Sunday, May 26, 2024

Fort Saskatchewan Fantastic

A fairly unreal ride where most of the good stuff was ridden before the heavens opened up from above with a bit of fury. It was just rain thankfully, hail sucks to be caught in and I remember getting whacked pretty good last year. 

It was an unexpected ride and I did not feel up to it one bit and had already written off the day for doing good things. yardwork needed to happen and I could smoke something all afternoon for dinner tonight. You know... Real late 40 year old Dad stuff. 

Instead I said to hell with yard work it after the rain hit us at home omitting the yard work idea. They were scattered showers everywhere so I took a chance with the Moots but thought if it was wet I could just ride the paved which is what happened 100% of the time before the gravel bike showed up. 

Things were dry when I showed up with ominous clouds lurking all around but you know what kids? The singletrack was prime baby. I'm talking like sweet sweet prime rib falling off the bone like I would have made this afternoon if I didn't go riding.

I'm talking mega prime trails bitches and my Moots and legs wanted to go. It was an unreal ride through the tight trees on an amazing bike that responds to the tight singletrack like an angry pack of hornets responds and attacks someone who just swatted at their nest. Thats some furious anger baby and my bike was full of it.

The singletrack tracked really well and when I got around the backside I noticed a new pack of dark clouds moving in so I started to hightail it back. as the sunlight was gone and cold wind appeared and I knew it was on my ass. Low rumblings of thunder made the moment more epic as I rolled through.

Was it a little bit of adrenaline that made the moment more unreal? Tonight was one of the coolest moments I have had on a bike in a long time. The rain did catch me at the top of the new climb where the old bridge pilings are. 

I had my raincoat packed and it came in handy as it was quite wet as I found the paved and made it back as fast as I could. It was quite a downpour and even the wet downpour riding racing to the car was incredible. 


Saturday, May 25, 2024

Planes, No Trains and Way Too Many Automobiles

Think I did this last year or maybe it was the year before? Time is moving way to fast guys if it was two years ago. I do remember it being smoky and me riding cause I was fed up of not riding cause of all the smoke that year which means last year right? 

Just hold on, go get a latte or something all right? 

Yes it was last year, phew. Time isn't going that fast. 

Covid still feels like yesterday though right?

I found the airport ride of 2023 on Strava and compared it to today. Last time I was forced to ride a lot of highway which really sucked. The preferred route is backroads to Nisku which is great but one stretch is quite busy with car traffic so not much better than the highway although there is less exposure. Last year it was a two hour and one minute ride for 39.25km and today was two hours and ten minutes for 43.43km so a bit of a longer route but you get to go through Nisku baby! 

The ride started from Lonebiker headquarters and some would say the airport is an odd place for a destination but I am a huge airplane geek so it just makes sense. It is Beaumont Days here so I rode through box car races and a heavy amount of people as they made their way to the fairgrounds and wondered if my family would miss me if I disappeared and became a carney. 

It was some gravel for the gravel bike as I left town and eventually found Nisku and rode by the place that was a huge part of my life at one time and I gave zero thought of those times cause I just don't really care now. Life is funny that way. 

After Nisku it was a sketchy zero shoulder bridge cross over highway 2 and I eventually found the old entrance to the airport where the trees and closed road provided good shelter for a potty break. I found some Hercules aircraft doing some training from Winnipeg I assumed.

A headwind got in my way on the way back to Beaumont  and I made the mistake of staying off the gravel and riding a very tight shouldered paved backroad into town. 

It was a top notch ride despite the lame traffic. 


Friday, May 24, 2024

Beer Friday. 88 Brewing, Total Eclipse Black pilsner

 Ugh... this beer will be a sweet relief after a rather lame day all thanks to the annual Doctor's visit. After the Doctors I was on the phone with the government listening to terrible music and then finally speaking to someone with very poor communication skills and getting nowhere. 

Oh no, I am starting to sound like a boomer, let's pump the brakes a little on the complaining. Between the phone call and Doctor visit I was done and the day turned into shit. I even scrapped a bike ride around Wetaskiwin. The good news is my blood tested incredibly well all around which was nice to hear at this age, as from time to time when I look over my shoulder I swear I see a dude in a black cape clasping a scythe lurking way back. I blame bike riding for the good results. 

Hell ya bikes!

88 Brewing from beautiful Calgary here in Alberta brings us this beer brewed after a German Schwarzbier style and a dark Czech lager.  The beer pouring room awaits!

Guys. When we poured this one it got away from the pourer (who was promptly shown shown the exit with his head being the battering ram to the double steel doors.) So a giant full sized hand head stood atop the little beer below. The head was formed quite easy and once it went down it showed lacing along the glass while a still visible head always remained on the outskirts. 

It had a nice brown sugar like smell to it which went well with the brown head. It also had hints of a dried fruit like smell to it as well. This is a delight to bring to the mouth and take a sip. The mouthfeel is quite incredible and I frowned when I remembered I only had one. Well maybe that's a good thing. ha ha. This one reminded me of something you would want on a cold winter day. It does have a roasted dark coffee undertone to it with a ginger and dark fruit taste. The 4.6 alcohol percentage was noticeable and made this one a nice tasty easy drinking dark wonder beer.

This beer gets 4.5 suds out of 5.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Wet Underwear Wednesday

I wasn't really happy when it started pouring rain on me once I got around the far loop and started heading back towards the town that is really nice in the middle and is saturated by new developments with houses so close together you can walk from roof to roof. 

The inner core of Leduc does make Beaumont and Sherwood Park eat their hearts out as it still has a small town main street and the neighbourhoods are incredibly nice. Some would say Beaumont has a nice main street and it has gotten better in the last few years but still doesn't come close to Leduc. 

I talked about it but I did not visit the inner core as I was grumpy cause of the rain. I almost stayed home because I didn't want to get caught in a perpetual downpour as they were scattered throughout the lands. 


Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Annual Wet Pilgrimage to Sturgeon

A delightful ride on a very typical May long weekend Sunday. Why does this happen every single May long weekend? The rain is good though as the fire threat has been kinda rough lately so like a good Albertan I didn't complain and grabbed the gravel bike and departed for St Albert.

I parked at Riel Recreation centre as per the usual and took off towards Lois Hole provincial park and it seemed quite nice. I wasn't quite ready for this as you could possibly explore on grass like trails around the lake or lakes? I'm sorry I know nothing about this park and if I was a good writer I would have looked at a map or something. It had a long boardwalk over the inner shore that looked pretty cool. 

*edit, looks like it's got two lakes and several ponds and other wetland accompaniment 

I pondered the grass trails and turned around. I mean I was on the perfect bike for this but my legs were quite tired from yesterday. So it was through the centre of town alongside the mighty Sturgeon.... I don't know if I would call it mighty. I mean next to the North Saskatchewan this is kind of a little bitch river but still its a river and it has pride and the great residents of St Albert have pride in that little bitch river so Godspeed oh great Sturgeon river. Godspeed. 

Nothing new from any other ride there, some baseball games provided some traffic and a roided up weird guy kept staring me down as I was stopped waiting for him to cross the river as those bridges are so skinny. He kept looking back at me and was eventually yelling things. I looked at my phone to ignore him and couldn't make out what he was saying. I stayed away from the weirdo and didn't cross and was on my way. 

I did find a cool little ravine path which extends out from the Sturgeon in between the baseball diamonds and the main street. St Albert trail I believe? I rode along it and admired how tiny it was yet so nice. I envied the people who had their backyards have this cool little ravine behind it.  We calling this Braeside ravine? Kids were out playing behind their houses in the ravine even on this rainy droopy day because being in the woods rules and kids still get it. I called it 'woods' but it is surrounded by houses and humanity. St Albert just does a great job with their parks thats why. 

St Albert is a delight and is worth heading out just to walk around. They got it going on baby. Pay a visit would ya. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Russian Oligarchs a Short Ewok Climbing Session and Kent Fuckin Steeves

When was the last meet up with Kent? 

I know I could just look back on here but I'm quite lazy.

So off we went on titanium thunder bikes and left shadows of amaze awesome throughout the valley. Those bikes even left little scents of sexy  

Ok... where am I going with this? 

The ride started in old school Mill Creek where all the great usuals were ridden with a new extended version out of the trail heading up to the Trap (Hulk Bogan I believe) and rode up Swabeng Swabe and found and rode down a very very steep Tuwad? (these trail names are all guesses)

I don't know. It was steep as hell but disagreed with Trailforks black diamond designation on that trail (if it was the trail). It was quite steep but I think a true Black Diamond is where you stop, look and plan it out first. I did feel momentum from the back end lifting and could have gone over the handlebars which would have been quite nasty. So maybe I guess Black Diamond. A darker blue version of a blue trail maybe? 

I'll sit back and wait for you to stop laughing from another lonebiker lameass joke before I continue.


So yes after almost unaliving (sorry, it's hip) myself we rode up through the sacred Trap and than up the ski hill and flirting with Valley Line LRT operators until we found Camel Humps where some newish trails to me were ridden. I have been around for a while so I have explored the Camel Hump area many moons ago and it was always laced with dead end trails and homeless feces. I had to have been through there at some point in my riding career. Most of the exploring was mid 90's with that and oddly enough south Mill Creek was finished off with today. Trails I rode when I discovered this amazing thing we call mountain biking exploring as much Mill creek as I could.

Ewok Forest was found and ridden mid to top. We stopped at the infamous stair root climb and made several attempts  up where Kent finally nailing the rooty section upwards.  Throughout the day the climbs did slap me around and my recovery up top was quite poor on every climb.

It was a great ride despite my shortcomings of a mountain biker. Is it that new gravel bike and it's long straights with no climbs ruining me? That makes no sense, why would I even type that?

Kent rules at riding and proved his worth today to the mountain bike gods. Some pretentious dorks would say he now has a weird setup with the raised bmx bar and flat shin killer pedals but as I say... that boy rules at riding.    

*3 photos below. Kent Steeves

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Flame Out on the Staff College Climb

It has been a very long time since I ventured into the Breathless trail area and what better to do it on the Moots 2024 debut! 

Another Cameron Heights start as it has proven to be the closest after work ride trailhead but I must explore more options away from Terwillegar. I have a feeling I will get tired of the area soon as I am used to having Mill Creek at the very centre of the valley. 

The plan was to do Bottle Rocket, explore Breathless and scope the new trails then Mustang and up Staff College and Go Trail then turn around. I made it to the Staff College climb and my legs turned to jelly. I thought I would just turn around once on the paved Whitemud ravine express. I only made it about another ten yards and said "that's all folks" to the trees and turned around a bit ashamed I came short of my goal by so much. 

I blame Breathless for that. Last night I hit 300 meters climbing and by the time I left the Breathless area I was at 200.

I forgot about the climbing, You would think the name of the trail would have reminded me but nope. I rode two new trails in the area. Well not complete, there were some of the most insane power climbs I have seen in a long time. I turned around (a lot of turning around in this one.)

I did ride Mustang though which is another 'been a while' rides and enjoyed it immensely. I took more effort into destroying my legs as I tried mashing up the vertical and made it farther than I thought. A salute to the folks who can power up that. 

I rode up Bottle Rocket and my legs were oddly fine for the climbs but yes I am feeling it now. 

Fort Saskatchewan Fantastic

A fairly unreal ride where most of the good stuff was ridden before the heavens opened up from above with a bit of fury. It was just rain th...