Monday, October 29, 2012

A few ...

...more shots from weekend ride by Jon. It really is as awesome as it looks.

Happy Riding!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Last 2012 October...

... weekend rides (and a hike).

The weekend started with a little hike with Toby Friday. We did our first hike around the Snow Shoe loop in West Bragg Creek. Great day for a hike. Not quiet enough snow for those snow shoes, but I did see some ski tracks going up telephone loop. Some must be very happy about winter coming early, others probably wish we had a few more weekends of good riding left. Later on Craig and I took our cross bikes out for a local evening ride. Equipped with lights to get a bit of night riding in. We stared going West and figured we might as well keep exploring along the river. Ended up in the back of someone yard, with a couple of play full lamas. Pretty neat, my first close encounter of those on my bike. They probably had hoped for a little serving of snacks, but we didn't have much to offer so snuck out through the golf course and back around the neighborhood, working our way to Bowmont. The trails were great, but as the first ride in snow, I can't say I stayed on the trail to easy. Miss the wider front wheel, but this we will work on for the next 4-5 months it seems. Great little ride to kick the weekend off.

Start of single track (Stoney Bridge)

Any treats??
Craig and Shauna staying warm!

Saturday Craig and I planned a ride through town and up to the Beans'n Barley race, I was thinking of racing but would see how it worked out. My coffee machine stopped working the night before, so first stop on the ride was Cadence. We rode mostly on the path, a little bit of trail up to the race venue. Great turn out! The course looked plenty fun, so hurried to get signed in, took at least the front fenders off, and ready to role. Actually a fun race! Not a typical 40 min in the red zone kinda race due to the snow, and the huge amount of riders on the course. Great to see such great turn out of women riders! Ended up second, not able to track down Andrea. I got my one cross race in of the year so happy with the stop over. Craig enjoyed some socializing and hopefully managed to stay warm. We took a little bit of a break from the race venue for a warm up coffee trip with Shaun. Had an excellent tomato soup before heading back to watch the end of the expert men and the elite men's race. Rode another social lap with Craig and Jeff then back through the city and a little bit of Bowmont. Quick stop at the bike shop to look for break pads, but quickly got distracted by tires. Got home with new tires, forgot to get break pads!
Sunday we met at Cadence for a coffee and with a great turn out, Craig, Erik, Jon and I ventured out on the regular (the last couple of weekends) loop to Cochrane. With the snow it definitely added to the difficulty and with no breaks it added a bit more of that.... made it safely to the Coffey shop after great snowy single track, some road and the city line. Erik and Jon due to time restrictions went back on the roads, while Craig and I did our ride through the valley. With the awesome sunshine the snow became perfect snowman snow! Great if you're a kid and want to make a snowman, not so great if you're a rider, trying to make it to Calgary. Though it countered the need for breaks! Great workout through the fields. Looking forward to many more of these winter rides!
Happy Riding!
Jon, Erik and Craig!

Blue sky and Craig!

Sticky snow...

Really sticky snow...

..but happy to be riding!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Short ride...

... to end the weekend, all in all a great weekend on the two wheels.

Still not sure what happened to Craig today though. Suzanne, Michelle and I met at Cadence and they had a ride plan, and so did I sort of, with Craig. He must have slept in. No snow in the forecast but pretty cool. Since I had no ride partner and was less motivated today, I figured it's time to just enjoy a nice single track ride in the city. Michelle and Suzanne joined me for the first bit over to Edworthy and a bit further. From there I went back west and played in Bowmont until it started getting a little bit sticky, and since my fancy clean bike was still pretty fancy and clean I opted for a ride home to spend the rest of the day doing some errands before flying up north for the week.

Every time I ride up in Bowmont I just feel so happy to live here in Calgary and have all this in the back yard. A playground I'll never get tired of.

Happy Riding! (and happy to be up-to-date on the blog again!! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

This might be...

... the first real winter cross ride.

A typical show at Cadence Saturday at 9AM. It was great to see all the riders out for breakfast and smiling to ride in the not perfect weather. The Goats had a group ride planned and Craig and I figured maybe we could get a few takers on a longer loop to Cochran. With no takers at least they all joined for the first little single track over to Stony Bridge. From there Craig and I did a repeat of last weekends ride but with a little more knowledge we hit the right road through the farm lands. The single track doesn't really care what weather is like, but as we got onto the road stretch into Cochran going north I was happy to have a hoody to put on my head and Gore wind stoppers pants. It was windy, snowy and cool. Great time to stop for lunch at our favorite stop. The trails back along the rivers had a little bit of mud but not enough to stop us, but enough to make for a car wash stop after the ride. No flats or other major issues. Looking forward to many more of the winter cross rides!

Happy Riding.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Still riding...

... mountain bikes.

Worked at home early to get a break after lunch to enjoyed what the weatherman said was the last of the great days for this weekend. Trish, Steve and Henry was orignially heading to Canmore, but as I was driving out they had gotten a weather update and we decided on Bragg Creek. Toby and I met them at the Station Flats trail head. All ready to suck in the last of fall!!
Rode Ridgeback including bottom single track (backwards) up to MoosePackers and the plan was to do SHAFT but with some very strong winds coming in and the temperature feeling cooler we opted to try Pnuma backwards down to Race of Spades. Great choice!! What a fun trail going down! I've never done the upper section of Pnuma down, what a treat! And Race of Spades, well, most of you know I love this ride! Awesome day out!! Not looking as sunny and great for the rest of the weekend...

Happy Riding (into winter)!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Quick after...

... work ride!

It's been a while since I got to ride after work. Worked out of Calgary office this week so felt great getting in a couple of days commuting and then a Thursday after work ride! Took me about 5 minutes to convince Craig to drop whatever he was doing to join in on a quick loop at Exshaw.

The parking lot was busy, looks like more than us are trying to steal in the last few mountain rides before snow. The Prospector is a great loop. It's only about 8km long but has a little bit of everything that a real mountain bike ride should have. Swoopy single track, a few stunts, rocky steep, and rocky loose. We got another guy joining us from the parking lot so a nice little group ride, and Toby was very happy to get a week night ride.

Happy Riding!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

The last ...

... real mountain bike of the season??

Big plans for the day. Craig and I headed out to the mountains, and while talking it seem all possible. Start at Powderface Parking. Climb up PF to the Link and up Prairie Creek, PF road to JP climb, up and over JP to Cox, down to Dawson, road back to JP Summit Trail, up and down the back side of JP, road up to back of PF, up and over PF ridge, and highway back to parking lot.... hmmm maybe on a peak season fitness and superb trails.

The plan all seemed possible until we hit section of JP with snow, then some more snow of the way up Cox, and down even more, some mud and then a road section that feels like forever from Dawson to JP summit trail, headwind in every direction it seemed. Besides skipping the PF ridge plan we got it an awesome day of riding, the legs felt like they should after a great weekend of riding. And knowing this might have been the last up and over Cox, it felt even better.

After the ride I tried very hard to find my stocked away snickers bars and cans of coke, but no such luck! Someone else must have enjoyed it over the summer sometime. Held out until Bragg Creek.

Happy Riding!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Cross ...

...adventure with Craig of the season. Well, too warm and to little snow to call it winter ride, but still a good long adventure. Starting out with some Bowness single track and heading west on the south side of the river, on more awesome single track. The trails are in perfect condition. Though with the Bearspaw lake area not frozen some exploration had to happen. We did a minor section of bush whack and a little loop around the fields and getting cut off by peoples huge back yards. Finally made our way up a gravel road that took us on some main back roads. From there Craig had a plan on hooking onto a gravel/field road that should eventually take us to Cochrane. It looked very promising as we jumped the first fence. But then the "trail" disappeared, and it was mostly cow field. The cows do a pretty good job on maintaining some good single track though, so no big issues. We finally found the city water cut line that Craig had seen on Google Map, and jumped on it for the last five min. Then some gravel road to 22, crossed 22 and got a little lesson in riding by a local police who passed us. He let us continue to the top of the climb, then to tell us the road was closed. We now know it was human remains found and investigation was going on. Guess someone must have bonked really hard. We turned around and met up with the girls group who also left the city around our time. Told them about the closure and rode 22 for a bit longer and a back road into Cochrane for a nice lunch.
We manage to convince two, Pam and Suzanne to join us for some off road fun back to Calgary.
Great ride, with a some minor bike issues, 4 1/2 flat I think we counted and one derailleur hanger. Not bad.
Happy Riding!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday local...

... ride with Toby!
Sunny, nice day, started at 6C and when done it was up to 14C.
Climed up Pnuma and hit some snow, got cold toes so changed plan to a short but sweet ride. Down Race of Spades it went! Sweeeet... such a fun trail, great work on this trail done this summe! The dually with the big tires feels like a big rig. Toby is loving the colder weather and flying down the hill like a "mad man".
Happy Riding!

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Second trip to Barrier...

... and a Thanks Giving city path ride.

Sunday Craig and I decided to give Barrier another go after my shoe forgetting episode previously. I was happy to give it a shot even though I rode some of the trails Saturday.While driving out we noticed a car with some familiar bikes on the roof and sure enough another group of riders on their way out and by chance heading our direction. We ended up riding Baldy with Trish, Linda and their two ride buddies. Awesome climb up and Trish as usual set a good pace. The decent down was a little slick for me and I couldn't seem to get comfy but enjoyed it as much as I could, and with the GO PRO running on my seat post of course I had to slow it down a notch so Craig could keep up! :) and he did. At the bottom we took a left and Craig showed me a trail I've never done (on the map it looks like Old Baldy Pass Trail, but not sure), we hook on to the highway and head over to Nakiska to find the climb up and over Skogan Pass with a quick visit to the Troll Fall. It was busier than I've ever seen the area with hikers enjoying the fall weather. I brought a GPS with me to ensure no Craig trouble, but this time with the GPS I got us wandering a big back and forth and the trail on the map did not match what actually there. Should have listen to Craig this time. Fast ride down. Started to feel the ride, and with only one bottle each (planned to refuel at gas station but just wanted to get going) I was fading. I road Trans Canada trail on the "love of trail riding" fuel and got a little bit of second wind going up Quaite. And Jewel Pass waiting at the end is the best reward after a long day in the saddle. When we got back to the parking lot I was sure hoping to find the two redbulls left a few months ago, and after a few minutes of searching they did show!!!

Group getting ready to ride down Baldy
Top of Baldy decent
Little bit of snow on the trail...

Best tasting treat!

So with some nice and tired legs Monday and a little rain in the forecast we figured what a perfect day for a city path day. We road downtown and got a photo up with the new bridge, at what point we got the idea of testing a group ride idea with Erik. With a temptation photo of Craigs fender setup who could resist. Though it took them a few to get back to us, but while having our first coffee break (58 min into our ride... rough day) at Rosso we heard from them and 20 min later we met up. An awesome city path ride down to Glenmore, some single track exploring and with Erik knowing the city better than I, we found some new trails on our way back. Perfect ending of a good riding weekend.

The fancy new red bridge, matching my RED jacket!
Craig, Erik and Cindy