Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Norm MacDonald Tribute Ride

It was a definite downer to hear of the sudden passing of the legend Norm MacDonald today. We had just watched his Netflix special the other night and have watched several of his late show appearances on YouTube, he has been called one of the greatest talk show guests ever and its easy to see. 

Now I wasn't going to sit around and sulk all day so I took off to Mill Creeks upper pool parking lot for what was the best ride of the set off. Yes the others were no winners but this one still had me full of warm singletrack feels like the way it felt when you have chicken soup on a cold day suffering from the flu. 

I took the east route once out off the ravine and took the low Bird House trail thanking the river for taking back what was his and not having to avoid annoying beach folk. Love or hate the secret beach.. Or what was it called? I don't care, its gone now and so are the annoying Karens pushing their wal mart stroller over the rooted trails giving you stink eye as you pass by them and their ridiculous amount of supplies from coolers to pool noodles and water wings (usually worn on the trek from the vehicle to the beach.)

Beach people... I don't know what else to say but I'm glad they are gone for the time being. 

It was Caddy Track, oh yes! That new trail was ridden for the second time, now what is it called? It wasn't the funnest trail as it is a straight up climb followed by a downhill section then more climbing with some switchbacks which are great.

Now wouldn't it be cool if someone made a trail from the bottom of the valley to the top in nothing but switchbacks but had them intersect the hill in a way that you would go up and down them seeming almost endless until eventually you reach the top of the valley?

Shooter Mcgavin. that is the trail name kids. thank you Strava. No thanks you Trailforks.

Andres's was ridden with a bit of oncoming traffic. I wimped out on the drop on the steep hill but manned up and rode the bridge with my riding shorts off and over my head. whilst waving my hands in the air. 

No I am kidding, that never happened. A newer cut out trail right after had me intrigued and I rode it but sadly I found out it was a sissy route to avoid the steep hill climb that follows the bridge. Why the fuck do people do this?

If it is to let an area dry out it is understandable, other than that it is complete bullshit.

I crossed the Saskatchewan and rode up Low Class and then Higher Education and found the top. I decided to go back tom the Jeep the exact way I came but took the paved out and soon found the Dawson singletrack where I decided to find Mill Creek's Blue Man and ride out the outside of the ravine and take the hills of the Trap back.

In the end, great ride. Rest In Peace Norm.

this right next to that is pretty great
this right next to that is pretty great

that sudden realization you forgot about a new trail and almost rode paved beside it

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Favourite Multi use Climb in the Valley?

 More rain had me on paved trails and multi use duty. When I did get out the sun was up soaking up the puddles left previously from the rain clouds which was a bit upsetting as on the drive out it was overcast and gloomy which is what I would have preferred. 

Why is that you ask? Cause gloom rules kids. Gloom rules..

I did have bigger plans for this one, the rain this morning told me it was a wet weather ride and I planned on riding originally from Mill Creek to Terwillegar and on the eastbound paved trails till finding 91'st street and heading back to Mill Creek mimicking a ride we did a few years ago that was quite memorable. 

With night shift recovery still happening I shortened the loop and parked near the Foote Field and took the long way around and found Hawerlak. I crossed the bridge and was in Karenville and was instantly annoyed as there were people literally everywhere. I found the end and closed up my longer planned route to Terwillegar as fatigue had set in. 

With the ride not going great I needed to get out of the valley and that would be via my favourite current climb out of the valley on the multi use. The Whitemud Traverse, Grandview Climb Access (pretty sure that's it.) It is multi use so settle down, I have about twenty singletrack climbs I can think of that are so much better. It's multi use and usually the climb outs in the valley are horrid. this one though has always been quite pleasant and easy on the legs which was perfect for today.

With some amazing little sections of forest this can make you feel like you are somewhere better, the traffic noise does shoot down that little fantasy so this climb out is best enjoyed with headphones. Once you hit the top there is apparently a homeowner in the area that hates bikes. So the chances of having a fun encounter up top makes things interesting. 

The ride was over shortly after that when it was a hop, skip and a jump to the Jeepers. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

An Evening Stroll

A short and quick roll through the valley on a ride that should not have been. Yes I am once again blaming the nightshift recovery but it is real and it is a bitch. I did win today as most of the times I feel like this I don't even bother heading out, or else I drive all the way out to a trailhead and then turn around. 

Both instances are very lame and do happen quite regularly, yes I blame my job. 

I intended to park at Old Timers but a wedding was taking place so I kept going down the hill and found the Edmonton Queen parking lot for a first time ride start. I knew I didn't have much in the gas tank and intended to ride the local trails and then head into my beloved MillCreek.

It was Old Timers and then Gnome trail and soon Kinsemans Canada Cup. It looked like it had rained quite a bit and I did have a bit of trepidation on riding the trails but took a chance and they were fine. The trails felt amazing although my legs had very little to give and I found the pavement and crossed the river on the mighty Menzies. 

The north side of the river took me back and I crossed back on the Low Level and hit Mill Creek. It was the paved at first and I soon ducked into the trees and rode the multi use back.

It was short and uneventful but the feelings of a fine bike out in the trees?


Friday, September 10, 2021

Beer Friday. Wild West Brewing, Wraspberry Ale

 This one was bought in Calgary from a good fella who works with me when we were coming back from the north and had to drive back from Calgary in crew vans. I was so tired I had mine beside me in the vehicle as I tried to sleep on the way home and the bumpy chatter of the van prevented any sort of napping. I hate Ford's.

We were supposed to be doing a ride review tonight but the tire on the wonder bike was done and I was out off Stans and yes.... 26" emergency tubes so it was off to... Oh I don't know where, I just got off nights yet again and didn't really get moving till about four 0-clock in the afternoon and knew getting to a local shop was out of the question. Local? Well local for Edmonton. Naturally Mountain Equipment Co-op had no sealant and some oversized twenty six inch tubes which I will try and stick in tomorrow. I do seriously question why I bother going in there anymore. Do they not know that twenty six inch bike tubes and tires are all the fucking rage right now?

I will wait until the laughter ceases till I continue...

Are we done yet?

Ok, so Wild West Brewery is from Calgary and have been on here before I'm pretty sure but I ain't gonna post any links as that will be too much work. Hey, I did mention I am coming off nights right so I am dead tired.

Ok are we cool now? Are you still laughing at the 2-6 tire joke? you know that is kind of an insult towards me right? I mean come on.. 

Yes as mentioned this beer sat next to me from Calgary to Acheson two weeks ago tempting me but I knew it had to be reviewed. This one had a weird connection with the mine we left and I was hoping to do a special looking back type of beer review but realized that was stupid. 

It poured a dirty golden beer that didn't support what you would call a head for very long and honestly had quite a pathetic excuse for a head forcing me to fire the pourer. I got nothing out of the smells of this one. I am a little bit plugged due to allergies although other more credible beer reviewers say it smells like raspberry jam but I got none of that. It tastes quite delicious. Not gonna lie the lack of head had me concerned but tastes of raspberry. yes raspberry flavour is in a raspberry labeled beer. Do not freak out when hearing that little nugget of wisdom. 

Yes raspberry is high on the taste but it is quite pleasant overall and the raspberry is not overpowering like a bad Aerosmith record was in the late nineties. mild hops and sweetness filled out the rest of this one. I could see why this was chosen by my work buddy as first choice from coming back from the mine. 

This beer gets 4 suds out of 5. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Monday Night Singletrack

A rare night off had me wake up late in the afternoon and get ready for a ride through the land of the whites. Thank the long weekend for the surprise day off which I found out was optional to take off and quickly compared riding bikes to a gross sweaty shop. 

The bike ride obviously won. 

It was a Fort Edmonton start and I immediately started the journey towards Terwillegar. Before I could smell the Starbucks I had to encounter a heavy load of people on the trails first on the outer Fort Ed multi use loop. Something I noticed tonight is that most people on the trails riding mountain bikes looked like it was their first year of riding. A lot of encounters happened once in the Oliskew area on the Pete's and that dumb log trail that I could never spell. 

I crossed that sexy Terwillegar bridge and rode through the parking lot eventually because I make poor decisions. *nothing weird was deleted from here, I promise.

I climbed up into the hills and eventually found myself on the back end and rode Go trail and finally rode the Staff College trail down to the bridge where I sat for a coffee break. 

The return was a bit rough as I expelled the energy I had on the way out. Riding the Go Trail on the return I had used several trees to hold me up as I rested on the climbs. By that time the darkness had completely enveloped the area and the lights were on. 

It was cool, I was tired and worn out. I made a quick and pathetic skamper home in the dark. 

A pretty top notch ride.


Thursday, September 2, 2021

A Common Ground

A ride start that I seem to be making too much this year and am getting tired of it. The Strathcona High school start. Only today I pulled in like a chump just as school was letting out and quickly retreated to the Ronald McDonald house. "Does Ronald McDonald actually live there?" I murmured to myself like an idiot as I was getting the bike out of the Jeep. These are the kind of thoughts that remind myself as to why I am stuck where I am in the trade world.

We did have an absence lately and that was not caused by the weather. We were in fact securing the future of this blog by finally purchasing a new computer. The old Mac has been running extra crappy since my return from the north and figured there really is no other time to do this. So a new MacBook Air was purchased and we are now writing the first official post on it. This will end possible photo issues as well as the site completely crashing on my end which was a reality that was coming one day. Yes, it is a Mac and they do have me by the balls but considering the longevity of the old one with zero issues that was enough to sell me a new one. Although this is a laptop...

The ride? Lame. But hey you know what, better than you if you were working, am I right? The 76 ave bike lane took me to the valley by the horse stables. I didn't hang out too long in the valley and shit canned the idea of visiting Karenville (Laurier) and instead climbed the back trails out to the streets. 

The little bit of trail I did see seemed ok. I did get the feeling that there are areas that are quite rough now.

a frantic mid journey did not find the arm, it was however in the jeep, what a dork


happy Sunday eve