Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chain Lake Trail

So today I set out around 11 or so, after a hearty breakfast of bacon, a blueberry bagel, orange juice and a cup of tea.

First I went to Bikes by Dave. Dave Reminds me a lot of Harold from Earle Industries back in St. Johns. An older guy who just really loves bikes and running his shop. I told him about my trailer idea and asked him if knew anyone who could do some fabrication for a decent price. He directed me to Cam, a mechanic in the store. "I know just the guy," he said, "you should talk to Steve he's a welder at the docks and is just setting up his own space. He loves bikes and trailers." Awesome. He couldn't find his number so I passed on my contact info to Cam to give to him.

Then I made my way down to Halifax Cycle Gallery to speak with one of the owners, Roger. Told him my idea. "I know just the guy," he said, "you should talk to Steve." I laughed. Apparently I should talk to Steve. I chatted with Roger a bit, got Steve's contact info, and then headed out to the Chain of lakes trail.

I haven't gone on an extended ride in quite some time, and the terrain didn't help. Being an old railway line, the grade was fine. At first the trail was paved, and actually cleared of snow. Pretty awesome. But that didn't last real long. After passing under a bridge at NW Arm Drive, the trail turned to gravel, under about 3 or 4 inches of snow. Now, we've had a lot of snow/rain/snow/rain, and some really cold days, so every footstep and track on the trail was a big hard ice speed bump, and with no suspension, my wrists had a hard ride ahead of them. Some spots were okay, with a nice inch of just crunchy snow and a few bike tracks, but the majority was pretty rough.

Once I hit Governor Lake I was ready for a little break and a snack. I found a little spot just down off the trail that opened up a little. The lake appeared to be really frozen. I tested the strength of the ice very precisely (see the rocks in the following pictures) and decided to see just how well my Schwalbe Ice Spikers worked on ice.

If riding around in circles on a flat sheet of ice doesn't convince you, then I don't know what to tell you. Schwalbe's Ice Spikers work. Simple as that.

Lunch Time.

I had a nice ripe pear, some almonds, and a can of pepsi. I made sure to bring all my garbage back with me. From here I headed to the tip of Governor Lake, despite the vibration inducing terrain, committed to completing the route I had set out for myself.

I turned around and headed back from here. there was a slight grade down for a good chunk of the trail back, so it wasn't as bad, but after my break my toes and hands had gotten cold, and I was getting tired. Everything warmed up again after a short while, and I hit pavement again. Freedom! I then continued on the trail past the point at which I started at just to examine it. I made it to the end, where I crossed the road, and continued on the old railbed to where the railway still exists. On my way here I ran into a group of men hanging out by the tracks, drinking a case of beer, at 2pm. They were having a really good time by the sound of it, and one of them was urinating out right on the path. It was an interesting encounter to say the least, and a funny end to a good day.

View Chain Of Lakes Trail+ in a larger map

From my GPS.
Home now.
I have the beater in the back porch on some plastic mats so the snow melts off it and it can dry off. Then back in the shed she goes.
Talked to Steve. He seems like a really nice guy who is genuinely interested in building bikes and trailers, and he said we could definitely work something out. Sent him my sketches and hope to meet with him soon.

Lazing around now in a bath robe. Going to cook some chicken soup soon.

Don't let the cold and snow stop you. Get out and ride the bike that you love.

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