Sunday, September 15, 2019

September Rides - Part One

a FORTNIGHTLY post of my recent cycling shenanigans.

Actually the riding has dropped off, sharply, over the last few weeks....

Just after our Anniversary Weekend Ride to Pike Lake, I started getting this pains in my side. And then back... and then side again... and then it was kind of feeling... numb!? I was worried with the bent over riding position - and stress of riding full loaded - I had maybe pinched a nerve in my back, so something... and then I got this weird rash in kind of the same region... which was weird, but with all the riding I thought maybe it was a heat rash of some sort...? Eventually I went into see my doctor and it turns out it was Shingles...

I gotta tell you, Shingles sucks. I've been in a LOT of pain the last three or four weeks - even after all the sores cleared up, lot of pain. I think I'm FINALLY getting over it - as the pain seems to be diminishing... a bit...

This past week all our regularly scheduled fall activities started up and so I've been riding a bit more this last week - just getting myself and the kids places we need to be.

Getting groceries with Keira.

the first lesson of the fall was actually MY cello lesson on the first Friday of the month - everything else started up the following week.

Heading downtown for some father/son bloodwork...

Seems like everywhere we go these days, full bike racks...

Another appointment... another full bike rack.

There have been a few grey days so far this month.

Lots of pelicans on the river.

As I was taking the picture above - I spotted this critter on in the water by the bank. I thought it might be an American Mink. It's been a long time since I spotted any of them in the river. We watched a while, at first I thought it was digging in the sand in the water...

Eventually I realized the movements it was making was it just rocking in the waves and it was probably dead... I wondered how it had died. Finnegan suggested drowning. At first I though that was ridiculous - I mean, it's an animal that lives most of it's life in the water, how could it drown. Finnegan pointed out it still had to breath air... he's not wrong, I guess... I wonder how many pink and beaver drown...? Or dolphins!? or WHALES!? Does that happen!?

This past week, Keira's dance classes started up and both evenings we went out to them it was cold and rainy...

It was feeling like deep fall - not the beginning of the second week of September!

Damn you, soggy leaves on the ground!


I mean, wearing toque and mitts on the 10th of September seems a bit odd...

at least there's still some green in the tree tunnel - I give it another week or two...


Some families, when their kids get to a certain age, end up buying another car so their kids can just drive themselves around and stuff... and then there is our family...

This Yuba Boda Boda has been sitting at Bike Universe for years and John just kept dropping the price until Amanda broke down and decided it would be a good bike for her and the kids to share - if they ever had things to haul about and weren't going anywhere with me...?

New cycling specific infrastructure in Saskatoon. I just don't get it. They rip out downtown separated bike lanes... then put use stuff like this....?

I'll take it, I guess...

Stay tuned for the next FORTNIGHTLY post - in one fortnight!

(I love the word; "Fortnight").

Saturday, August 31, 2019

End of August, End of Summer

or so it feels like....

Yesterday I saw one of the urban hares hopping around with a while stripe down it's back - already changing to winter colours!? "Bullshit!" I called after it, "It's only AUGUST!"

Anyway... After our little Trip out to Pike Lake...

Kids and I went on a little ride up to the New Chief Mistawassis bridge - on our mountain bikes and hitting any easy dirt trails we found along the way.

Wasn't too hot. Wasn't too cold. It was a nice day for a ride.

I had to stop alot and wait for them to catch up. I'd pre-rode the route the day before on the Fargo. it took me an hour and a half. Ffteen minutes into this ride, I realized it was going to take THREE HOURS with the kids!? And I wasn't even riding all that fast the day before!!!


YELLOW LEAVES!? It wasn't even half way through August!?


Most of the trails we took were flat and easy.

Fairly well maintained.

 With a few little log bridges.

Wonder what the story behind this is? This was at the bottom of a very long, steep, wooded river bank!?

We rode a section that I HASN'T pre-rode and it turned out to be a little more technical than I remember... The kids were pretty annoyed with me. They're really not hardcore mountain bikers. At. All.

We took the next trail going up. It was a scrambling trail, not a biking trail - longer and steeper than it looks.

Had to help Keira haul her bike up beyond this point.

By this point it was clear there was rain showers going on all around us - but in the distance. I really hoped we'd make it home before any of them caught up with us!

And then we had to take a break because Finnegan had low blood-sugar (following a crazy high1?) and had to deal with that...

Heading back south on the other side of the river.

A lot of the riding on the other side was fairly open trail through prairie at the top of the river bank.

in a few spots we dipped down into the wooded banks along the river... kids pushing bikes up every rise again...

Back down by the river level.

Grumpy child who neglected to bring any snacks starting to get a little HANGRY!

At one point these were ski trail in the winter. family level and open still, down in the trees.

(maybe they still are ski trails...?)

More climbing...

Still dodging rain.

Another fast dit trail through the trees.

More distant rain.

AS we got to the Traffic Bridge I was going to leave the kids to go home on their own and go on a bit of an extended ride to the South Bridge, but there was clearly rain going on over there... so I just went home with them.

On the weekend we did the same ride (less the more technical stuff) with Amanda!

More waiting while dealing with blood sugar....

The trails along the riverbank really are great.

Boy dismounting like a pro as he rolls up behind sister who has already stopped on a climb.

Snack Break.

A bit of gravel.

What's the story here? What was IN that safe!?

Amanda don't walk no hills!!

Or over roots!

I should just go mountain biking with HER in the future!

Skirting wetlands in the Northeast Swale.

Gravelled Mewassin Trail.

Back onto some dirt single track.

With a little coaxing Keira rode down this little track which she'd had to walk the other day!

Amanda needs no coaxing!

Dirt Grrrlz.

A happy Amanda riding in the trees.

Again, smallish girl getting tired and cranky...

Almost home.

I can't remember if this was the same ride, and I'd gone to the south bridge while the rest of the family went home, of if it was another ride altogether... but riding across the south bridge I noticed some new graffiti on the south train bridge and had a laugh. If only my middle name had been "Roy", I could have been "Bad, Bad T. Roy Brown"!

Went out on a few more rides with Amanda on the Burley Duet - not that we got it fixed up and rideable... though she was wanting a more upright riding position - hence reversed handlebars.

Evening ride - long shadows. Feeling more like the summer is coming to an end...

Spotted one of the beavers living in the Gully by the Diefenbaker Centre and the new Children's Hospital.

Amanda's been trying out some new Loaner Saddles from Bike Universe... this was one.

On another day I rolled out to the South Home Despot and picked up some wood.

Well... MDF... which was sort of wood at one point...

Another solo evening ride - MORE leaves starting to turn! DAMMIT!

Just about rolled over this well camouflaged fuzzy critter!

Spotted Brian out on the river!

Saturday morning tandem ride with Amanda.

in the afternoon I went out on a longer ride on the Salsa Fargo.

warn and mostly sunny as I was heading out.

Started to see distant rain...

AS I was rolling through Chief Whitecap park I heard a rumbling behind me!

While it was mostly clear skies ahead...

It was clear the city behind me was getting poured on...

It looked like the system was tracking east so I though I'd just keep going south and hoped it blew past before I headed back.

Heading back I spotted some clear blue skies poking through - I hoped I might dodge through this break in the rain!


As I got closer to the city, it became clear I was NOT going to TOTALLY dodge the rain, so I got the rain cover out for the trunk. I didn't have a jacket, but it wasn't too cold and I was getting close to home.

I did get sprinkled on a little bit as I was rolling past Cranberry Flats.

But as I rolled into the city it had mostly moved past.

Still raining off to the east. Lots of lightening and thunder!

But the time I was riding into the city it was mostly clear skies and sun - with very wet roads!

When I got home Amanda and the kids were very concerned and were certain I was going to be soaked to the bone and it had really poured for some time while I was out. They were amazed I'd (almost) completely dodged it all!

Another evening ride.

Out to an appointment with Amanda.

On the way home from looking for dance costumes and stuff with Ananda and Keira, we rolled past the latest cycling infrastructure in Saskatoon - a cyclist activated crossing at 14th and Clarence.

I can't tell you how often this happens. There are clearly marked separate spaces for cyclists and pedestrians along the new Victoria pathway, but just about EVERY time I ride along them there are pedestrians walking right in the middle of the cycle track...

And that's about it for August. Most of these rides were in the third week of august as this last week I've been feeling a bit under the weather... Hope to get riding a bit more in September!!!