On the ski hills, on the bike trails, and thru life in general

Posts tagged ‘North Saskatchewan River’

Coffeeneuring #4 – To the University

I took the opportunity to do a hybrid ride today, i.e. I loaded the bike into my car, drove to an Edmonton city park and started my ride from there. It was a beautiful sunny day and I couldn’t resist the lure of doing a coffeeneuring ride in the river valley while it is still colourful. My ride was short but pleasurable.

The North Saskatchewan River from the Hawrelak footbridge.

The North Saskatchewan River from the Hawrelak footbridge.

I started in Laurier Park, by the Valley Zoo, and make my way across the footbridge over the North Saskatchewan River into Hawrelak Park.  From there, I pedalled uphill to the university area to find a coffee shop that I had never been to before. As I mentioned yesterday, this year I am trying to coffeeneur to independent cafes that are bicycle friendly. My record so far has not been good but I hit a home run with the Leva Café.  Trust the university neighbourhoods to come through! There was a good sized bike rack out front with half a dozen bikes in it already, and one locked to a nearby No Parking sign for good measure. The café staff was friendly, the muffins were still warm from the oven, and the barista knew how to make a good latte.  My only quibbles were that it was a little pricy and the music was too loud.

The bicycle friendly Leva Cafe

The bicycle friendly Leva Cafe

Latte and muffin and biking. Life is good.

Latte and muffin and biking. Life is good.

I meandered back via the High Level Bridge to the north side of the river, west on River Road, and then over the Groat Bridge to the south side again. Then it was along the beautiful riverbank dirt trail through Emily Murphy and Hawrelak Parks and back to the car. You can see the route here.

Looking south to the university over the High Level and LRT bridges.

Looking south to the university over the High Level and LRT bridges.

The great multi-use trail beside River Road.

The great multi-use trail beside River Road.

The leafy river valley trail on a beautiful fall day.

The leafy river valley trail on a beautiful fall day.

I don’t know how many beautiful fall days we have left.  The forecast for the next week is still great though, with temps in the low to mid teens.  Here’s hoping that I can finish this challenge without resorting to studded tires this year!

Coffeeneuring #4

Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013

Place: Leva Café, 110 St & 86 Ave, Edmonton, AB

What: Latte and blackberry, apple, lemon muffin

Distance: 16.9 km

Comments: Gorgeous fall day, accompanied by good latte and yummy muffin. Could have ridden for hours but home chores awaited 😦

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May Flowers

After a ridiculously cold and snowy April, Mother Nature finally pulled herself from under the duvet and looked at the calendar. May? Already? Time to warm things up a bit…  So we went from a low of -5C on May 1st to a high of +31C on May 6th!  Making up for lost time I guess.  The warm weather not only did in the last of the snow banks but it also brought out the cyclists in droves.

As I have mentioned before, the ski club that I belong to has a large and active biking contingent.  Typically, 60 to 80 of us meet every Tuesday and Thursday morning for rides on the bike trails in the Edmonton area, with a mid-ride break for coffee, and usually get in 25 to 35 km, depending on location and terrain.  We break into small (i.e. manageable) groups according to ability and experience – either green, blue or black, just like ski runs. Those of us with road bikes also get out for Wednesday and/or Friday rides as well, cruising the quiet roads in the countryside.  The  warm, sunny weather and general lack of rain for most of the month meant that we could finally get our legs turning and our butts used to bicycle seats again.

The North Saskatchewan River valley through Edmonton is a wonderful place to ride, with 100’s of kilometres of paved and dirt trails from one end of the city to the other.

Edmonton skyline from the river valley trails

May 14 – Edmonton skyline from the river valley trails

Riding on one of the wider dirt trails in Mill Creek ravine

May 14 – Riding on one of the wider dirt trails in Mill Creek ravine

St. Albert also has a nice trail system, albeit short, beside the Sturgeon River. Unfortunately, the trails tend to get flooded every spring, so cycling there proved to be a bit of a challenge this month.  With all the snow melting at once, high tide swamped the underpasses and forced the 5 group leaders to be a little creative in choosing their routes.

Flooded walkway under St Albert Trail

May 16 – Flooded walkway under St Albert Trail

Flooded walkway under Perron Street bridge

May 16 – Flooded walkway under Perron Street bridge

Flooded trail under railroad trestle bridge

May 16 – Flooded trail under railroad trestle bridge

May 16 - Converging on the coffee shop!

May 16 – Converging on the coffee shop!

The trees seemed to go from bare and wintery to fully leafed out in 2 days, with blossoms sprouting everywhere.

May 21 - Proof that the black group does stop periodically to smell the roses, er, apple blossoms.

May 21 – Proof that the black group does stop periodically to smell the roses, er, apple blossoms.

May 21 - Riding through the Chinese Gardens in Louise McKinney Park.

May 21 – Riding through the Chinese Gardens in Louise McKinney Park.

And, every now and then, we had to contend with other biker gangs on the trails!

May 23 - This gang looked mean.  We gave them a wide berth...

May 23 – This gang looked mean. We gave them a wide berth…

Tag Cloud

Breaking Chains and Taking Lanes

Bicycle Adventures in the Great White North

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Everyday cycling in Edmonton.

Winnipeg CycleChick

On the ski hills, on the bike trails, and thru life in general

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