I always felt secure on my bicycle while growing up in a quiet west-end community of Ottawa. I no longer live in Ottawa but my parents do, and on my last visit I rented a Salsa Beargrease and toured about the city.
Some reactions were positive, others not so much. Since I don't have any photos for this post I shall keep it brief.
The Negative: I got stared down by a guy driving a ParaTranspo Bus, I got honked at twice (not the just-a-friendly-toot-to-remind-you-that-there's-a-car-here kind, but the GET OFF THE ROAD kind), and there were at least two times that a car seemed to pass me intentionally close.
These kinds of things don't seem to happen in Hamilton. I wonder why? I wonder which is a more realistic expectation for a vehicular cyclist?
The Positive: People all over were staring at me (the good kind, I think. Remember, I was on a big, fat-tired bicycle), I heard "that is the coolest bike I have ever seen" from three different teenaged boys on school trips, I had two city workers approach me grinning ear to ear eager to have their questions answered about the bike, I had a truck pull up alongside me (while in motion) and the fellows in it (also grinning widely) give me the repeated thumbs-up.
I have to say, I felt special riding this thing. It was a real ego-boost. In other words, since I didn't actually get hit by a car, the positives well outweighed the negatives. I'll do it again one day but for now I will put this "thread" to rest. Cheers.