Point (Multi-Use Pedestrian Bridge)
BreezeWay Trail at Lake Ontario
Woodward Avenue Bike Lanes (Passing Museum of Steam & Technology)