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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    8

    Edmonton Cyclists?

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    I'm moving to Edmonton this summer. So far my riding has consisted of commuting and a few cross races. Any recommendations for cycling in Edmonton? And how cold is it, anyway? I am currently in Southern Arizona...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    5,318

    cbc

    So, you're movin to Oiltown hey..I spent many years of my life (i'm only 35 so i feel a bit odd saying that...) there but never really cycled much. Should you want to know about the weather, check out www.cbc.ca. Yep, you'll def notice a difference in the weather..but....there's tons to see in Northern Alberta .

    When we went to Edmunchuck/Canuckland for a visit last year I heard cyclocross is big in town.


    http://www.edmonton.ca/transportatio...ociations.aspx

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    Quite cold in the winter. Think strong winds across the plain.
    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/city/..._metric_e.html

    This might be a good time to pick up cross-country skiing!

    I don't know about cycling in Edmonton. I just went there in February once and cycling was not really on my mind I will confess. Perhaps you can cycle in the West Edmonton Mall, it's big enough.

    There is the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters association:
    http://www.edmontonbicyclecommuters.ca/
    and the city has a cycling web site:
    http://edmonton.ca/transportation/ro...-edmonton.aspx

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    I lived in Edmoton for 15 years and rode there a lot. My biggest piece of advice is to get a place with reasonably good access to the river valley. If you can ride to the valley you can ride almost anywhere. If you don't mind riding in snow and -40 deg weather, you can ride all year around. If you want to avoid snow your cycling season will be limited to mid Apr to mid Oct.

    If you have more specific questions, feel free to PM me.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2
    Edmonton's a decent place to bike. In terms of cycling, it's not the most progressive city in North America (Portland probably gets that award), but it's certainly not the worst.

    The Edmonton Bicycle Commuters (EBC) has a table of winter temperatures here:
    http://www.edmontonbikes.ca/index.ph...lan_continued/

    This past winter, conditions were warm (above 5C) and dry until mid-December, and again clear for riding by the end of March (so about 3.5 months). Many cyclists commute through the winter as well (the temperatures might seem shocking for someone from Arizona, but -15C is perfectly comfortable riding weather in the same way it's perfectly comfortable skiing weather). Bike paths are usually cleared of snow within 36 hours, but we get relatively little snow in the winter (Alberta gets the least snow of all provinces/territories).

    There tend to be about 2-3 weeks of winter weather that drop down to around -30C (although Edmonton isn't very windy, contrary to the previous description). There are plenty of people that still refuse to put their bike away in these conditions, but it is still fairly extreme conditions to be doing anything outside.


    For the other 9 months of the year, Edmonton is again certainly decent to bike in, especially if you're fit. It sprawls quite a lot, but this may not be relevant to you if you live close to your interests, which will probably be in central Edmonton (the university, the main community college, downtown businesses, Little Italy, Chinatown, the arts district, and the entertainment districts are all within 15-20 minutes of City Hall by bicycle).

    So you may want to avoid a place in the suburbs, which don't always connect well to bike routes. But you're allowed to bike on any road in the city (including the major freeways, if you crave the thrill), and Edmonton has a grid system, so it's straight-forward to get anywhere on-road. There are only a couple freeways/ring roads, and then only once you start getting nearer the edges of the city, so those high-speed high-traffic roads don't really cut off your bicycle route the way they might in other citys.

    Additionally, we have terribly wide roads in Edmonton, and the curb lanes are extra wide (the city has a policy to widen curb lanes by 0.5m). So you generally won't feel squeezed by traffic/parked cars. Edmonton is a very car-focused city, though, so you won't necessarily have the comfort of being surrounded by other bicycle commuters: I've seen more cyclists in a single day in cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal than I've seen in a week in Edmonton.

    In terms of environment, the city is almost ideal for cycling: the summer daytime temperatures tend to be around 20C (room temperature, 68F), which is marvelous for biking in, especially when the sun is shining hot. It's rarely windy. It rarely rains--perpetual drought, really. It's the sunniest place in the country, both in the summer and the winter (averages 321 sunny days a year). The city is extremely flat: there is a river valley (about a 300ft drop in altitude) with extensive trails and bridges, so sometimes you'll need to ride a hill to get between places, but it's basically the only "hill" in the city, and there aren't many points of interest actually in the valley itself (aside from parkland), so you can typically avoid it if you hate climbing hills.


    Here's the current bike map, which you can pick up for free in paper form when you get here:
    http://edmonton.ca/transportation/20...eb_nolinks.pdf


    For recreational riding, there is an extensive network of single-track, unimproved paths, and paved multi-use trails, mostly in the river valley, which cuts across the whole city. There are also a healthy number of recreational/sport clubs for velodrome riding, touring, road training, mountain biking (including one specifically for women: http://www.dirtgirls.ca/), and racing (there are a number of crits, a cycloross circuit, triathalons, and other races).


    Hope that helps, and that it convinces you to pack your bike along when you move.


    Cheers,

    Chris
    (Edmonton Bicycle Commuters)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    8
    thanks, all! I am thinking about the possibility of picking up cross country skiing, and living close enough to work so that I can walk if it's too cold to bike...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Mississauga -a "burb" outside Toronto
    Posts
    648
    Quote Originally Posted by fryingwoks View Post
    Many cyclists commute through the winter as well (the temperatures might seem shocking for someone from Arizona, but -15C is perfectly comfortable riding weather in the same way it's perfectly comfortable skiing weather). Bike paths are usually cleared of snow within 36 hours, but we get relatively little snow in the winter (Alberta gets the least snow of all provinces/territories).

    There tend to be about 2-3 weeks of winter weather that drop down to around -30C (although Edmonton isn't very windy, contrary to the previous description). There are plenty of people that still refuse to put their bike away in these conditions, but it is still fairly extreme conditions to be doing anything outside.
    I have a sister and my dad in St. Albert (suburb of Edmonton) whom I visit frequently. In the winter. And the summer. I have yet to encounter anything less than -20 in the winter. Perhaps my timing is off? Bike paths might be cleared of snow but the roads....yeesh! Can you say "snow ruts?" Great weather in the summer for riding. Doesn't get hot and humid like southern Ontario, temps are quite nice for riding. And running.

    [/QUOTE]But you're allowed to bike on any road in the city (including the major freeways, if you crave the thrill)[/QUOTE]

    Yeah - my brother-in-law was shocked when he visited here (Toronto area) last summer that I don't ride on the freeways and that I ride on these little country roads instead.

    If you've lived in Arizona for awhile, the winter weather will be a shock until you get used to it and dress for it. I'm not sure I could get used to the lack of daylight in the winter.....

    But because it is so far north, your daylight hours in the summer are extended quite late - you easily can be golfing until 9-10pm at the height of summer. That = more riding time.


    "You can't get what you want till you know what you want." Joe Jackson

    2006 Cannondale Feminine/Ultegra/Jett

    2012 Trek Speed Concept 9.5/Ultegra/saddle TBD

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by spindizzy View Post
    I have yet to encounter anything less than -20 in the winter.
    Do you mean warmer than -20, or colder than -20? Here were Edmonton's temperatures this past January. We ranged from -42 to +10, but the average max/min/mean temperatures were -5.3C, -20.8C, and -13.1C (that is: on average, we didn't go below -20, and then those lows were in the late night/very early morning).

    Sunset right now (not the height of summer) is already 8:41pm, and then dusk lingers for about 30 minutes past that. At the height of summer, it doesn't get really dark until past midnight (although it's probably too dim to golf before that).

    But yes, in the winter, it gets dark around 4:30pm. But it's usually sunny while the sun is up! (if you're not stuck in the office from 8am-5pm...)

 

 

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