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Erin and I are slowly starting to plan a trip that will take us across (or maybe around?) South America. So currently this means me reading through the guide book trying to get a vague overview of where I would like to go. I’ve noticed a pattern, its seems that most South American towns offer; ruins, churches, mountain biking, and depending on proximity to water, surfing. I intend to see a lot of the ruins, some of the churches, and attempt to surf. Trust me, you’ll hear all about it on the blog. I also want to try mountain biking. I figure, since I live in a great part of the world for mountain biking, I may as well try my hand at learning it here so as to make it more fun when I go there. Also I Just wanted to start mountain biking, so I’m going to use the trip as an excuse to take it up. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there are no surfing opportunities in Alberta, so that’ll have to wait until I get there.
So I set off looking at various mountain bikes, their styles, and types of riding. I also watched a lot of youtube. When it was all said and done I walked into the local bike shop and asked for the cheapest model I could get away with. I had the option of grey or orange. I went with orange, and for about $600 I was out the door with a new bike and a helmet… always wear a helmet!
The first day I had it, a friend and I went for a ride in the Edmonton River Valley me on my new fancy bike and him on the old mountain bike I received as a birthday gift almost a decade ago. I was quickly made aware that this bike was superior to any other bikes I had owned, of course for that price it better be. I was also reminded that I am rather out of shape. After a few hours we decided to call it a day and head home. A few hours rest later, I decided to go out for another ride, this time to my dads shop for a visit, about half hour each way. Erin accompanied me since I am hesitant to ride on the roads.
For nearly a week I have been riding my bike every day, for about two hours a day. Often just to visit my dad but also a time or two to the river valley again, I was quite surprised at how many trails are actually down there.
A few days ago my brother and I decided to go to my dad’s house for some fishing. I decided to bring my new mountain bike because there are a lot of quad trails around his house and I know at least one of them would be a lot of excitement on a mountain bike, especially for an amateur. So we loaded our fishing gear and my bike and headed off.
The first day we were there I talked my dad and brother into giving me a ride to the top of the trail I had in mind, its just barely out of my riding distance. They had some audible doubts about how much fun it would be for me to ride it, and naturally had some suggestions “Buddy, you want us to build a jump at the bottom?” I wish they were kidding. I eventually got there, got the camera rolling, and hurled myself down the trail as best I could. I quickly learned that mountain biking is more fun than I had thought and also that mud is way harder to deal with than I had expected. If you watch you can see me almost crash on a few of the wet spots. You can see the video HERE on my youtube channel. I look forward to honing my skills and seeing more trails, then maybe once I’ve gotten better at it I can do another video of the run and see how much of a difference skill and experience make, my guess is a lot.
The next day was filled with fishing. My brother was on fire, catching more walleye than I had seen in the past year. I on the other hand was having an off day, and only wrangled in two small pike. I did however witness, the biggest pike I’ve seen in that lake, follow my hook through the crystal clear water. Unfortunately for me, he didn’t bite that floating hook and everyone else was on the other side of the boat. No catch and no witnesses means only one thing… I have to go back and catch it. No, I will not tell you where on the lake I spotted it, but dont worry I’ll post a lot of pictures when I get it. The only photo I managed to take on the second day of our trip to the lake was of my dad determining whether or not his cat likes the kayak.
Shortly after this photo was taken the cat jumped off the kayak and swam the 10 feet to shore. This also adds to my theory that: the shortest distance between two points is a swimming cat.
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