It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, and with Winter lurking about waiting to drag me into an alley to rough me up, I plan on getting a lot of riding done in the next few days. This morning I managed to get myself up in the wee hours of the morning, before sunrise, and headed out on the road for my first purely recreational bike ride of autumn. The temperature outside was -2 °C, the coldest morning of riding for me so far this season. Still, there was a beautiful, heavy frost on the ground and early morning tranquility was a balm to my cycling soul.
I headed up a 82nd street, over the Yellowhead, and then Eastward to Kennedale Ravine. I haven’t been down this ravine since last year, so this was an overdue visit.
I found a bit of singletrack to ride, which was fun while it lasted. It was only a short section, though, and it quickly lead me back to the gravel trail. I spent the next bit of the ride futilely looking for more side trails. I felt like there were paths just out of sight that I was missing, but given the narrowness of the ravine at that point maybe there aren’t.
I took a lot of photos of the frosty plants around me. A few actually turned out. Click to enlarge.
I sped down the ravine, until it widened out and I was at one of the ponds in Hermitage park. The wildlife was stirring in the light of the rising sun.
After Hermitage, I rode toward Rundle and pondered the merits of heading across the river to the Science Park. I was pondering so hard that I came around a corner a bit too fast and was surprised to find staircase leading down. I started clutching the levers in a panic stop, but in an uncharacteristic impulse, I let them go and rode down the stairs. Another first for Tuckamoredew, and it actually wasn’t that hard to do as they had a low rise and long tread.
After this, I was feeling like a some more singletrack, so I did head over to the Science Park. I explored the low trails between the park and the river, following one down to the riverbank. Sorry, no photos; you’ll just have to take my word that these are great paths. I headed up to the Pipedream / Cambodia trails. This time I took the Cambodia trail, which turns out to have a LOT of tree roots. Some of this I traversed OK, some of it…not so much. There was again an unseemly amount of walking my bike.
Upon reaching Goldbar, I headed up into the cross country ski trails, a series of paths that I think of as the Clinton Trail for reasons that may be explained in a future post. The sun was warming things up quite nicely at this point, and a gentle shower of leaves were falling. Idyllic autumn riding.
The final part of my trip was along the North side of the river to Kinnaird Ravine and then upwards toward home. Near the top of the ravine I met one of the Bikeworks North volunteers that I haven’t crossed paths with in a while who was walking her dogs. We chatted a bit about the the plenitude of good trails to ride in the river valley.
After this it was back to street level, and home again.