On my way west on Heron today, I was enjoying the sunshine and actually getting up some speed - not enough, really: I still need to get my gears fixed up - when I looked ahead and realized I was on a collision course with a motorized wheelchair, heading straight for me down the side of the street.
It startled the hell out of me. I gave him a weird look as I swerved out and breezed past him, and his buddy (I think) on the sidewalk gave me a weird look in return. What are the rules governing motorized wheelchairs anyway? Something tells me they probably don't allow for random, counter-traffic, in-the-street motoring. Anyone know? Anyone?
On the same trip, I also encountered a ten-inch galvanized nail in the bike lane (not, sadly, that uncommon an experience, but one does wonder how it got there) and a company van that buzzed me (within at least two feet) going about 60km or more. Also not that uncommon an experience.
The wheelchair, though: that's a new one on me.
Speaking of Heron, that's an intersection I'm going to have to post on Ottawa Biking Problems. Coming east on Walkley, where it converges with Heron, I always wind up with the same choice. Do I stay right as long as possible, then duck across two lanes of Heron before it splits off from Walkley so I can keep going down Walkley? Or do I stay in the Walkley-bound lanes (with a lane or two on my right) in the middle of high-speed traffic, many of the cars fresh from the highway? If I choose to stay in the "Walkley" lane, I have a good 1000 feet or so to bike with cars on either side of me, and it's kinda scary. If I choose to stick right, I then have to shoulder check, signal, and cross two lanes of traffic to get back into the Walkley lanes as I approach the intersection. This seems to me like a spot where a bike lane, giving bikes a buffer as they continue onto Walkley, would be a really good idea.