Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Perfect Storm

It does seem like a rare thing to have everything come together on rides like this. It is the perfect trifecta where mind, body and soul all combine to come together at once. It was all on point. Every aspect of the ride was absolute pure amaze. 

My only complaint... We need more snow and a real winter. This warm melting weather bullshit is wreaking some havoc on the sun exposed trails which resulted in a hard crash on Raven on a switchback that was glare ice. Yes I do understand the bad environmental effects that winters like this cause which will probably mean lots of forest fires. But hey... It's so beautiful outside. Lets go run with our shirts off and be douchebags in the river valley! Yes... I did witness a couple of dipshits out running shirtless down there.. 

It's fucking January. 

Oh look at me go... 

The ride was pure amaze kids. Starting at Fort Edmonton I headed east through Karenville (laurier) after crossing the mighty Quesnell. The best part of Laurier is being up in the hills away from all the white people with purebred dogs. I took the easy way out on the boardwalk and easy climb out of Mackenzie ravine. Mackinnon's fine trails were ridden and surprisingly the ruts were not as bad. I did get caught on the steep switchback and had to bail. an omen for what was coming and what would hurt alot later on.

The switchback is rideable if you stay high left. Most people follow the others which is what I did and it cost me (which explains the ruts). I got out of Mackinnon and rode up Purple Haze and did the Groat Road Rollercoaster (lovers Lane) and Victoria's Secret loop. The energy I had on Lovers Lane was unreal and I knew this was going to be an extra special ride. Although, maybe my Strava didn't reflect that. 

Victoria's Secret was amazing for the light show from the dropping sun and yes, our on again off again relationship. Right now, I am madly in love. I crossed the Menzies and found Silver Fox where I rode right up the switchbacks full of piss and vinegar. Yea, I may be braggy now but this never fucking happens anymore. 

I started to feel fatigued at the end of RayGun after a super fun climb up. I did ponder things like my life insurance injury pay-outs about riding Machete down and saw other recent fat bike tracks heading that way which was enough convincing for me. Also, I am a badass fat biker with an attitude. Yes. It was sketchy but still rideable. The exposed areas of trail are either dirt or ice or a collection of both with some snow mixed in. 

At the bottom of Machete after I removed my puckered ass with a pair of pliers from my saddle after the ride down I hightailed it along the Fort Edmonton multi use after Raven and the big crash. Once back near home base I decided to extend the ride with a Fort Edmonton loop which turned into a Flat Pete, The Log Trail and a visit to the sexy Terwillegar footbridge where BDSM took me home loop. 

Still vibrating form this one. Riding bikes is seriously the best thing ever. 












 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Elk Island Winter Bike. Hayburger Trail



 



I really could have used some more trail after this, the 11.9km this one provides was just not enough today. Another trip out to Elk Island this time on Hayburger Trail. It was Christmas eve when I rode Moss Lake Trail and yes that trail is better than Hayburger. 

There is nothing wrong with Hayburger. It is decent. It had the wide open creeks and fields that you stumble across like the ones at Moss Lake, well considering Moss Lake is just up the road the terrain is the same. 

The trails are not singletrack despite what you might read on the interwebs. They are doubletrack I am assuming so they could get a quad down there in case of some sort of rescue. Mind you... These trails have been here forever. 

As I have said before. You do not go ride Elk Island for the amazing singletrack. If you want amazing singletrack stay in the city or the mountains are three hours a way. Elk Island is amazing for the views and when the sun hits some of those meadows just right. All I gotta say is damn...

This ride is short and flat so if you have any sort of fitness built up, plan to do a couple loops or ride Moss Lake after. In my sad state of current fitness the short low 12km was not nearly enough for me today. 

Once again, not one animal was seen today other than some dogs faithfully walking with their owners. There is bison galore in this park so it is inevitable a run in will happen the more time I spend here. 

Some links below:








 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Beer Friday. Stone Brewing, Enter Night.



A scary looking can that has been staring at me in the den for the last few months, or maybe even longer. We are writing this right in the middle of the Bucs, Saints game which is tied at 20 so things may be interrupted at times. Whoop.. 23-20 Tampa. See? 

Stone Brewing who are located in Escondido (did I spell that right?) California. Which is located close to San Diego started operations in nineteen ninety six I believe. 

Guys... I'll be honest. I have nothing to say here about this. There is football on and I have my obligation to this here blog.. Whoop! 30-20 Tampa. Damn...

"Do we just go straight to the pour now?" I yelled back into the testing center, clutching my laptop, hoping for no answer. All is quiet.. 

I tell you what. After the game. let's pour!

This game is done. This pour was mimicking the Saints offence today by not doing what it was supposed to and shitting all over the place. Yes, the can opened and immediately a ton of beer spilled out as though this was shaken by a psychotic beer hating nazi intern (and we fired all those interns in the great LB cleanse of 2014.) 

Metallica fans would love this as Stone brewing and Metallica got together to make this one for the fans. The artwork and the name does have some Metallica -esque ties  which did make me look it up and when I found this out I was pleasantly surprised. 

Yes the pour was a disaster. The kitchen does smell of beer now and now the test is likely ruined as this one seems to have issues. Yet a quick sip proved otherwise. 

Smells of a well balanced hopped pilsner with citrus like qualities that when first sipped we wondered. Is this really a pilsner?
 
As I sipped this one I finally threw Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' on the youtube player in the background to try and get a better feel for this. 

No, this song does not suit this beer. Pilsners are happy, sunshine and lollipops beers. Enter Sandman is about fear of sleep, and death. Any other Metallica lyric surely can't be that cheery. hence a dark brooding beer should have been the one made. Am I right? Seriously kids... These breweries do have meetings with smart people don't they? 

Really, in the end. Not a huge deal. If I was brewing a beer for a band I would do it to more the bands style.  All that being said. This is one hell of a pilsner. A very flavourful one that fills your mouth with an off the wall mouthfeel. The hops, the grains, the malt, the yeast. This one was all put together by perfection. The only mystery? Why did it explode when we opened it? 

This beer gets 4.5 suds out of 5. 






Saturday, January 16, 2021

Bikes are Better than Porn






A ride with promise of something a bit longer than my usual fifteen km or so rides that I seem to be averaging lately was limited to fifteen as mini Lonebiker jr's were expecting some sort of dinner on my return. 

The plan was after starting at Strathcona High school to ride the bike lanes to the valley and ride Ray Gun and Silver Fox down and head towards Farmers Daughter territory. Ride Farmers Daughter and exit out of the valley and ride back to the high school on the streets. It was a good plan but the guilt got to me and I cut it short after a slippery roll down Ray Gun where lots of loose unpacked snow made things a bit of a challenge.

I ended up taking the Hawerlak multi use out and was back on the same bike lane that took me in. 

YES, THE MAJORITY OF THE KMS RIDDEN TODAY WERE MOST LIKELY COMING AND GOING TO THE VALLEY. Oh no! I did it again... Caps lock was on. I now look like one of those morons who thinks they are making a point made stronger by the use of all caps followed most likely by multiple exclamation points which would look like THIS!!!!!

or I could have just erased that sentence and started over but I then typed all that! Now this! 

See? one exclamation point is all you need. We all know those people don't we? Lurking on company emails and puking their grammatical filth all over social media. I can make fun of these people because I was once one of them Hell... Look back on the early days of this blog and you might see that shit lurking. 

So yes, mainly a street ride with a quick valley dip. Not a bad ride overall kids, bikes do something good for the soul. You just feel like a better person after a ride. Love this sport! 

oops sorry.. I mean.

LOVE THIS SPORT!!!!!!!!!!!

current snow conditions on raygun 






 

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Dusk Awaits




It was completely pointless for me to throw on the lights today but I did cause I wanted to be prepared. My planned Elk Island ride last set off was sadly ruined as I showed up too late and without lights. If I had lights things would have been top notch so that was the thinking for today. 

Oh my Lord... I am pretty positive that is the most boring opening to a Lonebiker bike post that has ever happened.

Hey man.. You come here and write these after every ride.. Well I guess I could talk about the ride I was on tonight. Hey, that is a hell of an idea!

The ride from Kinseman took me eastward from the parking lot and it felt odd as I don't think I have ever headed east straight from Kinseman before. The temptations of the close singletrack or crossing the mighty Menzies can be too much I guess. 

I did get that great Canada Cup singletrack running right next to the river. It was there in all of it's glory heavily rutted out from all the fat bikes. Any sort of resemblance of a downhill had ruts in it. Guys, I do know this pandemic is bringing lots of new people to the trails but this is what we have to put up with now...? 

The ruts were really only bad on that one trail and as I headed down the river I rode Old Timers, the Cloverdale Detour and Holy Trail up into mid Ewok and things were somewhat ok. It's not pristine but I will take this over the ice death trails which we usually get every year. 

I crossed the amazing Dawson Bridge and rode some new singletrack in the Dawson park area before climbing up and out and into Edmonton's downtown where I bee lined it for the Lrt tracks as there are safe paved paths there in the darkening sky. Well... Safe from cars at least. This area is sketchy as fuck. 

I soon found Rogers and some empty streets where I found a bike lane that saved me all the way to the paved paths taking me to the High level where I gracefully crossed and had my first big crash of the new year when some steep downhill singletrack was attempted trying to avoid tha paved. 

It was steep, it was slippery. I somehow went over the bars ahead of my bike and I slid down the hill to the bottom. My bike trailed closely behind me. 

The ride was over after a short downhill ride to the Jeep.


oh hey portland, can we rip off your slogan? this is embarrassing

 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Top 5 Rides of 2020

 A year where it seemed things slowed down even more on the riding side of things. Some of the stats for this year:

Number of rides: 73

Solo Rides aka Lonebiker style: 63

Full Brethren Rides: 5

Mr. Steeve's accompaniment rides 5

Kilometres Ridden: 1348

Elevation climbed: 11,631

The best rides starting at number 5 below.. 

#5 Elk Island. Moss Lake. Winter Bike My first riding experience at Elk Island on Christmas Eve. Not satisfying in a singletrack sort of way. Hell no. The awesomeness comes in the experience. Hoping to head out tomorrow (writing this Jan 4) only you in the future will know if I made it. 


#4 A Sunday Evening Brethren Thing A meet up with the fellas on a memorable one on a spectacular September night where that special feeling was just in the air because Summer was coming to an end. 


#3 Pulmonary Archery This one was an unreal ride into the dark on the winter bike. I'm hoping to have a few of these in the next few weeks as we are in the right season. This one had perfect weather, perfect trails and a perfect bike.


#2 Forty Four on 44 It would seem it takes the entire Brethren to coax me into riding the full length of my birthday rides. The only two times it was ridden fully were with them. Some pouting by yours truly in the end as I thought I was done but needing a few more kms was helped as Gord tagged along with me so I could get the 44kms, a top notch move. I think it was 45 and some change in the end. This will sadly end the birthday rides as my work rotation runs over my birthday for the next 6 or seven years or I get another job.



#1 Night Shift We were given the night off as it was slow and I don't think I was ever more pumped than this to ride.  It is usually when I have to much piss and vinegar in me that I blow up about four kms in. Not in this case. The bike ridden? The Moots of course. A seriously unreal ride that will make its way on the all time top ten soon. If not up already. The top ten rides will be linked below beer archives soon as they will be changing out.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Worst Rides of 2020

 Thankfully these rides can be rare but they sadly do happen. The worst rides of 2020 below.

5. The Y.E.G <Link


I remember this one being close to 20 or so kilometres which usually doesn't warrant a shit ride but this one felt gross. Was it the Edmonton getting to me? The pandemic? or was I pouting because work was getting close. Got lucky with some decent pictures at least. Oh listen to me brag like a diva. 

4.Jeeperz is Still Half Empty <Link


Oh nightshift. You dirty little bitch you... That bedraggled feeling mixed in with that approaching July muggy heat. A classic lonebiker ride ruiner. Some real top notch writing there comparing my body to a half empty gas tank is what makes this blog killer.

3. The Jelly Leg High Heat Low KM's World Championships <Link


Was I coming off nights on this one too? I remember standing by a tree in Dawson Park texting selfies to my family with heavy emphasis on how hot I was. That was sadly my best memory on a pretty lame outing in the Summer stickiness.


2. Oh Glorious Pavement, You Sexy Bitch

This one happened a couple days after the Jeeperz is Still Half Empty Ride. Yes I complain about that dreaded 'July vibe' yet again *cue eyes rolling.  I think if I had known two of my top five worst rides would be on the same set off I would be quite pissy. 

1. A Failed Start to the 2020-2021 Winter Season


Worst ride of the year. Easily. My right pedal fell off on RayGun in the beginning of this one but I was not into this ride prior to the pedal incident. the awkward short ride back on a spindle with clumsy winter shoes was quite miserable.

The Perfect Storm

It does seem like a rare thing to have everything come together on rides like this. It is the perfect trifecta where mind, body and soul all...