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Summer Riding in Edmonton’s River Valley   Leave a comment

Yesterday I got out for a very pleasant ride – a ride in weather that was what I wait for all year – summer! The sky was mostly cloudy with a few sunshine breaks. The winds were minimal and temperatures around 20C. It great to be out on the wheels anytime but to be out shorts and a short sleeve jersey and be perfectly comfortable is what I live for.

It was a 40K ride in just under 2 hours on my Proctor touring bike – over one of my favorite routes. I ride out from central Edmonton on the north side, down River Road, across Groat Bridge and up Groat Road. From there it is along the top of the bank on Saskatchewan drive, down Keillor Road past the pastoral Whitemud equine centre. It is not uncommon along this “rural” section to encounter some bugs and I did – swallowed a bug or two and had a butterfly bounce off the bridge of my nose.

I crossed Whitemud creek and under the south end of  the Quesnell bridge (still a construction zone). Next there is the bike path through the delightfully wooded area on the south edge of Fort Edmonton Park followed by a good little climb up Whitemud Road. I continue along Whitemud Road  and onto Ramsay Crescent and past the point where a top of the bank home slid into the river valley a few years ago. A short off-road path takes me over to Rooney Crescent that I follow around  until I can cross Rabbit Hill Road. Rooney Crescent is a relatively quiet residential road but has has abundant hazards in the form of  many manhole covers that seem  to occur in offset pairs that stick up considerably above the road surface. To hit one of these, at moderate speed could dangerously launch a cyclist. There seemed to be some recent road work to level out some of these bumps but many hazards are still there so be cautious.

Once across Rabbit Hill Road, I follow the south bank of the river along Hefferman Drive and over to Hector Road where I find my 20K point. After a brief pause for an energy bar and a few gulps of water, I turned around and headed home for a 40K out and back.

The only “excitement” of the ride came on the way back, just after I had crossed over Groat Bridge and was connecting back on to the River Road bike path. I’d just turned onto the path and was moving slowly as I  briefly looked down to get my shoe on my pedal. At that moment I drifted into the fence railing on my right, scraping my right upper arm and taking a wood sliver. Fortunately I didn’t fall so I just continued on for the last few flat and fast kilometers.

Yes, “Summertime, and the riding is easy …”