Sunday, June 30, 2019

Gull-Sylvan Lakes Loop

Why is it a good idea to drive 1.5 hours to some random part of Alberta and ride a half-day gravel loop? Think of it as a low-stakes micro-adventure. The landscape may not be that different from home but it’s new territory nonetheless and it just might offer a refreshing break from the same old same old.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Advice from the Modern Cyclist, 1923 (Luggage)

"What you take with you in the way of luggage on a cycling tour is largely a matter of your age and the distance you are going. The young man will set off for a week with nothing but a waterproof cape--I have done it very often. For a shirt is good for a week, even worn day and night. If your knees and stockings are wet when you cease riding for the day you push newspapers down inside your breeches, one in front of each leg, and it is sound practice in both physics and physiology. You don't worry about wet stockings, because the area of evaporation and radiation is not large enough to chill the whole body. If it stops raining after tea or supper, a sharp walk will dry all your clothes and destroy the last chance of chill. This tourist does not carry a shaving kit because there are barbers en route. He may carry a spare soft collar and "hanky" in his breast-pocket; and if he has any disreputable old hankies he may take two or three and leave them behind as he goes. After elementals, you take just what you 'cannot do without.'"

Monday, June 17, 2019


The snow on the road appeared suddenly. One moment we had clear pavement, with patches of snow in the ditches here and there. And then the next, most of the road was covered in a couple of inches of snow. We were close to the top, maybe a kilometer from the summit, but that was as far as we would get. On our skinny tires, we weren’t going to make it far in this snow.

On a warm day in late May, Strava Jeff and I had ridden our bikes up to Highwood Pass, exploring, for the first time, a classic Alberta rite of spring. Calgarians do it all the time, I know, but we’d never made it down to Kananaskis during the brief window between when the snow melts and the high mountain road, which is closed for the winter, re-opens to vehicle traffic June 15.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Dusty V Report

For a while there last week, it looked like the Dusty 100 might not happen at all this year. The apocalyptic smoke-sky of last Thursday had me and others wondering if we might get smoked out in Smoky Lake County. It’s hard to blow a bugle while wearing a surgical mask.