I decided to make the trip on bike from my home in Transcona to downtown Winnipeg. I am taking two different routes there and back to try two different travel options. Here is a small map of my route to the right. The red is the trip to downtown and the orange is the trip from downtown. I took Dugald road to mission on my way there and I went from downtown to London and grey to the Transcona Trail on the way back. I am going to note here that this took me a VERY LONG TIME. It took me just an hour to get from my house to mission (11.5 km). This was a long adventure for me and I am going to tell you about it through the lens of a very un-experienced recreational cyclist who has low stamina.
My adventure started with me biking down Dugald road. The traffic speed limit is 80 km an hour. I biked on the shoulder and it seemed fine. Most cars gave me space and I wasn’t bothered. After passing the big grain elevator I jumped onto the bike trail that is adjacent to Dugald and enjoyed the wild grasses and nice pavement. This is where I rolled up behind a fellow lady on a bike and decided to be a creep and see if she was heading the same way I was. We went up the over pass (I had to stop and walk my bike a little cause I was dying) and then crossed Lag. as a pedestrian on the sidewalk. Yes I followed her like a creeper but I wanted to know if she knew any bike secrets. She did in fact lead me down a few roads off Dugald and onto mission. This is where I bid her farewell and did a quick 30 min traffic count to catch my breath and eat a granola bar.
After the traffic count I used the bike lane on mission and crossed Provencher and made my way through Provencher park. I enjoyed going through the park because it was quiet and the pavement was nice. I joined Provencher around Des Meurons and crossed the Provencher bridge on the right where there is a section for walking. I used the sidewalk to ride past Shaw Park and then awkwardly rolled over the curb and joined traffic to make my way through the exchange district. I would suggest making the crossing on bridge to the street a little easier for bikes by making a little bike lane to join the sidewalk to the street. I know I could have taken the little walking path that is separate from the bridge but I was on the opposite side of the street.
Biking through downtown was not as big of a challenge as I thought it would be. I used less busy streets for the most part, and only got honked at once (which was kinda my fault). I took Ellice Ave for most of my trip and I found people biked on the sidewalk a lot. I am not sure why this was but maybe people just felt it was safer or easier? After a bit I got tired and went on the sidewalk so I would feel no pressure to keep up with traffic. Then I made my way back.
The main change in my route back happened at Provencher. I took Provencher to Watt and then turned on what I think was London. I went down a few small back lanes and streets as well to make my way over to the Kildonan area. I found it really easy to bike down these streets because there was not much traffic and there are some bike route signs. My greatest excitement was finding the bike lane on Molson. They recently re-did this street and I was surprised to see they added a bike lane. It was cool. I took the shoulder of Concordia to get to Peguis. I did not realize until halfway down Peguis that there was a paved multi-use pathway I could have used. The only bummer with that is it ends where the new development ends and I had to ride on grass or go back onto the street to turn onto Transcona Blvd. I have a serious qualm with the Transcona Blvd right now. There is no room for a bike to ride on the road safely. The sidewalk would be an option for me, however with all the construction it was covered in gravel and mud and I am not even sure if it was finished or not. This was a struggle. (I was also dead tired so this could have affected my attitude). When I saw the transcona trail I was SO EXCITED. After biking on roads and sidewalks for most of my journey I was so glad to have a nice path where I knew I could relax and not worry about traffic at all.
Written by: Samantha Worden (Sam)
Sam is a Trails Analyst summer student with The Winnipeg Trails Association. She is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba with a focus in Natural Resource Management. Her hobbies include reading, bike riding, camping, watching and posting on YouTube, and various forms of paper-crafting and planning.