Because I don’t want to hit up the nearby St Albert coffee shops this early in the challenge, I took the opportunity to explore a neighborhood of Edmonton that is only about 7 km from home. Access is pretty easy, since there are quiet streets in St Albert leading to a nice multi-use trail beside the arterial street connecting that part of the 2 cities. I checked the area out on Google Earth first to see if it was worthy of a visit. It looked promising, with a few parks and trails in the neighborhood, but there has been so much new development in the 2 years since the Google imagery that things might have changed. Unfortunately, it appeared that there was a distinct lack of independent coffee shops in the area. All the good independents are close to downtown or in the University area, leaving the chains to populate the outlying strip malls😦
My initial suspicion that the area would be deadly boring was proved correct. The 2 man-made lakes, which looked like they might have interesting viewing had trails only partially around them and the main park in the area had no trails at all! So most of the ride to get to my appointed coffee shop was on residential streets. Also, I had intended to do my national duty and get my coffee at Tim Horton’s but it didn’t have any bike rack, or even a post/fence/table of any kind, to chain my bike to. The Starbucks at the other end of the strip mall didn’t have one either but I was able to chain up about 50 feet away at a dentist’s office (!), so Starbucks it was. So there you go, Timmy’s – you lost a customer because you have no place to secure a bike! Ironically, the large grocery store which anchored the mall had a bike rack beside it’s doors, prompting a WTF moment. Apparently, packing groceries home on a bike is expected but lounging at a coffee shop requires that you arrive in a car or on 2 feet. I can now strike that neighborhood off my revisit list. Move along – nothing to see here.
Date: Sunday, October 6, 2013
Place: Starbucks, 153rd Ave and 127th St, Edmonton, AB
What: Americano, with slice of banana bread
Distance: 21.6 km
Details: Exploratory excursion into adjoining neighborhood which proved to be deadly boring.