The Long Weekend Report

I’m running behind on blog posts…

On the last Monday before May 25th we non-francophone Canadians celebrate Victoria Day. This is  in recognition of Queen Victoria’s birthday and also is the day that we recognize the current  sovereign’s birthday.   Officially, that is.  In actual practice, everybody that I know refers to it as “The May Long Weekend” and gives no real thought to distant monarchs, either current or long deceased. Those who care for gardening mark it as the point at which one can feel fairly safe that frost is not going to strike overnight. For many it is the first camping weekend of the year, often plagued by swarms of drunken idiots. For myself, it was a pleasantly bikey weekend.

Over the course of the weekend I made some real progress with my bike maintenance tasks. I finished lacing  the new rims for my Raleigh 20 and trued the rear wheel. The front still has to be trued. I am inching ahead towards being able to ride that bike again. I replaced two broken spokes on the ’65 CCM and trued the wheel, putting the bike back in riding condition. I also replaced the punctured tube on the Apollo and put a new cassette on the Kona Jake. All in all, the little fleet is slowly improving.

On Saturday I woke up early and took Nishiki-san for a spin on some of the roads North of the city. I was out of the house by 6 o’clock and was able to ride up 82 St. without worrying about traffic. This is a great route out of the city early in the morning as it brings you all the way past the Henday to the Forces Base. It was pretty cold ( 3 degrees) and windy but still a great ride. I didn’t take many photos as my fingers were getting numb from the icy breeze. Once back in the city I went to the Downtown Farmer’s market which had set up in its outdoor location for the first time this year. The vendors were looking pretty cold and many were wrapped up in blankets. I bought a pile of food including a basket of excellent mushrooms from Mo-Na Foods. Man, I missed my mushroom connection during the off season.

Although I still haven’t quite mastered the panorama mode on my camera, I think this picture really shows how flat it is around here.

Nishiki-san can handle a little unpaved riding.

Last years cat tails alongside a weirdly deserted 141st.

On Sunday I had a few errands to run so I took the opportunity to take the newly recommissioned CCM for a leisurely spin.  Cruising along the streets on the old 3-speed was very relaxing and I spent the first bit of the ride with a big goofy smile on my face. I’ve missed this bike. I went to MEC to pick up a cassette for the Kona Jake and then down to Earth’s General Store for some sundries. The weather was excellent and the river valley trails were well populated with holiday cyclists. It was a great day of city cycling.

The obligatory photo at the High Level Bridge

POV shots are also required when crossing the High Level.

The bridge for the Edmonton Transit LRT runs next to the High Level. The pedestrian walkway underneath the railway connects to the river valley trails and was quite busy.

There were lots of cyclists.

This ramp off the bridge is fun to coast down.

Crossing the High Level

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6 thoughts on “The Long Weekend Report

    • Thanks. The High Level is a major cycling route because one can cross the river without descending into the valley and climbing out again. I don’t have much call to use it myself so the novelty still hasn’t worn off yet.

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  1. Looks warmer than 3 degrees in the photos and a great ride too. We have the Queen’s Jubilee double-bank holiday bonanza next weekend. Monday and Tuesday off work. I’ve got some good riding planned!

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    • The riding was great and the temperature increased quite a bit by the time I had finished my ride. The early morning chill was the price of avoiding traffic and was well worth it. Enjoy your weekend!

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  2. Love the cat tail shot! Also, if Vancouver were as flat as Edmonton, perhaps I’d be tempted to try biking. Alas, I am incredibly lazy… maybe my new seaside home will be more conducive.

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    • I love cat-tails and not only because a small amount of oil and gasoline turns them into a torch for young rural hooligans. They are also pretty plants and are supposedly edible (haven’t tried that yet, though.)

      The good thing about cycling (at least in a flat area) is that you can be lazy and do lots of coasting while at the same time deluding yourself into thinking that you are exercising.

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