Monday, August 24, 2009

Highway 71 Revisited

Rolling hills, twisty roads, serene vistas, and strikingly jagged streetscapes thanks to all the blown-up granite. There is a paved shoulder and the traffic is relatively calm. The last time I rode Hwy 71, there was a very close encounter with a deer. Far too close for comfort. It came bounding out of the trees and darted across the road not more than 10 feet in front of me. There was no warning, and it didn't really register until it had lept the ditch on the other side of the road. On the one hand, it was an elegant, fluid, and impressively agile performance on the deer's part. On the other hand, the deer and I were but one second away from a rather unfortunate rendezvous. That was about five years ago. And yet it is seared in my memory like a still smoldering brand upon the brain.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to ride it again. This time there were no deer. But I was accompanied by the President and Rudy D. There was nothing especially noteworthy about the ride. It was relatively short, and we didn't go terribly fast. But it was a ride with the President. And that is itself enough to make a ride special. His quirky conversational tidbits, wierd observations, contagious entusiasm, and all-around charm are enough to make any ride with him a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I highly recommend it.

Good times.


Brad the Impaler said...

Sounds like a nice ride. Smooth pavement and paved shoulders are pretty addictive.

After spending a week riding in Alberta, Montana and British Columbia, I have seen the light. It's like a parallel universe or something. Paved shoulders everywhere. Ridiculously courteous traffic. Trucks of all descriptions, even gravel trucks, giving you a whole lane even when riding way over to the right of the shoulder. Stunning scenery, climbs, I could go on and on.

I need to live there...

The Dark Lord said...

When did you get back?

We expect a full report tomorrow.

Compared to almost anywhere else, our roads just plain suck. Forget "Spirited Energy." How about Manitoba: The Bare Minimum Province?

Brad the Impaler said...

Got back yesterday. Man it's depressing coming back from the mountains.

I will be prepared to regale you with many tales of heroism.

PaddyH said...

sorry we missed ya, ended up in Jasper....glad ya saw the light though!

Brad the Impaler said...

Yup. It was amazing. Hopefully not my last bicycle tour. Maybe Vancouver Island next time.