Saturday, September 27, 2014

Green and Gold Ride, Cooking Lake

It’s full autumn in Edmonton and for a few short weeks we've been enjoying a narrow riot of color in the trees and shrubberies of the capital area. No gaudy oranges or hectic reds for us.  In the aspen parkland  we get a limited but still rich palette of greens and golds.

The peak of autumn color here was some time last weekend. By Tuesday, the brightness had already begun to leach out with every passing second and many of the leaves had decided to make a break for it. With every commute past Alexandra Circle I see less green, less gold, more sky through the trees. Soon enough all will be brown. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Whistler Gran Fondo Report

This isn’t easy for me to admit but the Whistler Gran Fondo (WGF) may just be worth it after all.

A few months back, when I signed up for this event, I wrote here about how I had to hold my nose when clicking “Purchase” on the Gran Fondo registration website. The fee was a whopping  $270 for a one-day ride and that didn’t even include transportation back to Vancouver from Whistler. (That shuttle ride set me back another $85.) I was skeptical yet willing to give it a shot, mainly because of the rare chance to ride my bike along the stunning Sea-to-Sky Highway.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pavé Postscript

Alas, I wasn’t able to attend any of the final stages of the Tour of Alberta because I was in Vancouver riding the Whistler Gran Fondo (more on this another day) the exact weekend that the race passed through Edmonton. I did, however, watch some of it on television and read some of the press coverage of the race, and I’d like to follow up on my earlier post about the inclusion of dirt road and “Canadian Pavé” sections in Stage 4 in Strathcona County.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Canadian Pavé

Real European pavé

With the Tour of Alberta wending its way north in the coming days, I’m looking forward to stage 4 Saturday in Strathcona County. As I mentioned a few weeks back, this area just east of Edmonton features one of the most extensive and scenic networks of rural paved roads in Alberta, so it’s an obvious choice for a stage locale.

However, the Tour organizers have introduced a twist on this stage that, at least in theory, I really like: as the Tour website explains, parts of the stage (three sections for a total of 5 km) will take place on roads consisting of “dirt” and “Canadian Pave.” (Why it’s not “Albertan Pave,” I’m not sure.) This latter, of course, is a nod to the European tradition of racing on cobblestones or “pavé," as in the famous Paris-Roubaix race/mudbath. (Not sure what happened to the accent.)