The Last Ride of Summer.

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This past Saturday morning, I took a nice 60 km ride up the rural roads north of the city. On previous rides, heading up range road 240, I had noted some clusters of houses off to the West between RR240 and highway 28. There were some gravel roads leading in that way that I had always skipped when I was riding my touring bike, but this time I came prepared on my Kona Jake “CX” bike.

Can you guess what I found when I boldly forged my way into those unexplored rough roads? Shockingly, I found houses! Also, further in, paved roads. There are several little developments in there, apparently inhabited by friendly people who wave cheerfully at early morning cyclists. In fact, in a bizarre turn of events I received more waves from drivers than I did from the various groups of cyclists I encountered later in the ride.

Although the prosaic nature of my discoveries was a little deflating, it was good to explore a few new corners of the countryside on the beautiful last full day of summer.

These gravel roads were somewhat more passable than they were when I first tried riding them this spring.

These gravel roads were somewhat more passable than they were when I first tried riding them this spring.

As near as I can tell from the map, this must be the Sturgeon River.

As near as I can tell from the map, this must be the Sturgeon River. Back home, we’d call this a brook.

I took a lot of pictures at this field of bales.

I took a lot of pictures at this field of bales.

It's a very geometric sort of vista with the straight line of the horizon and the cylindrical bales of hay. It felt a little like being in some sort of sculptural art installation.

It’s a very geometric sort of vista with the straight line of the horizon and the cylindrical bales of hay. It felt a little like being in some sort of sculptural, land art installation. Am I a city slicker, or what?

I found this sign in one of the loops of houses. As I didn't see any other election signs, I assume Big Vinnie has a lock on the election in this area.

I found this sign in one of the loops of houses. As I didn’t see any other election signs, I assume Big Vinnie has a lock on the election in this area.

I don't know what's behind this gate, but I'll bet it's ostentatious.

I don’t know what’s behind this gateway, but I’ll bet it’s ostentatious.

I've been having pretty good luck finding washed out infrastructure lately. There really was quite a bit of rain this summer.

I’ve been having pretty good luck finding washed out infrastructure lately. There really was quite a bit of rain this summer.

This turned out to be a dead end. Check your maps, kids!

This turned out to be a dead end. Check your maps, kids!

On the way back into the city I stopped at this great little prairie store in Namao. I sat at the bench on the porch and ate the snack I bought inside: locally made beef jerky, ice cream and Dr. Pepper. I didn't photographically document the lunch because I was worried about making this blog's readers queasy.

On the way back into the city I stopped at this great little prairie store in Namao. I sat at the bench on the porch and ate the snack I bought inside: locally made beef jerky, ice cream and Dr. Pepper. I didn’t photographically document the lunch because I was worried about making this blog’s readers queasy.

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9 thoughts on “The Last Ride of Summer.

  1. Very nice. The pictures really capture the atmosphere. If you will excuse this anal comment, your chain looks a tad short. The first picture shows that the rear derailleur is at full stretch even with the chain on the middle chain ring.
    All the best

    Like

    • No excusing required; the chain is indeed too short. I had to shorten it during a repair a while back and as this bike doesn’t see a lot of use I keep forgetting to fix the problem. As it is, I could likely get it to make the big chainring on the front if it was on the smallest cog in the back but I haven’t tried. I haven’t missed the big ring very often, though.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Like

  2. “like” button never works in my Firefox. Consider this “liked”.
    Nice baleful photos too! I would love to do some gravel rides like that, it looks like fun and that tiny store has so much character!

    Like

    • Thanks! That little store had a for sale sign on it the last time I passed it back in the spring and I wondered if it would be going out of business. Luckily, it looks like somebody has taken up the challenge of running a country store.

      Like

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