Saturday, May 30, 2020

Sunshine Day




When one is at work getting into what would be a boring day on a day that screamed "Go Outside and Play" and they dangle the carrot in front of you of going home to enjoy the weather it was a no brainer. In the end, the whole crew left.

A very unexpected bike ride from Fort Edmonton for somewhat of a figure eight.. We'll was it? I never look at my Strava. So I really don't know. I guess it was a kind of a figure eight but not really. Maybe I'll have a look later.

I headed east and was greeted with shitty conditions on the lower multi use that isn't multi use but it kind of is singletrack but it isn't singletrack. Hold on a second.. "Interns! Get on this. What trail am I talking about here?"

No Horses is the trail. Lots of shittiness on this one after the river rose up not too long ago. I would recommend avoiding this one if you are in the area for the time being. I rode up through the equestrian trails and found the top of the valley where it was absolute pure madness with people.

RayGun was ridden down and I foolishly crossed the Groat Road bridge under construction to cut back (that's one of the loops of my figure eight!) I entered Mackinnon where again people were out in droves and I got quite grumpy. Back Breaker and Root Canal were ridden backwards and I got to the top and decided to completely avoid Laurier.

A smart move, the crowds in the parking lots were insane.

To make up for the shitty set off last week I rode Selkirk and Selkirk bitched slapped me incessantly. The technical sections owned me and I felt like I had to give the trail some sort of weird religious offering once I was done.

In the end, not nearly the incredible ride I had on the last unexpected day off but it was much better than being stuck at work.

people are truly the absolute worst
the laurier parking lot proved my detour was a success

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Kurz Kent Encounter





A quick roll through Terwillegars Firemans hill down a slick and steep hill that I would not recommend riding right now. Shots of rain here and there lately have things kind of ok but not great. The social media posts I read this afternoon before I left all say everything is prime right now but you know something kids?

Social media sucks mutated penile rubbish from a cesspool of dead cockroaches.

*Lights cigar.

*Interns "OMG, he is going to type something so profound right now and were gonna witness it!"

No I got nothing and don't smoke cigars, they are apparently bad for you. I think there are a lot of people who base their potential rides as to what social media is telling them. A practice that I sincerely think is quite lame but I guess it works for some people. I was thinking of the earlier Instagram posts where trails were called out as being in prime condition as me and Kent discussed whether we should try Firemans. We both thought it would be touch and go which it was. The final steep downhill was shitty but if you kept out of the small crevasse we were all right.

With a short timeline on Kent's side and me pulling my riding skills out of amateur hour we rode the everlong Oliskew singletrack trails. I'm proud to say I rode the Log trail. Hold on... LoganPine? Ummmm... wait. I got this.

LogJammer?
LogaGoFuckYourself?
Loggy?
The Log Trail Before Flat Pete?
Woody?
Log Rider?
Log Trail Terrific?
LogaFlatPete?
The Oliskew Log Trail?
A Log a Skip and a Jump?
Logs a Plenty?


Oh man... I don't know. So embarrassing.

"Interns! Some help here!" I yell in their direction.

"Logarythmic boss!"

Ah yes, Logarythmic! "You do know its spelled wrong right?" I quickly let the interns know. "It's with an I, not a Y."

Silence...

Well apparently nobody cares. Hell, maybe I'm wrong. So where were we? Yes, Logarithmic (that's how it's spelled, even my computer agrees)  was ridden in the summer months and I didn't find it too bad for the first time. The lack of flow was not an issue which it usually is. That could be the case or my crappy bike handling skills went hand in hand.

We got through Flat Pete and things were decent but not great as far as mud goes. It is rideable at the current time.

It was Farmers daughter and the myriad of other trails that took us back. Conditions were great and I beat my bike up on the short climbs by shifting too late or picking the worst line possible. Kent on his single speed kept himself tucked in nice and close and professional as per the usual Kent ways whilst I fought through all the granny gears angrily.

The ride back through Terwillegar's wonderful suburban landscape took us to the highest point in Edmonton. That's right, approximatively 688 meters above sea level. Suck it John Denver.

hats off to the beaut of a bridge built at the entrance to firemans

* Kent Steeves 4th pic down, the best pic easily on here. Hats off to mr Steeves.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Beer Friday. Flying Monkey, Tiny Little Wizards IPA


Beer Friday done on a Sunday? Well I've still got a few days off yet so lets assemble the beer team.

Where are they?

I hit the beer review assemble button next to my computer and I am expecting them shortly. They should be getting alerts on their implanted brain chips as I type this.

*Shortly, over the skies of Beaumont Alberta a black C-130 Hercules flies over inconspicuously at forty one thousand feet. The back door is opened and eight Lonebiker interns jump out wearing high tech squirrel jumpsuits fitted for oxygen and super high speed. Sirens fill the air as two black Cadillac Escalades roll through town at an incredible rate of speed running down children and old ladies all in the name of Lonebiker fitted with blue lights and sirens. Their destination?

lonebiker Headquarters.

The residents of this town are used to this charade. Yet, it usually doesn't happen on a Sunday. The ground shakes as below in a high speed stealth like tunnel boring machine sit the beer pourers. The one permanent and two on reserve in case anything happens to Ilga's arm. They are the first to arrive as they stop two hundred feet below the earths crust at Lonebiker headquarters. They exit the machine and dust off their pants and hit the elevator up button.

Just then eight small sonic booms from above happen. The residents look up and see the silhouettes of the interns moving at an incredibly high rate of speed. Captain America would feel ashamed next to these heroes. A hundred feet up they jettison their high speed chutes. Their chutes open and they land quickly in the quarantine area.

As they exit the quarantine the executives in the Escalades arrive as the elevator door opens welcoming the pourers from their bi-weekly dangerous underground journey. The interns, the pourers and the executives nervously greet each other for another round of Beer Friday.

Ding!

Everybody is here.

Ilga poured this Barrie Ontario beauty into one of the fine tester mugs and she gave us a solid dirty golden brew tapped off with four fingers of go fuck yourself. This one had one hell of an in glass sitting look. "Does that make sense what I just said" I ask the interns. They look away like cowards. 'Typical'I thought. Not thinking of their heroic and extremely dangerous journey down to the beer lab.

This one was sexy, oh my lord it looked great in that tester glass. Not gonna lie, I had some kookie thoughts!

So yes, anyways... The beer.

I could not find anything on this one on their website which was a bit annoying. I'm sure it is there but my desire to search websites has dwindled since doing these. The smell was an off putting fruity aroma. I say off putting but not in a bad way. We tasted and the old classic some say lip quivering IPA sting was not there in any way shape or form. This one has a nice gentle kiss of apricot that tickles your insides. Upon further sipping the IPA sting is there but is cleverly masked by great tastes of grapefruit and pulp from a mandarin orange. Overall its a nice sweet tasting IPA. True and blue IPA fans might find this one offensive.

This beer gets 4 suds out of 5.



Saturday, May 23, 2020

Exploratory Pursuit





The wet weather that has descended on our area in the last few days forced a wet weather ride three days overdue. Coming off nights and the incredible fog that consumed me for the last two days was enough for me and the interns. Several had too flee as I came downstairs with bloodshot eyes and a weird limp smelling like burnt coffee and stale energy drinks.

I had to leave the house today.

The destination was the other end of the Henday. A spot that will make end to end bridge rides quite a bit more challenging but still do-able. This area has been open in the river valley for a while now and I haven't been yet which is quite shameful.

Goldstick Park was the start on a ride exclusively in Edmonton's north end where today old school road bikes were ridden in big numbers by guys in jeans and baseball hats. To get to the bridge I would have to ride through one of the worst dog parks in all the lands. I had ridden through Hermitage dog park on a ride that pre dates this blog and it was one of the worst dog experiences of my riding career. I was chased by countless dogs and nipped at by several where a couple landed bites.

This is the park that made be grow quite weary of dog walkers.

After rolling through the hordes of people in Rundle park thinking if this was any sign of what is coming up in the dog park it will be full on retard busy down there. I opened my maps and took the residential streets detour out and around the dog park. Yes I would take my chances with the mean Edmonton streets as opposed to those maniacs in the valley with pitbulls and dobermans ready to chase and bite the next cyclist rolling through.

The neighbourhood smells were a tad overwhelming and at times I had my nose covered under my shirt I'm sure looking like the worlds biggest douchebag. I can't help it. I'm white and live in one of the whitest communities in the Edmonton area. I'm sure the far left would yell 'racist' at this admission and hop on their soap box and scream loudly all in a virtue signalling attempt to get some recognition from their tribe.

If it helps. I rode by a Mcdonalds as well and covered my nose. That's a white person place, in fact it's white people's gift to the world. Heart disease and diabetes will consume north America but eat some other cultures food which is probably incredibly healthy? Gross!

We love you Mcdonalds.

I found the bridge and the valley trails and was smitten at the new paved running along the high sides of the valley. New homes with dogs that came and chased you along their fences lined the trail and it was quite great! I looked on the real estate app when I got home just to see how much it would cost to move there.

The bridge is a literal carbon copy of what is in Terwillegar. I'm pretty sure they just flipped the blueprints upside down and built this one. I crossed and did not explore much after that, time was short and I had to make my way back. I did try and go east a bit as private property signs were put up by the city immedietly after crossing. Pretty lame. Past the private property signs the trail did go on but it was quite crappy looking. As I crossed back another rider was crossing and took an eastward heading and didn't turn around.

The trails did look quite crappy. Maybe he knows something I don't.

The majority of the traffic comes from the north side of the bridge where I arrived. Including one Dad guy on a road bike who passed me on the climb up with authority but quickly ran out of gas and not bothering to move out of the way as I approached quickly.

Why do people do this? Seriously?

I had to pass in the grass, I gave him a "What the fuck dude" look which I'm sure never registered as he looked like he was quite gassed trying to climb the hill on his Costco road bike.

The ride back. Stupendous. Here is hoping for some trails Monday.

two potty breaks, one pic, beginning of ride and end
right after the bridge crossing you get this. quite lame edmonton.. quite lame
after the private property sign it's this. i turned around

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Night Shift




These Stay Safe and Be Kind signs have seem to have found their way onto many singletrack trails in the valley. They are everywhere and I could only imagine a group of women (or one) are behind it. Men would never do this. We suck. Hell I think I posted a picture on here while probably giggling uncontrollably on this very here blog of the middle finger pointed in the general direction of one of these signs. Why? I thought it was funny, does it make me asshole? Hell yeah it does. If you are behind these signs and are reading this may I give you a giant kudos in your direction and please know the middle finger pic was all done in fun.

2020 for me will be known as the year of the trail sign.

The vote for rides of the year which comes in January of the new year will definitely see this near the top, hell this one may have knocked off a ride on the overall top ten list. A rare night off was given to us in lieu of Monday as apparently the weather will get quite crappy by then. So hats off to my employers for this ride which would have not happened as I would be working.

This ride among many others on the Moots has me once again convinced that full suspension bikes are a giant waste of money if you are riding exclusively the river valley. With mountain trips getting more rare as life keeps getting in the way I am now wondering if replacing the Rocky, Altitude is a viable option. Option number two is replacing the Rocky with either a 650B or 29er hardtail. I will most likely go 650B as the 29er wheeled crowd seem to brag about their wheels like vegans incessantly brag about being vegan.

I know I have written this before after an amazing ride on the Moots so this could all be bike lust that is merely controlling the typing on this keyboard. If this ride was on the Rocky tonight I'm sure I would have had the same type of experience. Or would I? For me hardtails are just fun as shit.

The main driving factor behind tonight's energy was not working. The pre-ride energy was quite low and I thought I would tank before ever getting out of MillCreek. Once on the saddle the feeling was euphoric and I knew the ride was going to be special.

An into the dark ride from old school MillCreek through all the south river singletrack up until Machete which was ridden in the dusk making the sketch factor quite high. I attached the lights at the bottom and nervously switched them on as I did not know the last time they were charged. It was a blue light and I high fived a tree branch as I knew I had lots of light for the return trip. EMP Blast and the former Canada Cup singletrack were ridden in the dark and went with the flow of the whole ride. Everything was on point. The trails are insane awesome right now.

The sketchy homeless people who were all out in high numbers made me decide to play it safe and ride paved as much as I could back home.

millenials are losing their minds over this bridge
dusk done right, on a bike
potty break 2020 style

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Granny Gear World Chump





With the Moots middle ring incapacitated I was forced to run on the granny gear for most of this ride. I do have the big ring in this old school setup which is coming to an end soon but on these trails there are not a lot of areas to open it up in the big ring.

The last time I was in Fort Saskatchewan was in the winter and I started at the tennis courts and realized that nobody is riding the first section in the winter anymore. I investigated and soon found out all those wankers are just starting at the boat launch (the half way point) and riding the easier section out and back and calling it a day.

I was a bit leary of what  would find today as I started at the tennis courts and dropped into pure unadulterated singletrack bliss.

It was amaze.

My tired legs came alive, like you know... For a granny gear ride. The Moots was incredible as per the usual, the air was perfect. The trails were perfect, even my snot rockets were shooting out at at an incredible speed and velocity with no drip down.

Kids... I was alive.

Then bam! Fence in the middle of the trail. 'Aw fuck.. Here we go' I thought out loud. Some investigating showed lots of traffic going around the fence. The signs said bridge construction as they are adding two more lanes on the motor bridge. A smart idea but sadly that's gonna fuck shit up here for a while.

I decided to not ride the trails and follow the poorly marked area around the fence given that it is  a Tuesday afternoon and there is a good chance workers would be present. As I was on the outskirts of the fence annoyed and pissed off at the lack of signs and info, I saw nobody was working and I crept in and soon found the singletrack again.

It is a ridiculously large area that they closed off as per the usual valley construction bullshit. It has to be idiot town councillors who approve of these closures with zero cares given because the area doesn't serve vehicles. Lame? yes. That is the way things are though kids and it could be a lot worse.

The riding resumed...

Everything is in prime condition now. The flooding that came through earlier was showing lots of signs of damage. I wondered how the low river trail section where the sketchy ladder bridges exist right before the boat launch had fared and when I arrived I was not surprised to see they were gone. Completely washed out. Aww shit. It's sad but the valley changes constantly so what do you do?

I climbed out and took the paved till the launch and was back on the trails again. Apparently the trails that most people ride now. The trails in that outer loop were busy for a Tuesday, lots of kids and families are out taking turns crashing on the ladder bridges and features that have been built up here. So a heads up if you are heading out there.

I had a coffee break at my once favourite spot in the world and booked her back.

The ride back was uneventful other than unexpected trail traffic. Once past the boat launch I was closing in on the construction closures and saw a newish? trail climbing up with a weird name insinuating it is very hard. There was a steep power climb but it wasn't that bad. A cool meadow like trail opened up and soon I was at the end with a decision to ride out and avoid the whole area or skoot down a steep downhill that the local kids (I'm assuming) put up a sign  labeled '911 Skullbuster AVE' (in pics.)

The downhill was steep but it was very rideable. I was tempted just to spite the sign but I had already had it in my mind to take the detour through gross residential and paved trails.

I took the detour and soon found myself back where I started at the tennis courts. This construction may have me parking at the boat launch in coming rides although every fibre in my being does not want to. I could ride the north east trails first as an out and back. Hell... Maybe someone from the parking lot will see someone go that way and be enticed to follow.

Fort Saskatchewan can be ridden as a skinny figure 8 from the boat launch where all the trails can be ridden with no issues from the bridge construction. I don't like that idea and will probably keep parking at the tennis courts.

Cause you know... Change? Hell no.

you will most likely be safe riding through this, a chance you will get kicked out looms though
the first bullshit detour, when I could ride again
i see what you guys are doing now, carry on soldiers
r.i.p to a fun and sketchy little ft sask section 

Sunshine Day

When one is at work getting into what would be a boring day on a day that screamed "Go Outside and Play" and they dangle ...