Ottawa River trail down to the Parliament buildings is always a nice ride. Mostly gravel, some road. Coffee and a danish at the Byward Market for the hangover. Beer at the many bars down there for the hangover.
All depends what you are looking for. The above mentioned is a multi use path, the river is located about 1km north of NRC campus, there is an access road which hugs the river surfaced with gravel there is also a paralell paved path. Shared between walkers, runners and leisure cyclists. On sunday mornings during summer period the parkways are closed to vehicles and open to the same crowds..
There is a trans canada trail located within the NCC green belt that links and crosses the entire city, most of this is soft/gravel covered.. If you want mtn bike trails, an area in the north west "south march highlands" aka Kanata lakes has a number of now well marked off road trails of varying difficulties.
Again depends what you are looking for and what you are riding.
He said he is looking for an easy ride on a cx bike so your suggestion of the trans Canada trail is good but maybe too far away for an easy ride? That's why I suggested the Ottawa river path - I was thinking of a ride going east but Slash5's suggestion of heading west to Parliament is even better. The paved path isn't exciting but it is close to NRC, would be an easy ride and the scenery is nice. Going down the Rideau River pathway would be good too.
Will try that tomorrow. Went East today along the river. Stretches of the trail were still buried in the snow/ice so I stayed on the road most of the time. The trail in Orleans was under water in many spots. Made it through a few sections that were almost up to the bottom bracket.
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