Edmonton's river valley park is the largest urban park in Canada with one hundred and sixty kilometers of maintained trails. "The Mosquito-less Trek" proposes two days of cycling on those trails and two nights of camping - so to do that mileage in two consecutive days and so early in the season should be a nice workout.
Being a city in the Canadian North means that Edmonton has its fair share of wildlife in the river valley. Bears have been spotted, as well as beavers and coyotes. I can remember climbing up a steep hill one morning on one of the trails and there squatting majestically and defiantly at the hill's crest was a large male coyote. The light on my handlebars glowed back at me from his eyes. The weak "bing bing bing" of my bell did nothing but elicit a yawn from the creature. My front wheel almost touched him before ambled off into the woods and down to the river.
|Not a yawn|
|How's it goin'?|
The organizer might be overly optimistic when they say this bike travel weekend is "Mosquito-less". June can be a very busy time for skitters in our area. The ground doesn't usually thaw until late May, yet the snow has mostly melted which means great pools of water dot the city and make excellent breeding grounds for the annoying insects. A friend of the family once told me how they sent a dragonfly back to Jolly Old England and claimed that this was the size of mosquitoes in Canada!