Highlands Fling: Critical Lass July 2013 ride report

Highlands Fling: Critical Lass July 2013 ride report

Duly noted: if you set a ride date for immediately following a visit from family that prevents you from doing a reminder post or properly promoting on social media, on the same day as both a big road ride (Tour de l’Alberta) and a hotly-anticipated community garden bike tour, you won’t get particularly great turnout. Quelle surprise! However, the four of us had a lovely long ride, and the weather was absolute perfection.

I loved seeing this puppy out for a ride in a wire basket panier - if you zoom in you can see s/he was carefully secured, too.
I loved seeing this puppy out for a ride in a wire basket panier – if you zoom in you can see s/he was carefully secured, too.

Our route was from Bike Bottleneck, across the High Level Bridge and through downtown to Boyle-McCauley, up the LRT MUP to 112 Ave, then through the residential streets and along beautiful Ada Boulevard to the little shopping strip in Highlands (which is mostly closed on Sundays).

Mandy, her little one, and Cheryl, before our departure from Bike Bottleneck.
Mandy, her little one, and Cheryl, before our departure from Bike Bottleneck.

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We joined up with the LRT MUP where the train emerges from underground and there's all this amazing street art on a free wall.
We joined up with the LRT MUP where the train emerges from underground and there’s all this amazing street art on a free wall.

 

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Several buildings along the tracks are now sporting snazzy murals.
Several buildings along the tracks are now sporting snazzy murals.
We peeled off the MUP beside the Stadium onto 112th Ave, which we quickly forsake for the quieter residential roads.
We peeled off the MUP beside the Stadium onto 112th Ave, which we quickly forsake for the quieter residential roads.

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Gorgeous view of downtown.
Gorgeous view of downtown.
You can see Refinery Row from the Ada Boulevard bridge over Wayne Gretzky Drive.
You can see Refinery Row from the Ada Boulevard bridge over Wayne Gretzky Drive. Oh and there’s some weathered paste-up street art at one end of the bridge.
We enjoyed Ada Boulvard so much that we had to then double back a few blocks on 112th to get to our destination.
We enjoyed Ada Boulvard so much that we had to then double back a few blocks on the sidewalk on 112th to get to our destination. Not a lot of curb cuts.

Our stop for a snack and a visit was Mandolin Books & Coffee, one the city’s used bookstore gems. You have got to try their butter tart bars.

(There are also the cutest yarn-bombed bike racks out front.)
(There are also the cutest yarn-bombed bike racks out front.)
Seriously. Butter tart bars are the most delicious thing ever. And the lattes and samosas (which have a flakier pastry than usual) are also pretty awesome.
Seriously. Butter tart bars are the most delicious thing ever. And the lattes and samosas (which have a flakier pastry than usual) are also pretty awesome.

On the way back we took essentially the same route, passing some guys on ladders who were adding work to the free wall, and found ourselves at one of the city’s coolest new spots and a fellow Make Something Edmonton project: the LIVINGbridge. We especially loved the ‘three sisters’ beds of corn, beans, squash, and nasturtiums.

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See the benches? They're from MADE In Edmonton's Street Furniture competition.
See the fantastic benches? They’re from MADE In Edmonton’s Street Furniture competition.

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Then we rode through downtown via 104th Ave and 107th Street, and through the Leg grounds to the High Level Bridge.

I loved the way this building reflected the sky.
I loved the way this building reflected the sky.

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East side of the High Level Bridge. All those nozzles are from the defunct Great Divide Waterfall.

Our next Critical Lass ride is scheduled for Saturday, August 17th, starting 1pm. We’ll meet as usual by the Garneau Streetlamp at the corner of 109th Street and 88th Ave. Let’s talk about the route on the Facebook event page.

 

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