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.
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.