by: Brian Clarke
This week is Sustainable Transportation Week 2012 in Ottawa. As a rickshaw company, we have obvious ties to this event.
There are several easy ways to make your daily commute more sustainable. Make use of the new carpool lanes coming from Kanata. Take OC Transpo instead of driving. Or experience Ottawa’s extensive bike path system.
Or, if you’re a bit more creative and are looking for some wacky (but sustainable) ways to get work this week, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Paddleboat the Rideau Canal
We’ve heard about people skating to work along the Canal in February, but alas, Sustainable Transportation Week is in September. Good luck trying to skate this week. But why not rent, borrow or buy a cheap used paddleboat and a bike lock to get to work? You would get some funny looks from your peers!
Yeah, I couldn’t resist throwing a rickshaw into this list. However, a rickshaw on its own isn’t quite wacky enough when compared to some other options I’ve listed. So to spice things up, why not have the runner unicycle while pulling a rickshaw. Our own Cody Wise unicycle rickshawed the length of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2011. (Disclaimer: we don’t actually give out unicycle rides; the insurance company would not be too happy!)
Drive down Sinkhole Alley
Warning: this option is for the danger seekers and dare-devils. It’s not exactly a sustainable option, but so few people will dare try it that it can’t be harmful. I’m of course talking about driving down Highway 174, also known as Sinkhole Alley. See if you can avoid the sinkholes and any other video-game type obstacles the highway throws your way!
Soap Box Car
You could totally do this if you live in Sandy Hill and work in the Market, or live in the north end of downtown and work in the south end. You just need to build a little soap box car, strap yourself in and roll down the hill! Not exactly the safest option, but it would be fun!
I know this thing has its own name printed on it, but I can’t recall what it’s called. But if you’ve seen the homeless man walking around downtown with a cart made for his cat and dog, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a homemade contraption that looks to be made from what was originally a shopping cart, with a large bed for a dog, a small platform for a cat and I’m sure enough space for a creative commuter!
Ever in the Byward Market, hanging out with friends when all of a sudden these crazy people in bouncing shoes come prancing by? Well that is Ottawa group Jumpin’ Junkies who run around in Kangoo Jump shoes. Each shoe has a little spring mechanism in the bottom, allowing you to hop, prance and bound your way to work. Apparently it’s a great work out too; they’re like Shape-ups on steroids!
Urban Surfing on an OC bus
I’ve seen multiple things called ‘urban surfing’ but the one I chose is defined as standing on the subway whilst not holding on to anything – mimicking a surfer trying to keep balance while riding waves. Well, OC Transpo has the elongated buses with the swiveling floor in the middle. These would add an interesting challenge for urban surfers!
What other wacky ways can you think of for getting around Ottawa this week?