The weekly Tuesday and Thursday bike rides for the ski club officially ended on October 4th but many of us continue on “unofficially” until we get a permanent snow cover or until it is cold enough for the local skis hills to open on either natural or artificial snow. Last year, we were able to bike well into November and I had a hiatus of only 6 days between a self-imposed end of biking season (too freaking cold) and beginning of skiing. I find it much easier to dress appropriately for downhill skiing when it is below zero than for biking. At least I don’t have to climb the ski hills whereas, on a bike, getting out of the river valley is a heat-inducing grunt that just invites hypothermia. I ride for fun and fitness, not out of need for lack of a car or an ecological principle. Once the hills open, I just change one form of fun for another.
Although the forecast for this week is for cold and a rain/snow flurry mix, it is supposed to get back into the double digits by the weekend. Today was a bit chilly, at a cloudy 5C, but there was no wind and everyone dressed warm. Chris led a group of 7 riders on a ride from Hawrelak Park (top of map) on a nice circuit of the single- and double-track trails in Terwillegar Park and back to Hawrelak. The total ride was 29.5 km. The dirt trails in Terwillegar were in prime condition – dry, hard packed and nobody else on them except for some dog walkers. Thank goodness the walkers avoid the single tracks. I’d hate to meet someone coming the other way on some of those trails! And no other bikers, seeing as that it was a weekday. And cold.
The city of Edmonton maintains over 160 km of trails in North Saskatchewan River valley within the city limits and there are many more unmaintained kilometres that are used by the hard core mountain bike set. I am sure that we managed to bump our way down (and up and along) some places where seniors are not usually found!
Coffee was at the Second Cup at Rabbit Hill Rd and Terwillegar Dr. (at bottom of map).
I am not going to count my mid-week rides in the Coffeeneuring Challenge but I am going to keep them in reserve, just in case old man winter decides that he isn’t going to give me 6 more (5 now) weekends this year!