All spring I have been watching the road and trail conditions, waiting for the last remnants of ice to disappear and for the city to sweep up all the gravel it’s laid down throughout the winter.
Notice that there's so much debris in the counter-flow bike lane that it obscures the markings. More notable is the awesome neighbour who pressure-washed clean the lane where it passed by his house. I sure appreciate not having to choose between no traction and oncoming traffic.
Road bike season started for me the day before my b-day when I realized that one of the stays on Marjory’s rack had snapped as I was loading it up, and I just couldn’t bear another day of chugging on the heavy Transend. I had been wanting a long ride on le Mercier for my birthday, so I thought I’d better break it out and give it a try. I’ve missed that bike: so swift, so light, yet handles so well I can trackstand forever and never have to take my feet off the pedals.
So, if you’ve been following my blog for a long time you may remember that last year, I got a flat tire for my birthday. This year, after a roll through a short but intense rainstorm, I wiped out. I was rolling through the leg (pronounced “ledge”) grounds (where it looked like it hadn’t rained) and hit several inches of pea gravel as I was navigating around the stupid traffic control arms they put up after 9/11 that they never open for cyclists, even though it’s a designated bike route. There was a peace officer in the little booth who saw me go down, but didn’t come out to check on me until I was ready to get back on my bike again, when he was a patronizing ass about it. I rode home slowly and carefully, avoiding jarring potholes, ordered a pizza, and spent the rest of the night taking it easy and icing my sore spots.
The next day the sun was shining, my body was hardly aching at all, and Mercier seemed no worse for wear, so I decided to try once again for an epic ride.
Keeping an easier pace than usual through the valley meant I was more prone to seeing little dirt side paths and wondering "what's down there?"
Le Mercier, after a roll through the grass.
Signs of previous visitors.
There's still a little ice on the river.
Obligatory awkward self-portrait with bicycle.
Finding myself famished in a far flung suburb after most places closed, onion rings and root beer was the best I could do for fuel while still keeping an eye on my bike.
After turning back towards home, a long, lighted, clear bike path was a welcome sight. Not pictured: more deer.