Full Moon Ride

26 07 2010

Night rides are my favorite way to beat the heat during the dog days of summer. I met up with some friends last weekend as the full  moon rose to go riding, but it just kind of petered out before it went anywhere. As I pedaled home, I thought to myself that it was still a beautiful night, I still had energy, and damn it, I still wanted to ride!

So I did a U-turn and headed south on the new bike path by the LRT tracks to see how far I could get on bike paths. It turns out I got pretty far.

The point where the city stopped.

My biggest complaints about this new path are that it’s next to a noisy, busy street, and it’s completely out in the open, with nothing to provide shelter or shade (which is particularly important to fair-skinned me on a sunny day). The night time, though, is the perfect time to enjoy the fresh, smooth tarmac while having the sleeping streets and cool breeze to myself.

I rode to the edge of sprawl, the sprawl frontier, if you will.

This is what sprawl looks like. Move to a new suburb at the edge of town to be closer to the country, and the only large trees in the area are set to be taken down to make room for all the other people who want to live close to the countryside.

For its population size, Edmonton is one of the largest cities, area-wise, in the world. And it continues to expand at an alarming rate.

With storms on the horizon, and 140 blocks from home I raced home on lovely Marjory, on the front cusp of a little boomer, under the first light sprinkles of rain for nearly the whole way

Nearing home, nearing dawn.

When I finally got home, I checked a map to see where I had wandered (and got lost – not a good first impression Twin Brooks!) only to find many of the places I’d been were so new they weren’t even on it. By next summer, there will surely be even more houses, more condos, more streets, more cars, more of the same, and it’ll be that much further to ride out to a semblance of countryside.

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2 responses

4 08 2010
Corey

Night riding is awesome! As for the path you’re referring to, I do like how it takes cyclists off of the now even crazier 111th st, but there are a few things that frustrate me about that route.

When the LRT is operating during the day, I have waited at Whitemud/111St for 3mins+ just to get a pedestrian crossing signal to get onto the MUT. Not a good choice for when you’re in a hurry, 106 St meanders but doesn’t have any intersections like that. I know the train and the whitemud necessitate complex light patterns, but it slows things down a lot.

As well, I agree that it’s kind of gross to ride next to such a busy road. However, I know they’re not done the landscaping there, and I’ve seen some transplanted trees between the path and the road, so I have hope that it will be a lot more enjoyable when work is done. (If you’ve seen the MUT on the north side of 34 ave between 111 and 119 st, this is what I hope for. Trees dampening road noise and providing seperation from the street).

27 06 2012
Deep South Excursion « Breaking Chains and Taking Lanes

[…] time I go down this way, I have to cycle further and further to escape the metastasizing suburbs. It’s sad to know that the land in this area is now worth […]

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