Today’s bike ride…. a photo essay.

Hi bloggers,

If you know anything about me from following my blog, you know I like nothing more than pulling on my lycra shorts and riding on the trails around the city I live. Its fitness, its fun, and it feels wickedly kind of nekkid ;). No underwear, as per usual. 

 

SAM_3868
Self absorbed selfie. 

 

Ok, so I went out the front of the house this morning. The sun is shining, its not yet too hot to enjoy the day. There is no breeze at all and its a super comfortable 20C or about 70F. ‘That’s perfect for a bike ride’  I though to myself. Even the bugs are having a day off. Unbelievable.

I started my ride after pumping the tires in the shed. 50 psi, I like them kind of hard. As I pedalled off I thought about how damn nice it feels with no shirt and just a thin layer of spandex between me and the world. There was very little traffic, I took the back streets. My mission today was to ride from the south traffic bridge all the way up the river to the north traffic bridge. It probably took me about 1-2 hours, but I had no agenda, no where to be and only myself to answer to. Awesome.

 

SAM_3866
The south traffic bridge. 

 

 

SAM_3867
Sweaty jogger. I wonder if it was a personal best?

The air had a mild coolness about it as I rode onto the river trail. I stopped to grab some pictures at the area with the bench seats. A sweaty jogger came up the trail and stopped to check her watch before making the arduous climb up the steps to the parking lot above. The river level has come down a bit. It snakes its way gracefully alongside the city. In a way it divides the city, yet provides a focal point that brings us together.

 

 

SAM_3870
Saskatoon Shines. 

 

I crossed the first bridge and rode along the river trail on the far side of the bank. A lot of people are out enjoying the mid summer weather. There are  families and joggers, and bike riders, and everything. I rode by the skateboard park. A surprising number of people are using the park so early in the morning. I rode past the area that later would host the yoga in the park.

I continued on through the pathways at the city centre. I continued north, and rode past some bicycle cops. Eventually,  I found myself at the far north bridge. I crossed over it, taking some pictures as I crossed. Some people were fishing in the river. As I went onto the trail on the other side, I passed by a guy on his bike, out with his kids.

SAM_3875

The trail winds in and out of river bank tree stands, and occasionally opens up to panoramas of this beautiful city. A small furry mammal crossed the path and entered a burrow. ‘Was that a ground squirrel?’ I thought. A bee buzzed its way across my path. At the University crop area a harvester was collecting what looked like grain, loading it into trucks that drove along side it.

 

SAM_3878
I wonder what a police pursuit would look like on bicycles? I wonder if I could out ride them? I don’t want to find out. They have Tasers and shit. 

 

Soon enough, I was back at the Broadway area. The last piece of the trail that I took on was a windy dirt side track. It was a real rush scooting along and taking the turns and rises and falls among trees and bushes. I passed a couple of joggers, and had a close call with a bike rider coming the other way. It was a great day for a ride, and I’m happy to share it with you all, enjoy!

 

SAM_3879
Some tai chi ladies posing for a photo, with their fans. 

 

 

SAM_3882
The north traffic bridge. 

 

 

SAM_3883
Mural on the north bridge underpass. 

 

 

 

 

A bike ride on a sunny afternoon … a story with some shitty pics from a slightly foggy iPhone 6

Hey bloggers, I thought about not including pics here, because I kind of like pictures to be clear and focussed, but these are more looking like that greasy film over the lens thing, so I’m going to apologise in advance. They’re probably not that bad but not my usual standard. No reason not to share my blog, right?

So anyway, after getting home from work, I pulled on some lycra shorts (sans underwear, cause it feels really nice and it’s more fun!) and set off on a ride with absolutely no plan. I rode towards the city, down by the river. It was a glorious sunny day. Very few clouds, low wind level and warm temperatures.

One of the first things I noticed that the bugs are out. Mosquitos. If I stop for any time at all, they seem to find me. They will actually go well out of their way, going around other people to get to me, I’m sure. The most of the bugs out were those little black fly things that seem to swarm under trees or wherever. The tend to get in my mouth and eyes so I’m pretty set on keeping my mouth shut while riding. I stopped for a selfie by the river. It only cost me a couple of mozzie bites. Fuckers.

 

IMG_1697
Don’t look now but a mosquito has landed on your leg…. 

I rode up the river and crossed the University Bridge. There were plenty of people out, and you need to ride the brakes a bit as the crossing is kind of down hill heading towards the city, as a lot of people are crossing the bridge on foot. A few guys on mountain bikes passed me and as I rode along the footpath they descended into a dirt trail that runs along the river bank. They were going pretty quick, weaving in and out of the trail curves. I was hardly keeping up.

Saskatoon 31 May 2017

I rode alongside the city and headed through a recreational area. There were a bunch of young people drawing with chalk. I stopped to ask what that was about. They were a gay youth group. I met a young guy and shook his hand. I asked them if they were getting bitten by mosquitos.

Saskatoon 31 May 2017 2.jpeg

I rode further along and there is a road which parallels the river. A few guys came past me on dirt motorbikes. Two of them were up on the back wheels, and they were flying past me. I pulled off the road onto the dirt siding, because if they took me out I would have been fucked. 

Saskatoon 31 May 2017 3.jpeg

I crossed the river, and from the vantage point I had I watched a CN train go by on the rail line over and above. Two locos hauling a very long train rumbled by. I can’t help but get excited by locos and trains. The bridge is kind of old and grungy, a lattice work of old iron. It’s really a site.

So by now it was getting kind of dark. I explored a further section of the trail before heading back home. It was a nice ride!

 

Musings from a Regina Café

I was staying at the hostel the night before this night too, so I had hours to spend on selfish indulgence including my long black lycra man tights (ANY excuse will do 😉 ) and exploring the city on my mountain bike. That’s my happy place. Keep it simple. I don’t need crowds, I don’t need bars, I don’t need a dozen friends. I just need to be me, and I need my man tights. I don’t care what society thinks about that.

I will admit though, there were some pangs of a kind of loneliness and boredom. Not that that was a problem, I have enough going on in my life so the downtime is a welcome break from the normal routine. I flicked through the ‘Prairie Dogs’ street press and pondered some options for what I might do in the evening. There was some gay drag show events, a poetry writing workshop, some film options, and some other stuff going on. I briefly considered going to see a film about a black man struggling with his sexuality at various stages of his life.

SAM_2300.JPG

I settled for a cappuccino and a very large ginger cookie. Some people seated in the café were talking about all sorts of stuff – roman empires, politics, groupies, that kind of thing (?). I sort of listened and didn’t really have a choice as they were kind of noisy. I didn’t mind. The sun shone through the windows and it was clear outside. A nice day – too windy for sure, but for April in Regina, I was really ok with that.

SAM_2302

I had had a sleep in the early afternoon after my earlier jog and ride around the lake. I visited the museum too. It was really worth a look.  I was quite content. No where to go and no one to answer to. I went to do some sketches, I opened my bag and realised that I had left my sketch book somewhere else, perhaps in my bag at the hostel or in the car. Turns out in my frustrated rush to get out of the house, I had left my sketchbook on the kitchen bench, and I did not pack more than a couple of pairs of underwear (JM man thong, naturally), so I found myself having to wear the same pair for a bit. I know, too much information. Right.

The ginger nut cookie had been frozen I think, and microwaved. This meant that it was warm and soft in the middle, but parts of it were still kind of cold, so that was mildly disappointing. The cappuccino was good though – that’s a photo of the actual café and coffee that I had.

Also, I had broken my nose piece on my glasses when I tried to adjust them and got a little too rough. So my glasses now have one nose piece and that feels a bit odd. I know its a simple thing but that kind of made me not want to engage with people so much because it made me self conscious. Ok, you could totally dissect that with psycho bullshit, but please, spare me.

After the café I rode my bike through the city for a while. I got some more pictures (some of which are on my blog here), and browsed at some nick-nack shops. There was a wedding going on in the park and they were taking pictures of the bride and groom. I had mixed feelings about that. Happy day for them, and I wish them all the best, but I also thought about the struggles and challenges that this young couple were going to go through. They don’t know this of course. There will be issues, as with all human relationships, that’s part of life.

In the end, I didn’t go out that night, I didn’t need to. I went for a walk, and even stuck my head into a couple of bars. It was noisy, they were full of people talking loudly and making conversation. I felt like the odd one out, and wasn’t motivated to even try to talk to people, I don’t really care for it. I went to the hostel, and read some books. Early night, and up this morning to drive back to Saskatoon. Nice way to spend a weekend.