Thursday, November 30, 2023

A Lonebiker History of Late November Dry Rides

 I think this is by far the most memorable late November year we have had since this blog was started back in 2009. It was a late November as well but nothing close to this year. This was typed out on November 22 and there is zero snow in the forecast so I am wondering if I will not need to pull out the fat bike when I get off work. 

I was wondering about other years when it was dry and the fun and nimble bikes kept going. So I came up with a list of every year when I started actual winter riding or if mentioned it snowed in a beer review or music post. 

It looks like 2016 is the year to beat for late snow falls. Can 2023 just do it!?

2022, Nov 5. music post, early year

2021, Nov 20 snowed work.

2020, Nov 7 beer review. 4.5 suds!

2019, Nov 8-9 one of these days...

2018, Nov 11 fat bike for the vets

2017, Nov 22 snow ride

2016, Dec 9. beer review and reigning champ

2015, Dec 5 a close second

2014, Nov 22 broke wrist, new bike.

2013, Nov 7 pervert

2012, Nov 7 blizzard

2011, Nov 15 riding

2010, Nov 21 a bitch post

2009, Nov 28 lots of ice

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Last Chance of Dry

Another banger of a ride on an insanely great set of days off which sadly had to end cause once again frozen feet happened and I had to retreat 

I blame the summer bike shoes. It's November twenty second and there I was in my damn Sidi shoes. 

It's the lack of snow that is deceiving. 

So last chance at a dry bike ride as work starts tomorrow in the darkest hours of the night. Is this late November riding going to extend into December just like the Oilers losing every game they play? 

I started in the Pioneer cabin parking lot and took the Old Timer trails westward like any proper chump should. Unless that chump had more of an adventurous side and took Old  Timers. I avoided the upper Gnome area as the legs were not kicking in and kept it low and easy. Work loomed and wanted to see Victoria and then took the Groat Road Rollercoaster (aka Lovers Lane)  to the end and back.

My feet froze by the end ad I hightailed it back to the car but not without riding the high side Old Timer trails which was an amazing way to end the dry side skinny bike season.

Bikes rule. Bring on the fat bikes. 


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

A late November Ride on the Gravel Bike

See this right here! Look to your left and this is what I was trying to accomplish the other day with Kent's pigeon killer. I don't know why it was so easy tonight to do what I wanted to do but look at this!

My blog the way I want it! Aww goddamnit thanks Blogger!

*sheds tears…

Oh and look at that picture I got. Now eat shit Kent! 


That just got unnecessarily aggressive. According to my genius daughter its native to the penguin species in a remote Icelandic rainforest. 

She actually never got back to me so I made that up. 

She got back and it was a Downy Woodpecker. 

*sits back and waits for applause…

The ride was decent but not amaze in any sort of way. My legs were not one hundred percent and for the first time that bike felt sluggish and unresponsive but I think it was just my vibe. A few out of the saddle moments happened including trying to catch some dork on an e-bike on the High Level and something about out of the saddle hammering on that thing that is so invigorating it is unreal. That bike comes alive and its amaze factor is quite freakin high. 

The route was up top of the End of the World area and east staying up high and descending down (ugh… now I gotta go look this up) Scona Road and crossed the beautiful Tawatinâ bridge and kept the eastward push going until I ran into an area where some stupid shitty hard climbs await thee who want to ascend into the city, the area was Dawson park and I decided to take the ravine me and Kent rode last Sunday and climb out from there. 

Now I was at Commonwealth and took the sad state of affairs that is the LRT paved trail from the stadium into the city. It seems to be more fucked every time I pass by it. Multiple fires have happened by the looks of things. I did hear some were killed in a tent fire and wondered if it was there where I was just riding by. 

The area had a bad burnt and garbage like odour. I have never seen it this bad. It's quite sad. 

I toured through the bike lanes and found the new route the now open LRT takes and it was quite fabulous! I am sure there are twits on reddit complaining but I like it and thats all that matters. 

I found the High Level to avoid climbing out of the valley where I chased the e bike where he got away quite easily and boy I was quite chapped at the situation. I swear e bikes are creating bike rage. Bike rage never existed until e bikes came along. 

See? go ahead and look it up I will sit and wait. 

Wow. Why am I such a dick today? 

So in the end it was a fine ride that feel could have been a lot better if my legs were more into riding a bike today. My feet ended up freezing so I cut the ride a bit shorter than I intended. 


Sunday, November 19, 2023

Falling Pigeons and other Gungudin

Another absolute banger of a ride on one of the most banger days that ever came in November. The insane warmness continues and it was another Kent meet up this time at the old school Mill Creek parking spot. aka the place some guy got whacked cause of drugs. 

A strange thing happened in the opening moments as we rode through Earthshaker when a pigeon fell from the sky and landed right in front of us. I am surprised it didn't hit us to be honest. Kent saw the perpetrator up in a tree which I had planned on having here cause the photo was better than I thought it would be. 

Its annoying cause blogger changed their ways of doing things a bit and I couldn't upload the photo the way I wanted… you know, cause it's my blog.

So yes a Falcon had dropped it's kill right in front of us and was waiting for us to leave up high in the trees. The ironic thing is me and Kent were rubbing each others balls talking how it's nice we didn't end up being Costco guys which a lot of guys our age end up, they live for Costco on the weekend and will spend the rest of the weekend doing chores for the wife and or husband and honestly, just being a bitch. 

Thank you Jesus for bikes. 

Today was incredible. A definite contender for ride of the year yet last night could be in the running too. If the light didn't die off that is… 

Everything tracked incredibly well including my balding ass rear tire which I let go way too long in infamous lonebiker fashion. The route was Mill Creek to the mouth of the beast that is our river and we headed east. A run into some Hardcore bike members. It is funny cause these are people I know and have seen on the trails and talked to through Kent or Jason. They all seem like incredibly cool people that love bikes.

It's a shame I am such a recluse. 

The ride continued with them for a short bit until I took a wrong turn and they sped off in their own direction. We rode up through all the good stuff leading us through Andre's and crossed and took the Higher Education trails up. A new trail I learned of in Kinnaird was quite great and had all the good stuff. Short power climbs and ridge riding with overhead obstructions cleverly marked. 

Everything tracked amazing today and we talked about having a reset button for rides like this. 

the photo i tried installing earlier with the perp of mc

*Kent Steeves photo 1, 2,5 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Get Out There kids

 Could this have been the top Fort Saskatchewan ride of the year? A recent one with Kent was top notchers too but that one didn't have darkness, danger and ominous spirits streaking across the trails in a zippy fast motion.

I was the only soul out in the area besides the lost ones wandering the woods I rode through tonight. 

The Bontrager Iron Comp light is great but it seemed to die off prematurely. I am saying that with complete uncertainty if I did charge it or not. So yes there is that little nugget. But after about an hour it was showing lots of red on the battery and it was dimming quite fast so I made the decision to get off the singletrack and up onto the paved. 

It was on the return through the rough parts on the trails east? of the boat launch heading towards Turner Park. It was dicey and I feel like I made the right decision. I was just annoyed the light was letting me down and I had to ride paved after some of the most fun night riding I have had in a while. 

It was pure perfection. The roots looked menacing with the bouncing shadows adding to the amaze that it was. The light bounced along the trees in tune with the trails. This insane bat shit crazy late November non snow warm weather will end soon. 

Get out and enjoy it. Old man is coming soon. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

What the Hell Was That?

A very strange and shitty ride that started with a fire in the woods and ended with a smack in the head by an angry tree which I am sure lowered its mass a little more to lean into the trail to get me. 

That rat tree bastard.

It started with a homeless encampment on fire. A huge problem nowadays in the city. One of the occupants (I assume) showed up on his bike and was yelling obscenities at the firefighters. yes he was really cool and immediately put me in a bad mood.

This ride was so bad that I put the bike up for sale early into a very shortened ride. The power climbs and skipping have always been a problem with that thing `and it was over the top today. There was a slight skewer malfunction which did change things when I tightened it up but still on the power climbs it skipped. 

A guy on an e-bike passed by me as I walked up a climb in furious anger of the incessant skipping. It was the last climb and it was all downhill afterwards so I was in a 'fuck that guy' kind of frame of mind as he did have a smug kinda look on his face towards me walking my piece of shit bike as his bike powered him up the power climb. 

"I'm catching that fucker going down!" I murmured to myself and it was on.

I turns out it didn't take much to catch him as he was in no hurry. Or maybe his battery was running low… ha ha ha ha.. but as I sped towards him my bike progressively got shittier and shitter. 

The skipping.

The loose rear wheel..

The loss of control…..

The sudden lurched braking when crossing a root garden……..

That is when I stopped. (damn it! e bike guy got away.) My skewer was half hanging out my wheel when I investigated. 

Yes. I am an idiot. 

While this was going on I had posted an ad for the bike on the trail beside it after I threw it in the trees and I had been texting Kent on a possible ride meet up. 

I finally met up with Kent in Emily Murphy and we took the backside up to Silver Fox where I had just come down. It was going smooth and on the switchbacks I head butted a tree quite hard where immediately I felt like I was going to throw up and that was followed by a headache but otherwise I felt ok. The headache died off and the pain in my neck started rearing itself. 

It was most likely the last ride on the Rocky Mountain. The bike rode better after the skewer incident (but still skipped on climbs) and my head feels fine now while typing. the neck is quite sore though. We hope to ride tomorrow but I am older and took a good shot to the head so we will see.

I sadly had to leave Kent on his way. I stopped riding at the car. The whole thing was a shame.

one last glory shot

even kent says 'f' you rocky mountain!

A Lonebiker History of Late November Dry Rides

 I think this is by far the most memorable late November year we have had since this blog was started back in 2009. It was a late November a...