Crivak's picture

How Was Your Ride Today? Week of August 8, 2017

Didn't think it was possible but the bumblebee and wasp population seems to just be going up and up. Finally was stung by one of the suckers on my way in today. 

Rest of this week looks clear and warm again. 


Crivak's picture


"I suck" -- haha. Don't worry, me too. But he wrote that from the perspective of a previous racer, so it probably hits closer to home for him. As a commuter sucking is usuallyTM good! 

Strava is an interesting one. I use Strava for my invoices and timesheets to clock in and out for work. It also tells me areas I'm prone to speeding on the pathways, especially if I start clipping over 25kmh somewhere I should check my speed at. And, of course, where I suck (looking at you, bowmont)! But I also like that it's contributing to any potential city data as far as street use goes. And the flyby labs are sometimes neat to check. I like it. 

Today I went through Varsity and Edworthy to avoid the bumblebee brigade in Bowmont. It was nice to take a different route. Inspired me to go back home through Bowness in an attempt to avoid the Shouldice underpass crosswalk detours. Wound up taking a crosswalk anyway at 43rd. Not sure it's much of an improvement seeing as it's twice as large as the one at Shouldice. 

Has anyone done [this route]? How is it in terms of difficulty and awkwardness (crosswalks, being run over)?

edit; route url didn't seem to stick, I meant this one along 19th street but am leaving the other one so I can reference it down the road!

912R's picture

Data for someone else....

I bought a Garmin last year, more as a way to try and track how many km I rode while commuting last year (justify to my wife on a $/km basis, that I deserve some new shiny bits for my bike - HA!).  I don't ever really look at the data or do much with it.  After 5 years of year-round commuting,  I am not any faster, or really even that much stronger, than I was when I started (something about riding the same route at the same pace every day just never gets you faster if you don't treat it as training).  But I did link my data to Strava for no other reason that to help crowd source data about where people are riding.  I figure if somehow my data helps others understand commuting use, then fair enough.

gyrospanner's picture

Not a bad route

I checked your route and would suggest you try this - going west, once you go under Crowchild, go across the tracks and up the old quarry trail road (as you have highlighted) but once you get to the top, go back down the hill and keep going west.  Once you get to the bottom of the hill, thee is a nice flat, flowy singletrack trail, but watch out for joggers.  Stay on the south side of the tracks & the river until you meet up with the asphalt path again (near the train crossing at 51.055436, -114.140852).

Crivak's picture

Oops. Wrong Link...

My bad, I didn't realize the google maps reset my URL. Though come to think of it I haven't gone the way shown here or what you described either! I'll have to check it out once the quarry is reopened. 

I think this [link should work]. I'll fix the top one too. This is the route that goes up 19th street instead of the river pathway system. 

DarrenB's picture


The route west of the university is my typical daily route, and it is very quiet back streets and/or easy traffic for pretty much the entire route. And usually there isn't much traffic on 32nd Ave by the university, so if you just ride down the middle of the curb lane, you might find that easier than negotiating the pathway along 32nd, particularly westbound.

East of the university, it depends on what direction you are going. If you are heading home from downtown, 19th St is a heck of a climb. And 19th St north of 16 Ave can get pretty busy, with two narrow lanes. I have never found traffic to be very forgiving on that stretch, and I generally avoid it. I prefer to take 10th St to 20th Ave, and then head west all the way to Capitol Hill Cres., then follow it to the University C-Train station. 

Crivak's picture

Interesting idea! I had

Interesting idea! I had completely forgotten about 10th street. Thanks!

Had similar concerns about 19th when I dropped to google street view too. The hill looked OK since it came with a pathway, but past 16th ave looked dicier. 

Google actually provided me another interesting alternative to 10th and 20th that takes 21st up to a pathway system along confederation park. I might try this some time. Google was adamant about avoiding 20th ave, it kept defaulting to 21st ave every block. 

It wanted to do something like this but I believe what you are describing is more like [this one]? Is there an advantage to turning at the intersection on 20th to the left turn lane from the bike lane instead of continuing to 21? Parts of 20th looked narrower and busier than expected, but it's certainly simpler. I assume you hit the pedestrian crosswalks at  the end of Capitol Hill Cres? Thanks for the suggestion, going to look at these roads connected to 10th better.

DarrenB's picture

Yes, that last route you

Yes, that last route you linked to was the way I often take. And 21st Ave is definitely on quieter streets, but IIRC, you are plagued with stops signs the whole way, and there is no lighted intersection to cross 14th St, which is busy at rush hour.

I have biked along Confederation Park too. It is a pleasant bike, but lots of ups and downs, and the route doesn't feel direct at all, for some reason.

CPat's picture

Another is 17a St NW

Yeah 20 Ave NW is usually almost gridlock around rushhour, so the traffic is going slow anyway even if it is a bit narrow.  Remember to watch carefully for doors (occupants in vehicles) and take the lane where necessary.  Go straight through the light at 19 St NW and the roads are quiet.  I use 20-Exshaw-22 St NW all the time to avoid 19 St NW and get onto Morley Trail.  Because 20 St NW is so close to the traffic light at 24 Ave and 19 St NW, it is easy to cross 24 Ave.


Another option is to use 17a St NW via 16 St like this to 19 St NW,+Calgary,+AB/Silver+Springs+Community+Association,+Silver+Ridge+Drive+Northwest,+Calgary,+AB/@51.0602627,-114.1120642,14.5z/data=!4m24!4m23!1m15!1m1!1s0x53716fefda81eadd:0xb2735cd653782ce3!2m2!1d-114.0789515!2d51.0539425!3m4!1m2!1d-114.100734!2d51.0611111!3s0x53716f957660e64f:0x396f2f7d6fab5a5!3m4!1m2!1d-114.1063197!2d51.0642224!3s0x53716fbd92ad8a37:0x24fa3dec595bc50f!1m5!1m1!1s0x53716ed2ce143997:0x17574d5ba42c46a6!2m2!1d-114.1925383!2d51.104648!3e1



There's a pedestrian bridge (tight corners) over 16 Ave at the south end of Capitol Hill Cres NW that can be used to link with 19 St NW /17a St N and avoid 19 St north of 16 Ave.  FWIW 19 St NW isnt that bad with two lanes, but 20 St NW is right beside it with only 1 stop sign at 20 ave where you have the light on 19 St anyway.

You can get at 17a St NW via 5 Ave from 10 St NW too.

CPat's picture

24 St NW Alternative

Another option is to use 21 St as you guys mentioned and Sumac Cres and parallel Crowchild Trail up to the U of C. It has 4 stop signs (6 southbound) and two lights, so I don't think it's as bad as DarrenB implied.  It does feel like I'm voting when I roll over the 10 St bike counter though.  I can't show it on googlemaps, but as a start like this:,+Calgary,+AB/Silver+Springs+Community+Association,+Silver+Ridge+Drive+Northwest,+Calgary,+AB/@51.067383,-114.1260838,15z/data=!4m19!4m18!1m10!1m1!1s0x53716fefda81eadd:0xb2735cd653782ce3!2m2!1d-114.0789515!2d51.0539425!3m4!1m2!1d-114.1177152!2d51.0646462!3s0x53716fbb3a3db813:0x4b59f0b13f3fab7f!1m5!1m1!1s0x53716ed2ce143997:0x17574d5ba42c46a6!2m2!1d-114.1925383!2d51.104648!3e1


Differences from the map are at Motel Village; I stay next to Crowchild instead of jogging over to the 16 Ave Pedestrian Bridge.  There is an underpass under 16 Ave at Crowchild Tr to access 24 St NW frontage road (access at 90 deg corner with really slow vehicles, bike camp for stairs, 24 St NW has a speed limit of 30km/h), continue straight through north of 23 Ave and use the sidewalk (unfortunately, but in years of use I've never seen a pedestrian use it, not plowed in winter and few footprints) over the LRT to 24 Ave NW and Capitol Hill Cres NW (there's a dirt path on the east side of Nick's parking lot).  You could also cross the LRT at 23 Ave to Capitol Hill Cres. 

Note south of Crowchild 24 St NW is one-way (southbound jump over to 23 St NW-Juniper south of 16 Ave) and doesn't get sun in winter, so it ices up.  There were construction workers out looking at utilities/etc for the Crowchild Tr construction that is to start soon along 24 St NW south of Crowchild yesterday.  I use this route (24 St NW) or Northmount Dr to access downtown and 20 Ave to access SAIT.  Sometimes I'll take 5 Ave across to Sumac Cres too. 

This is the lowest grade (easiest) route up into the NW around the U of C other than using Univerisity Blvd (think the grade of Crowchild Tr approx).  The light at 24 Ave is set up for Crowchild and really long, so you almost never have to wait there, the light at Kensington is on demand (senses your bike) and starts changing right away, and then you are on the Bow River pathway.  With typically only some challenge getting across Charleswood at Brentwood Blvd, no wait at 24 Ave, a 30s wait at Kensington, you get really reliable trip times (generally ~22-24min to 5 St SW and 5 Ave SW.)

CPat's picture

37 St NW alternative

I've also used 37 St NW or more accuretely often use the MUP beside 16 Ave SW towards Edworthy and the Harry Boothman Bridge.,+Calgary,+AB/Silver+Springs+Community+Association,+Silver+Ridge+Drive+Northwest,+Calgary,+AB/@51.0670167,-114.1529671,14.75z/data=!4m34!4m33!1m25!1m1!1s0x53716fefda81eadd:0xb2735cd653782ce3!2m2!1d-114.0789515!2d51.0539425!3m4!1m2!1d-114.1333067!2d51.0562112!3s0x53716fb4ba32bcd7:0xbdd5398abc31bb23!3m4!1m2!1d-114.1434824!2d51.0678377!3s0x53716fab2884d2a1:0x461d24b8ba986234!3m4!1m2!1d-114.1411986!2d51.0764628!3s0x53716f04273439d3:0x70cdd43adcce5c9b!3m4!1m2!1d-114.1630228!2d51.0932992!3s0x53716f213f075b31:0x9f62009355d3ed70!1m5!1m1!1s0x53716ed2ce143997:0x17574d5ba42c46a6!2m2!1d-114.1925383!2d51.104648!3e1!5m1!1e4


There's a pedestrian light at 37 St NW at 32 Ave NW and a pathway beside Jackson Place NW to more directly get to Collegiate Rd NW.  There's curbs to the east of the fence (south side 32 Ave NW) or you have to cyclocross the stairs at the pedestrian light. The intersection from Collegiate Rd NW to the MUP through the park is a bit awkward too.  The hill by Foothills Hospital is a bit steep.  Lights at Bowness Rd to cross and then you are on the Bow River MUP.  Slower and more trails/quiet road based, doesn't avoid steeper section of the escarpment.  There aren't any stop signs just awkward for bikes bits.

CPat's picture

Buddy ride

I'd be willing to buddy ride if you need/want it.

Crivak's picture

Thanks for the offer

Thanks for the offer! I tend to ride at off hours so I may have to explore these on my own. That's an interesting work around near Banff Trail, I didn't know they put an underpass there. Thank you for the insight and maps. 

My ideal route doesn't require any dismounting (too stiff), so I'll be poking around at a combination of these I think. 
Explored around 10th st a bit last Thursday. The University LRT station isn't my favourite as a crossing. That accessibility ramp feels like it was built for aesthetics and not accessibility or function. I hugged my far side and someone trying to crawl up still almost ran into me. 
An interesting option that arose as I was tinkering around that area was hopping over through Brentwood on the new Brentwood lanes. They even put a bike box on the access ramp (road) from the pathway which was a nice touch.

CPat's picture

Yeah it's a good way to get

Yeah it's a good way to get dizzy on the west side plus you have to cross all the pedestrian traffic at both the top and bottom the way it's set up.  For east-weset, the Charleswood/32 Ave overpass over Crowchild needs better curb cuts for cyclists at both ends and is really busy with pedestrians, but gets used a lot by cyclists and is plowed over the winter. Brentwood Rd is a good route.  Riding through Blakiston Park to Bell Rd NW never made sense to me unless you're coming from the N or NE to leave your bike at the Brentwood LRT instead of driving to the park n' ride.


There's a ramp from Northland Dr NW onto Brentwood Green NW now too, but the southeast end at 40 Ave/Brisbois is a sidewalk.  NE with Nose Hill Creek is so much nicer and now with Northmount Dr only getting 14 St NW intersection addressed it's a little depressing now this area is in ward 4.


All the best.

Edit for Brentwood Rd/clarity

Crivak's picture


Brentwood Boulevard? Do you mean riding the sidewalk to take the pedestrian crosswalk from Charleswood onto the Boulevard by Bell St? I was presuming just continuing straight from the Morley Trail connection onto Brentwood Road. The lane continues through here. I actually didn't realize that you could stay on the east side of Charleswood, but I see they have repaved the entire sidewalk as a pathway. Hm. Kind of awkward...

CPat's picture

Yeah, just use Brentwood Rd.

Yeah, just use Brentwood Rd. Right beside Crowchild, sorry.

Connectinng through Blakiston Park to Bell St and Brentwood Blvd has never really made sense to me.  Even when not under construction, it's not direct and that Charlewood pathway is really busy with pedestrians.  While there are curb cuts on the east side of Charlewood just past the bus stop, it's an unmarked crossing and motorists speed through there since it's essentially 6 lanes of traffic.  All the pedestrians cross at the Brentwood Mall traffic light.  For destintations west of Crowchild, it's too circuitous-some of the city's routes wind around too much. 

I guess you do avoid the busy Brentwood Rd-Charleswood intersection at the Crowchild overpass, but Brentwood Rd is quiet enough southbound  to get in the left turning lane and the bike box from the Crowchild offramp northbound (when cars aren't parked on it) works great. But if a cyclist were concerned about their safety on Brentwood Rd, then they probably wouldn't be using 40 Ave either.  With kids I'd use the U of C or back roads like Brecken, Blakiston, Brentwood Green and the Northland overpass and ride on sidewalks: by Brisbois, to get off the Northland overpass, and probably along Varsity Dr too (or sidewalks via Vegas to the Shagnappi-Crowchild overpass to get up by Vandoos).

I'd use 40 Ave to Brentwood Rd and then wiggle onto Morley Trail before taking your pick of heading towards 10 St or paralleling Crowchild.  I'd probably use Brentwood Rd before heading south on 37 St since there's fewer traffic lights.

xcrider's picture


Unless time is an issue why would you not just use the path system? No cars, no lights and no stop signs.


winterrider's picture

For fun

Variety is the spice of life and all that... :)

Newzones's picture

Quarry Trail Still Closed

A heads up that Quarry Trail is still closed, and I can't see it re-opening in the near future. ATCO is wrapped up but now the city has closed it for trail improvements and they're not able to provide an ETA when I checked in a few weeks back.

RichieRich's picture

Zoo Bridge & Area.... still closed

Perhaps not news to some of you folks who've been riding all summer...

Thursday apres work I tried to add some extra km's to my commute (and build leg strength/endurance as I recover from the broken femur).  Rode on south side east from downtown towards 17th ave.  That path by the new bridge in Inglewood has a relatively short actual closure (differs from map), but easy enough to work around plus had the benefit of some friendly dudes greetings (ie bums?).  Still a beautiful ride through the sharply winding paths - heads up folks as the bush has made it hard to see oncomers if you're going fast.  Sometimes a pro-active bell-ring before starting the winding parts helps alert others so they slow and/or move over to avoid a head-on.  

From 17th Ave heading west again nice ride until the Zoo where suddenly that entire zoo section was closed off.  Reroute puts by the Spark, then off onto St. Georges which is poorly signed for cyclists and motorists.  Via some zig-zagging on the roads you can get back to the MUP on the north side of the zoo.  Looking at the city detour map and my actual experience it was clear that detour signs right at the Memorial bridge and zoo parking lot were missing... plus they had a detour sign a few 100m north from there which didn't align with the map.  Again, city detour signage and internet data not playing nicely.

As of writing the online system says construction until end November.


912R's picture

This is my usual route

Yes that pathway closure has been in effect for a couple of months now and I agree it's poorly signed for a detour. Not sure what the scope of work is that they are doing on the path behind the zoo - my only hope that at the end, they repave it! (dreaming...).  Even the detour has been tough some days as for about a week, they were using the pathway up to the St George's Drive bridge too so you were really screwed.


In June-ish they were replacing a power pole right at 16th ave on Nose Creek MUP.  That was a real mess. Not many alternatives there.

912R's picture


I noted last night that some of the signage for the closure that's meant to be posted along the path has been thrown into the bushes.  So that's helpful.

RichieRich's picture

Scary - unsecured fencing

To share the basics: Ariel Kincler was riding his bike on a path designated for both cyclists and pedestrians along St. Jacques Boulevard under Highway 20.A loose piece of mesh attached to the wall of the underpass caught on his handle bars, sending him sprawling face first into a metal railing.


OK so here's the issue.... this "errant" piece of mesh or fencing issue happens often here on our paths.  I've seen it.  I've administered first aid in fact to someone last fall that this happened to (it was by that new park along the Bow River on the way into DT from the West).  I also know first hand of someone who got caught in that poorly rolled-up fence across from CBC (which has now been removed) that resulted in a broken wrist.  I've had close calls myself.  WTF are the crews thinking when they don't adequately secure or remove this stuff?  Folks... if you see a safety hazard PLEASE own it and see if you can take a moment or two to secure it or attach some ribbon/cloth to make it more visible and then report ASAP to 311.  anyways... Sunday eve rant...  over.

gyrospanner's picture

Good Advice!

If you see it, Report it.  That piece of rolled up fencing by the CBC always caused me to wince everytime I rode by it.  I'm sorry to hear that someone got hurt because of it.

Next's picture



you mean orange/red plastic construction fencing?