Sunday, March 26, 2017

March Madness

A meet up with Gord a couple days before my departure on a warm Sunday had all the ingredients of what a warm Sunday would be in Edmonton after a gloomy filled few weeks preceded by a heavy snow fall.

I'm quite sure everyone in town was in the river valley today or at least Mill Creek. Once we entered from the Velodrome the droves of people combined with the melted snow washed all over the paved trails had me in the joyest of moods to start off.

Gord's idea to head down onto the multi use was a good one. Once on it though you would sink into the snow making me wish I had my fat bike for just one more ride.

We exited. To hundreds of people.

We returned to peace and quiet, although you had to fight to stay moving.

The ride took us to Hawerlak all on the south side of the river. We climbed out and risked our lives riding with heavy traffic in the Whyte ave area trying to get home. I'd love to blame Gord for that one but clearly my fault. I misheard his direction and took the ride right into the heart of Whyte Avenue nice Sunday nuttiness.

To end it was great. A shit ride but what do you expect for March? Glad I'm leaving for two weeks.

abandoned bike consoled by a couple of edmonton's finest
*Top photo. Credit Gord Brenner

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Metro Line Ride

I'll admit. Once I pulled into the Old Timers Cabin parking lot and got out and put the bike together I had one hundred percent zero motivation to ride today. I knew what was in store for me and my poor shitbike and the thought of just staying at home was a pleasant thought.

Yes, the shitbike is back. The fatbike has been officially put away for the season. With another two week work hitch coming up and barring an Alberta blizzard the trails should almost be ready for the summer bikes (knock on wood) once back.

I pondered at the trailhead on where to go. I knew I would be getting out of the valley and the now becoming usual riding behind Rogers Place through the greasy back trails of Edmonton's inner city is starting to get old.

'Metro Line LRT ride!' I thought. It hit me hard and fast and as quickly as I thought of it I was already bored of the idea. Well bored? maybe an understatement. I have for a while wanted to follow the tracks on bike to the Nait station.

I won't get into detail as to how the ride was but I'll leave a list of highlights to close this one below. Here is hoping I have the urgency to ride tomorrow. After today and a big family day planned for tomorrow it will be a miracle.

Metro Line Ride Highlights!:

* Two crashes after hitting black ice too fast.
* Getting laughed at by Somalian soccer players in one of said crashes.
* New handlebars are pretty slick! (will discuss in a future post.)
* Waiting for countless long red lights following the train line.
* Forgetting bell and trying to get around people on the trails.
* Seeing LRT trains go by. Wheee!
* Chainsuck on the shitbike happening a bit more than it should.
* The smell of garbage and pot around every corner.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Coyote Chasing, Booty Scraping

A ride from Emily Murphy to Terwillegar bridge that was originally planned but trail issues forced a ride cut a little bit short after issues with Flat Pete trail conditions. Instead I crossed and made tracks for home over Fort Edmonton's sexy footbridge.

The trail conditions were a tad on the horrendous side but what can you expect in mid March. We are almost at that point of switching out to spring bikes as the trails are almost at that point of not being rideable. Yet today it was hit or miss... Well mostly hit if you like riding on ice.

As per the last ride the Dillingers had me wound up tight. I rode through Mackinnon's paved and multi use and entered Laurier where things were dicy but not too bad. After passing through some dog walkers who were quite pleasant (that wasn't sarcasm, they were awesome) I ascended up into Rio Terrace and made my way to Patricia Heights ravine where the trails of Wolf Willow waited.

Wolf Willow was where the sketch factor went through the greasy limits. Off cambered and glare iced sections had me walking. I did have lots of free areas to ride and made it through unscathed. Although some of the sections had ice hidden below the snow making my tires skip out towards the steep embankment causing mini heart attacks along the way. In the end the sense of accomplishment was quite high. I high fived a couple old ladies at the bottom of the trail and shouted "Fuck ya! Who's awesome? I'm awesome" And rode away yelling "Whoop, Whoop, Whoop!" as I sped away.

I'm sure they thought I was pretty slick.

I made my way to the river and was instantly met with an unreal amount of mud. Mud that was chewed up from other fat bikes and walkers. I tried to walk out but got caught a couple times making ruts of my own I'm sure. I was in no mood to turn around and ride back.

Flat Pete didn't last long. Once the mud started to show it's face again and I turned around once I saw the tracks people laid down up ahead.

I made it home but had to skip some sections of trail on the Belgravia singletrack due to extreme mudding and ride alongside the river. The ride ended in Emily Murphy shortly after.

Please kids, don't ride muddy trails, if its not ice , snow, or dry dirt just stay off. You Parents will be proud of the smart life decision you made.

loving this trigger trap camera system for my slr, will probably do some sort of review on it
and post next couple weeks when i'm back up north

*edit. trigger trap is no more so no point in doing that now
wolf willow being even more badass than usual
my turn around point on flat pete

Monday, March 20, 2017

Making a Strong Case For Monday Awesomeness

A meet-up with Kent after a long boring day of essentially doing nothing had quickly turned around once we entered Gold Digger's east side entrance for a ride from Gold Bar to the mighty High Level and back through Edmonton's greasy, seedy underbelly.

It's truly amazing how bikes do that. From zero to hero in one hundred feet of trail.

Pure magic, these bikes we ride.

Candidate for ride of the year or at least in the top five. Despite quite horrendous conditions things just seemed to flow well.

Flow well?

Well I completely lost faith in my Dillingers as of today after several slips on the iced ladened singletrack. That resulted in my speed going at a staggering slow pace as I could not trust anything that layed beneath me. It was something that would ruin ones ride but the feeling in the air was festive. Could it be because we are near the end of fatbike season?

We cruised through all the fine singletrack trails leading to High Level. Things got quite sketchy once on McAloon's Rip with glazed ice leading the way which quickly turned to mud. In short we shouldn't be on there and rode Ewok's mid singletrack leary of what came around each corner.

Old Timers and the Canada Cup area was ridden before heading up to the High Level for a quick slingshot back home in the fading light.

For some reason the fatbikes had lot's of fans as we made our way through Roger Place. Old creepy men yelled out at us and young women made comments on the bikes. It was weird. I could only assume the girl's were tipsy on hockey beer and the men, well....

We rode home. Cold. Quiet. Ending a pretty great night riding bikes.

*second photo down from top, credit Kent Steeves.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

Half & Half

A ride in where the proper pre-ride nutrition did not take place resulting in a less than ready body for slushy, icy, ass puckering trails.

Hey I don't blame Mrs Lonebiker for trying as she prepped a bunch of spaghetti sauce in my return from the north in order to be ready for riding it's just.... I have had enough spaghetti in my lifetime and my body just doesn't like it as fuel anymore.

So today once out of Mill Creek I headed east down Bird House and up into Mid Ewok where I crossed Dawson and climbed into the city.

So the ride was half trail and half city, hence the name of this one.

I really don't have much to say about this one as I am dead tired, so maybe I'll just post up the Strava track.

As for trail conditions if you happen to come on here seeing what it's like out on the trails. If you do that, please don't.

I wouldn't trust my judgement.

It was as of 9 this morning crusted and very icy on the singletrack. As the day passes things change so if you are heading out be prepared for a lot of bullshit trails out there.

Still fun as hell though.


a visit with blue man prior to dissing blue man
this place right here is pretty awesome
ahhh edmonton, you really are adorable

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Torn, Tattered, Beaten. The Return to the Valley

After a succesful first trip up north our hero made a triumphant return to the glorious valley. Wait a minute... did I say succesful? well, the job is fine but I came home with a few medical problems such as things stuck in my foot that cannot be removed. Things stuck in my eye (or is it pink eye?). Also the fine tuned ending of a bad cold that plagued some long nights working hard on mining equipment in a smoky environment. Suffice to say, it was brutal. Oddly enough I came home wishing for more and the clock is counting down in anticipation waiting for my return up north.

Obviously the priority is riding today. With a possible eye patch coming it was only smart to ride now and wait for Mrs Lonebiker to take me to the clinic once she is off work.

That top couple paragraphs was written before leaving for the clinic. I'm back and just had stuff removed from my eye and foot. Needless to say. It was good times. Real good times.

The ride started in Terwillegar and I was a bit ill prepared. My GPS was at home resorting me to use my phone for that all important Strava tracking. No warm headwear was brought either but the warm weather made that a non issue so in the end there was no excuse.

I quickly left Terwillegar and was soon on Flat Pete. Sugary snow made things dicy and once you were even close to being off the hard packed it would pull you in like a junkie going back to the smack after a two day absence. It was a bit brutal. I crossed the sexy Fort Edmonton bridge and was soon staring straight at shiny balls with tears of joy rolling down the cheeks "oh how I've missed thee" I bellowed to them as cars shot past by on the Whitemud.

Laurier singletrack was skipped as a large group of dog walkers were loitering by the entrance. I crossed again and was in Hawerlak and made tracks for home with thoughts of Organ Donor racing through my mind. I rode up and was shut down as very minimal traffic was shown. Not even one bike track made it's way in, for shame.

I guess I am no better but in my defence. I'm a little fucked up right now. Fort McMurray made me it's bitch and I succumbed.

The ride ended with a return through Flat Pete yet again. In the end I was happy. I was satisfied. I was home.

potty break on a very snowy unbroken trail
the entrance to organ donor, i said nope and made my way home

Monday, March 13, 2017

Beer Friday. Alley Kat, Main Squeeze

Greetings on this beer Friday written a day before I leave for the mighty north. Could this review be published in my third straight week? Or am I on the verge of coming back with dreams of bikes running through my head? Time will only tell when it happens but rest assured when this one is published. Home will be coming very soon.

Something most people will never think is awesome. Working out of town. I once thought it would be the worst and had joked about them finding my body in one of those camp rooms swaying back and forth tied to the roof, yet at the time I was more than intrigued. Watching youtube videos at lunch on camp life had me doing some very serious thinking. When I finally did go up before it was one of the best working experiences I have ever had. Being away isn't all that bad as all you do is work and sleep. When you are home you get a week or two (in this case, two) off which is pretty badass.

This I'm sure is being met with many rolled eyes whilst reading.

To each their own.

Yes another Alley Kat beer. I thought this was the last one but there is still one more in the holding pen back behind the computer. I think once that one is done we will give Alley Kat a break. Unless of course they announce some sort of new seasonal brew. Well then... Just one more.

Their grapefruit ale is one of the Summer seasonal ales. They did things right by giving it grapefruit, a true taste of summer. Why does it seen that all the craft beer companies know what they are doing whilst the big players have no idea?

We poured this one and it showed a nice clean, crisp, golden looking beer. Dammit did it look refreshing! A one fingered head stood at top and dissipated slowly. A citrusy smell of grapefruit obviously hit our nose we we snuffled it in. the first sip gave the obvious grapefruit taste. Some would think this would be sour but it isn't. It is actually quite refreshing. Grain, yeast, and nice easy hops round out the palate as this one goes down.

Quite the delight this one is!

This beer gets 4 suds out of 5

Friday, March 10, 2017

Beer Friday. Alley Kat, Aprikat

After a day of renovating a bathroom and no bike ride a fine beer from Edmonton's finest brewery is in tall order. Very tall order, I only have four days or so till I leave for up north so I need to get all the riding in that I can. When you have incredible in laws that want to help renovate you just can't say no can you?

As this beer review was written before I left, now that this is being posted my bathroom should be done. 'What is life like in the future?' I wonder as I write this. I should be well over a week in when this is posted with less than a week to go. Do I do another pre beer review in case I stay up for overtime? Or do I fill my two weeks of absence with three beer reviews and a bunch of video dumps?

Maybe I'll be too tired too want to post anything...

Hmmm.. So many questions.

Alley Kat has been on here a bunch of times. A local brew here in Edmonton that has become somewhat of a staple as Edmonton's beer. It's a shame it isn't served at Rogers Place, home of our beloved Oilers in fact I think I might start a petition to make it happen. Their Apricot beer might just be the ticket!

The pour gave a golden coloured ray of beauty that had a one fingered head that didn't want to stick around. Probably cause it felt awkward at all the people staring with contempt. Cause you know... Beer review.

The first sip definitely gave you the apricot which strikes down having this in a hockey rink. This is one you want sitting outside on a patio grilling some steak. With the apricot comes easy malts, grains and overall just a real nice one to drink. Dammit! I wish I had more! If you live in Alberta and haven't tried this yet well shame on you madam/sir! Shame!

This beer gets 4 suds out of 5

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017

Beer Friday. Stone Brewing, Pataskala Red IPA

Welcome to the first of a few holstered beer reviews as my time is currently spent up in God's country. These were all done in the week before I left. The plan is to do them and unleash them whilst up north so the blog doesn't get too dry.

Stone Brewery is located in Escondido, California and was founded in the year of our lord Nineteen-Ninety- Six. Ironically the same year I met my wife. Escondido is also ironic in that it is hard to type out or just plain spell such as the beer under the gun today. Pataskala (I'm not too sure if that's spelt right.) Well... That's really not that odd or ironic. In fact I may have just put some of you to sleep and I'm sorry for that.

The Pataskala brew was one that was done to raise money for a charity and high demand brought in as one of Stone Breweries seasonal beers. A story that melts the heart of myself, the pourers and all the interns across the Lonebiker family.

The pour gave a dark red India Pale Ale that looked like it had attitude that would not take shit from nobody. A light two fingered head sat on top with menacing looks that scared away one of the new interns. I took charge when I saw the group breaking down and grabbed it, gave it a snort and downed some to the shock of the whole crew.

An IPA that isn't too bitter yet it reminds you that it's an IPA with every sip. A nice and easy enjoyable beer. Caramel that was in an almond tree that caught fire is oddly a taste that is there. The malts are not overwhelming and a last taste of citrus and pine hits you as you slowly down this one in front of a fire with your tablet reading your favourite blog. Gord's "Rides, Reviews, Races and Random Thoughts."

This beer gets 3.5 suds out of 5

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

One More Roll Through the Snow Before I Go

 Well kids the riding will now come to a stop for a couple weeks as yet another new adventure (work adventure that is) will start tomorrow.

Fort McMurray came calling and I took the bait. This time will be much better and more secure than last. A two week on and two week off rotation will ensure lots of bike rides when home. Hence the blog will still be busy.

I have a few beer reviews done up for this first rotation. So between those and other minor posts this here blog will not die every two weeks. I will do beer reviews when home and post up when I'm away.

It's quite genius really...

*pushes himself away from desk. Pats back.

So please hold back your tears, I can tell that you are all real upset right now. Things on here won't change.

As far as the ride today went. It was a shorter one from Emily Murphy to Shiny Balls and back. I'll let Strava tell the story.

The trails were all decent, although a few slip ups on Six Shooter to remind me of my mortality happened. For the most part things are all rideable now. So if you put away your Winter bike it's time to take them back out and get off the damn internet riding in your basement (you know who you are!)

Riding outside is where we are meant to be.

what will this valley look like in two weeks?