Regular readers already know that we go for bike rides in the country near our small city of Beaumont. Most also know that we ride our E-bikes on these outings. I bought my Patty a Benelli E-bike 2 years ago, as arthritis in her knees makes heavy pedaling painful.
For much of last year, she rode the Benelli E-bike around our town and I rode a standard bike (well my almost worn out standard bike). This did encourage me to get much fitter, as we were riding 10-15 km at an outing. This may all have been part of her plan.
On these outings, we nicknamed our little French Canadian city “Blow-mont”, as no matter which direction you rode, the wind was always in your face. We even tried riding our circuit in reverse, but it always had the same result. Beaumont is also known as the Town on the Hill, so it could be this topographical feature that causes the wind effect. It also helped to divert the 1987 “Black Friday” tornado around the town, so it is not without its merits.
Patty found the Benelli too large for her, so when we went to a bike shop a year ago and found a clearance sale on Electra Townies, we got one. Now we have 2 E-bikes, which have been a blessing during the pandemic, as they allow us to travel and get some exercise, while keeping our physical distance (not from each other).
One day, instead of circumnavigating our city, we turned East on 505 and wondered why we had not done this before. We rode about 23 km (14 mile) that day and since then, have never looked back. Travel distance increased on successive outings, until our maximum distance on a single outing was a 47 km (29 mile) ride to Rollyview. This was where we were headed on this day, for a picnic.
The day was sunny and +20 C (68F) under brilliant blue skies. The breeze was about 19 k/h (12 m/h) gusting to 30 k/h (19 m/h) NNW when we left and increased to about 23 k/h (14 k/h) with gusts to 35 k/h (22 m/h) by the time we came home. We had an easy time going, as the wind was at our back most of the way, but, knew we would have a battle coming home. I deliberately conserved battery power by using no power most of the way out, except on the uphill sections.
These photos were taken on September 11, 2020.
On our way out, the cattle looked at us curiously, as we rode by.
Arriving at Rollyview church around 12:15 PM, we stopped for a small picnic lunch and to give our bums a break. The church was a beautiful backdrop, but somebody really needs to get up on the steeple and straighten that poor windblown cross.
The brilliant blue skies, village buildings and adjacent farms provided many photo ops. The flags show that the breeze had not abated.
Before setting off home, I took these photos of our bike control panels to show distance travelled and power remaining. The first shot is Patty’s Electra which has a trip meter on it. The second is my Benelli. The 4 power bars on my bike were a lie, as they dropped to three just as we pulled out of Rollyview, after lunch.
In order to get back home, we retraced our path East out of town, which was a piece of cake, until, we turned North on Range Road 233, into the full blast of the wind. Patty, always one to ensure I get into the photos suggested I ride up the road a bit and come back, so I got to ride a bit further. Was she trying to tire me out? It worked.
High above, we could hear the sounds of this flock of sandhill cranes, making good use of the wind that we were struggling against. They knew when the going was good.
Our overall ride was 47 km (29 miles) and even stopping for our picnic and photos, it only took about 2 hours 45 minutes. Coffee time on the deck……