Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Brethren TriFecta

 Well it was something the executives said couldn't be done. A ride with all three brethren members on time off on separate occasions one on one.

A meet up with Gord on a cold day with the fresh snow still being a dominant factor in the mighty valley.

Mill Creek was the main player as we set out from the high side pool parking lot and moved onward to Earthshaker. The loose snow from lack of traffic was the evil player making every climb pretty much unclimbable. Gord had more issues on his plus bike Stache as I had more traction but once the grainy loose snow was hit on almost any climb it was pretty much game over.

The trails got better on the lower  singletrack sections as there was lots of traffic.

We moved onward and upward to the high side singletrack where my frustrations were quickly lost. It was incredible up there. They call that the Trap? Eh, who cares. That trail has been around forever and will never lose its lustful vigor.

Once down we exited Mill Creek for a quick run in the Old Timers area. The trails were loose yet rideable. Definitely a lot better than my trip after the blizzard.

Back in Mill Creek we rode down a very snowy and sketchy Blue Man where I was surprised that people haven't been on it. In the end, a good ride. Squeaky pedals that I fixed late last week are starting to make their return which made me a bit bitchy.

The ride ended. Fist bumps were had and a small firework display went off. All in honour of the Brethren.

Photo credit. Gord Brenner. From top to bottom. Pics #4,#5, and #7

Friday, January 26, 2018

Early Afternoon Snow Grinder

What was only under seven kilometres which felt more like forty-five after a heavy amount of snow fell on my little valley overnight.  I had hoped to make fresh tracks but only a section of Old Timers was open. Other fat bikes were out which made me oddly quite happy. The rest of the trails (which weren't a lot) had walking tracks on them which made me quite angry. What's wrong with me?

I did get West Coast Trail all to myself which was great. Everything was all good besides the climbs where it took my poor Dillingers no time at all to skid out. Even with low PSI, I was dead to the climbs all ride. The rest of the ride was mostly granny geared and some serious pedal mashing was had.

Not what I hoped for today hearing there would be snow but I don't care. This is still too awesome.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

SingleCrack is Life

What is this? The fourth or fifth ride of this young year and and I'm ready to post it up as ride of the year. That's right. The voting is over. This one right here takes the cake. I'll send an email reminder for late December so I don't diss this when me and the executives choose the best rides.

Was it the good mojo that stuck around after Jason's meet up? As good as it was there were a few hiccups. Poor clothing was chosen and I froze a bit too much as I never even looked at the weather before leaving. The ride which started in Cameron Heights had a classic Lonebiker high heart rate panic attack right at the peak of the Staff College climb. After throwing my helmet off and settling myself down I was good for the rest of the ride. It's been a while since I had one of those. It was so much fun! That feeling of possibly dying alone on the trail in the snow. Well, at least that's what my head is telling me.

After the climb Go trail was ridden. The snow is still in great condition aside from a few ice spots in the places you don't want ice. The steep punchy climbs and descents mixed with some spin outs occurred and I have been having a hard time trusting my front tire lately. Spots with fat bike ruts were in the worst possible spots as always so I rode them high and away feeling my tires slide down the ice. Some good ass puckering was had.

I spent a little time in Terwillegar and soon crossed and rode Flat Pete. A coffee break was had on the the Sexy Fort Edmonton bridge where I contemplated a Fort Edmonton loop where I would avoid Selkirk or push it to Laurier and take Hawerlak back. As the cold crept in I chose the shorter route.

I skipped Flat Pete on the return to make a rare visit to the original trail in the Oliskew area. Back in Terwillegar the out of body experience happened and the singlecrack cocaine kicked in heavily. It was unreal. I finished on Go trail where I gave it the title of best trail in Edmonton. Blame the junky side of things for that.

The long climb back to Cameron Heights finished a perfect day. A shame I didn't bring warmer riding gear.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Hardcore Ditch

After a very rare event, which was me sending an invite to the Brethren members on group text aka 'The Brethren Bat Signal' Jason took the bait. With such short notice Gord and Kent could not make it. I was devastated. It was all made up when Jason had a planned Hardcore Bikes group ride tonight and ditched it to ride with 'LB' as he put it. Now that I think about it, is that an acronym for 'Loser Bitch?' If so... Hey!

We started in Mill Creeks upper pool parking lot. A quick steep drop in where I slid into a log and could not get proper footing to get going again. I was off to a fantastic start. The bottom was met with a cute couple having an illegal fire right off the trail. I blew a snot loogie in a salute. I'm sure they were smitten.

Blue Man Group took us out and Dirty Mattress, West Coast Trail, and Old Timers were all ridden where I had very loose control of my bike and was all over the trail and off the trail at times. That combined with a pedal squeak that came back in full fury.  Jason sauntered on as Jason does, unencumbered. There is a guy who loves to ride bikes.

The squeaking came and went throughout the ride. We eventually found Kinseman and climbed and descended up and down like a man with tourettes without all the yelling. The snow conditions were quite nice and other than me not finding my groove in the beginning I finally learned how to ride a bike. Other than a bad lack of fitness on the climbs.

Jason had his first east side bridge crossing on the sexy new Walterale and of course was impressed. I mean really... That bridge is pretty kick ass.

Mill creek was met again after coming back on the Low Level. The high side was ridden, Ridgerunner? That the trail? Hmm... Anyways it's been a while since I've been on that.

In the end, great ride. Will see about a full brethren ride before I go back to God's country.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Joby Chase!

What was supposed to be a very relaxed and easy ride turned into a bit of a panic after taking the top picture and leaving my Joby Gorilla Pod (portable tripod) on the trail. Luckily I returned and it was still there. A planned short ride from Mill Creek to halfway on the lower Ewok trail where I took the below picture and realized it was missing.

Holy shit. This has got to be the most boring ride write up that I have ever done. You wanna hear how I had a dream that my dentist retired last night? Would that be better?

Sorry... I'll do better next time.

On a side note, I added photo credit to yesterday's ride. The best pic on there was of course not me.

this is where i found it, so anyways, my dentist retired and it came as a shock cause i wanted to have a check up.
shall i go on? it was a minor inconvenience as i would have to google a new dentist. what are you guys even more
bored? go fuck yourselves, were allowed to have duds on here ok
* Update. I added an exclamation point to the title to spruce it up. I think this post is much better now.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

The 907 Club

 Maybe thats what I'll call this. Whenever me and just Kent get together. An exclusive club for Nine-0-Seven riders only. Open to all those that ride these fine Alaskan bikes. Soon there will be twenty of us. All storming the valley.

Hold on a second... Twenty?

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Let's keep this club small. Two or maybe four. Hey guys. Even four is pushing it. Apologies to the ones that like the big crowds. It's me. Not you. Look up at the title of this blog and maybe you will understand.

The good news is. Kent's hair is returning. It's been a while since we met for a ride and I was quite smitten with his Californian flowing locks of masculinity.

The ride from Old Timers took us onto Old Timers trail where we headed west. Gnome was ignored on the account of my tired legs (and many others we soon found out.) We crossed the mighty Walterdale and soon found Victoria. My old flame from a few years back. Kent probably thinks he was just going faster than me but I held back to have a little chat with my former lady. It's been a while since I was last here and I'd like to think we may be rekindling some lost love. This is the best that trail has been since I last rode it. Perfect snow with a very few muddy spots was there. This was once starting to get overgrown and shitty. Hence the breakup, but in every case once one is single they start to improve themselves dramatically and that's what Victoria's Secret did.

We hit Groat Road Rollercoaster next. Yes, I know it's called something else now but I just don't want to bother looking it up. It's not that I am grumpy from the constant name changes. If it's the ones who added the extension they have every right to rename it as stated before on here. Once out we took a sketchy descent down Purple Haze in behind the museum. A coffee break was had and we returned home via EMP Blast and Blue Man Group.

i say turn it into an outdoor bikini bike wash
*photo credit, third down side pic. Kent Steeves.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

First Ride of 18. Really?

Well it makes sense when you start the year on a two week work stretch in God's country. Than when I got home I just didn't ride. Blame the warm weather. Once a certain brethren member asked if this blog was turning into a music video blog I knew there was an issue. So off I went.

Kinseman to Ewok with a Dawson crossing and back was the order of the night. I parked with the intention of heading west. Kent was going to join but cancelled last minute unfortunately which changed the scope of this ride quite heavily.

The trail conditions are quite decent with some loose snow and some heavily iced up sections. Once I was on Old Timers I realized what I had missed out on and got sad. Or was I sad cause I was expecting Kent and his long flowing locks? Wait a tick. That bastard cut his hair! Well I'm glad he didn't show up now.

Nothing exciting to report. Other than trails are more fun than crack cocaine. I finished the ride on the north side and took it easy homeward bound.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Beer Friday. Elbeck Brews, KGB Russian Imperial Stout

Perhaps the most badass label to have ever adorned a beer label in the whole history of beer Friday reviews on this here blog. KGB from Elbeck brews has the whole Beer Friday beer team screaming for this one to get going.

We got frustrated trying to find the location of this brewery as I had assumed it was somewhere in Portland or (sigh) British Columbia. 'Elbeck Brews Edmonton' kept coming up. I got frustrated and kept searching for a location. "Why the hell does it keep giving me an Edmonton location guys" I yelled. Slowly one of the interns leaned in and whispered into my ear. "Hey umm... They are from Edmonton" she whispered, quickly shooing herself away and back into the crowd afraid of the wrath coming her way for making me look stupid.

It didn't. I smiled and said "of course" and we continued. Cause it's the Christmas holidays.

So Elbeck is located right here in Edmonton. Kinda makes me proud and a bit embarrassed at the same time that I didn't know that.

The pour was one of the most amazing ones I have ever seen on a Beer Friday testing evening. A very dark and badass stout poured out with fury and ruthless abandonment. A one and a half fingered head stood for a short time which transitioned to lacing.  A smell of heavy green pine treed hops (is there such a thing?) with toffee.

It tastes of dark chocolate and old coffee, caramel toffee is noted in their as well. This is one hell of a beer to have on this night by your side which is incredibly cold on the time of writing. Something that you and your possible comrades can have while sitting around the campfire in the middle of the Winter night. The more this one is downed, the more I love it!

This beer gets 4.5 suds out of 5.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Beer Friday. Boyne Brewing, Down Easy Pale Ale

Merry post Christmas. Merry Boxing Day. Hold on a second... When is this posted? My second Friday up north? Am I staying longer? Not sure. If not this one is coming to an end soon. Written however on Boxing Day. Canada's original Black Friday until we started copying the Americans because we are insecure with our own identities. Well... Maybe it's just the greedy douchebag corporations trying to make more money.

So what have I been up to you ask? Oh you know... Opening presents, hanging with the family. Staying away from the frigid cold river valley.

The brewery featured is from Victoria, British Columbia. Formed in Nineteen Eighty Nine under the guide of one noble gentlemen whom we cannot name (partly because we couldn't find his name on the website but we sure as shit didn't look real hard.) This brewery is a lot like the other craft breweries as per their website that is. They have passion and a strong devotion to making an incredible beer. They call themselves 'beer geeks.'

Well beer geeks, let's see what you did with this one.

The cover features some folks enjoying a nice summer day floating on tubes down a river. Quite the difference between today's weather and what is conveyed on the cover. The theme of the beer is taking things easy which I have been doing the last week and the week to come. That's what Christmas holidays is all about right kids?

We poured in the lab and got a darkened golden beer that had a one and a quartered fingered head that transition nicely to thick lacing on top and running down the sides making me think very perverted thoughts of this one. Smells of grains and earthy hops with some citrus. We sipped and it showed off it's summer prowess. This would be a nice one to have while over the barbecue or sitting over a campfire. Caramel and  anode balance of hops round out an easy drinking ale that leaves the mouth satisfied.

This beer gets 3.5 suds out of 5.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Music Monday (Tuesday.) Song of One-Seven

Was this even posted? Nevertheless this one took me back and forth to Fort McKay in the darkest hours of the night and became the theme of working out there. The eerie organs that emanate from this run through your spine and can make every hair stand up.

Puts things into prospective as you are surrounded by lots of people working up north, but you truly are all alone.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Top 5 Rides of 2017

Here we go, the annual dumping of the best rides from the last year. Get a big bowl of popcorn ready and maybe a martini.

#5. Into the Dark

A late season ride from daylight to nighttime. Great conditions and weather with hardly any write up.

Fort Saskatchewan and a nice hardtail. Reason enough to not ride a full suspension ever again. 

Meeting Kent's fine lady, an evening spent playing around town as the trails were too wet. This one took me back to the days of riding around the neighbourhood with friends and it was a damn good time. Kent seems to have that vibe when we get together. Sadly though, he cut his hair otherwise this would have been number one.

Best part of my job is being home and riding during the week while all the Monday to Friday suckers are stuck in their cubicles. Probably the last best ride on the Rocky Mountain. 

Again, middle of the day on a Monday. Nobody around. An expected wet roll on multi use and pave turned into a singletrack excursion. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

Beer Friday. World Top Yorkshire Brewery, Scarborough Fair IPA

Writing this two days before Christmas and I've just spent the last two days Christmas shopping. Oddly enough I didn't find the crowds all that bad this year. I was waiting for those serial killer vibes to enter my anger rinsed brain but felt nothing. In fact, I felt jolly. The highlight was sitting in Starbucks overlooking the ice rink in West Edmonton mall watching the skaters. The Christmas spirit finally hit then but I sadly lost it since that moment. I'm not sure how I will get it back.

Enter alcohol.

Scarborough Fair is a gluten free beer. Perfect for those who are celiac or who choose to live a gluten free lifestyle. World top Yorkshire Brewery is located in... What..? Really? What is with some of these English places and their bizarre names? I'm not even going to try to attempt to write that. It's in England. Close to Manchester (we think.) Who knows, maybe it's in Ireland. To the owners and employees of this place, I apologize.

The pour was done and we admired a dirty golden coloured beer with very little head. Is this a gluten free thing? A small crowd of foam did hang around the top though looking tempting. Looking sexy. I was tired of the Christmas rush and was ready for this one. I took the glass to my nose and was rewarded with fruity hops. I could almost tell by the smell that this IPA was truly going to be hoppy.

Hoppy it was but not what I was expecting. Maybe this would score low points on the hoppy richter scale. Hints of fruity hops with a trace of grapefruit round it out. As for a gluten free beer it fared quite well and would strongly recommend if that is what you need. If not, look elsewhere. Compared to other IPA's this one didn't deliver.

This beer gets 2.5 suds out of 5.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Best Beers of Two Seventeen

No top five list for these guys. Just every beer that made it over the 4.5 suds rating. There were only three for the year. Lots of beers made it with four suds so we are not that psycho. If you can find these get em.

Full beer listing of every one done on the right, top link.

In no order..

Garrison Brewing, Wintervention

Rogue, Chocolate Stout

Pilsner, Urquell