Winter has waged a long and brutal campaign here in central Alberta. Just last week, it socked us with the final insult—another foot of you know what. But today was a breakthrough. Today felt like spring. So even though the snow is still piled high and the roads are a mess, off we went for an evening spin. A Full Moon Jaunt in Edmonton’s slushy river valley, followed by bevvies—what better way to celebrate the possibility of spring?
We must have looked a rag-tag bunch-- Penn’s fat bike, Val’s shittastic commuter beast, my clanky winter rattler. Plus our clothing was a goofy combination, part cyclist, part longshoreman, part crossing-guard: tights, rubber boots, reflective vests. Fashion retards, maybe. But we were out riding, and that was enough to bring on the grins.
I’ve been riding to work all winter so you’d think an outing like this would be no biggie. But this felt different. It wasn’t a utilitarian A-to-B commute-type venture. Rather, it felt like a ride— no panniers full of books, the trio together again, just out for a good old spin.
With sunset taking its sweet time, this adventure turned into more of a dusk ride. After an hour on the trails, before the moon had even risen, the siren call of beer and nachos was too powerful to ignore, and we headed to Joe’s. We accepted that our full moons might turn out to be of the Alley Kat- liquid variety.
As we tilted back our energy brews, we compared ride notes—soggiest ass, best moments of early season form—and schemed ways to hasten the thaw.
Pedalling home from the bar, bellies full, a sharp chill in the air, skin of ice forming on the puddles, we looked over our shoulders and saw the real thing, lifting up over the skyline, lighting up the dream of the season ahead.