Cycling in Edmonton – Free Bicycle Social rides

By: Zdenko Kahlina

If you are a cycling weekend warrior please join me again this year every weekend during the cycling season, for the ‘Tour of Strathcona County’ bicycle social rides!
These rides are free of any charge and are open to experienced bike riders (both gals and guys) who can manage bike rides of 2-3 hours, at an average speed between 25-35 km/hour. You will make new friends, or just relax and discover the joys of cycling. Please note these rides are not designed for the beginners.

Meeting Point:

Where:           Ardrossan Recreation Complex
When:            Every Saturday and Sunday morning 09:30 AM.

Beginning on Sunday April 2, 2017

Last ride:      Sunday, September 24th, 2017

This is simple: JUST show up and ride your bike!!
Do you want to ride your bike and enjoy yourself? Are you fed up with all the rules and expenses you have to pay when joining cycling clubs?

I am offering absolutely free GROUP bike rides.

No membership! No volunteering! No rules!

Let me explain what I mean by ‘Free bike riding’. I have been watching Edmonton cycling scene for more than 20 years now. I was once member of Velocity Cycling Club, Juventus Cycling Club and Edmonton Masters Cycling Club. There are many cycling clubs and groups in Edmonton, but they all follow the same principles. You need to get a club membership, ABA membership, additional insurance, purchase their kit (optional) and except their training schedules. All members are expected to be aware of the internal Code of Conduct, and to abide by the club rules. All members must participate in volunteer schedule, where you have to work at least once a year for the club and help organizing events.

IMG_5569BArdrossan Recreation Complex seems to be a good place to begin bike riding

When joining the club, most of them ask you to sign ‘Code of Conduct’ with lots of rules and requirements. They expect you to obey those very strict rules even when you disagree with them. If you’re competitive racer and participating in races, that’s all excepting, but the same rules apply for those who just want to ride their bicycles and who don’t even (ever!) participate in any racing!

In one year this can come up to several hundred dollars, and for many veteran riders like me, this is an unnecessary expense. In addition they all have restrictions of who can join them on their social rides. They are all closed only to their own members and don’t like ‘intruders’ from aside, who don’t pay membership fees.

And what do we all want? In general, we JUST want to ride our bikes for (mainly) health reasons, personal enjoyment and to socialize with the fellow cyclists. I don’t need a membership for this! And I don’t need (expensive) extra insurance either! I have my health coverage through my work place and I buy my own bike, tires, jerseys and all other stuff I need. I’m only looking for comradeship during the bike rides. Are you thinking the same way as me? Than keep on reading!

Roads throughout Strathcona County are in very good condition

‘Tour of Strathcona County’ – Group riding in Alberta

Explore beautiful Strathcona County
If you are experienced ex-racer and if you’re a weekend cyclist warrior, I am inviting you for a FREE bike rides every Saturdays and Sundays at the Ardrossan Recreation Complex (map) in Ardrossan (Strathcona County). The complex is located 9 km east of Sherwood Park. Take Highway 16 east or Baseline Road to Range Road 222 where you have to turn North. You’ll see it on your right hand side as soon as you approach railroad tracks.

Let’s get together and ride through beautiful Strathcona County back roads. Yes, that’s correct. We are not going to ride on busy highways, like Yellowhead or Hyw 14, Hwy 16 or Hwy 22! Only Township Roads and Range Roads, that swirls through the acreages and farm lands around Ardrossan and Elk Island National park.

Enjoying the Alberta scenery

Weekend warriors – Group of gals riding on Sunday morning

This is REALLY going to be a free ride. Arrive early enough to LEAVE at the scheduled time. Just show up and go! No other rules or expenses… the only rule is to relax and enjoy the ride. Of course we have to respect the law and all traffic rules. We are all law obeying citizens and we understand this. Everyone is welcome!!

We’ll be leaving from the Ardrossan Recreation Complex parking lot at 09:30 AM sharp, whether you’re there or not. If you’re running late, that’s O.K. too, you can always come next time (on time!), but we won’t wait for you.

No membership! No volunteering! No rules!

BIKE riding in the prairies

Hope to see you there beginning from Sunday April 2th, 2017.

Check back here regularly, or join my mailing list by sending me an email, to be among the first to get the updates.

To find out what can be expected at these social ride, please read one of my blogs about BIKE riding in the prairies.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be an athlete to enjoy one of your rides?
Not at all! You need only feel comfortable on a bicycle and be in reasonable physical shape. This means you should ride your bike at least three times per week during the season. But we do NOT stop for insights, questions, photos, bathroom breaks, or snacks. My standard rides are paced at 25-35 km/hour, and last between two and three hours.

What should I bring on a ride?
Bring comfortable clothing for riding and some snacks. Make sure you have enough water with you for duration of a bike ride. Here is what to expect and more on how to dress:

• April: Cooler weather, but usually very ride able! Average highs -2 – 11 C. Dress for cold weather… usually that means winter jackets, long sleeves, long cycling shorts. I also suggest dressing in layers, with a wind repellent layer on top (as we will warm up when we ride). Remember to bring gloves and a toque that will fit under a helmet.

• May – June: Dress for slightly warmer weather… usually that means you have to be ready for cooler and warmer temperatures on the same day. Early mornings are cool and three hours later, by the end of our ride, you’ll be pealing off your layers as the temperatures are rising.

• June – August: Dress for warm to hot weather. Great riding weather! Bring a light hood in case of light rain/drizzle at the beginning of June.

• September: Moderate to cool temperatures. Great riding weather and beautiful fall colors! Bring a light jacket.

What happens if the weather frowns upon us? What about rain?
The ride may be cancelled due to severe weather that creates unsafe conditions. We can ride in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but we may cancel the ride up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions (heavy rain or snow).

What happens if I have a problem on the ride?
We’ll help you to repair a flat or fix a minor mechanical problem. If you cannot complete the ride, we will arrange transportation for you and the bike back to the starting location.

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