Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another use for the Catrikes

Yesterday, Tuesday September 14th, was both cool and breezy but not so chilly and windy that we couldn't take the trikes out for yet another spin. At this time of year, with the seasons s-l-o-w-l-y starting to change, it's important to take advantage of any good cycling conditions and yesterday was just such a day. We did have another reason for heading out beyond the mere fun of it all.

See, because Adam and I are boring types, it is not uncommon for us to turn a recreational activity into something scientific. So, with the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetlands having had its pathways expanded recently, a change we both heartily welcomed, we thought we would take our trikes there and measure the total distance around the trails.

We use the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetlands for more than walking or triking; in the winter, it's a great x-c ski trail. From our house, it's a mere 400 metres to the southern entrance. For the past two winters, we would often scoop up our skis and poles and make our way to this nearby gem to ski there. Of course, as the SCCW isn't just for skiing, we do have to share this facility with hikers, dog walkers and even kids out playing. More often than not, though, we would get to the place after a good snowfall only to find that no one else had been there. Blazing trails would be our job but it's a lot of fun and certainly great exercise. However, we never really knew exactly how long the trail was. We estimated the original loop was about 2 or 3 kilometres so a session of blazing a trail and then heading around it once more would be about a 5 kilometre trek...not bad though we could certainly go further. What we tried to find out yesterday, however, was just how long the trail network is, especially since the city added to it. This is where the catrikes came into good use.

Both our trikes have speedometres/trip odometres; a small but important piece of equipment we added to them (thanks MEC). So, we triked to the SCCW, entered the trails, reset the odometres to '0' and began taking measurements. The network isn't just a simple loop but has a couple of spurs that lead away and eventually end at the Walkley transit station. Long story short, we measured 5 kilometres (plus or minus a few metres) a very welcome addition to the already existing network, and all thanks to the trip odometres we have on our trikes. Of course, we wanted to just head out and have fun anyway which we did.

So, when the catriking season ends - at the first snow of the season - we will have some actual numbers of how long the trail is and how long our cross-country skiing path will be. Yes, I really like catriking but I also really enjoy x-c it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!


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