pinkrobe's picture

How Was Your Ride Today? Week of March 7

Almost there! Just a little bit farther... Only a day or so until the daytime high regularly cracks single digits [negative or positive, I don't care].

How was your ride today?


someguy's picture

Only one more day of cold ?????

March 7th.

Can it be true ? Its Monday morning. Last week the forecast was calling for +4C today. Its presently -21.5C. Today's forecast high is now -11C. But the forecast high for tomorrow is -2C and the rest of the week is 5C, 5C, -9C, 6C 6C ! Could we finally be seeing some spring like weather this week ??? Or are they going to change the forecast again ?

I bought a new commuter bike 3 weeks ago. I rode it once. I got a bad cold a week later.(Unrelated) And I've been sick ever since.

I wanna get out ! I'm sick of our super cold, super long winter ! Bring on spring !

/rant over

Before anyone tells me to toughen up or that its possible to ride in -20C weather, I need to say that I rode in Saskatchewan for 5 winters while I went to University there. If you think it gets cold in Calgary... visit Saskatoon once.

winterrider's picture

2 more cold days this week

I always look at the lows now rather than the highs, as this represents what the temp will be for the ride in. And it looks like tomorrow at -18 and Friday at -16 still remain.

Although at -16 I can ditch the fleece pants!

someguy's picture

"I always look at the lows

"I always look at the lows now rather than the highs, as this represents what the temp will be for the ride in. And it looks like tomorrow at -18 and Friday at -16 still remain."

You just wrecked my morning. Prior to this I had a little self delusion going on. Thanks !

winterrider's picture

-16 still beats -20!

I will start to feel less miserable once I don't have to ride in anything below -15. We're pretty close now. I'm hopeful this will be the last week.


gyrospanner's picture

Goodbye Cold, bring on the +DD+

Some days when it's minus 20 or colder, that just zaps the energy out of me and the commute isn't even fun! Like this morning.

A month or so ago, when it was really cold, people on this forum were bonking on a fairly regular basis!

So I won't be telling you to "toughen up!" Maybe some day when it's +Double Digits+ we can all get together for a beer on a deck somewhere & celebrate....

DarrenB's picture

Was I the only one

Was I the only one who thought it felt colder than -21 this morning? Perhaps I shouldn't have stopped to Tweet along the way and pulled off my mitts and cooled down (stupid tweet never went through anyways, so I had to retweet once I got to the office).

Anyways, here's hoping that's the last twenty below day for the winter of 2010/2011! :)

Julie Gregg's picture

I dressed the same this

I dressed the same this morning as I did for every day last week, meaning I was a little overdressed, so it felt warm....sad when -21 feels warm.

Julie Gregg's picture

Funny you mention beer, just

Funny you mention beer, just last week as I was making my way home in my multi layered apparel and face covered up I was wondering when we were going to have another beer night! I of course will have my traditional marguerita....can't wait for it.

Scott's picture

RV bound!

I'm crossing my fingers for the break in the weather that is predicted on the channels. Moving back into my RV over the next few weeks. Warmer, the better of course. Then I dont have to do all that heavy skirting and such. Plus... the beast hasnt been started since October when this crap began. Need some warm weather to bring it back to life.

Bike related... hoping to get back on and ride this week. The hip flexor injury is coming along nicely. Yay for icing treatments.

chrisguy's picture

My money's on that being

My money's on that being true. I've been year-round commuting in Calgary for something like 15 years (and more, if you're counting school and university) and I keep feeling better, stronger and fitter each year.

jliu's picture

From school and then into the

From school and then into the working world, my fellow students, teachers and co-workers could always tell when I didn't ride my bike in. I am usually much grumpier and short tempered if I miss my daily ride.

winterrider's picture

Feeling cold?

I was just checking some weather data, and if you thought February seemed cold, here is the proof.

The average temperature was -9.6 degrees. The normal average temperature is -6.1 degrees. The average temperature for January (usually the coldest month) is still only -8.9.

In fact, looking back, we haven't had a colder month than Feb 2011 since Dec 2009, which was freakishly cold averaging only -12.6. Prior to that you have to go back to Dec 2008 which averaged -10.9. After that we haven't had a month this cold since Jan 2004 at -10.5.

So Feb was the 3rd coldest month for the last 7 years of winters combined, even though February is supposed to be a warmer month. Yipes!

Here's hoping March returns us to normal weather patterns, although so far its been worse than February, averaging around about -19!!! :(

someguy's picture

I've found this to be a

I've found this to be a brutal winter because of the weather, a hectic schedule and other things.

I've got cabin fever really bad. I haven't been out skiing once. I put on over 20 pounds since November and I've been sick with a cold on and off for the last 10 days.

We went to Mexico for 8 days in early February which was great but 4 days after returning I had a trip to Saskatchewan where it was -36C without the wind chill. That sucked.

Is it me or has this winter had more chinook forecast changes than ever ? A week out the forecast will have a few +8C days. 3 days out the same days will be forecast for +2C. The day before the forecast drops to 0C. And then the day turns out to have a high of -8C. I bet its happened 6x this winter.

Its supposed to go to -3C today. I'm going on a long ride if it does.

winterrider's picture

I have a theory

I too have noticed the trend of positive long term forecasts which never came to pass. My theory is that it is government policy to give misleadingly positive long term forecasts so that those of us fed up with winter have something to look forward to to keep us going.

I told this theory to someone at work, and he thought they did it to reduce the number of Canadians flying south in the winter (to keep the tourist dollars at home).

Either way the forecasts have been awfully fishy this winter :)

BCDon's picture

Add to that theory

that when gas prices go up the airlines tack on a gas tax but them seem to not do anything when gas prices go down. Then, when gas prices go up again, they add on an ADDITIONAL gas tax.

So, they keep adding but never remove.

Julie Gregg's picture

Ouch, that was nasty! Just

Ouch, that was nasty! Just hit the ground like a heavy sack of potatoes right in the middle of 4th treet. I hit so hard I couldn't move for a few seconds, great people came to help, no one yelled or honked horns, just offered help. I was so ticked that all the clean clothes I was wearing look like I wallowed in mud!! When I got home the blood seepng thru' all the layers made me even more mad. Now I have a swelling like a ping pong ball in front of my elbow. I guess I'll wait and see what it does in the next hour or so......if it gets bigger I might worry.

DarrenB's picture

Oh no - so sorry to hear

Oh no - so sorry to hear about your fall Julie. How did it happen? Hope the elbow doesn't get any worse and you are on the mend very soon.

scottmeyers's picture

Bummer on the Crash but I

Bummer on the Crash but I love to hear that you were mad the blood soaked through. Not worried, but mad... Love it! Throw some ice on the lumps, as I am sure you will... Heal fast!

pinkrobe's picture


Heal up soon

[gin, tonic, lime - repeat as needed]

Julie Gregg's picture


1. Swelling going down, held a bag of frozen Kona coffee on it
2. Not too proud to admit that I hurt a lot!
3. rewashed all the gear, the blood seems to have come out OK.
4. Not sure why I went down like that...was first at the line at a red light, it turned green and I took off but my chain slipped...I hit so hard I didn't know what happened. Makes no sense to me. I've just "washed" the chain and it looks a bit slack to me. I'll see how it goes tomorrow, I'll take it easy on the "take off"
5. now to make me a drink :)

RichieRich's picture

most importantly...

... now that we know you're not mortally wounded... how's the bike? Will the bike recover? ;)

see... from a bikes perspective it's really not fair because the human heals, but the bike gets parts replaced. what a cruel cruel world. sigh...

someguy's picture

Fall in traffic ? My worst fall...

Did you fall in traffic, ie while making a left turn ? Very scary if you did.

My worst fall ever was when my chain skipped badly while I was climbing (standing) a hill along Deerfoot on the bike path. I was climbing fast. marveling at my power and conditioning. I immediately flipped over the bars, kissed the front tire and banged my head on the ground, hard. I had a concussion. My glasses broke and I got a big cut on my cheekbone and stitches. A doctor called me about a week later after having taken a good look at my Xray and said I broke my jaw but it was too late to do anything about.

The funny thing was my eye turned red and I was an usher at a wedding the next weekend.

Julie Gregg's picture

Yikes! that's a bad fall.

Yikes! that's a bad fall. Yes, I was in traffic but no one drove over me :) The first winter I cycle commuted(8 years ago)I had a nasty fall in late November on black ice. I cracked my cheek bone, broke my left wrist, dislocated my right wrist and cracked a tooth. Now that I read that back I wonder that I ever went back to winter riding! You know the saying, "that which does not kill us makes us stronger".

Scott's picture


That is a bad one.

Not to demean your incident by saying this but I wanted to say it for everyones sake... you get more traction on your bike by remaining seated. You shouldnt really ever stand for power unless its on a straight away or perhaps chasing for a yellow jersey. lol. Keep your weight back for traction otherwise you will spin and feet will fly off the pedals and you will break your face on your bars, etc. Same to be said coming down a hill... push your butt back over the rear tire. It's a rare occasion when I stand forward on a bike. Control comes from the back tire.

pinkrobe's picture


Please tell me you're just joking. Just because YOU can't ride up a hill while standing, doesn't mean it's inherently unsafe or poor technique.


Scott's picture

So I was taught back in the day

I can physically do it yes but back in the day when I got into downhill mountain biking that was what I read in several articles now and then and even heard it when I rode with more seasoned riders. I find it odd they were all mis-informed. Since I incorporated it into my riding technique I have found great value in it. The amount of energy you expend standing and gripping the bars and using your core, etc to maintain the vertical position can all be transferred into your legs for more power and the obvious... more grip on the surface due to the weight over the tire.

Now, I wont argue that in the past 10 yrs since I gave up all that dirt stuff that theories may have changed. If so, feel free to point me in the right direction. :)

Figured I would google it and see what I can learn nowadays on the subject:
And there you have it. Better traction and less energy expended. My point. Could be why after over 20 yrs riding in winter that I have only fallen 2x, both on corners on black ice. And never used studs. I fish tail and swerve but due to my lower weight and over the back, seems to treat me pretty good. Like the links say... personal preference.

Found one more relevant to snow riding. The majority seem to agree with me, keep traction by sitting rather than standing. There is a time and place of course but I have seen so many rookie riders who have come out with me on rides and spin out climbing a hill while I keep on going all the way up. Just granny gear it and spin away. Slow? Yes. Make it to the top without putting your feet down? Pretty much every time.

winterrider's picture

There are times where its better to stand

Your first post sounds like you are advising all riders to never stand on their bike. But of course there are good times to stand. Here are a few:

Number one is to generate more power. There is a reason why all the sprinters in pro races are standing, this is how to generate maximum power. Coming from a MTB background, I can see how maximum power might be considered bad as MTB racing is usually a solo timetrial like effort with no sprinting, and often the trail conditions don't allow for a lot of power (as in winter cycling).

Number two is to give your muscles a stretch. Often times on a long ride I'll stand for a while just to stretch out some muscles, work some more, and others less. In these instances standing can actually reduce fatigue on those muscles being overworked in a sitting position.

Number three is hill climbing. Some body types (usually skinny beanpole types) are actually more efficient climbing in a standing position.

Number four is to get a better look around, sometimes you just need to be a little higher.

pinkrobe's picture

That's not it...

The part of your post that drew my eye in and left me flummoxed was this:

You shouldnt really ever stand for power unless its on a straight away or perhaps chasing for a yellow jersey. lol. Keep your weight back for traction otherwise you will spin and feet will fly off the pedals and you will break your face on your bars, etc.

Given that someguy's accident was on the [presumably] paved path, and was an equipment failure that had nothing to do with maintaining traction, your point is not well made.

However, since you've brought in traction... I stand and pedal my bike up hills every day, as do many other people all over the world. For the last several months said hills have had snow and/or ice on them. My feet have not flown off the pedals, nor have I broken my face on my bars, and I certainly have not etcetera'd [unless that refers to climbing said hills in dashing fashion and with aplomb].

As you have brought up mountain biking [and how you got here during a discussion about urban bicycle commuting I'm not quite sure]... You might not have been doing that dirt stuff for a while, but the basic concepts haven't changed since before you quit:
- sit and pedal when you can
- stand and crank it when you want/need to
- ride between the trees
Some can do one, some can do both, some can do neither.

It also bears mentioning that almost everything that applies to riding off-road applies to riding on-road.


RichieRich's picture

need to stand

last year had a knee problem when doing seated climbs. Only solution was standing. Applied to road and MTB. Made for some interesting MTB climbs (not enough weight for traction), but made for some strong muscles. So just because something isn't the most efficient, it can add another challenge or result in increased strength/fitness. Scotts experiences, while not most eloquently phrased, have led him to his conclusions... so be it. Each to their own. Kinda like the single speed, versus geared, 'cross/road/mtb, yes/no suspension, 20km/hr speed limit, what is "safe", etc...

BCDon's picture

I stand

and as others have pointed out, for multiple reasons. Yes, attempting to stand when on a 15% gravel or sand or loose dirt slope and attempting to hammer at low RPM will indeed cause your rear wheel to spin.

But for the majority of Calgary, when the roads are in decent shape, standing and using all your power won't cause a slip. Heck, on dry pavement, climbing out by Shag (15% grade or so), I doubt if you could make your rear wheel spin unless you hit something (ice, "maybe" water, sand, gravel etc.).

Standing for a roadie is often done to use different muscles and give your butt a break. It's also used to power over the top of a small roller to get speed up and for some people, they like to climb standing. On really steep hills, standing and keeping your RPM low lets you use your body weight on the pedals reducing overall fatigue.

So, lots of reasons to stand but, you do need to know what you are doing and what the surfaces are like.

Scott's picture

Good points

My apologies my initial point read that way. Even now when I read it to myself it comes across the way I intended. Ages old problem with text... if not eloquently phrased, can actually be read several ways.

Conditions can play a part in this theory as well... depending on the angle of a hill dirt or snow... you can actually stand sure. Not sure why you would want to unless you wanted to punish your legs a bit more or climb it faster. To me, I prefer to always opt for efficiency so I always have sat deep or even back further, granny'd the gears and cadenced it out to the top at high rpm. At the top I usually have a lot in the tank left over right away as a result. I should say... used to have a lot in the tank. I'm not in the shape I was then by no means. lol. There have been times even on a flat this winter where I had to stand to pop the front and rock the back over a snow burm and then pedaled out of it before sitting and sure enough... spin out. No, I didnt bust my chops on the bars of course... I have in my life however had my rear wheel spin out and my feet slip off the flats and scrape up my shins, bust my balls on the bar and nearly break a tooth. That was the reference as it was what happened back in the day when I was less seasoned. Clips or cages would have of course prevented that but that comes down to gear and personal preference. The wheel spin would have still happened regardless and with it, stall out completely or lose momentum both of which I would prefer not to happen.

I'm all about traction, control, technique on a bike. It's kept me upright rather than on the ground so I'm pretty content with what I have learned and incorporated into how I ride. Never meant to demean Jules whipeout and that was made clear in the intial post so hope that wasnt missed or forgotten. Just wanted to say... think about your riding technique... if you stand, you have a higher chance of spin out when conditions are less than ideal and even when they are ideal... you will burn out faster by standing (unless your trained for it). It all makes perfect sense to just sit back, grind it out and enjoy the ride. At least to me it does (and perhaps millions of others as evidenced by the supported links).

Let me ask this... in my initial post... do you think I was being aggressive and wanting to stir shit up? Rather than assume that, perhaps give me the benefit of the doubt that I was making a legitimate point about something that could benefit us all? I mean, after more than a year on here... I kind have posted along those lines. Personally I take afront to this hence my mentioning it. No need to get the posture up and poke chests. Thats what it felt like anyways and even right there... maybe you werent posturing and I am only reading things that way just like you say I was read a certain way. Could be. Justsayin' back. lol.

Can we hug and make up now? :)

Scott's picture


Oh... just to say as well... while I replied under Julies post, hers was a continuation of the one above her in which my reply was actually directed because of this post made... "My worst fall ever was when my chain skipped badly while I was climbing (standing) a hill along Deerfoot"

Anyways... moving on. Silly misunderstanding. Didnt feel like writing a book to be more clear at the time. Just point formed it. Short and sweet. Turned out not so sweet. lol.

pinkrobe's picture


Another non-descript day with no drama.

Perfect. :-D

tbbruck's picture

Return of the brown snow

Sigh...the hard-pack that I had grown to love along my route is now turning to brown snow. I guess that's the price for warmer temperatures?

Julie Gregg's picture

Hmm, just a little under

Hmm, just a little under dressed for this morning's ride, but I will have less to pack in my backpack for the homeward bound trip :)

winterrider's picture

He's baa-ack

Who remembers all the posts about cyclists with motorized hubs whipping down the bike paths last summer? See the original post here:

Well this morning it was the same scenario, and I'm fairly certain the same guy. Passed me doing about 55-60 km/h on the north side of the Bow MUP. Black bike, black jacket, refused to acknnowledge my shouted hails which started when he was 20 feet behind me with me looking at him in the goggles.

Funny thing, in the last thread on this topic there was mention of a guy in an orange jacket, and I was actually passed by another guy this morning with the same hub, but wearing an orange jacket. This was downtown, and no high speeds were involved, but it makes me think that there are probably at least two maniacs whipping down this path on e-bikes.

I should note that I have seen at least one other gentleman riding an e-bike who does not ride in a menacing fashion.

DarrenB's picture

Please report him

Report him to bylaw. You can phone or email in the complaint to Calgary 311. It would be great if you (or anyone else) could do it every time you see him, and be specific about the time and location.

I am a big advocate of electric bikes -- they are like the 'gateway drug' to cycling for a lot of people, and I advocate their use, even on the pathways. But this guy obviously has no regard for safety and very obviously has modified his electric bike to run faster (which technically, means it is no longer a bicycle but a motor vehicle and should not be on the paths).

All it takes is one or two bozos like this to ruin electric-assist bikes for everyone who might take up cycling by giving the them a unilaterally bad reputation. (He isn't exactly helping the reputation of cyclists in general, either, to the pedestrians on the pathways.)

winterrider's picture

Don't want to sound like a whiner

So I plan to report him, since I have to call 311 anyway to report the bus driver who tried to run me off the road last night. But I wonder if two complaints in one call will make me seem overly sensitive?

On second thought I have found a direct line for transit complaints, so I'll make two calls.

winterrider's picture

Not the season for speeding cyclists

So I called 311, and it took the operator a while to figure out how to report the incident. I heard the phrase "its not the season for speeding cyclists on the pathways" several times. Pretty funny. He did appreciate the call, but it's clear that they haven't been getting a lot of complaints about cyclists during our nice cold winter!

Julie Gregg's picture

glad you called it in, I

glad you called it in, I think we are on the same route and if he is the same dude I've seen before he TOTALLY TICKS ME OFF!!! Mostly his arrogant attitude that says "in your face" "I can do this and you can't stop me".....if I see him again I will make a point of reporting him to 311 and make sure I get details of what he looks like

gyrospanner's picture

I find that really funny

Especially since the other day, I was going through the events of spring and trying to remember what order they come in. Here are the events, in no particular order:

The day I don't use my lights at all (Already done that and I leave at 06:30 and get home at 18:30),
The days where the Big Melts occur (Time to watch out for Black Ice)
Spring Equinox (Time to Drink like a Druid),
Bike to Work Day (Time to Volunteer),
The Media Blitz on Speeding Cyclists (Time to watch for Radar and all the stupid articles & interviews and oh yes, the token appearance of Bylaw Bill, unless Urban Chicken Farmers are more like the news of the day),
The return of the geese (Time for a "faciale de merde d'oie"), and
The return of the goslings (Time to watch out for Mama & Papa Goose!).

Did I miss any?

winterrider's picture

Maybe this?

The day you finally give up on the MUPs and start riding on the road to avoid the last three items in your list, plus all the extra people.

SpeedyJ's picture

You Forgot...

You forgot the first +15C day when everybody stands in the middle of the path like they're stoned from too much fresh air and sunlight.....and can't quit figure out why the cyclists keep sneaking up on them (in spite of several attempts to let them know that you're there!).


Dionysis's picture

I reported an electric speed demon last year

I also contacted bylaw services to report one of these idiots last year and the next day I noticed a couple of bylaw officers standing at one end of the bridge that goes underneath Crowchild. Not sure if they were there because of my report but it was nice to see such swift action.
Of course, I never saw them again for the rest of the summer/fall.
Might have to think of buying one of those helmet cams to see if we can get more details on the guy ;-)

shockingTemple's picture

Classic Calgary winter day

Today's ride in was like winter days of old: sunny, a life affirming brisk temperature, clear riding in all the right places...

critninja's picture

fast bike = colder ride

rode my cyclocross in this morning - man alive! - fast bikes make for colder commutes!

on the flip side, riding such a light/fast bike made me feel like a champ! thinking i might install the kidseat on it so i can feel fast all the time!

jitenshakun's picture

Very uneventful ride in

It is sad to see that by this time last year I'd already been out for a trail ride or two in K-Country on the dirt :(

At least my re found dedication to the way of the bike commute is having a positive effect on my waistline :)

Scott's picture

First day back in the saddle

First day back in the saddle since my hip flexor injury last week. Pretty weak legs I gotta tell you. Amazing the speed of atrophy. Hate it. Baby steps.... on the way back to recovery.

Beautiful day for a ride. Didnt even notice the temp. Plenty of Bambi's laying in the snow around the tree's and bushes close to the pathway today. That was nice. Frozen hard pack made for a good ride. Supposed to get warm now so here we go with the slushy junk. Ick. If you havent got fenders... the next 2 months will make you wish you did. ;)

someguy's picture

I got out for a ride at

I got out for a ride at lunch. Bridgeland to Edworthy Park and back. ~ 21.5Km. It was GREAT. Just what I needed. Finally !

Can't wait for a week of weather like this or even better.

gyrospanner's picture

Weather Check

WOOHOO! It's 6:30 am and it's warmer now than it was when I rode home last night.

I'm definetely packing my shorts (and a raincoat)!

gyrospanner's picture

Warmer = FASTER!

That's all I'm gonna say,

too bad I had to work today!

DarrenB's picture


X2 to both your comments!

shockingTemple's picture

X 3

Felt like Superman today too...the break from Old Man Winter is sooooooo needed.

pinkrobe's picture


Fast and easy ride in! Hardpack is intact along my route, not much brownsnow and no traffic until we got downtown. There was a huge line of cars waiting to turn onto 3 St. from 4 St., so I went around. I love riding bikes.

gyrospanner's picture

Traffic backed up

First street has been really sucky in chinatown for the last week or so. I don't know why & I don't care why, but I'm glad I'm only about 3 blocks off the river pathway.

Bring on the plus 4!

RichieRich's picture

Bow 500 warming up

Saw more bikers this morning than all of last week combined. Sheeesh.

Along with that a general lack of manners & consideration (ie poor drafting, poor passing, no-notice passing of pedestrians/cyclists, typical lighting issues, etc...)

DarrenB's picture


The warmer weather is nice, but I have gotten so used to having the paths to myself I am spoiled now. I guess with the good comes the bad now that the paths are getting busy again.

On the paths to the west (Bowmont/Baker parks), my big issue now is the dog walkers. I must have gone by 40 dogs yesterday, and perhaps only a half dozen were leashed. I got chased by one little yappy pooch and nearly taken down by some mean looking big dog that the owner could barely control. Time to put in MY bylaw complaint...

gyrospanner's picture

Off leash dogs

I have thought of "documenting" all these encounters because I am sure I see at least 3 or 4 a week as I ride through Bowmont & Edworthy during the warmer months. Then I would submit it to Bylaw & the media.

I would even count the people with those long retractable leashes if they were longer than the specified length in the bylaw because I have this wicked vision in my head of "entanglement!"

I wouldn't really want to hit a dog anyways....

DarrenB's picture


Good idea. I bought a helmet cam this winter, and was waiting for the weather to warm a bit before I tried it. Maybe I should put it on pronto and get some video of it all. The problem is terrible right now (I am certain I passed over 30 leash-less dogs yesterday, nearly hit two, got chased by one, and nearly scared right off my bike by one BIG one). I did already put in a Bylaw complaint, but perhaps I could append a video to show how bad the problem is.

winterrider's picture

Near the dog park?

I am assuming most of these problems are near the dog parks by Nose Hill Drive? I haven't noticed any dog problems in the Edworthy area.

DarrenB's picture

All of Bowmont

No, all of Bowmont can be bad, although near the dog parks is worst.

Once you get as far east as Edworthy, I haven't noticed nearly as many dog walkers on the paths.

Nosaj's picture


Think I will take a dog on a pathway any day to that. I'm impressed he got around at all.

gyrospanner's picture

So Dave.....

Is that the route you take on 5th Ave to stay off the paths?

I have been looking for "some action" on my commute home!


mercator's picture

Um, no

5th ave is a snooze-fest by comparison.
I think you should probably stick with sideshow.

BCDon's picture


I agree, I saw my life ending more than once when I watched that. Not something that I have the skill for and the poor "perro lento" didn't help at all :).

bike-run's picture

retractable leashes

Since the retractable leashes are (way) longer than the bylaw 2 meter limit, they should just be banned from pathways. When a dog has the leash all the way out there's no way to control it quickly, and it's a major hazard to anyone passing in either direction.

furey's picture

I got a deep cut on the back

I got a deep cut on the back of my leg from one of those suckers once! I was walking not biking and it was my husband and my own dog that caused the injury, but the point is, those things are dangerous! I never let mine out when I'm walking my dog on the pathways. I was riding the pathways at night some time this winter and came around a corner to find a couple on the pathway, he was standing on the right side of the pathway, she was dumping poop into the garbage on the left side of the pathway while holding a retractable leash extended across the pathway as her little dog was sniffing the right side of the pathway. It was pretty dark and I didn't see the dog right away or notice that she had a leash, but I was pretty well lit up and from my helmet light I saw them look at me and so thought it unneccesary to announce my presence or signal my intentions which were obviously to pass them. Since they made no move to move, I slowed down but went to ride between them, then this dog pops out of nowhere in the middle of the path and I slammed on my brakes and that's when the girl thinks it's a good idea to pull her dog onto the same side of the path as her. I was going pretty slow, it wouldn't have been too dangerous for me, but I might have hurt their dog which I wouldn't want to do. As I'm riding away, she yells out "why don't you try using your bell". Of all the things wrong in that scenario: them wearing dark clothing on a very dark path on a very dark night; each of them standing on either side of the path; the leash across the path; their lack of even attempting to move to one side of the path; out of all those things, the real problem is that I didn't ring my bell. There would have been no problem encounter if I had just rung my bell. Yes, if I had only rung my bell, the heavens would have opened up raining light down upon that dark path, miraculously moving that little dog off to one side and the pathway would have parted like the red sea, leaving me free to cruise on by completely unimpeded. If only I had rung my bell.

RichieRich's picture


... you *didn't*. And so now you're scum of the earth, a dirt bag, just like all of us other nasty bike riders.

Well kudos for slowing down at least. Been MANY an occasion the only reason I know something is there is there's some reflectable strip on a dog collar, or I see light reflect off an eyeball. Next thing you realize is there are humans and leashes around, all dark colors of course. And it's the well-lit-Christmas-tree (er... cyclist) that gets the blame. sigh...

dailybiker's picture

Don't worry about the dog, only yourself

I have a different philosophy about dogs. Dogs (actually their owners) are the most dangerous aspect of using the pathways. A very small proportion of dogs on the pathways are on leash. Dogs on pathways often put my health and safety at risk. I do warn dog owners of my approach with bell and voice, and also try to move away from the dog, but.... Since the dog owners either have no control over their dogs or could care less, my policy is to not avoid small dogs and use my foot on dogs within range that I can reach. Dogs that are within that short range are likely to injure me by either knocking me off my bike or biting me. Friendly dogs could knock you down and nasty ones could attack. In warmer weather, I seem to have a dog encounter a least once a month where I have to place my foot on the dog to protect myself. (I ride on the pathways frequently, averaging 4 to 5 days per week year round).

I was attacked and bitten last summer by a Great Pyrenees (massive dog of over 100 pounds). It was on a short leash, but dragged it's owner from an off path location to attack me on the path. I was lulled into not worrying about the dog since it was on a short leash and off of the path.

I have copied an excerpt from BYLAW NUMBER 23M2006 below. Note that this bylaw, in my experience, is NEVER enforced. The bylaw is very restrictive, much more so than one would expect.

Dogs Permitted on Pathways
(4) Notwithstanding subsection 15(1) or 15(2), the Owner of a dog may allow
such dog to pass along or across a Pathway, including a Pathway that
runs through an area designated as an off-Leash area, only if such dog:
(a) is secured by a Leash of no greater length than two (2) metres;
(b) remains on the right hand side of the Pathway at all times unless
moving around other Pathway users; and
(c) remains under the Owner’s control at all times ensuring that the
dog does not interfere with or obstruct any other Pathway user.

winterrider's picture

You're obviously not a dog person

I have never had a problem with a dog on the pathways. I also average 4-5 days per week on the paths year round.

I have on occasion had to slow for dogs, move around them, even stop and say hi while the owner corralled them.

The difference is I enjoy these interactions. I don't know if you could do anything different, and I'm certainly not saying you are obligated, but if dogs are a part of your pathway commute, you might consider if there is another way to approach the situation.

To be perfectly honest, your diatribe on dogs sounds like some of the anti bike sentiment I see coming from our car driving brethren.

DarrenB's picture

Keep an open mind

Please don't assume that just because you have avoided dangerous dog encounters on the pathways they must not exist.

Please also consider how your opinion might be changed by being attacked, bitten, and chased by dogs on the pathways. I have, and it compels one to be apprehensive about every uncontrolled dog you meet on the pathway, because you can't be certain whether it will become the next attack.

Close-mindedness and not considering the other person's situation is what characterizes much of the anti-bike sentiment that I have seen. To be blunt, I see elements of this in your comments above, since you bring it up.

winterrider's picture

Fair enough

I certainly expected this response as I wrote a fairly opinionated piece there. I just tend to find some of the anti dog sentiment around here can whip itself up into a bit of a frenzy.

I have certainly seen some of the bad dog owners everyone complains about (apparently not the worst ones though). I do think its taking it a step too far though to suggest that you should go into every encounter not willing to consider the dog. And I think my reply was trying to hint that if this really is the attitude you are going in with, you may well be drawing these encounters upon yourself as dogs are incredibly adept at noticing such things as which cyclists are acting hostile toward them. And if a dog thinks you are hostile, expect a hostile response.

Yes dogs should be under control, and yes, cars should respect cyclists, but your position seems to be akin to a cyclist moving around town with a u lock in one hand who glares at every car he sees. It is the kind of behaviour that invites a negative response.

Now maybe you don't actually ride like that (in regards to dogs) and were just waxing poetical, but I stand by my point that encouraging cyclists to ride like every dog is the enemy is only going to make matters worse.

DarrenB's picture

Sorry, I don't think I

Sorry, I don't think I explained my point well enough. I love dogs. I grew up with dogs my whole life, and if my five year old wasn't deathly allergic to them, we would have a dog. But I cringe involuntarily every time a dog runs up to me on the pathways. I say involuntarily because I have been bitten and chased more than once (got chased last week!). If you have been attacked by a dog while biking, it makes you nervous and apprehensive. I never meant to imply that I am a dog hater or that I ride around on my bike expecting a bad dog encounter, or especially that I want to go around clubbing dogs. I was trying to convey apprehension and a fear of encounters with bad dogs -- hopefully you can try to understand my position. I am really not a dog-clubbing, dog-hating kinda guy! :) Just for laughs, here's the ONLY dog I encountered on my morning commute today. Turned out to be a very friendly dog and an apologetic dog owner, but there was no way to know this until the very last second when it started wagging its tail (actually, I never even noticed that until I watched the video):
BCDon's picture

St Bernard

While I've been chased by dogs, the scariest was a St. Bernard. They seem so slow and docile but believe me when they want to move they can. The problem with this one was he lived in a house by the highway (smaller secondary road) that I had to use if I cycled in that direction, which I did frequently. He had excellent sight lines if he was out front. Some times he was sleeping and wouldn't notice me but fortunately the area was pretty flat so I'd rest up before getting to the house and start to accelerate before getting too close, hitting around 40KPH when I got to the house, generally that was more than fast enough that even if he gave chase I was by pretty quickly. However, before I knew he was there, the first couple of times, a large lumbering St. Bernard barking at me scared the crap outta me.

Also, in cycling by junkyards on weekends, the guard dogs (shepards and pit bulls) that are jumping on the fence attempting to get out and at you are NOT comforting.

Small critters (dogs, bunnies, cats, gophers and their ilk), don't attempt to swerve around them, just hold your line and be ready for a bump.

As a dog owner all my life I get pi$$ed off at people who don't take a basic obedience course with their dogs so that the dogs can teach them some manners. It is little cost and makes a large difference.

And don't even get me started on off leash areas. I'd eliminate them due to the retards and their untrained dogs.

winterrider's picture

All good points

I think at the very least that we are all agreed that bad dog owners suck, and the potential for mayhem is always there with an uncontrolled dog. A little more enforcement of the leash bylaw would be great, but I am wondering how many people here phone 311 on this? DarrenB's video from this morning is a great example of the dangers posed by even a nice dog, since it just about dashed under you wheels.

I know I got called back the next day by an animal control and bylaw services when I reported our friendly speeding cyclist (they're planning on going out to look for him next week). I'd be willing to bet that a smartly edited video of dangerous dog/bike encounters might get a similar response.

gyrospanner's picture

Speaking of Retreads and their Dogs

I always find it funny how some people scowl at you when you come up to them and they are scrambling to grab their off-leash dog.

Like it's Myyyy Fault that there is a "situation?"

winterrider's picture

I mostly understand

I've never yet been attacked by a dog, so I'll never fully understand until that happens. My sister (bitten as a child) and my brother (scary dogs as a child) aren't quite as fearless (or foolish?) as I am.

I do get your point though, as I have to deal with similar situations. I also think you get mine, which is that if you only think about your side of the encounter, it tends to make it worse. I of course make this mistake all the time, both on the path with other path users (all types) who don't seem to understand basic path etiquette, and on the road in my reactions to some of the cars around me.

I find the key is if I can muster a little empathy for the other side, even if they're acting like idiots, it helps the whole thing go much more smoothly.

BTW, I live near that dog park (assuming that is just below Nose Hill Drive), and when I had a dog I would see all sorts of useless dog owners with their dogs all over the place on that path. I would suggest phoning 311 and asking for some enforcement on that specific stretch of path. Although ideally there should be a media blitz combined with a few tickets and visible officers to get the point out.

DarrenB's picture

I think you nailed it.

I think you nailed it. Empathy is the key. And regarding Bylaw Services, I actually put in a complaint via Calgary311 and got a call back within one day from a Bylaw Officer thanking me for the input, which I think is similar to your experience. I was really impressed. The officer also said that they have received a few complaints this week and they plan to send out an officer on the first warm day. He was really great about it, and almost apologetic, that the off-leash issue has escalated. I suspect they will be out there giving warnings, which would be great because I know most dog owners think there is no reason to worry about their dogs on the paths, especially right now while there is so little use by other folks. I can certainly empathize and would prefer that the message gets across re: leashes, without causing the dog owners too much trouble.

dailybiker's picture

Friendly Dogs hurt as Much as Angry Dogs

As you noted, it is very difficult in the short time available in a dog encounter to determine if the dog is friendly. If that "friendly" dog had got under your wheel or knocked you off of the bike, it would hurt just as much an "angry" dog. This "friendly" dog could have very easily caused you a major injury, but was only stopped by the leash at the last instant.

furey's picture

This is a tough one. I'm a

This is a tough one. I'm a dog lover, I have two dogs myself, which is why I don't let them off leash on the pathways. Not only do I not want them to hurt someone else, I don't want them to get hurt. I see off leash dogs on the pathways on a daily basis. Some dogs want to give chase to any moving object, some want to run playfully along beside you tongue lolling to the side, some just let out a single bark as you go by and some just flat out ignore you as there are much more interesting things to smell in the grass, but I have on one occasion encountered an aggressive off leash dog and was bitten by him. It wasn't a bad bite, he got me and then wasn't sure what he was supposed to do next and he just let go. But it could have been worse and I can understand how intimidating that can be. Afterwards, I was apprehensive every time I saw a dog on the path ahead of me. You have no way of knowing what category of dog you're dealing with until you get close enough for no turning back anyway, so there's nothing you can do but proceed and figure out your game plan based on the dog's body language and reaction to you. I usually slow down and talk to the dog if there's a goofy grin and a wagging tail, if there's barking I keep as wide a berth as I can and proceed with caution, if a dog's chasing or just running along beside me I'll try telling him to Stay! Sometimes that actually works! But if you're not a dog person to begin with, I can understand how you would feel that they're just a nuisance in your path or that they all pose a threat; unfortunately, that is exactly how some drivers look at cyclists, so I'm prone to be against this point of view as a cyclist and a dog lover. It certainly would be nice if dog walkers, cyclists and drivers could all be courteous and considerate of one another, but well, people kind of suck sometimes.

Julie Gregg's picture

Funny you mention that

Just the other day I was saying to someone with the warm weather comes the cyclists who didn't ride all winter and they (some of them) are so uncool on the path. I just think "where were you at minus 30"?

BCDon's picture

In some ways looking forward

to my impending layoff. Happens at the end of the month. At that point my plan will be to do more cycling while everyone else is busy working. The pathways should be much clearer, I can wait till temperatures warm up to ride, I don't have to worry about dark mornings or evenings etc.

Of course this can only go on for awhile because I'll need to start making some money somehow within a few months but we'll take that as it comes I suppose.

Julie Gregg's picture

Nice ride to work this

Nice ride to work this morning, felt relaxed and happy, looking into the sunshine and feeling that balmy temperature. I guess this time next week may be dark? We turn the clocks on Saturday night this weekend right?

denimjeff's picture

beautiful roll home from IKEA

beautiful roll home from IKEA to downtown via the river path last night. thanks again to all you people involved in the shovelling bee a few weeks back that got the city to start clearing from the bird sanctuary to glenmore...last night's great ride wouldn't have been possible without you!

someguy's picture

[quote]beautiful roll home

[quote]beautiful roll home from IKEA to downtown via the river path[/quote]

Please tell me more about this route.

Thanks !

someguy's picture

Time to remove the studded tires ?

When is it going to be time to remove the studded tires ? Paths are pretty clear, but the side streets are ice and snow...

Nosaj's picture


I am just toying that idea myself. Think I will hold off till the weekend and make a decision then.

chrisguy's picture

Time Saver 101

Don't bother putting them on in the first place. They're slow and heavy, making winter riding even more time consuming but with pretty much little to no upside, safety-wise. YMMV, but I ran Conti T&C's all winter no problemo. justsayin'

DarrenB's picture

Not so sure

I don't want to be argumentative here and I certainly respect your personal experience, but I think your statement might be a bit misleading. Studded tires offer superior traction on icy surfaces, and at least in my icy winter route, this allows me to travel FASTER on rough surfaces, down hills, and around corners without falling. Thus, studded tires are a BIG time-saver in these conditions. But I agree with you that if you are driving on bare or simply snow-covered pavement in the winter, they might slow you down.

RichieRich's picture

take off studs?

The actual bike paths are really clear right now, especially compared to some of the connector routes and back roads. So people here have vastly different experiences - if you're a park-n-rider from Edworthy you could almost do full slicks. Coming 20km... my studs will stay on until mid April.

Until last night I was running ~30psi in them... now that is slow, but I could ride almost glaze ice. After topping them up to ~50-60psi last night gotta say I flew in (relatively). Might be a bit slower, but the MUPS aren't for setting new land speed records plus the extra resistance is good for ya. Once the Po-po come out w/ speed traps you may be better off running big fat slow tires.

BCDon's picture

Some areas

are really bad. Take the path beside Rocky View Hospital where it goes through the trees. As the snow melts and runs onto the path and freezes there is ice in that section until at least April if not May and, if you are heading Southbound it'll be at a bit higher speed (unless you are obeying the 10KPH sign).

There are other areas of the city where the pathways stay in shade a lot of the day, especially at this time of the year and run off will create some goodly amount of ice on them.

I suppose that if you know where these spots are and there are only a few of them then you can navigate them at a slower speed.

furey's picture

As a newcomer to winter

As a newcomer to winter riding, studded tires gave me the confidence I was lacking to get out and ride over the winter. Maybe it's a false confidence like Dumbo's feather, I have nothing to compare it to because I've never ridden in winter without them, but they got me out there and I've only had one minor fall which was totally due to my own inexperience. I say YAY to magical studded tires!!

bike-run's picture

you'll wish for them a week after you do it...

My commute still has plenty of ice patches from the melt/freeze cycles, and some on the pathway are off-camber, so I'll live with them for a few more weeks.

Like RichieRich mentioned, when it's not icy, just pump them up to max pressure and they'll roll better (less stud-ground contact). If you wake up to snow/ice you can just lower the pressure and enjoy the traction...

someguy's picture

"with pretty much little to

"with pretty much little to no upside, safety-wise."

Wow, that is pretty bold. Ever ride on a side street with a U shaped ice rut about 6" deep ? The studs make a huge difference, literally between falling and not falling.

Scott's picture

I'm kinda with him...

I have yet to ride studs in my life and only been down twice in 20 yrs on the ice. Just dont think they are all that. There was several times during the winter when things melted and got really icy and I just adapted by slowing things down a notch. If speed during icy times is your goal... I guess I can see the validity but otherwise... I have yet to see an upside to $180+ investment on them. I do however have a few good friends running them and while they have yet to decide if it was good or not, they did say that the added confidence they have riding is a bonus. I can appreciate that. Placebo effect is a good thing in any application.

gyrospanner's picture

I had a freaky moment this morning

Where I lost it on a a patch of ice on a downhill section of road in my 'hood doin' about 25kmh and ended up doing a 45'er up on to some guy's yard.

I checked it out on the way home and the tracks on this guy's snow covered lawn looked hilarious!!!! I'm sure he looked at at when he got home and said WTF? Who's been riding on my yard!!??

BTW, the reason I did this was because of a car door unexpectantly opened! Self preservation!

Maybe studz' woulda' helped? I dunno?

pinkrobe's picture

I like not falling

It may be my riding style, but damn, studded tires have saved my ass a lot in the 6 winters I've been using them. They're basically an enabler - I can do things with them that I couldn't do without them. I've been able to keep upright and moving while others can't [bikes, cars and even peds]. When you put your foot down at a light and do the splits while your bike doesn't slide - at all - well worth the $70/pair investment IMHO.

critninja's picture


to me studs are worth it even though they are heavy and slow compared to normal tires. i'd rather be working harder and going slower than off my bike faceplanted anyday.

Nosaj's picture


Considering I ride in at or before 5 every morning the added confiedence (even if it is a placebo) is worth it for me. Too many times I have hit some ice, that even with street lights and a decent head light I did not see, it has been nice not bailing. Yes heavier and slower, but I figure it will be worth it when I switch back I will feel like I am flying. Very happy with the investment.

Scott's picture

More ice?

Man... you guys must deal with so much more ice up there in the city scape. Really sounds like it. I can only compare to what the conditions are always like down here in the S.E. Deer Run and Fish Creek park over to Douglasdale is like. Really, not much ice ever. Only during a melt and then you get patches but not very large ones. I have seen as strip on a sidewalk once this winter that was about 100' long but I rode it without issue without studs.

I think for you guys with so much traffic, parked cars alongside, other riders, construction obstacles, pedestrians and who knows what else... I can see a possible upside to having them. One of these days I need to score a pair and use them for a winter before I give full judgment.

As for taking them off?? I remeber you all talking about this last year and regretting it. Dont get ahead of yourselves I say. There will be more snow, count on it. In fact, tomorrow. :) Not to mention... with melt... there is always freeze, every night in fact. Your studs if needed wont be ready to come off for some time yet.

As for my ride today... my second one back on the horse since my injury... felt pretty good. Been stretching more and rolling out the muscles. Not getting as much lead leg feeling which I think is due to rolling out the lactic acids perhaps? Pumped up the tires to near full inflation last night and that made the ride nicer as well... less work to make them tires roll.

themacneils's picture

Yeah April-ish

Yeah with my commute from West Hills to downtown, I leave the studs on until sometime in April. Can't wait to put the slicks on though.

Was really looking forward to riding in today, but didn't have my clothes, lunch or bike clothes ready I just ran out of time and had to carpool with my brother-in-law. With 2 kids under 4 and a newborn, if I don't have everything ready to go the night before, it's really hard to get out the door on time...

BTW, I haven't taken the trail behind the Shag golf course in a while, does anyone have an update about it's condition? Thanks!

ggdub's picture

Shag golf course

Unfortunately, you missed some of the best conditions all winter on that trail. The last couple of weeks it was perfectly packed down, smooth and just tacky enough that you didn't need to worry about sliding out on the corners. Yesterday afternoon and last night, undoubtedly changed all that.

The bottom section melted yesterday and became a slush pit faster than I can remember and since the temps plummeted last night, you can bet that the slush pit is now one continous band of irregular-rock hard ruts.

I'd avoid it for the next week, especially since the upcoming melt will likely uncover that nasty November layer.

gyrospanner's picture

RU Talking about

the old quarry trail or the south sora pond trail (the one on the South side of the tracks that used to be posted "no cycling?"

themacneils's picture

Ha Figures!

Thanks for the udpate, too bad I missed the nice riding.

DD's picture

no placebo effect - sidestreets

I've been switching among three setups this winter - studded Ice Spikers (26"), studded Marathon Winters (700c), and non-studded Marathons (20"). The Ice Spikers are a pain in dry conditions (noisy and high resistance) but I had zero slips or near misses on snow or ice. It's my first winter using them and they have been bomb proof for me. With the Marathon Winters I had the occasional slip or slide but would get traction back right away. I had a handful of minor wipeouts with the Marathons on hardpack where the bike slid out on me. Almost all my riding this winter has been on side streets or light traffic arterials. Every time I've bought studded tires I've questioned the high cost, but then over the following winter have had a number of occasions when I've thanked myself for getting them.

chrisguy's picture

Well, I did say YMMV.

Keeping your bike upright makes the biggest difference between falling or not :) , and that's skill and technique, way more than it is tires. As a percentage of commuting distance, icy, rutted portions (where studs are beneficial) never gets out of the low single digits - this is my commuting experience. The rest, depending, is snow (some traction benefit w/ studs) or asphalt (studs detrimental to traction). If the commute was, say, down a frozen canal, yep I'd get studs. If it's mostly on asphalt or hardpack (far and away the whole reason winter commuting works so well in Calgary) with some icy patches, studs didn't help me enough to be worth the extra effort. Totally your call, I just found that with everything else adding to my ride times (one way 45 min summer commute getting to 1.5+hrs in the winter) that my studs had to go.

Peter White has an excellent article on studded tires that lays out the pros and cons better than I can in a few lines here.

gyrospanner's picture

Another A-Hole on Home Road

RANT ON! Are you ready for another one from me? - my second in a week, sorry...


I am riding North on Home Road coming up to the parking lot outlet by the Safeway (like, not quite as far as Bowness Road where the lights are) and A-hole in a big red Dodge Truck wants to come out and turn left to go the same way and I look at him & I can see that he is pissed at the fact that a cyclist is coming up the road???

It kinda' reminds me of an earlier post today about "who owns the road?" LOL

Anyways, I keep going and he finally turns and then when we come up to Bowness Road, I take the right lane because there were people who wanted to turn left (and not slowly, I was going about 25 kmh) and he charges up behind me, sticks his trans' in neutral and rev's the crap outta' his engine to try and scare me!

We come up up to Bowness road and I filtered up a lot to split the lanes because I thought he probably wanted to turn right, but he stayed at the red light until it turned green despite the fact that there were no cars coming from my left. I shoulder-checked when the light turned green and this psycho was just sitting there glaring at me....

Road Rage? Social Deviant? Hannibal Lecter?

RANT OFF, but I'm gonna be looking over my shoulder for a while

xcrider's picture

DTD Syndrome

DTD (Dodge truck driver)Syndrome. They think that because they bought the thing it gives them the right to use it as a weapon on anyone or thing smaller than them, which is most things on the road.

chrisguy's picture


The smallest thing is why they're in a big truck in the first place.

xcrider's picture


You are right I missed the whole Compensation Principle Theory!!

Scott's picture


I often fantasize about these types of things where maybe I carry a gun and put a bullet in the radiator or engine and then ride off and never get caught or u-lock out the windows and then ride off in another direction only to change my bike for a few months to avoid being spotted. Things like that. lol. Ah... dare to dream.

Then reality comes back to me and I get to work and sit at my desk and go on with my mundane existence. lol

BCDon's picture


Pink Paintball Pellets. I keep thinking that I'd like a paintball gun with flourescent pink paintballs that I can use to "tag" doofuses in their vehicles. For my bike I need some kind of really lightweight one which is mounted to the front somehow so I can just press a button and whichever way the handlebars are pointed, it shoots and, I'd like it to be detachable so I can nail the yahoos beside me.

I also have this wish for my car. A device that nestles in behind the grill with an interior button although I am a bit worried about blowback :).

philosohpie's picture


That sounds like one crasty fellow. I'd be curious about his license plate, but it seems that most pickup trucks are driven by crasty, ignorant, dangerous people. Especially the red ones, dammit.

It seems to me that their driving behavior is merely caused by how large trucks tend to ride. These drivers are so disconnected from the road as they sit high in their cockpit, under fat tires and cushy suspension. As they look down on others from it, they have a good view of what's going on, and likely, due to the high riding position and larger size of their trucks, feel quite the sense of superiority. That, combined with their immoderate amount of horsepower makes them do rather foolish things. Unfortunately, trucks are what most Albertans go for these days.

Julie Gregg's picture

be careful, your brush is

be careful, your brush is getting very wide. I own and drive a red dodge pick up truck....

RichieRich's picture

not quite

I think the red truck he's referring to has "truck nuts". Another abhorrent feature of Alberta's red neck landscape.

Scott's picture


Everytime I see those things I want to gag. I think they are just the tackiest thing ever. On the coast we put boat propellors on our trucks. lol.

I wish you could kick those truck nuts without hurting your feet but the driver actually does. Joy.

bclark's picture

Home Road

A designated bike route and one of the key links (at least from what I recall from some of the cycling survey data) for cyclists coming in from the NW to downtown or any other part of the city yet, at the same time, one of the least cycling-friently parts of our bike network. The road is in poor condition, the lanes are narrow, curb extensions squeeze cyclists close to traffic, the snow and gravel removal is poor to non-existend and the speed differential is great (particularly for northbound cyclists vs. traffic). Definitely a good topic to include in any correspondence with City Admin. or your Alderman when discussing bike infrastructure issues. All issues related specifically to the ...-hole driver's aside.

gyrospanner's picture

Home Road Update

I 311'ed the City a couple of weeks ago because I asked them to take the foot high snow piles off both sides of the road and got a callback from someone at the City.

The City is well aware of the problems there and they told me that they couldn't take the snow away because they would have to close the road to do that due to the high traffic use! The fellow also acknowladged that that was part of the problem with Home Road, including the presence of buses and traffic calming.

He also told me that they had removed the bike lane signs from one side but I haven't checked which side.

He also pointed out that the route behind Shouldice park to 52 St via Montserrat Cr. would likely be a better option. To save time, at least on the way home, I will likely go up 48th street and cut over on 21 Ave and then on to Bowmont Park as usual. Going to work I will still Cruise down Home Road and I will enjoy it when they can finally fix that pothole. Did anybody see the spare tire beside that pothole last week?

RichieRich's picture


Glad that you phoned 311, but their response also indicates a lack of awareness that 52st via Montserrat Drive (not Cr) isn't really feasible at this time. Heading north 52nd is both narrow, has some removed signs (as you indicated, and explains why I was honked at last week), ice/snow bound, and is (in my opinion) worse than Home Road. I'm still amazed there hasn't been a head-on crash along there. Hope it never happens. Hopefully the ice along 13th Ave (that links to Montserrat by Shouldice) clears this week so it's safe for a non-studded-tire cyclist to use.

Home road mostly needs some gravel clearing going North.

gyrospanner's picture

OK, it is Monserrat Drive

I checked it on google this morning when I was writing that post and you can accuse me of "speed-reading!"

But I would believe your comment that its probably not the best route either! The little detour I mentioned probably isn't suitable right now, either because of ice/snow/gravel.

When you mentioned that you were honked at on 52nd, I believe that also - it is really confusing since they turned the bike lane over to the other side of the road. Unfortunately, even the little stretch from Home Road to the church is confusing as the yellow line on the south side (from the old bike lane) is still painted on the road, but the city uses the new bike lane as a snow storage spot...

bclark's picture

Not a bike lane?

"He also told me that they had removed the bike lane signs from one side but I haven't checked which side."

So does this mean Home Road has no bike lane signs now? I hope that removing the bike lane isn't the City's solution to bike-car conflict. I haven't actually paid much attention to the bike lane signs though I'm pretty sure the Share the Road signs are still up on the NB lane.

As far as the suggestion of 52nd, I agree with RichieRich's later post, that choice isn't really much safer due to the fact that it is a counter-flow bike lane with very minimal signage and nearly completely obliterated pavement markings. I do hear the City is going to address this route again in the near future but I have't heard what they plan to do.

Thanks for the update.

pinkrobe's picture


The ride in was really dry. Lots of gravel, almost no ice/snow on the hills. Almost time to bust out the road bike for the commute, except that my route home is different than my route in. The route home has enough snow/ice/ruts/drivers to warrant staying with the winter bike for a while longer.

RichieRich's picture

Camo-shorts dude...

... awesome shorts last night approaching Silver Springs on the MUP. Gotta admit I was surprised to see bare flesh (ok, except for the hairy legs). Good on ya. Your optimism is encouraging and moral-boosting!!

gyrospanner's picture

It was me!

I wore my shorts again today not despite the weather, but to spite the weather!

gyrospanner's picture


Its 10 o'clock and I just got outta' da bar with some old friends and I gotta ride home in -10. And all I have is my shorts (POO!).

Weather 1, commuter 0, I guess we know who won that battle today.


I'll wear more clothes tomorrow....

ride's picture

what's in your pack?

gyrospanner, I know you've been riding long enough to always carry an extra layer of clothes in your bag. What happened today with that?

gyrospanner's picture

Mental lapse

I dunno what happened....

Too many things on my mind, too many deadlines.

In the end, I didn't ride because the #^*! door on the cage wouldn't open so I couldn't get my bike! Took a cab.

One funny note - when our security guy was trying to open the gate, I squeezed into the cage by one of the walls (I am considering asking for a refund for all the years that I have paid for "secure" parking!) and tried to open it from the other side and you should have seen the look on his face!

Julie Gregg's picture

haha, I was wishing I had

haha, I was wishing I had more length to my pants for homeward bound too!! maybe a bit too optimistic on the outset this morning.

Julie Gregg's picture

Nice, I rode in wearing short

Nice, I rode in wearing short pants and funky argyle hiking socks, I'm a fashion plate if nuthin' else!!

Scott's picture

Argyles eh??

Well then, I think we are in need of a photo. You can't tease us with your awesome fashion sense and leave us hanging. lol

someguy's picture

I think I got you beat...

I think I got you beat... 1989 (I kid you not) Blue and yellow MEC Goretex shell, red shorts and purple ski tights. All I need is green socks ! I'm a real fashion statement, upping the image of commuter bikers everywhere.

I guess its time to invest in some new cycling outerwear.

pinkrobe's picture

I'm off

Today I had my last commute for a while. My current contract is done, and being a fartabout, I neglected to set something else up. At least it's going to be semi-warm next week.

The day started off with a bang, as the spicy beef and noodles I had yesterday for lunch decided to make a run for the border, so to speak. Eventually I got on my bike and rode downtown, only to find that the bike lockup wasn't taking my passcard. *&$#%!!!!! The parking lot attendant security dude said somebody would be by around 8:00, which I said was unacceptable. He managed to get down there and let me in by 7:45, but now I have to go harass Standard Parking to find out why my passcard isn't working. The sad thing is that I was 30 minutes late for work and I was still the first person there. Why did I bother?

DarrenB's picture

Slooowwwwwww and icy

I underestimated the ice on Baker Park and Bowmont pathways this morning, and decided to leave my winter bike with studded tires at home today. BIG mistake. That ride is going to be treacherous going home if the snow covers up all the icy spots.

critninja's picture

watch for ice!

almost kissed the pavement right in front of my house last night and it is very slippy out there with all that ice under the skiff of fresh snow.

be careful!

Scott's picture

Oh you eager beavers!!

Keep your studs on. Dress for -15 every morning or every night because it most likely will be. The mid day is the only warm time for the next 6 weeks still. This is actually the hardest time of the year to ride in because of the melt then night time freeze. Ride with more vigilance and care than you have all winter for the next few weeks because of it. There will be more paper thin ice that looks like pavement than ever before for the next bit as well so most riders bite it during this time of year. During the thick of winter is the funnest time to ride and during the spring melt is the worst. Dont forget it. If you do, you will suffer.

winterrider's picture

My commute is clear

Ok, there will be 3 or 4 melt freeze ponds on the bike path, but I know where they are. Other than that I have 100 feet of snow covered alley to negotiate and then its straight onto dry roads. This is the advantage I get for having ridden the entire winter with constant salt spray on my precious bike (my route is a priority dump ass loads of salt on it road). I get the dry gravelly road way instead of endless bits of brownsnow and ice.

Can't wait for the street cleaners to come out so my nice bike can see the light of day again!

RichieRich's picture

Spring storms

Can't wait for the nasty spring surprise storms when temps change 20C in 30mins, or sideways blizzards dropping 8" in 2hrs, etc etc...

gyrospanner's picture

I hate trials riders

Cuz' I'll never be that good.

Dang Jealous

Great Videos! I watched them just before I left work yesterday and they were kind of "motivational!"

ride's picture

170 rpm

While riding from Crescent Heights to Sunridge this afternoon - in shorts! - via the 8th Ave overpass over Deerfoot, I hit 58 km/h and 170 rpm on my fixie. I was surprised - I didn't think I could pedal that fast! (Of course, on a fixie you either keep up with the pedals or you crash).

someguy's picture

I rode 40Km from Bridgeland

I rode 40Km from Bridgeland to Bowness Park yesterday.

It was a very wet, splashy ride, but still great too. Lots of puddles on the paths. The worst are the puddles with an ice base underneath. Luckily I was riding my studded tires.

You really have to be careful of pedestrians walking into the other lane in order to walk around a puddle. Twice my brakes saved me from plowing into a naive walker. Dogs on leashes seem to be pretty frisky too these days.

Does anyone know what the path along the canal from Glenmore to Chestemere is like these days ?

someguy's picture

Rider Down !

I pulled the Ice Spikers and replaced them with new 700x38cs. They were pushing pretty hard and I am worried about the studs being ruined running on mostly bare pavement.

My plan was to head north along Deerfoot, along Nose Creek, I think it is, and eventually find a route to Airdrie.

The first issue was finding a route from Bridgeland to the path. I would have been easy to cross over the Memorial overpass and then go East. I usually go through the Zoo parking lot via St. George's drive, so I decided to try that. Turns out the City is doing a big sewer project down there and have 6' fences everywhere. I found a route by taking St. George's drive past the zoo parking lot entrance, to the Telus Science Center entrance and heading east on that road. It turns south running along Nose Creek and a short scramble down a ditch gets you to the bike path.

From there the path was mostly clear with about 1 "water ford" every Km. No problems.

I crashed crashed hard under the McKnight underpass on the West side of the creek. Its a semi blind corner. I had slowed down to about 15Km when I came upon solid, hard polished ice. The front tire slipped out to the inside. I was trying not to lean the bike and I probably over did it. I kind of caught myself with my foot but fell hard on my shoulder, elbow and knee. My bike is fine. My cell phone emerged unscathed. My jacket is OK, yet my elbow has some road rash and swelling. The knee is torn on my riding pants and my knee has rash. Both hurt at the time but I had largely forgotten about them by the end of the ride.

I continued north. I went as far as the Nose Creek path is paved and then headed East through the paths in the park up there. I hit Harvest Valley Blvd by the golf course driving range and headed north again. I continued to weave east and north until I reached a point where I was hopeless lost up there. I found lots of malls, including several Sobeys, a Superstore, a Super 16 movie theatre, etc. Several times. Finally I found my way back home.

Total distance, 45.3 Kms. It was a great ride. I'm glad spring is finally here.