Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Bicycling with Butterflies


Call it the butterfly-book effect. I recently re-read Barbara Kingsolver’s still-excellent 2012 novel Flight Behavior, which imagines the monarch migration gone amok due to climate change. (The book holds up remarkably well, and is rightly now considered a classic text of climate fiction.) So I think I had butterflies on the brain when I happened across Sara Dykman’s cycle-travel book Bicycling with Butterflies (2021) and decided to pick it up. The intersection of cycle-travel writing and environmentalism makes a certain sense: cycling and ecological or climate-change-related travel go well together. Perhaps this is part of a new trend; watch out for Riding with Rhinos and Pedalling with Pandas coming soon to a bookstore near you.

I’m only sort of joking. Activist-inspired travel writing, from Gaia Vince’s Adventures in the Anthropocene to Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction to Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine’s Last Chance to See are all part of new ways of thinking about the intersection of travel and environmentalism. But as I’m learning, getting the right balance between these two aspects can be tricky.  

Monday, February 27, 2023

Dusty 100--2023 Edition

Come out for a day of classic Alberta gravel riding that kicks off with a bugle blast, includes a short stretch on the challenging Iron Horse Trail and a longer one on the scenic, historic Victoria Trail, and sends someone home with a coveted Surprise Bag.

Oh, and dust. We all go home with dust.

No registration fee. All are welcome: gravel lovers, the gravel-curious, and anyone up for a dusty adventure.

Sunday, June 4 at Metis Crossing 

This year we have three route options:

The Classic Dusty (100 km)

The Octogenarian (our new 80-km route)

The Li'l Dusty (50 km)

Bugle call for all routes at 9 am.

The exact routes will be confirmed a week ahead of time, after the Dusty crew recons the situation on the local roads.

Park at the small lot beside the flag poles, one kilometre east of Metis Crossing campground. There's a rustic toilet there (the kind that will do the trick but isn't a place you'd want to linger). There's no water; bring yer own.