For years I’ve biked on the North side of the Bow River. And, when I say years, I mean yeeaaarrrs. From 1991 onward, my trusty Diamondback and I pedaled our way over root wrecked cement, through snow, past cars (on Memorial) on days when it was -30C and I was the only insane person out there (often after an evening swim practice).
It may seem like misery, but for some reason I really enjoy listening to the sound of tires crunching on packed snow and the creaking of the ice on the river. I’ve learned that the experience is only as good as your gear. If your gear sucks then your ride will suck and you’ll be miserable.
So, imagine my shock at discovering a path on the South side of the river… a pristine path with no cars, no people, and the choice of riding on a paved pathway, dirt path, or off-road trails… a pathway that looks, feels and smells like you are out of the city.
Yesterday I biked past a family of pheasants… today, coyotes.
Upon discovering this wondrous route, I also discovered that I could burn stress by off-roading for most of the ride. For an entire week I showed up at work covered in mud with a huge smile on my face (not so practical now that the temperature hovers around -5C in the mornings).
The only drawback to the South pathway is that it closes when it ices over. I was told by another cyclist, who dared dart past the closed gates one winter, that he made it half way to work before discovering a solid 8-foot tall ice drift blocking the pathway… and the two poor men who were tasked with removing it.