All photos taken on August 24, 2022.
Since our first attempt of transporting our folding E-bikes in the back of our Prius V for a river valley ride on July 29, 2022, we have been trying to get up the nerve to do it all again. Several things had to align to allow this:
- modification of the load floor and loading procedure
- a sufficient allotment of time from our obligations
- the right weather – cooler in the morning with the promise of sunny weather all day
Today, was when all conditions seemed right:
- Cardboard layer on bottom of cargo area replaced with hardboard and 2 small skates created to allow the bikes to slide in more easily
- this day was a our last weekday without family obligations
- the weather was going to be picture perfect, +17 C 62 1/2 F) at 9:00 AM and + 23 C (73 1/2 F) by about 12:00 Noon. The only slight hitch was whether the wildfire smoke in our area would be a problem.
The loading process at 8:00 AM
We had no set route today, except that we would start at the Kinsmen Sports Center where there was abundant parking, then ride East on the South Bank, crossing the river on the Dawson Bridge and then head back West on the North Bank. Depending on how long that all took, we might take a jaunt further West.
Below is that Eastern route and return to City Centre-ish
Unloading at Kinsmen Sports Center on Walterdale Hill Road at 9:45 AM
The good thing about the bike paths in the river valley is that you are riding through forested areas, in the shade of the trees. This is why the river valley park network is called the Ribbon of Green.
The park system encompasses over 7,300 hectares (18,000 acres) of parkland, making it the largest contiguous area of urban parkland in the country. The park system is made up of over 30 provincial and municipal parks situated around the river from Devon to Fort Saskatchewan, with trails connecting most of the parks together.
our path through Nellie McClung Park
a pause to admire this beautiful reflection of the new 5th Street bridge – our timing was perfect for lighting and calm water on the river
continuing on through Nellie McClung Park
taking in the city view from the Yurinatus Lookout
Pausing between the James MacDonald Bridge and the Low Level Bridge (pictured below)
about to dip down under the Low Level Bridge
a stop at Rafter’s Landing to see the newly refurbished Edmonton Riverboat and the Edmonton Convention Center (low glass front building and sloping glass roof) and Canada Place (pink) buildings) on the North bank – Covid and the river in winter were not kind to this riverboat business venture
riding past the new Tawatinâ Bridge LRT and pedestrian bridge
our E-bikes made short work of the hard climb up to Forest Heights Park
once again, we were presented with stunning city views – the last slide shows a bit of Commonwealth Stadium (home of our CFL Edmonton Elks football club – they are not doing so well this year, as it is a rebuild year (decade?)
an almost 360 degree panorama shot
back in the saddle, we rode across Rowland Road on a pedestrian overpass and again paused for the views
riding down Rowland Road and across the Dawson bridge, built in 1912
Once off the bridge, we rode down into Riverdale to reach the path along the river – these sunflowers and this quaint home caught our eye.
Our brief stop over, we continued West and South through Riverdale and back to Tawatinâ Bridge
view of the city from the Tawatinâ Bridge
The last time we were on this bridge, it was bitterly cold. It was nice to be able to pause and enjoy the views. The bridge was busy with both cyclists and pedestrians. Glad we were not here on the weekend.
To the East, Accidental Beach (gravel bar) was showing. During the construction of Tawatinâ Bridge, this bar appeared and was used by the locals for some summer fun. Looks like it is not as accessible these days, even though the river water is low right now.
back on the North bank, we continued West into Louise McKinney Riverfront Park
A better view of the Edmonton Riverboat
Edmonton’s Low Level Bridge – the original span was built in 1900 as a rail bridge, then for street car (1908-39) and trolley bus (1939-65). The 2nd span was built in 1948 and widened in 1954. Each span now carries two lanes of vehicle traffic.
If I say I was not tempted by this cute sign, I’d be lying.
Home of the beer as well as Segway tours and bike rentals…and much needed restrooms
our break over, we rode onward under the Low Level and James MacDonald bridges, pausing to look at the art murals.
I have used this location (10.3 km/6.5 miles and roughly one hour of cycling as my split point on this bike day.