It’s been a couple of months since I’ve added to my quest for “50 memorable rides in my 50th year”. With my crash and recovery from a concussion, I’ve decided to extend my 50-in-50 into 2017, but I was able to have memorable ride #40 this past weekend. It was memorable for the sole reason that it was my first ride on a NEW BIKE! And I used the opportunity to ride urban paths and trails and scout out a couple of the Highway 85 crossings that I blogged about previously.
A couple of days ago, I blogged about bike lanes in KW. In particular, I discussed the difficulty in crossing Highway 85 via bike. You can read that blog HERE. Today, on my weekly slow, solo ride, I took my new fatbike out for a 25 km ride around urban trails, multi-use paths and bike lanes (and unconnected areas in between).
In particular, I wanted to check out two crossings of Highway 85 that I blogged about previously: Guelph St. and King St. (by Conestoga Mall). Guelph St. is one crossing that I’d originally forgotten about but an astute reader pointed it out to me after my original post. King St. has a bike lane shown on Google Maps, so I wanted to check it out.
My route started with part of the Grand River Trail (GRT) from Kiwanis Park. The GRT is one of my favourite short loops when I don’t have much time to ride. It travels right along the Grand River through Kiwanis Park.
From there, I continued down to Bridge St. and past the Lancaster Business Park before hitting Guelph St., which starts in the east at Riverbend Drive, near the KW Humane Society. As you start on Guelph St., you head down a hill towards and under the Highway. At first, no bike lane is present
However, as you approach the underpass, a bike lane appears before the bridge, then disappears after the bridge. So technically, there is a bike across the Highway, but it’s not connected to any kind of cycling route. There are no on- or off-ramps at Guelph St. and it doesn’t seem to get a lot of traffic. But this appearance and disappearance of the bike lane (in both directions) is puzzling. Perhaps part of future planning?
I took a left after the underpass onto Spring Valley Road towards Wellington St., where, there’s no bike lane and there were cars parked on the right-hand side. I continued until I hit the Spur Line and Laurel Trails (I’ll blog about this “network” of trails at a later date). I made my way north towards King St. via some these multi-use trails (which had some interesting road crossings…). At the Manulife building at King St. and Highway 85, there’s a segregated multi-use path that I took under the Highway towards Conestoga Mall.
This is a nice little path, but there are some on- and off-ramps that have to be crossed cautiously (I’m thinking of family rides here). At the mall, the path ends (again, disconnected from any other bike or multi-use paths).
But enough about that. I also want to talk about my new fatbike! It’s a pleasure to ride. It feels much lighter and smoother than my previous one (notice I didn’t say “faster”?). The bright orange rims got some comments on my ride, as did the huge tires.
I am going to enjoy riding this bike in the snow, but for now, on days like today, I’m going to enjoy riding with snow! So Ride #40 is in the books. The final 10 rides will be completed this year and into 2017. Stay tuned!