Thursday, July 20, 2017

40K Day

After riding 30Km with Finnegan on Tuesday and not having any trouble, I thought I'd try and push him a little further and find a 40Km route we could ride on Wednesday. I tired to plot out a route on Google maps but had to kind of guesstimate as the route we would take was along some trails that google maps doesn't recognize. but I had a general idea of a destination and an option to go a bit farther if the route I planned turned out to be shorter than I'd estimated.

We started out by heading down Spadina and across the south bridge to hook up with the Meewasin Trail.

There's one steep little section of the trail that's a little hard to ride - and with the recent rains it's almost unridable (going up, at least) with all the deep cut channels the rain water carved through it. It's a very odd section of the path - most of the trail is almost wheelchair accessible - in that there are no terrible steep grades and it's all fairly well packed... and then there's this one short super steep section - when there's, what seems to be, a pretty clear route that they could have built the path that wouldn't have been so steep. It's almost like two teams were building the trail from opposite directions, completely oblivious to each other and when they met up the found they were 10m off with a short steep slope between them... so they just cut a trail straight down that slope to join the two trails - instead of saying "hey, let's bag this trail up 30m and run the other one up across this slope so it's not so steep....

Farmers have been out bailing hay.

We cut through Chief Whitecap park.

It's a nice ride and avoids a bit of pavement.

Nothing too technical on these trails. They're mostly used by dog walkers.

In many places it's double track.

At the South end of Chief Whitecap we stopped for our first break to check the boy's blood-sugar levels and get a snack in him.

Then we rolled past the Riverside Country Club and through Riverside Estates.

exiting the East end of Riverside Estates we joined Range Road 3055 and started heading South.

Dang, I think he's been growing... Time to raise that seat a bit...

We rolled past the Cranberry Flats Conservation Area.

At Township Road 354 the pavement ended and the gravel began.

At least there were fairly packed sections and it wasn't washboardy at all. At times I wondered if it had been pavement that had been gravelled over...?

And on it went.

Getting closer to our turn around point.

This dog came charging out howling at us. No barking - just a loud bellowing howl.

A little bend before we met the highway.

Highway 219. I used to ride this highway a lot - it had really nice wide smooth paved shoulders. Two cyclists could ride side by side and there was still lots of room between them and the traffic lane. A cou[le years ago the department of highways chip sealed it - covering the shoulders with gravel. I have no idea why - it's not like the shoulder was deteriorating or anything. Perhaps it was a poorman's  rumble strip to keep drunks driving home from the casino (for whom this highway was built) from careening off the road...? I don't know. It didn't look too bad. But we ran into another cyclists who said it's not great a bit further up - they hadn't done any near the intersection as the shoulder effectively disappeared to make turning lanes.

This was the 20Km turn around point. If it hadn't been quite 20Km, I had planned to ride up the highway just a bit to the Beaver Creek Conservation Area. I had thought we'd roll up there even if we were at 20Km at this point, but I didn't want to push the lad TOO far... so we had a quick second break and turned around.

and back we went.

I have to say it was a lovely day for it. Not to hot. I think it was about 17°C when we left and was only just getting to 20°C when we got home. We were heading into a headwind for the return trip - but it was fairly light (10Kph). Just enough to keep us cool.

As we neared Riverside Estates we decided to skip it and carry on up Range Road 3055/Stratchcona Avenue - which would also skip Chief Whitecap Park.

We watched some hawks swooping overhead for a moment.

We rolled through Furdale, which brought us to Cartwright street.

And just a little way down Cartwright Street we rejoined the Meewasin Trail we'd come out on.

There we had one last check of blood-sugar and a snack to get The Boy home.

I don't know if it's that we finally got the new insulin regime dialed or if the regular exercise from these bike rides has had anything to do with it, but the blood sugar levels have been totally in the green these last few days!

Because we'd cut off the route through Riverside Estates and Chief Whitecap park we didn't go straight back across the south bridge, but instead rolled through Diefenbaker and Gabriel Dumont Parks to cross at the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge (a little north of our place) to make up the Kms we skipped coming back.

The final count. 40.05 Km. It took us two hours and 36 minutes of riding (we actually left just before 10am and got home just after 1pm - so there was also about 20-30 minutes of breaks in there somewhere.

Today we are planning to go for a mountain bike ride - as soon as I get off this computer! Tomorrow we'd planned to push a little further and go for a 50Km ride (probably the same route I took last week up to Wanuskewin Park and Cathedral Bluffs) but the forecast is calling for rain, so we may hold off on that until the weekend or possibly next week...


Jonathan Freitag said...

Great stuff, Tim! Good to see you and the lad out on the bike. When I saw the photo of the lad's knees about to his chin, I thought "time to raise the seat." I see you noticed the same! Beautiful country and the smell of freshly harvested hay is a delight.

tim said...

Yeah, it's funny he just doesn't get bike fit and pedal stroke efficiency yet or anything so he just grows and doesn't notice. If I got on a bike and wasn't getting full leg extension I'd be like: "Where's my Allen keys?! This seat needs to go up!" One of these days I hope things will click and he'll figure things out and ask for help before someone points out that it probably needs changing...

Of course this was the kid that went careening down a hill and into a fence and when I asked why he didn't stop he said his brakes don't work anymore. And it wasn't that they were a little soft... they just did not work at all anymore!? When I asked how long they'd been like that he said "a while..."

tradgardmastare said...

Really enjoying reading about your bicycle is also very interesting seeing your local countryside and urban environments too.

tim said...

Thanks Alan!