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  1. #101
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    Jamming too many extra large slurpee cups will do that to the bar 😝

    I remember those bars on my bike back in the day. Served as a perfect slush holder, could ride with no hands eating a bag of old Dutch chips and simply bend over to get an instant brain freeze. Surprising never wiped out.

  2. #102
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    Hi guys. Just picked up a fat bike here in Edmonton. Mostly I ride east from Mackinnon ravine. I was wondering about trail etiquette at Hawrelak? One trail at river is groomed for XC and other trail is marked 'no bikes'. I suspect that is more for summer when horses are on the trail. Rode my 29'er on the XC trail last year and angered a few skiers (kind of understand as I do that myself on occasion). My tendency is to ride the 'no bikes' trail in winter. Thoughts??

  3. #103
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    In the winter I always ride the no-bikes/horse trail, and avoid ski trail. My "excuse" is that it's my commuting route (regardless of whether I happen to be commuting at that moment) and the horsetrail (although I've never seen a horse or evidence of a horse, summer or winter) is the lesser of two evils. If I do happen to see someone walking or running I yield or hop over into the unbroken snow.

    I think the only dirty looks I've gotten are from the birdpeople - the ones who stand motionless in the middle of the trail with birdseed trying to get a picture of birds eating out of their hands.

  4. #104
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    ^ Thanks. I plan to do the same.

  5. #105
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    I finally rode the trail on the north side of the river from Mackinnon ravine to Laurier park. I tried before in the summer and it was a nightmare but it's in excellent condition now!

  6. #106
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    ^ good news. The half of it that's closest to mckinnon can get crazily icy during the winter. Were you out in the -25 stuff this weekend?

  7. #107
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    ^ Yeah I got out today for just over an hour. My feet are the limiting factor and I may have to switch to flats.
    I have tried that section before on my 29er but it was too icy. Only one small section was icy today and the rest was rideable. Very nice.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by canbmw View Post
    My feet are the limiting factor and I may have to switch to flats.
    I'm not sure there's any solution for cold feet. I run flats, and after an hour they're like giant heatsinks. I've been thinking about trying a plastic/nylon flat for winter riding, but the trick is finding one with good, replaceable pins. Something like this or this.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I'm not sure there's any solution for cold feet. I run flats, and after an hour they're like giant heatsinks. I've been thinking about trying a plastic/nylon flat for winter riding, but the trick is finding one with good, replaceable pins. Something like this or this.
    After years of fighting cold feet...I finally went with Shimano winter boots first MW 80's for four years now MW 81s for the last three....I can get 40 minutes at -36C with a single pair of thermal socks

    What is really nice when you hit an ice puddle the water roosts up and splashs the boot you can feel the impact but no wetness and no coldness....

    They are a cleated boot....

    I liked the MW80 better but the MW 81 is good as well.


    They are also great for mountain tops etc in the summer.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    I can get 40 minutes at -36C with a single pair of thermal socks
    I don't have troubles on my ~30min commute, but "fun" rides at -25C are limited to about an hour and a half at which point my feet head rapidly downhill. Over christmas I did buy some neoprene booties from the Running Room that I'm hoping might work well as a wind/vapour barrier layer. I hid at home this weekend, but I should have gone for a ride just to test them out.

  11. #111
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    I ended up buying these boots last year Specialized Bicycle Components. If I use a hiking sock liner, a thermal heat pad, and wool socks over top, my toes stay pretty warm. I think the coldest I was out this year was last Saturday night. My toes were a-okay for about an hour and fifteen minute ride.

  12. #112
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    I have some Northwave Arctic GTX I bought last year and they are pretty good with a heating pad over my toes. I can get about 90 minutes out of that setup if it isn't too cold.
    I also put some Pearl Izumi softshell overbooties on when it was -23 and that improved things a bit. I probably would look at those 45NRTH boots if I hadn't bought new ones last year. Not sure how much riding below -20 I plan to do yet...

  13. #113
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    I apparently consider heatpacks cheating, although I don't know why. I always carry some with me, but they're supposed to be a last resort and I would never think of popping them in before a ride. And this is really dumb, because now I have a whole bunch of them that are approaching their best-before date since I never actually use them. Maybe I'll warm my toes for the rest of the winter.

  14. #114
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    I find that if I wait until my toes are cold, it's too late. The toe warmers are what gets me through a ride. Better to have the toe warmer and being able to ride versus not riding at all. Funny that my toes are cold but my fingers are usually warm.

  15. #115
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    My Lake winter shoes are good down to -17, below that an my feet got pretty cold. The very experienced manager or owner at a Winnipeg lbs told me that sometimes you just have to get off and walk or run to get the blood flowing back into your feet. It works.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  16. #116
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    Got out last night for a couple of hours at Terwilliger Park. All trails there are in superb shape. Snow was a bit soft as it was a bit warm, but the trails were still pretty good. Fireman's was good all the way up to the steep downhill section that you take after coming out of the single track. Hill was loose and after about 6 feet I put the bike in the snow bank and then proceeded to slide down the hill on my ass (snow pants). Made for a super fun, uncontrolled decent!

    The roller coaster trail that takes you to the paved path was all good. Lots of low hanging branches to be wary of, and one tree over the trail right near the paved trail.

    If the temperature was about 5 degrees cooler, the trails would have been that much better. Given it was night time, minimal people were out as well. Definitely the best trails in Edmonton that I've experienced this winter.

  17. #117
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    Yeah, a few posts back I was saying that winter riding in November and December is not my favorite thing, and not something I can really recommend. But now it's a new year, there's a little more daylight, the temperatures have warmed up (even if it's maybe a little too warm), and all the trails have a nice consolidated base - it's prime riding.

    I did the keillor slide area earlier this week, and it was better than during the summer because all of the giant ruts and crevasses are filled with snow.

  18. #118
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    ^ Do you access that from the pedestrian bridge at Hawrelak?

  19. #119
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    ^ Yeah, but it's a bit south. Specifically to get to the slide I would start here and head south.

    If you need to orient yourself that spot is directly west of the big set of stairs that come down from Sask Drive.

    You could also start here starting from the mup and head north, but that end is harder to find.

    It's kindof a goofy trail because sections of it are always collapsing, and it wasn't much fun last summer because it has a bunch of new holes in it. But right now it's in pretty good shape, and is just generally a nice spot. And it connects to the Equine Centre trail which is in good shape.

  20. #120
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    ^ Thanks. I know where you are talking about. I am pretty sure I have been through there a few summers ago. I plan to do a loop from Mackinnon through Hawrelak/Belgravia and back the north side of the river. Should be good on the fatbike this weekend!

  21. #121
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    Got out for three hours on Sunday. The single track that runs from Hawrelak Park to Keillor Road, and the single track that takes you from Keillor Road to the equine centre is in superb shape. The trail system reminds me of a bobsled track. The path is well packed, rideable by all tire sizes, and is smooth and rolling. Definitely a good section to ride.

    Mill Creek is good as well, but a bit harder given that some of the single track is off camber versus the Keillor Road section that is relatively level.

  22. #122
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    What's with that guy camped near the entrance to Dirty Mattress? He had a large dirty teddy bear laying on the trail and I beat it out of there quickly when I heard rustling inside the tarps. Anyone ever concerned for their safety around these folks?

  23. #123
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    Post removed
    Last edited by funnyjr; 01-14-2014 at 09:59 AM.

  24. #124
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    Just call the city of edmonton - parks and recreation dept. They deal with this all the time, and actually do stuff about it.

    There is no point to escalating this with a machette. Really bad advice funnyjr.

  25. #125
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    Machete? Jesus christ.

    The only time I've felt unsafe was when I ran into a large group of teenagers drinking on the trail. In my experience bums want to be left alone, at worst they'll ask you for a cigarette.

  26. #126
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    I've removed my post for the sake that it appears others are taking my sarcasm rather unrealistically realistic. Sorry if I offered dangerous/ unsafe approaches to deal with squatters in the river valley.
    Last edited by funnyjr; 01-14-2014 at 03:52 PM.

  27. #127
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    The only issue that I have with homeless people in the valley is that sometimes, they put up shop right in the middle of the trail, and secondly, that there is always a mess left behind.

    The dirty mattress point had a tent setup in the autumn too, right across the trail. If I was unfortunate enough to resort to tenting in the river valley, I would want my tent to be as far away from foot traffic as possible.

    The club trail maintenance/clean up days is always disheartening when you see all the crap that people just leave everywhere and anywhere. Clean up a spot and two weeks later, it's like you never cleaned up anything in the first place.

    Call Parks and Recreation, report the issue, and the rangers will have a look. You can see them visiting the public washrooms in the river valley at odd times, checking up on things here and there, and if there's someone tented right in the middle of the trail, they'll go have a look and conversation with whomever they find there.

    Agreed on the teenagers. Get a bunch of them smoking pot and drinking beer with a couple of girls around to impress and who knows what'll happen.

  28. #128
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    Couldn't resist going for a ride at lunch. There's a lot of crap on the trails, and not surprisingly a few downed trees. I was surprised by how soft the snow was. A lot of sections were fine, but there were quite a few where my 29er was breaking through the crust, and a few spots that were just 6" deep slush.

    Does anyone know what the coloured spots of spraypaint on the snow are for? I see them every winter, spaced ~50' apart along various trails.

  29. #129
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    That'll be the hash runners. It's also the reason you see random bits of flour on the trails in the summer. They're a drinking group with a trail running problem. A few 'hares' run ahead and mark trail with dead ends, twists and turns, and everyone else tries to follow the correct route to a pub.

    EdmONtON Hash House Harriers - Home Page

  30. #130
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    ^ thanks.

    That actually reminded me that the real reason I was wondering was because of the little white piles during the summer. I didn't know what they were, and was never sure if they were dog-safe.

  31. #131
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    Anybody been out this week on the MUT or single track? Just wondering if anybody has any trail reports.

  32. #132
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    ^ I've been hitting my usual commuting haunts around keillor/laurier/mckinnon/uofa.

    It's like I described above - some stuff is still firm, but there are plenty of sections where I'll sink a few inches (probably a bit less of an issue on a fattie), and then some sections of slushy and unexpected washouts. It's pretty random depending on exposure and tree cover.

    I'll probably ride my fixie this weekend and stay on the paved trails, because my 29er is just rutting everything up.

  33. #133
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    Conditions were great this morning! I could have easily been on my 29er also. Studded tires recommended.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13-img_1116.jpg  


  34. #134
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    Yeah, it was nice today. I figured it was too slushy for the fixie, so I took the 29er and didn't have any sinking issues.

    That camp on dirty mattress is crazy. It's not just the giant teddybear - it's like a little city in there (a very garbage-strewn city).

    I had a stick push my derailleur into the rear wheel on old timers. Never had that happen before. Pretty minor damage - I'll have to replace two spokes, wheel is a little out of true (although it may have been before), and I was able to bend the derailleur back by hand to get it working properly again.

  35. #135
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    What are some other single track like trails that I can fat bike on this winter season?

    So far I've done Terwillegar and surrounding trails, the lower trail from Hawrylak to Fox Drive, the trail from the top of saskatchewan drive down to fox drive, the rooty trail in Mckinnion (that rides just so wonderful without the roots), and the trails behind the old timers cabin on scona road to emily murphy park...

    Am I missing anything for winter ridable single track? Is cambodia good at this time of year?

  36. #136
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13


  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by feepa View Post
    Am I missing anything for winter ridable single track?
    The one that runs above Dawson Park gets plenty of foottraffic, and is almost always good. I haven't been on Rowland since Christmas, but it should be good. The various Ewoks are also probably good (haven't been on upper in awhile though). Not sure about Cadillac. Haven't been in Millcreek in awhile either, but it's usually pretty nice in the winter, even if it's just the mup.

  38. #138
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    oh ya- Ive rode millcreek a few weekend ago - that was pretty fun.

    Rode Cambodia last night. Very icy and hard to stay upright when right behind the refinery, but the trails past it towards the science park were in good riding condition.

  39. #139
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    Got out this morning for a couple of hours. Old Timers to Hawerlak, then over to the dog park, back up to McKinnon and back.

    Trails are in horrible shape.

    Single track is not too bad, but the snow is soft enough that you'll sink. Stray off the beaten path and you'll sink way down and since the snow is so soft, you'll come to a dead stop. All other trails were super icy.

    No wipes, but some very close calls. If this was spring, I'd be happy, but all of this is going to freeze and be super treacherous. Hopefully we get some more snow dumps to build the trails back up!

  40. #140
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    I had Friday off, so I went for a morning ride down to goldbar and back. Started at 9 and finished around 11:30, and the later it got the softer things got. Everything was rideable enough, but I lost track of the number of times I'd take a turn and have the rearwheel sink because it'd strayed off the path by an inch.

    Next week will be interesting, since a bunch of the trails are now all rutted and footprinted. When that stuff freezes solid it will make descents pretty tricky. I had a bit of that on Rowland, going downhill into a corner, and there was not a single clear line to pick.

  41. #141
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    Got out today at lunch for the first time since the temperature dropped. It's icy, and it's bumpy. It's bumpy enough to wish for suspension, and I say that as someone who barely rides suspension during the summer.

    Studs were okay. I don't know how fattires would work, but hiking is impossible. I did keillor and the equine centre, and the hike up at the west end of keillor only worked because I climbed up through the brush instead of the trail. So if you're picking a route, make sure you know how you'll get out of there.

  42. #142
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    Thanks for the update.

  43. #143
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    ^ for some of those quick up-downs in places like Rowland, I imagine someone getting stuck at the bottom and not being able to climb back out. Anything off-camber is incredibly dicey too.

  44. #144
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    Yeah, we need a good four inches of snow to get the trails back in rideable shape.

  45. #145
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    So that little bit of snow we got this week actually did a pretty good job of making things less treacherous. There were plenty of "potholes" though - old footprints and tiretracks in the middle of the trail that have frozen solid. I took the fixie today and stuck to the tamer stuff like oldtimers and mckinnon, and it was a pretty nice ride.

  46. #146
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    Rode my 29er with the ice spiker pro's through Mackinnon/Emily Murphy etc and it was pretty good but definitely icy. Interesting change from my fat bike as I definitely noticed the "potholes" a lot more today with the narrower tires.

  47. #147
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    Got out this past Saturday and basically did the same loop I did two Saturdays ago, just before the deep freeze hit us. Trails are in way better shape with the bit of snow we've gotten, but having said that, they're not that great. Still icy and slippery, just not as bad as before. Lots of permanent potholes along the trails, as already mentioned.

  48. #148
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    ^ did you take the fatbike? If so, how did it handle on the icy bits?

  49. #149
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    Took the fat bike, even though not really necessary. Handled pretty good on the icy parts. You still have to ride carefully, but the extra footprint still helps out. I would guess that the biggest thing going for it in the ice is that with the larger contact area, you don't tend to get bounced around as much as you would on a normal tire. Less bouncing and deflections help the bike from washing or skidding out.

  50. #150
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    What temperatures do you guys ride into in the winter? My wuss level seems to be about -15...

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