My hopes were boosted when I discovered a couple of signs pointing to a space underneath an elegant bridge. Climbing down, I could see what looked like a tunnel with hundreds of bikes stacked around its curving walls. The operator of the rental shop near the tunnel was munching on a ham sandwich clasped in his greasy, bike mechanic hands. The place had that distinctive bike shop smell - rubber, oil and dirt mixed together,
It surprised me that the mechanic asked me what hotel I was staying at while he filled out the rental agreement. How did he know I was an out-of-towner? Then I remembered that Ottawa, like most capital cities is also a tourist town. He warmed up a little when I explained to him that I'm a bike mechanic at my city's community bike shop and in minutes he had me riding out of the tunnel on a GIANT bike. Although it appeared to me to be a normal size.
|A Giant bike|
|Woodpecker machine gun action|
When I peeled up to the rental shack I didn't need to visit the bank. I had the ten - spot right there in my wallet.