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  1. #1
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    <iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/62378919?color=f0e400" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> from Yeti Cycles on Vimeo.


    I think it's time to retire the Spring thread as it is October in just a few days. The last couple posts there was reference to the dynamic trail conditions out there lately. I concur, it's awesome out there, this is the best time of the year to ride a bike. Post some picks, give some advice, ask some questions. That's what these Edmonton threads are all about.
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    Where can I find a trail like this?

  3. #3
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    Colorado is my guess.
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  4. #4
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    Got out with Hardcore last night. Trails were in primo shape. Any rain that we had on Sunday was instantly sucked up by the trails. Ride went through Dirty Mattress, Old Timer's, Victoria's Secret, Route 66, down through Laurier Park, over to the Equine Centre. No mud, no mosquitoes, no dangling green worms, and the trails are easily 50% wider due to the falling leaves.

    Had some ice crystals in the air that were on the verge of turning to snow or rain at about 8:30pm, but whatever cloud was generating those crystals moved on. Weather was good. Spooked the horses at the Equine Centre (not on purpose, but moving lights in the dark, bzzzzz of rear hubs is going to spook the animals).

    Coyotes were howling around 7:30 down by the Kinsmen.

    All in all, great ride! Night riding is pretty cool in a larger group.

  5. #5
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    Yep, that's Colorado. Not a heck of a lot of Edmonton Fall videos out there of that quality...

    I got as close to a coyote as I could in Terwillegar yesterday. I would move 5 yards towards him and he would move 20 away. Lots of people with off leash small dogs who didn't even notice him, it was kinda funny. He seemed more interested in me and the mice he was trying to catch.
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  6. #6
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    What are the red posts in Terwillegar?

    Hi, does anyone know what those red posts in terwillegar are for?
    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13-photo-1-.jpg
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  7. #7
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    No idea what those posts are for.

    Got yesterday for probably the best day of riding this year when you consider trail conditions, temperature, trail coverage, etc (sorry, Ken). You'd be hard pressed to know that it rained last Monday to Wednesday. Trails were in great shape. No wet mud, no wet leaves, no wet roots, and no dust.

    Dirty Mattress, Canada Cup, Old Timers, Rowland, Andres Climb, Upper and Mid Ewok all in superb shape. Tonight's group ride should be excellent too!

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    Yeah, I went out on friday at lunch at it was slimy and gross, and I was pretty worried for the weekend. But by the ride home that night things had dried up nicely, and it was a pretty good weekend.

    There are a few of those red posts around the valley. My favourite is right next to the Keillor slide. I assume they're a power connection fed from a storm tunnel somewhere, but I really have no idea.

    I've been rocking dropbars on my 29er for the last week. It's kindof a goofy setup (needing a 35deg stem, and I'm still super stretched out) but it's definitely an interesting experience.

    Last edited by newfangled; 10-07-2013 at 01:52 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeroderby View Post
    Hi, does anyone know what those red posts in terwillegar are for?
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    They have the same posts out by my parents place outside of the city. Out there they are used for taking ground water samples because there is an abandoned garbage dump and they want to know what is leeching into the ground water from all the buried garbage. The posts go about 20ft deep.

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    Last night's group ride was great. Trail conditions superb. We got caught in the rain, but didn't really impact the riding until we hit Old Timer's around 8:30pm. The rain made things a bit slick, but not too slick.

    Came across couple of teenagers getting it on in Ewok. I guess next time, they'll be sure to do their business OFF the path not ON the path!

    One guy broke his chain, so that's two Monday night rides with a rider breaking a chain on each night.

  11. #11
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    A few years ago I was riding under the bridge to Strathcona Science Park and came across a pick up truck with a guy chewing down on his female partner. They sure looked startled.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

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  12. #12
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    Giddy up time:




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    The city is planning to turn some of the natural trails in Terwillegar into 3 metre wide gravel trails. Where ever you see the red posts on the trails in Terwillegar, the city contractor is doing soils testing and collecting geotechnical information so those trails are in danger of being destroyed (like the city did when they put in the paved trail going to the Henday bridge).

  14. #14
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    New steps carved into a steep section in Ewok...

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    Trails are in great shape, but crossing the newly opened QE park road sure is garbage. It's been bad enough waiting forever at the kinsmen for the light to change, but now there's also the stupidest crosswalk in the city to deal with. I've got to change my loops around.

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    Got out this morning Old Timers to Ewok and back. Took Newfangled's advice and dropped in at dirty mattress instead of crossing through the gong show across from. Kinsmen. Trails are in great shape.

    I'm always amazed in the fall at how much crap there is in the forest beyond the trail. Old clothes, tarps etc. that you don't notice when the leaves are up. The number of people sleeping in the river valley is also astounding, you never know they're there in the middle of the summer. Think I scared the crap out of a few hobos as I rode past

  17. #17
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    Was the green tent still setup at the end of dirty mattress, the one RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIL?!?

    Got out yesterday - saw three tents setup, one of them right in the middle of the Canada Cup trail, the others way off trail towards Ewok.

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    Haha no! But I would have soiled myself if I came to the bottom and ran into that.

    I did see a giant green 6-8 person tent on my way back to old-timers. It was pitched right on the side of the trail behind the chain-link fence that is still 'closed due to flooding' leading to the river Queen from Ewok. Heard movement in there too. Maybe it's the same tent and he/she decided it was a good idea to move out from the bottom of a fast moving bike trail.

    I wonder if the city ever cracks down on those guys, I mean that tent was enormous, bright, and hard to miss.

  19. #19
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    I did see bike cops checking out a campsite on Victoria Secret awhile back. It was kind of funny, because they'd locked their bikes up on Victoria promenade and then walked down. But I guess it wouldn't be appropriate for the police to be seen hitting the singletrack.

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    Shame... In my mind riding the singletrack would be the best part about being a bike cop.

  21. #21
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    The green tent is still there. When you come out of dirty mattress, it's right smack in the middle of the trail. Saw three new tents last night as well. Those tents are way off trail (and could have been there all year, who knows), but the one tent right in the middle of the trail is a bit much.

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    I saw two bike cops riding their police bikes on the singletrack around old timer's this summer. We passed each other so we didn't get time to talk, but in passing I said 'you guys get to ride trails, too?' and one of them replied 'of course!'

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    The green tent is still there. When you come out of dirty mattress, it's right smack in the middle of the trail. Saw three new tents last night as well. Those tents are way off trail (and could have been there all year, who knows), but the one tent right in the middle of the trail is a bit much.
    It was still there Sunday Oct. 21.
    I was surprised at how many tents are out there. Us night riders are really going to start bothering people.

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    Got out today Old timer's to ewok, spent some time just past wayne Gretzky bridge. It was my first time there and aside from the stench (does it normally smell that bad there? Like raw sewage?) had a great time. Rode back home via equine centre.

    I Skipped the singletrack linking Hawrelak to Keillor, last time I was there was before the flood and it was SUPER sketchy. Anyone know if it is still rideable?

    Lots of trees down by the river queen: could be beavers? The wind on Saturday? The tent dwellers? There's a neat little feature around there with two ladder bridges over a log leading into a fun downhill. It's now inaccessible with so many trees fallen.

    Tents are still everywhere. I'd love to know who these people are. Are they all homeless, or are some people camping out? Either way, I'm not going to ask, I'm a little scared of them. I have to admit that I ride a bit faster when I see a tent by the trail

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrich View Post
    I Skipped the singletrack linking Hawrelak to Keillor, last time I was there was before the flood and it was SUPER sketchy. Anyone know if it is still rideable?
    Sortof. There's some sketchy bits to the north that have dropped and shifted, but are still hanging on. A little further south there's a new line that avoids some of the other super sketchy stuff that used to be blocked off with a snow fence. And then as you get closer to the Keillor slide there are some holes/crevasses that need a dismount. I wouldn't be surprised if it all disappears if we get another good flood.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrich View Post
    (does it normally smell that bad there? Like raw sewage?)
    Yes, the waste water treatment plant does often smell like a waste water treatment plant. =P

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    Managed to get out before the weather turns for the worst on Sunday. Surprisingly, did not see any other cyclists out on what was a pretty nice afternoon.

    Close to the Wally drop in:




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    The tent is gone from dirty mattress. I think they just moved, since I saw two similar green tents off in the trees in other spots.

    Anyone ever ride the singletrack that wraps around Oleskiw? It's basically where the connection will be from the Ft. Ed pedestrian bridge to the new Terwillegar bridge once it gets built? There's a couple of kilometers of continuous trail, and it looks pretty well-riden, but it's very tame, and it doesn't really go anywhere. With the leaves down I was in there looking for trails branching off into the trees, but wasn't successful. It's still a neat place since it's completely empty.

  29. #29
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    Rode that trail last Monday. Once you scoot under the big ass tree, it's just a nice mellow ride to the clearing. The few log piles keep things interesting, though. I'm sure that once the new bridge is built, it'll connect up to it, alleviating the need to do pavement riding if one is heading out to Terwilliger.

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    Yeah, all the log piles make me wonder who rides there because it must be pretty well used. When the bridge gets built I wouldn't be surprised if it all gets turned into double track or pavement, though. It's mellow enough that the city could probably widen it pretty easily.

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    I ride that trail fairly often. It's not too far from my place and it's great when I'm not in the mood for the technical trails in Patricia.

    It's going to be great once the footbridge goes up. Not having to climb the death hill leading to Terwillegar after crossing the Fort Edmonton bridge will be a dream.

    I think you can count on the trail being paved over once the bridge goes up. Also expect to see some big changes if construction access to the footbridge ends up coming through the North-west side of the river (through the country club or new housing development)

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Yeah, all the log piles make me wonder who rides there because it must be pretty well used. When the bridge gets built I wouldn't be surprised if it all gets turned into double track or pavement, though. It's mellow enough that the city could probably widen it pretty easily.
    I've rode it a few times this year - basically ends where the footbridge will be. Like the log roll overs...
    And yes, that is pretty much the plan - that path, or close enough will be made into either gravel or MUT.

  33. #33
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    Last night's group ride was cold. Very cold. Time to put away the full suspension as it just acts gross when the weather gets cold. Trails were pretty good, but the ground is pretty hard and slick in spots. Going to have to get out another night before the crappy weather hits us again next weekend.

  34. #34
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    Beaver's be crazy:


  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    Beaver's be crazy
    Every time I ride by there I do a double-take.

  36. #36
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    Time to bring out the fatbikes.... Wish I had one to bring out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by funnyjr View Post
    Time to bring out the fatbikes.... Wish I had one to bring out.

    Same here.

    I don't understand why bike shops don't offer financing. I'd have a sweet winter ride and they'd get to sell more bikes Win/win, right?


    Speaking of which, does anyone ride their 'regular' bikes in the snow? Do you guys make any adjustments to your bikes or any modifications?

  38. #38
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    I think there are maybe 5 days a year when a fatbike would be handy. I'm sure they're fun, but any normal bike works just fine, and 29ers are great. I really do like studs though. And 2 of my bikes are rigid so I don't have to worry about mucking up suspension components.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnitzelstein View Post
    Speaking of which, does anyone ride their 'regular' bikes in the snow? Do you guys make any adjustments to your bikes or any modifications?
    All I do is throw on the studded tires, yet I rode without those for quite a few years but wouldn't recommend that. Kinda stupid and dangerous with ice. I agree with Newfangled below, nothing wrong with your regular bike for Winter trails.
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  40. #40
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    Here's a fun one from last year:


  41. #41
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    Regular bikes work just fine in the winter:


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    Excellent!

    I picked up some studded tires and went for my first ride in the snow yesterday in terwilliger. It was different for sure but still pretty fun.

    Now to figure out the clothing thing... Arg.

  43. #43
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    Everyone will be different, but here's my standard list:

    0C - Start wearing shell jacket and merino skullcap.

    -5C - Add flip-top mittens over my fullfinger gloves. Add 3-in-1 poly balaclava which covers my head, but lets me leave my face open. Add lightweight tights under shellpants. Switch to cheap, oversized hiking shoes with thick worksocks (I run platform pedals all year anyway).

    -15C - Switch from mitten/glove combo to Snowboard gloves. It's probably time to start using the 3-in-1 balaclava as an actual balaclava.

    -20C - Add fleece sweater under shell. Switch light tights to fleece tights. Add second layer of worksocks. Add second liner to gloves. Possibly use forearm/calf warmers.

    -25C - Add neckwarmer over balaclava. Use both the fleece tights and light tights. Definitely use forearm/calf warmers. Add ski goggles.

    -30C - Pretty rare so I don't have any specific gear, but I make sure to have some chemical hand/toe warmers easily accessible for emergencies.

    The biggest scare so far was at around -20C when I stopped at redbike for some shopping. My gloves had gotten a little sweaty on the ride there, and they were still damp when I headed out again. That little bit of moisture made the gloves spectacularly useless, and riding across the high level was a nightmare, so I almost needed to bail to a coffeeshop or gas station to warm up.
    Probably the most surprising thing is that I wear a baselayer with a windbreaker down to about -20 (usually -18). Once I add fleece I start sweating like crazy, but it has to be pretty cold before I need it.

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    Great write up.

    I've got warm/wicking baselayers covered but I'm having a hard time finding an outer layer that won't trap any moisture in. Do you know of any good jackets/pants made for that sort of thing?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnitzelstein View Post
    I've got warm/wicking baselayers covered but I'm having a hard time finding an outer layer that won't trap any moisture in. Do you know of any good jackets/pants made for that sort of thing?
    I just use a boring running/cycling jacket like this. Everyone will be different, but I find that big armpit zips are all I really need. (although it's also a few years old and has been washed many times, so it's waterproofing is long gone)

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    For outerlayers this is my baby here: Eddie Bauer - Sandstone Soft Shell Jacket customer reviews - product reviews - read top consumer ratings

    I wear it through all seasons and it serves me well with different configurations underneath (I rode Tuesday morning in -15 with a baselayer, fleece, and my softshell.) My hands get cold easily so I break out my heavy gloves earlier in the season.

    (although it's also a few years old and has been washed many times, so it's waterproofing is long gone)
    Have you tried this product here for waterproofing? Works like a charm.

    (I've never tried the advanced options on here, so this was my first shot at it. Forgive me if there are random links and html tags all over the place)

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrich View Post
    Have you tried this product here for waterproofing? Works like a charm.
    Thanks, but I actually like that it isn't waterproof anymore since now it's nice and breathable.

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    A lazy ride for me today. Victoria, Groat, Mckinnon and around hawrelak. Winterbike is still setup as a singlespeed which is just a little too tricky for climbing snowy singletrack.

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    Slightly less lazy today - down to ewok, and then back by old timers, the canada cup, and the university. Really nice conditions, with basically no ice, and not too much snow. Even as a singlespeed it was a pretty competent ride.

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    Got out yesterday and today. Today was a nicer day, but yesterday was better day for riding IMO. Some crappy shots from today, and yes, Old Timer's is in fantastic shape.






  51. #51
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    Hi, I lived in Edmonton for 8 years and started the original Riding In Edmonton thread. Winter is certainly a challenge. I used to deal with it by going on a road trip South every winter. If it is possible to get away do it. The winter will be shorter and the trails in the SW US are incredible. For riding in the city I usually chose me single-speed for the simplicity and easy maintenance. I never worried about waterproof but wind proof and breathabilty were my top concerns.

    I retired in July and moved to Cumberland BC on Vancouver Island, partly for the mountain-biking. I can hit world class trails from my door year round. Winter is wet so now waterproof is a concern. Too much steep climbing for my single-speed but my 5/6" bike gets out 4 days a week. I learned that riding even in pretty hard rain can be a blast. The mud here doesn't stick and the trails remain in good shape. Cumberland is a hotbed of mountain-biking and quite a few of my neighbors ride (couple across the street, next door and and his next door). There is a large parking lot at the trail-head and there is almost always a car with a rack parked and on the weekends it can be full. There are always vehicles with mountain-bikes coming and going through town. My second ride here I hooked up with a group of like minded older guys and we get out twice a week together. In Edmonton I knew very few riders and never met any near where I lived. I commuted by bike to the base and was quite impressed by the courtesy of the drivers even though I was quite often the only cyclist on the road. The contrast is like night and day.

    I hope that this winter is short and mild for you.
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    I wonder when the suspension will stop working.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by alavan View Post
    I wonder when the suspension will stop working.
    You just have to compensate with higher air pressure and faster rebound. I don't ride my fully during the winter, but my hardtail is fine. Granted, the fork isn't nearly as responsive as during the summer, but it's good enough.

  54. #54
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    Snow flattens everything out, too. Riding Old Timers yesterday I was reminded that for the next 6 months there's no such thing as "technical" terrain. (And it feels like only yesterday that the snow was melting off in the spring, and I was having to relearn how to ride roots.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by alavan View Post
    I wonder when the suspension will stop working.
    Mine works down to aboout -15 C....I did put some lighter oil in.

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    Thanks! I'll try those tricks this winter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Mine works down to aboout -15 C....I did put some lighter oil in.
    Did you do the same to your rear shock?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alavan View Post
    Did you do the same to your rear shock?
    yup

    I just got some light fork oil from a motorbike shop.

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    Went for a bit of a ride south of whitemud park, was pretty decent.

    Seeing that creek there got me thinking.... I wonder if it'd be possible to ride that bad boy once it gets all good and frozen. Anyone ever do that?

  60. #60
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    Quote Originally Posted by schnitzelstein View Post
    Went for a bit of a ride south of whitemud park, was pretty decent.

    Seeing that creek there got me thinking.... I wonder if it'd be possible to ride that bad boy once it gets all good and frozen. Anyone ever do that?
    Use to ride there back in the day (circa 1993-94) then stopped mtb all together. When I got back into mtb in around 2010 I learnt that the entire whitemud valley was off limits to bikes. If I were still 16-17 I'd probably just ride there and not give a shit but now tend to be more a law abiding citizen. Hoping that the trails in there will be open to bikes again one day but seems chances are slim. Will just have to wait until the grandma's that walk their dogs there die off or for the mtb community to lobby Don Iveson into allowing bikes.
    Last edited by funnyjr; 11-13-2013 at 10:16 PM.

  61. #61
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    The dumbest thing about that ban is that the ravine is a really major barrier to cycling. I was trying to find a route to the Riverbend Library once, and the choices are: 122st, along whitemud by snowvalley, past the Terwillegar exit to 53ave; or down by the equine centre, around Ft. Edmonton, and up the back. Anyone commuting from the southwest to downtown could save a few km by cutting through the ravine. Iveson might actually be swayed by that?

  62. #62
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    Got out on Saturday before the City was able to clear the bike paths in Mill Creek. Axle deep snow! Made it to Muttart and headed across on the north side of the river where the snow was only 2-3 inches deep as the City had cleared the paths previously. Went across the High Level (again, not yet cleared so lots of mini drifts), then rode down Saskatchewan Drive that was not yet cleared of snow.

    Good times! Two wipes and countless fishtails!

  63. #63
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    Didn't get out for a ride on the weekend, but tromped through Victoria Secret and Groat with the dog yesterday. Changed my main winterbike over from ss to gears, and the commute this morning was pretty nice.

  64. #64
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    (required a bit more hiking than I'd have liked to get down there.)

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    Nice shot! Going to get again this Saturday. Forecast looks good and hopefully it's a clear and sunny day. Might have to take the camera and take some pictures.

  66. #66
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    I've got out-of-town guests this weekend, so today at lunch at -20C was really my only chance this week to goof around. I should get plenty of time outside at the dogpark though, so it won't be all bad.

  67. #67
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    My Rockshox Revelation Solo Air had some problems with other day in -17c. The seals shrunk and air "burped" from the positive chamber to the negative chamber. I was missing about 30% of my travel by the time I got home. My bikeshop called a Rockshox tech who said it starts to happen around -10c.

  68. #68
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    Strathcona Science Park - To Deep

    I was hoping the fat-tire bikes would have flattened out the paths. Unfortunately it looked like only a couple had been through there. Ended up walking my bike through half the trails. Maybe in a couple weeks, if we don't have another big snow fall.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13-2013-11-24-12.13.18.jpg  

    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13-2013-11-24-12.25.00.jpg  


  69. #69
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    I found the same at the trails at mcnally, just too deep to do any riding. I opted to go 'hiking' around the trails instead.

    Say, is that a Honzo? Ever since hearing about the 'all mountain hardtail' thing I've been really interested in them, how is it?

  70. #70
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    @schnitzelstein It is the Honzo. I think it's going to be amazing, but I only picked it up 2 weeks ago and it's just too snowy to give it a real workout.

  71. #71
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    Ahh, I see. I'm ganna try my damnedest to get my hands on one later in the winter. Hopefully they're not all sold out.

  72. #72
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    Got out yesterday for a good ride. Met a few others on the trail getting in a ride given the weather changes coming up this week. One was on a Specialized fully and the others were on Surly fat bikes.

    Single track trails in Mill Creek are all in really good shape. Single track trails by the Old Timer's Cabin are a bit loose still and not packed down as well as Mill Creek.

    Not sure what the chain link fence from the Mill Creek upper pool parking lot, down to the creek, and across the creek is for. Maybe the City is doing some sewer work within the fenced in area?

    Blocked trail:




    Mill Creek single track in great shape:





    Perfect day for riding:



    First time out with the big tires. Noticeable changes from my 29er in the snow:

    • tires make a huge difference in many ways. There is much less tendency for the bike to wander off the beaten trail. The bike sticks to where you want to go. With my summer bike, I would have to expend much more effort and concentration on keeping the bike upright and on the trail. With the Farley, it's more or less point and shoot.
    • self steer - the bike will self steer, or noticeably pull to the left or right on dry surface. When you add an actual turn to this, the bike really pulls you through the turns. Not noticeable in the snow at all, just on dry surfaces.
    • heavy wheels - much more effort is needed to get the wheels up to speed. No surprise there
    • feels "different" at speed - going fast with these wide tires feels slightly "off" and much less stable than on my regular bike. Not an issue as going fast in the winter time isn't really a goal of mine.
    • hill climb traction is abundant, but all terrain dependent. If the snow is packed, there's no issue. If the snow is soft and powdery, then it feels just like my summer bike, with not as many washouts.
    • Q factor - you can really tell the Q factor difference on these bikes. Makes me glad I didn't opt for the 190mm bikes (9:ZERO:7, Specialized, etc) and stuck with the "old" standard
    • Effort - any advantages gained by the wide tires is offset by the effort to get those tires up to speed and keeping the bike going. It's a good trade off as I'll take stability with more effort for snow riding.
    • "Knarly tires!" - quoted from a dog walker
    • Hummming tires - these tires hum, much like mud terrain tires on trucks do. There's a bit of noise on the snow, but there's a lot of hum on the dry surfaces.
    • Medium turns at speed actually feel more stable than the same turn at speed on the summer bike on a MUT. The tires really stick to the snow, providing the snow is packed.
    • Fun factor - way more fun riding this than my summer bike. These bikes are a definite game changer if you're looking to do some recreational riding in the winter. I'm not sure if they would offer a better setup to a dedicated winter commuter bike with studded tires.
    • Gearing - I went with a 32 x 11-36 cassette, but I'm thinking that a 30 x 11-36 cassette would be better. I didn't factor in the weight difference of the tires into my front ring decision and instead relied solely on the effective circumference of the wheel (similiar to a 29er, so I went with my 29er gearing). Many hill climbs had me in my easiest gear, so I might get the front ring changed up to a 30 from a 32. I'm using Race Face narrow wide rings with a SRAM clutch derailleur and I had no chain drop or slap issues.
    • Front tire washouts are not as frequent with these wider tires, but they do happen. This bike does not make one invincible on the trails, although it gives the feeling of invincibility.


    Forecast is calling for good riding weather again next weekend.

  73. #73
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    Very nice. Are those husker dus or dillengers? And what's the frame? I know what it isn't, but the turquoise has me stumped?

    Interesting to know about the hill climbing. Every fall I debate keeping my winter bike as a singlespeed, but the first snowfall shows me how silly that is, since mashing up hill becomes impossible.

    It'll be interesting to see what snow conditions are like later in the week, but I've been surprised how loose things have been. The stuff we had was mostly packed down, but seemed to be refusing to turn into really nice hardpack.

  74. #74
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    Trek Farley, frame option (built bike comes in black). Tires are 45N Huskers, 120 tpi.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    Trek Farley, frame option (built bike comes in black). Tires are 45N Huskers, 120 tpi.
    Cool. I've seen a ton more fatbikes this year. Even just on commutes some days it might be as high as 25% of the other bikes are fat. Saw one I didn't recognize this morning near Leva by the U that was a pretty bright blue or green.

  76. #76
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    The Farley looks awesome, lovin the paint. Good review of your initial impressions on the fat tires in Edmonton snow, I m awaiting a few parts for my fatty build to see what the fat tire fun is all about.

  77. #77
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    Well, I've been out in the cold/snow a handful of times now and I don't think it's for me. Riding is just a little too frustrating and weather dependent so I'm ganna opt for random walks and a gym membership to stay in shape over the winter.

    I'm going to try to sell my tires, hopefully I can get a decent price for them.

  78. #78
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    ^ that's too bad.

    I find it works best if you go somewhere with lots of dogwalkers. Ewok does usually get packed down, but it might take a week or two. I don't know if the sciencepark is ever rideable in winter.

    The other thing is that it's only been this week that we've started to get decent hardpack. Before that things had been rideable enough, but were still kindof...spongy? The recent snow and cold temperatures have noticeably firmed things up.

    But to each their own.

  79. #79
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    ...so I'm not trying to convince schnitzelstein of anything, but I feel like rambling a bit more.

    I think last May was reasonably nice? But June and July were absolutely terrible. Things got better in August, and were really nice through September and a chunk of October. Every "summer" we seem to lose 2 months (and not necessarily the same 2 months) to monsoon season. So that leaves about 4 months of riding? And that's assuming May and October are nice, which they often aren't.

    This is my 5th winter, and I'll say I'm probably not a big fan of November or December. The snow isn't packed down, and everything is so dark. But the last couple of years Jan/Feb/Mar have been fantastic. You do have to ignore the occasional -30, but temperatures are often relatively nice, the sun starts to come back, the trails are solid, and you're starting to get cabin fever by that point. It's way more fun than the 2 months of monsoon season. But it's also an acquired taste.

  80. #80
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    Got out last night for a couple of hours. Not many people out. With the cloud cover, one could have easily rode in the river valley without any lights, it was that bright out.

    Mill Creek single track was still a bit loose, so I stuck mostly to the MUT trails. Some of the MUTs were a bit loose too. It's very easy to see that we have had a lot of snow in the past couple of weeks.

    Mill Creek single track:






    Couple of skaters on the rink behind the legislative building:




  81. #81
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    The freehub on my hardtail started to fail at the end of fall (oem giant wheelset), so I used that as an excuse to do my first real wheelbuild for that bike. But I certainly wasn't going to just toss the old wheels, so instead I got a bolt-on cog for them. On the weekend I swapped them over to my dinglespeed and turned it into a fixie:




    I tried a bit of the trails around oldtimers', but even at the best of times this bike is geared too high for snowy trails. And hike-a-bike with a fixie really sucks since you have to keep clear of the constantly rotating pedals. So I've been sticking to the cleared stuff too.

    I've never ridden fixed before, and it's interesting. So much mountain bike stuff doesn't work: attack-position, weight shifts, dropping behind the seat, digging your feet into your pedals when braking. I feel pretty inept.

  82. #82
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    A fixie on the single track would make for some interesting riding, or interesting crashes!

  83. #83
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    In the summer that bike gets bigapples, and as a singlespeed it's actually pretty capable on the flatter trails like oldtimers or even groat. So it will probably see some trailtime as a fixie. And hopefully by summer I'll have figured out how to lift the front wheel, because right now it seems impossible.

  84. #84
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    Fixed on single-track is loads of fun........until it gets steep. Then it gets exciting! When I lived in Winnipeg I turned my old Kona into a single-speed because the trails in the city were getting stale. After a while I flipped it over and road fixed and it made the same old trails new and exciting. There are no long or steep hills in Winnipeg so it was quite doable. In Edmonton I flipped it back so I could coast the faster hills but I will probably try it again. It makes you very focused.
    Formerly Travis Bickle

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  85. #85
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    I've had 2 singlespeeds for a couple of years now, so I figured this was a good excuse to switch things up. But both brakes are going to be staying on forever.

  86. #86
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    I know it's pretty quiet around here in the winter, but I hope no one minds me posting this:

    Opening a new BikeWorks South | Indiegogo

    Edmonton Bicycle Commuters is doing fundraising because they have to move their southside shop. I've been volunteering for a few years, and have learned an awful lot there. If you're familiar with the old location, the new spot will be about a block away in the old Videodrome location on 102st and 80ave.

    Bikeworks is apparently the oldest community bikeshop in North America, and while it isn't particularly mountain-bikey it does have a bunch of the fancy tools - headset press, truing stand, dishing tool, tensiometer, alignment gauge, chasers, facers - that can come in handy.

    It's a kickstarter-type setup, so there's swag for the various contribution levels.

    Sorry for the disruption.

  87. #87
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    Any gently used or in some cases, new but never used, bike parts that I accumulate goes here. There'll be a couple of complete bikes that I've got hanging around that will find their new home here as well. Good cause.

  88. #88
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    Nice day for a ride, but the singletrack is impassable:

    (I assume even a fatbike wouldn't be much help here)

    I walked the oldtimers' trails on the theory that the more traffic through there the better. I could ride if there was downhill slope, but flats or climbs meant hiking.

  89. #89
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    Got out last night with Gord962 and we ended up riding quite a bit at the dog park by Jackie Parker Park. Snow was very deep in some sections, but the trails were pretty good otherwise.

    There were some hike a bike sections in other areas we rode where the snow was knee deep. Big change from Wednesday when we last rode the same sections.

  90. #90
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    In November everyone was making a big deal about how much snow we got. But comparing it to pictures from last year it looked pretty much the same. But with everything we got last week I will agree that we officially have a lot of snow.

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    Decided to take the plunge and got a Surly Fatbike with my buddy.

    I got the pugsley and he took the moonlander... Was a lot of fun riding around Terwillegar today. Look forward to being able to ride a lot more year-round now.


    image by peeflar, on Flickr

  92. #92
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    Got out yesterday. Mill Creek to Muttart was pure ice. The river valley itself was decent. Old Timer's MUT's were narrow and challenging and the single track, didn't even bother.

    The snow is a lot easier to ride on when the temperature is more like minus ten degrees compared to the zero degree conditions we had yesterday.






  93. #93
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    Rode oldtimers today without incident, but none of the other singletrack looked worthwhile. Since it was pretty chilly no one was out tobogganing, so I did a couple of runs down gallagher park hill which is always goofy and fun. It's nice and packed without being icy, although it sure is hard to spot the bumps.

  94. #94
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    Had planned to go to work today, but didn't have anything pressing so decided to take a vacation day instead and enjoy the weather:




    Trail above Dawson and Kinnaird park is in great shape.

    Trail between Goldbar and Capilano is 1/2 good. The old/east end is solid, but the newer/west end is pretty loose, and the switchbacks are probably going to be killer regardless.

    Rowland is getting there. All the ups&downs means spinouts and washouts. Did a lot of hiking, and bumped into two other guys who were in the same boat. We lamented that us skinny-tire folk were doing the trailbreaking. A fatbike might have been more successful today.

    After that I was feeling too lazy to climb up to Cadillac or Upper Ewok, so took the mup around Riverside.

    Lower Ewok was good. Birdhouse was good. The pumptrack trail was good.

    Nothing around the riverboat has been touched.

    Old Timers is good.

    Dirty mattress looks basically untouched at the NE end. And kinsmen looked pretty untouched.

    Yesterday I did Keillor/Laurier/Mckinnon, and they were all in good shape.

  95. #95
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    Nice long ride on the fixie today, including taking it on singletrack for the first time on lower ewok and birdhouse:


    Rode around riverside golfcourse, and when I got to the Dawson bridge I realized that I couldn't remember the last time I'd braked or thought about braking. It was one of those zen-trance things that fixed riders always talk about, because I'd covered a km or two and had basically no memory of it. Very weird.

    I was planning on tackling old timers when I noticed a big crack in my beloved bullmoose bars:


    I've got a treaded>threadless adapter so I can use some newer stems and bars I've got lying around, but I love the bullmoose bars and am going to have to hunt around bikeworks when it reopens to find a replacement.

  96. #96
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    What year is that Kuwahara frame Newangled? Bummer about those bars.
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  97. #97
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    1989ish. I got the frame, bars and a wheelset from Bikeworks for $30 a couple of years ago, so it's not the end of the world. It was pretty beat up, so I pulled the old decals off and got some custom ones made online. The bullmoose are amazingly comfy bars, though. The annoying thing is that Bikeworks just scrapped a lot of their excess inventory because of their impending move, and I'm sure that included a whole bunch of bullmoose. I'm going to check the northside shop, but it might be a while before I find a replacement.

  98. #98
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    What material are those bars made of? I might be able to have them fixed up for you. Funny, I was going to guess 88 or 90 for the frame but thought I might be way off... Ha!
    Fu(k cancer

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  99. #99
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    It's chrome ontop of what's presumably chromoly. But I'm sure it just came off some cheap 80s sears bike or whatever (the kuwi frame had a terribly narrow flat bar when I pulled it out of the pile). I'm just:

    1) disappointed, because the bike was perfect
    2) happy that I didn't seriously impale myself

  100. #100
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    Yep, it could have possibly been very ugly for you if you didn't notice the crack.
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  101. #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.

  102. #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??

  103. #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.

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

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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!

  106. #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?

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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.

  108. #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.

  109. #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.

  110. #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.

  111. #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.

  112. #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...

  113. #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.

  114. #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.

  115. #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.
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  116. #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.

  117. #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.

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

  119. #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.

  120. #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!

  121. #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.

  122. #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?

  123. #123
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

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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.

  125. #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.

  126. #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 04:52 PM.

  127. #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.

  128. #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.

  129. #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.

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  130. #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.

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

  132. #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.

  133. #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  


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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.

  135. #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?

  136. #136
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13


  137. #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.

  138. #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.

  139. #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!

  140. #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.

  141. #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.

  142. #142
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    Thanks for the update.

  143. #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.

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

  145. #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.

  146. #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.

  147. #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.

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

  149. #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.

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

  151. #151
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    I'll commute regardless (lowest is -32) but when it's below -25 I'm heading straight to and from work with zero goofing around.

    For weekend rides I'll probably be motivated to go if it's -23ish, but after about 1.5hours my feet get cold. I should remember to try the heatpacks this weekend.

    In trails news, watch out for icy sections. You're just riding along, and you come to a little downhill, and you see there's a square meter of ice that's been exposed because someone else has fallen, and you don't know how much of the snow around it is also just ice...I've come really close to biting it a few times.

  152. #152
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    I think -20 would be my wuss out temperature. Coldest I went was -15 but with a real bad wind chill. Tomorrow looks to be around -18 in the morning, so I'll be heading out to Terwilliger Park for 9:30am for an hour or so ride, maybe more.

  153. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I'll commute regardless (lowest is -32) but when it's below -25 I'm heading straight to and from work with zero goofing around.
    I'm curious as to what you wear to keep you feet warm. ???
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  154. #154
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    ^ if I actually tried to optimize my footwear I'm sure that I could do a better job.

    But in winter I wear some oversized, lowtop hiking boots that I bought from Winners for $50, and a bunch of socks. My socks are basically a work/thermal sock layer, a neoprene bootie (just got these to cut wind, and they seem to work okay but aren't magic), and another work/thermal sock. And I wear old socks with the toes cut out as leg warmers, which help a lot.

    That's worked fine for 30min commutes below -30, and about 1.5 hours below -20. If I bought some actual winter boots I'm sure I'd do much better though.

    Edited to add:

    Hmmm, maybe I should actually buy some real boots? Was out for about 2 hours today on the fixie, and the feet were definitely saying it was time to go home even though the rest of me was feeling fine.
    Last edited by newfangled; 02-08-2014 at 12:32 PM.

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    As a guy who used to work for 11 hours in a -22C environment all year round... let me just say to those who are dressing for cold. DO NOT OVERDRESS! This is especially true for the feet I have found. It causes you to sweat and that in turn will make your feet 20 times colder than they would have been otherwise. If your feet are just a touch cold, this is way better than being too warm.

    Just something to think about as regarding the above post.
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  156. #156
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    I figure this is worth posting since it's Edmonton and winter and bikes:

    2014 Winter Bike to Work Day


    Check out the moonlander with apehangers. I've seen him a number of times, but finally got a chance to chat.

  157. #157
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    Got out last night with Gord962 and did some night riding in the ravine from 50 Street and about 32 Avenue up to just before Jackie Parker Park. Is this the Mill Creek ravine still, just an extension south of the Whitemud? I don't know, but riding in this particular ravine in the winter is a lot of fun (probably boring in the summer). Snow conditions were superb, no ice anywhere, and only one dog walker out.

    If anybody is looking for a good place to ride, I'd recommend this park area. No fatbike required for the most part. Night riding here is better than day light riding, just due to the lack of trail activity. No technical riding, just nice snow hard pack.

    You can see where the MUT enters the trees just north of Minchau Park.

    https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=edmont...6&z=18&iwloc=A

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    I rode through the Canada Cup trails behind the Old Timer's Cabin yesterday. Right in the middle of the trail was a guy next to his 'camp' working on his bikes. He must have had 3-4 frames, a bunch of wheels/tires and parts lying all over the place. It was a mess. I kind of picked up, carried my bike over and kept riding. He sort of apologized but I wasn't going to stick around to chat as I suspect a lot of these guys are armed.

    Anyhow, I think I will call the City next week and see if this sort of thing can be cleaned up.

  159. #159
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    ^ I think that's the teddybear guy? He's got garbage everywhere.

    Had a nice ride on Rowland today. Cadillac is okay, although I don't know that I'll ever really like it as a winter trail. UpperEwok was pretty good, but the collapsed section in the middle is nasty - I got off my bike and did an out-of-control slide down on my butt. Kinsmen is finally rideable, although kindof crummy.

    Oh, and the city has marked off trees on the west end of the ironbridge and is supposed to start tree removal and bridge construction soon. I'm assuming the southend of the groat rollercoaster will be blocked for the next two years but hopefully a reroute will be possible? And hopefully victoria secret will be okay since it has the other entrance a little further away from the bridge.
    Last edited by newfangled; 02-17-2014 at 09:27 AM.

  160. #160
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    Not sure about anyone else, but I hid at home most of the weekend.

    But on friday I did take the groat rollercoaster for the first time in forever, and got to the south end to discover that the city had already started tree removal. It was blocked with brush, but backtracking about 30' I followed someone else's track and hiked my way up.

  161. #161
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    I did the Devon Blizzard race this past Saturday. A bit cold, but nothing too crazy. The snow was very granular and as such, quite slippery on the turns, even though the snow had been packed down. Fun "race". No real chances of passing until you were out of the bushes and onto the service road for about 200 meters. I just hung back and let all the fast guys get out on the trail, and then just followed the wheel in front of me (until that rider wiped, then I could pass ).

    Going to get out tonight after work for a short ride.

  162. #162
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    ^ was attendance at the race good?

    And do you know if that's the same winter race they were trying to launch a few years ago that kept having bad luck with the weather, or is it a new group? There are so many more fatbikes this year that I'm sure there'd be a lot more interest than there used to be.

  163. #163
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    But on friday I did take the groat rollercoaster for the first time in forever, and got to the south end to discover that the city had already started tree removal. It was blocked with brush, but backtracking about 30' I followed someone else's track and hiked my way up.
    I saw that from 102 Ave yesterday. Is that for bridge reconstruction? It's too bad about that. I suspect that trail has been there for a very long time. I guess it needs a new entrance from that end.

  164. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ was attendance at the race good?

    And do you know if that's the same winter race they were trying to launch a few years ago that kept having bad luck with the weather, or is it a new group? There are so many more fatbikes this year that I'm sure there'd be a lot more interest than there used to be.
    I thought that the attendance was great! There was 25 total fat bike riders and 17 "other" riders. Considering the weather, it was a good turnout. Not sure if this is the same race they tried to get started in previous years or not. I'll be there next year for sure.

    Got out last night. Mill Creek is in great shape. The upper section of Mill Creek by the frog pond all the way to the paved trail that takes you up and over Conner's Road is a bit dicey in some spots. You can see the ice below the snow in a bunch of spots.

    Did on single track trail in Old Timer's. Trails are good, but quite rutted with tire crevices, and a bit icy. I would imagine that normal size tires could get caught in the ruts quite easily. Lots of homeless people in there too.

    Despite being really cold, the trails overall are in good shape. The snow isn't compacting too nicely with the ice underlay, but once the weather warms up, there'll be some cohesion that's currently missing.

  165. #165
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    Riding around on fatbike today. Did Canada cup trails, old timers, mill creek, Ewok . What a blast it was to get out and ride. I even went out again in the evening but as temps dipped my feet froze. Wearing Shimano MW80 with Smartwool socks. If wasn't for frozen feet my ride could of lasted much longer. Bought some neoprene booties but extreme pain in the ass to get over my Shimano MW80's. Trying to figure out if Shimano MW80 vs Regular riding shoes with Neoprene booties which option is warmer? I really don't think the Shimano winter boots are meant for Canadian winters period. Wolfhammer's are too damn expensive and so are the Lakes. Man can't someone make a decent spd compatible boot that's extremely warm but somewhat reasonable in price and available.

  166. #166
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    I had the same issue last night. I could have stayed out for another hour, but my toes were frozen. I have Specialized winter spd "boots" and I think that they are really only good up to minus 5 degrees.

  167. #167
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    I think it's just really hard to keep a cyclist's foot warm for long periods of time. I run flats so I can try plenty of different boot and sock combos, and my feet are always the limiting factor. I max out at about 1.5 hours below -20ish, even if the rest of me is nice and toasty. Short of Sorel's with spds I don't think there will be a much better solution than using an oversized shoe with plenty of layers of socks.

  168. #168
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    My feet are the only part of me that gets cold during most rides, and are usual what makes me call it a day
    When my feet start to get cold, I just get off the bike and walk for a little bit. That warms my feet right up.
    Also, to slow the 'cooling' of my feet/toes, I tend to wiggle my toes/repeatedly clench my foot like a fist a lot while riding to keep the blood flowing.
    Without doing both these, your feet dont really move at all while cycling, and without the blood flowing, they get cold much easier.

  169. #169
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    Did all this yesterday but feet still succumbed to the frigid temps. Read about the Wolfhammer's and Lake 303 today and seems like they provide "better" warmth but still not perfect. Some reviewers have said the Wolfhammer's are super warm but dunno if that is their empty wallets talking. Oh well, hopefully above zero temps are coming soon and this cold feet matter can wait till next winter season.

  170. #170
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    Anyone with a fatbike ride report?

    Every year there's 2~3 weeks that I stay off the trails, but I'm really curious how much better fatbikes are for this kind of stuff?

    I only got out for a short ride today. Anything in the shade or in the trees was good, but anything in the sun was too soft.

    I know a few other people have icespikerpros, so I might as well mention that one of mine is disintegrating:


    Last week I noticed two spots where the tube was poking through the sidewall. I tried to patch them with fishing line, gorilla tape and crazyglue:


    But after a week of riding the stitches are pulling out, making an even bigger mess of the sidewall. Thankfully Schwalbe is sending me a warranty replacement, but until it gets here I think I'll have to stick with my fixie.

  171. #171
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    Did not get out this weekend. Pulled my lower back. Got out last Tuesday and Thursday when it was cold and fresh snow, which is now totally irrelevant.

  172. #172
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13



    It's a slush fest. Meltin like mad. Single track steeps unrideable no matter how many studs in tire.

  173. #173
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    ^ that's what I like to hear...it means I don't need to buy a fatbike. I'm still waiting for my replacement tire, and making do on the fixie.

    Normally I expect clear trails by April 15, or the week after that if we've had an extra amount of snow. But looking at the longterm forecast we could be a couple of weeks early this year.

  174. #174
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    there will be a big dump of snow or 2 before this winter is up yet.

  175. #175
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    Any new snow in April almost always disappears quickly. What keeps the trails from clearing is the 6" of dense hardpack that's frozen solid over the winter. That spine down the middle of the trail usually takes forever to melt, but this year a bunch of it melted off in January, and a bunch more is melting right now.

  176. #176
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    McKinnon, Emily Murphy, Canada Cup trails were in pretty great shape this am as it froze up overnight. Perfect conditions for a fat bike. Wouldn't want to be riding too much if the trails were any softer.

  177. #177
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    Any trail updates with the dump of snow ?

  178. #178
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    I didn't hit the trails today, but they've been pretty gross this week - slush, mud, ice, and only a little bit of snow. I doubt the new snow will do much, but the cold temperatures should firm things up.

  179. #179
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    Definitely much nicer this weekend than it was during the week. Dirty mattress had a few spots that were a pretty lethal mix of offcamber roots and ice, but otherwise things were pretty good.

  180. #180
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    Got out today for a good jaunt. Mill Creek, Cadillac, A-Bomb, lower Ewok and trails north side of river from Dawson to Queen E all in great shape! Sunny spots have mud, sheltered spots have ice, but all in all, good day for riding!

  181. #181
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    Which one's A-bomb?

  182. #182
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    Edmonton, Fall, Winter 13

    The one from McNally to Gretzky drive south side of river. It's gonna get this signage cause Andre carved this trail out and it's the bomb. I personally quite enjoy this trail going east to west but both ways actually ok.

  183. #183
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    Yeah, that's the trail. I agree - east to west is the best way to take this trail.

  184. #184
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    Has anyone been out to the Cooking Lake - Blackfoot trail system east of the city? Anything out there for singletrack fans?

  185. #185
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    The kettle ball race is out at Blackfoot. It's rolling double track flattened grass. Not a worthwhile trip for single track because as far as I know, there is none. It's a GREAT venue for the kettle cross race, though! Kettle Cross Enduro | A bike race of epic proportions

  186. #186
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    Edmonton spring/summer thread up! http://forums.mtbr.com/western-canad...-a-906700.html

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