Quadracycling in Ottawa

About Me

Rhoades Car 4W2PCP

Who I am

I am just a middle-aged recreational cyclist who decided to try something different for pedal-powered transportation.

I live in the South Keys area of Ottawa and bike a lot on the roads and pathways of town and also on the NCC parkways on Alcatel Sunday Bikedays.

Starting in March 2007 Ruth and I started living car-free and relied on quite a few different types of cycles instead to get around. Aside from our four-wheeled Rhoades Car, we used conventional two-wheeled mountain bikes and three-wheeled Catrikes, too. I also wrote a diary about our Catriking experiences and so did Ruth.

My quadracycling partner, Ruth, who is seen on many of these pages, died of cancer on 30 January 2014.

People ask how I get around in the winter in Ottawa without a car. I don't ride my bikes as the tons of salt the city dumps on the roads would corrode them to dust in a short time. Instead I walk or take the bus. Ottawa is easy to live car-free in.

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Why We Bought A Quadracycle

Rhoades Car 4W2PCP
  1. We were looking for a new vehicle that could reduce our dependency on gasoline-powered vehicles.
  2. We do most of our grocery and other shopping on foot all year round, but we find that hauling loads such as a 22 kg box of kitty litter or 120 lbs of bark mulch home isn't practical, although it is darn good exercise! We have looked at various solutions like grocery carts, little red wagons etc and a quadracycle seemed like a better idea.
  3. We wanted to do some camping by bike, but we have never been able to haul the equipment along to make that practical for our needs. Yeah, we know that we can load our mountain bikes up with panniers to carry tents, sleeping bags and other gear as some people do, but we find it difficult to ride with those kind of loads over the hills in our area.
  4. Ruth had a disability that episodically caused such things as dizziness and fatigue. This left us with a couple of summers where we couildn't bike together at all as a couple. This quadracycle gave us a chance to get out and get some exercise together, even when she wasn't feeling up to balancing a bicycle or pedaling all day.

Did we ditch our bikes?

Not at all - just as a quadracycle won't do everything a car can do, it also isn't a complete substitute for a bicycle either. So the bikes stayed.

A number of accounts we have read indicate that many quadracycle owners don't put a lot of miles on their bikes after starting on four wheels. During our first year on four wheels we found that is very true, quadracycling is so much fun that the bikes do tend to get dusty!

For more about this, see two reviews:

Contact me

Rhoades Car 4W2PCP

You can contact me in three ways: