The Current Normal – Country Club Cyclists

These photos were taken on June 19/20.

After our recent bicycle exploration of the rural countryside, East of our city, we promised ourselves to explore a bit further, the next time. You may or may not know that we have E-bikes, which assist greatly with overcoming the winds of “Blowmont” and the hilly roads in and about our city. I tend to use the ped-elec assist 50% of the time or less and even then, only to keep speeds up to around 15 mph (24 k/h). At one point, I had my speed up to 25 mph (40 k/h) coming down a slight slope with the wind at my back and assist turned off. My Patty’s E-bike has a governor on it and even on turbo she could not keep up, as the bike held her to the maximum speed allowed.

So it was that we set off, with batteries fully charged to see how far we could travel in 90 minutes. Soon out on the country roads, we turned East on Township Road 505. Vehicle traffic was light along the way, but it always seemed that oncoming vehicles would meet, just as they had to maneuver around us.

As we passed our usual turn around point, we had this sudden sense of exhilaration that we were exploring new territory. This was true, as in our 29 years in Beaumont, we had never ever driven out this way. We passed acreage development after acreage development, until we hit a T intersection on Township Road 505 and Range Road 234. Not yet ready to stop, we turned North until we hit the T at Township Road 510 by Eagle Rock Golf Course, where I took this rural photo looking West.

still a few farm fields in the heart of acreage country

We figured this was far enough and turned back to explore some of the acreage subdivisions. In truth, it was just like living out in the country. Not for us, though, halling water, septic fields and driving a long way to shop. Our oasis is our back yard.

Birds chirped, dogs barked, grass rustled, the sun shone and wispy white clouds streamed across the bright blue sky. Riding back home, I spied the daisy like flowers of the noxious weed, Scentless Chamomile. So pretty, but so invasive.

We were barely back on the bikes when I spied a nice patch of Alberta Wild Roses. Thank goodness for my long lens. I had no interest in wading into the grass and waking up the mosquitos.

On to the next subdivision which had hardly any trees, but acres of grass. Nearby, one owner was spraying nasty weed killer, but I just had to stop for these photos of the sky and clouds.

Time to head homeward, but the photographer in me had to stop again beside the perfect rural shelter belt of caragana and lilac hedges. The scent was heavenly and the buzz of bees drifted on the wind and there were those feathery clouds again. My Patty told me I need not have stopped in the haze of weed spray, after all.

As we rode West on 505, we passed several groups of horses. This one was closer today, but more interested in eating and swishing their tails at the bugs, than posing. Who can blame them?

Now closer to Beaumont, we passed a succession of bicycle riders, some serious on road bikes and some on city bikes, like us. As we passed, we acknowledged each other with a wave and a smile. We had made it! As my Patty said, we were now part of a country club without fees, but with endless benefits. Passing the serious ones, we shut off the ped-elec and made it look like we were working really hard. I am sure they paid us no nevermind. We were on two wheels. We belonged.

Arriving home, we had covered just over 24 km (15 miles) in our 80 minute ride. Life is good.

14 thoughts on “The Current Normal – Country Club Cyclists

  1. Biking is biking and we all wave to each other. It’s the way of the road. Love new country roads and especially biking them — my fav way to explore a country or in this case a section of your province.
    That’s sure late for liliacs to bloom — they are usually finished here by the first week of June but I guess it was a cool spring.

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    1. Very few people wave in town. It is like you are not a serious biker until you hit the country. I know when I lived in rural areas, even drivers would give other drivers a wave as they passed. It was a very courteous time and always made you fell like you belonged, even if you didn’t. With our long winter and wet May and June, most of the blooming trees were late this year. My Japanese Lilac, always notoriously slow, just finished its last blooms near the end of July. Thanks for reading Bernie. Allan

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      1. You are right — people on bikes only wave in the country now that I think on it. We still wave to drivers on our country road but we still also slow down and ask if everything bis ok(especially in winter) if a vehicle is stopped beside the highway on our way to the city.

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      2. Rural courtesy is the best. You never want to leave anyone stranded. When I hit a moose on my way to Calgary many years ago, it took 20 minutes for anyone to stop, even though I was in the middle of Red Deer. Allan

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      3. Even though most have cell phones sometimes that isn’t what is required. We ran out of gas on the Deerfoot in Calgary late at night and no one stopped. It was Feb and the Olympics were just starting. It was a long walk for a Jerry can while I sat with an 11 month old.

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  2. I still wave to bike riders in Sligo and whenever I have to wait at the junction for lights to change, there’s always someone striking up the conversation. For a long time I used to look back wistfully on my childhood and remember those fun rides around my neighbourhood until one day I decided to purchase a bike. It turned out to be one of the best decisions ever! I’m glad to hear you are having heaps of fun while exploring your backyard on bikes. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

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    1. Good for you. Some drivers do that here too, but others look annoyed and do their best to zip around you. Only one road rage incident here in the last two years, where one driver waited until he was about to pass and honked the car horn right as he drove by. Not sure what he was hoping for but a very dangerous thing to do, for sure. Yes, I cannot imagine our Covid time without bikes. Thanks for reading Aiva. Allan

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