and now, for something completely different.

We rode the Big Dipper.

Our 12-Mile Coulee mashup. Because of construction, the “scoop” of our route turned into a “well now where do we go?” mashup.

Okay, that title makes absolutely no sense, but check out the plot of this ride that Russ and I did yesterday.  I’ve seen some impressive GPS plot routes in my time (Space Invaders ftw!), but those are intentional from what I’ve seen.  If they’re not, that’s a series of miracles of coincidence and all parties involved should likely buy lottery tickets.  Ours was accidental.  It’s mirrored, as you can see, but it’s pretty darn close.  Ursa Major mirrored on Earth!  One minor difference is that in our dipper, the ladle has some steaming soup in it.  Nice.

Or it’s a steaming pile of something else, because what that ladle represents on our ride is a big pile of fail.  We wanted to do a fast mountain bike ride, and what easier target than the Coulee?  Heck, we’ve even ridden it in the pitch black in winter.  Summer should be an easy rip, right?  Well, with the City finishing off their ring road by removing the light at Nose Hill Dr. and Stoney Trail, they’ve completely blown up the nice meadow and tree-covered brook that used to make up the bottom of the trail in the park.  In fact, we had to trespass across the construction site to even get to the base of the trail to climb up (it was an up and down trek).

Still, it was a good ride, as shown by the Garmin Connect and Strava plots.  I don’t know why I post things twice.  My Yeti 575 needed a workout, and we had some good technical fun on the trail.  It really does give a good variety of terrain to ride through, and serves as a pretty good practice ground to really work out your technical skills.  In the middle of the trail, we were positively cooking.  I wish every ride could be like that.  You feel every corner, and the bike is just tracking exactly where you want it (for the most part).  You can’t get much better on a junky windy day than an awesome technical ride in a nice sheltered valley!

When we got to the end, we popped out of the lovely trail in the trees to ride straight into and exploded construction site, dirt and fences everywhere.  So much for the peaceful trail finish!  That’s where our “ladle” started, and we had do do a lot of meandering to get back to somewhere.

I recognize the need for the road upgrades, but quite honestly, this kind of stinks.

There were also some road upgrades on the trail itself.  You may have noticed a very eroded root section of the trail had been replaced and filled in with a better trail on the embankment to the left.  I don’t think the work was done there yet, but it’s a good start.  I never know who does this, but I’m constantly thankful for the hard work they put in!

So, mission accomplished.  We had what turned out to be a really nice ride on a really mediocre day, even allowing for all the useless meandering we had to do to finish our loop.

As a final note, I’ve been slacking off.  I’m going to start posting more again because narcissism rules.


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