Spring At Last: April and May in Edmonton

Spring At Last: April and May in Edmonton

 

DomOnNewBike-31Mar13
Dom on his Norco ZX-80 at the end of March.

During April, I spent a lot of time supervising my 7- and 9-year-olds as they rode up and down our cul-de-sac getting used to their new-to-them bikes from local not-quite-little bike shop United Cycle (they had both outgrown their previous rides). Dom (above) has a Norco ZX-80 steel-frame mountain bike. It has 20-inch wheels, a hand brake, and a rear coaster brake. Audrey (below) has a Norco Groove with 24-inch wheels,  an 18-speed derailleur setup with twist shifters, and hand brakes. Both of them are now riding confidently enough that we can go for longer rides, and travel the mile to their school in about 10 minutes (depending on the timing of the lights where we cross the busy road).

Audrey on her Norco Groove in mid-May.
Audrey on her Norco Groove in mid-May.

On April 9th, I did a 30 minute ride by myself to explore the other end of the multi-use path along the top of Whitemud Creek Ravine in my neighborhood, on Trudy Phillips. Had to do a snowbank portage around a crane that was installing windows in a house under construction, and the path was mostly largely wet and sandy, but it was just above zero and the sun was shining. I found a feather on the path, watched some crows and a raven about twice their size, and found a new secret entrance to the big field under the power lines beside the Henday.

Trudy ('72 3-speed Phillips) on a dry patch of the MUP.
Trudy (’72 3-speed Phillips) on a dry part of the MUP.
Much of the path looked more like this, wet and gritty. Also, long down winter jackets = I would have baked on a less windy day or a longer ride. If I do take up winter riding I need a layering re-think.
Much of the path looked more like this, wet and gritty. Also, long down winter jackets = I would have baked on a less windy day or a longer ride. If I do take up winter riding I need a layering re-think.
Look what I found! We think it's a great horned owl feather, but we'll check with the experts at John Janzen Nature Centre later this week.
Look what I found! We think it’s a great horned owl feather, since there are a few that live in the ravine.

Multiple snow storms plus a newly-discovered allergy to snow mould that knocked me flat for two weeks meant that I missed much of the rest of April. But look what came in the mail while I was waiting for conditions to improve:

Oh! Look what I got in the mail! Don't be jealous, visit the Society of Three Speeds to get your membership. Three speeds is all you need!
Don’t be jealous, just visit the Society of Three Speeds website to get your membership. Three speeds is all you need!

By early May, the snow had melted, the snow mold had dried up, the paths had dried out (although they’re *still* covered in grit), and it was warm enough that the pussywillows were coming out and we could wear tank tops.

May 5th. Audrey riding ahead of me on the MUP.
May 5th. Audrey riding ahead of me on the MUP.

The Canada Goose sightings were also giving us hope that spring had finally arrived:

As you can see, this goose was really close to the MUP and not at all afraid of the humans whizzing past.
As you can see, this goose was really close to the MUP and not at all afraid of the humans whizzing past.

A week later it was 20C and glorious. I often joke that Edmonton gets only a week of spring, but this year it really was true.

MidMaySunsetRide
Green grass and warm sunshine, and the rod-brake DL-1 out of hibernation. Aaaah.
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