The Unblogged Rides of 2013 – Part 2

Continuing on from my last post, here are a few few more notable cycling events that I didn’t get around to blogging this year.

CANADA DAY RIDE TO THE ALBERTA RAILWAY MUSEUM:

Alberta Railway Museum

On July 1st, I joined up with a group ride organized by Evillerider out to the Alberta Railway Museum in the northern rural edge of the city. The museum has a fantastic collection of engines, cars, railway equipment and artifacts with the main emphasis being on the he Canadian National Railways (CNR), Northern Alberta Railways (NAR) and industrial and short line railways. The museum is run by a fantastic group of volunteers who give their time and expertise to preserve, maintain, restore and interpret the collection. They do a incredible job. Since I’d never managed to make it to the museum while it was opened, I was glad to head out on this ride.

It was a scorching hot day for a ride, but being a round trip of only about 50km it was possible to set a fairly relaxed pace and still have time to enjoy the exhibits.

That's a Bike Friday tandem!

That’s a Bike Friday tandem!

Once there, we took a ride on the train car pulled by a diesel engine. Apparently we they had planned on running the steam locomotive but it was out of commission. Drat! Afterwards we wandered through the labyrinth of cars, engines and caboose. It was a bit like strolling through a series of ovens, as the sun had had plenty of time to warm them up. I think I drank more water walking in the exhibits than I did during the cycling.

The exhibits were fascinating, and I’d originally planned an extensive blog post about it. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on how you feel about trains) I’m not really feeling up to it now, and you’ll have to make do with a paltry few photos. I’ve put up a few more on Flickr that you can check out if you’re so inclined.

One equipment shed had this nifty rail-bike.

One equipment shed had this nifty rail-bike.

It seems to be a sort of standard folding bike that was modified for railwork. If you look closely you can see the kickstand plate that is obviously not necessary for the bike in this application.

It seems to be a sort of standard folding bike that was modified for railwork. If you look closely you can see the kickstand plate that is obviously not necessary for the bike in this application.

Click on the gallery below to read the minimally informative captions.

BIRTHDAY RIDING:

I booked the day of my birthday off from work and spent an excellent day of riding the Iron Horse through the river valley trails. I was joined on the ride by fellow Bikeworks volunteer Robert C., who suggested we ride down to Terwillegar Park. Shockingly, I had never been there before (hey, it’s way in the south end and I’m kinda lazy). The trails were a blast and I was pleased to get in one last trail ride before the late autumn snows arrived.

After the ride I had a snack, shower and then got myself all tweeded up for the Bikeworks South Farewell Party. Robert and I were playing a few tunes for the occasion, so I swung by his place to meet him. I rode my bike with the Wald Giant Delivery basket so I could schlep the amp to the shop. It was a bit awkward, and I may have been slightly fatigued from the riding earlier in the day, but I made it there without breaking anything.

The music went as well as can be expected from me playing music, and afterwards I mingled, quaffed a few beer and participated in the silly bike races we had out in the alley. Farewell to the old Bikeworks South. In addition to my gallery below, you can check out  this video of the racing.

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9 thoughts on “The Unblogged Rides of 2013 – Part 2

  1. I’ve been dreaming of building a rail bike like the one in the photo to do a bicycle tour on the plethora of abandoned railways on the prairies. However, looking more closely at the abandoned railways I’ve observed the plants grow up and around the rails quickly, within a few years of abandonment. This would make cycling on the rails frustrating, if not impossible. I’ve since learned that active railways are routinely sprayed with herbicide to keep the plants down.

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    • Yes, I like the rail bike idea, too. I grew up next to a set of tracks and when the rail-line shut down it was amazing how the brush grew in. I hate to think of the chemicals we were exposed to. There were places with wild strawberries growing next to the tracks but we didn’t dare eat them.

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  2. It’s very nice to read of scorching hot days this time of year. I hope you’re not getting stir-crazy yet and are still able to get about town. I’m informed by reliable people that it will eventually get warmer again. Best of luck to you and yours in 2014!

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  3. Wasn’t aware of this museum when we visited Edmonton this fall.

    One day, I will a blog post on seeing…Canadian railway cars and lines as a cyclist. There are mini museums in Canadian cities and towns along the way. I’m not into engineering design but more on the history and the railway as a major iconic symbol for Canadian national infrastructure building..literally.

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