With a small crew scheduled to continue repairs on our deck today, we planned to stay in town to keep an eye on things. But blue sky and sunshine beckoned this morning, so we loaded up our bikes and headed to Nose Hill Park, where we hoped to find a couple of geocaches and scout a hiding spot or two.
We parked near the NW corned, at the Shaganappi lot, and headed east and south in search of good trails and our first traget cache, GC1RWC9 – Wind Swept. Once the boys saw how much elevation the would lose (and then have to regain), they elected to continue to the next target cache, GC18CRA – The Capitalizer, a puzzle cache we solved a couple months ago. While Mr. GeoK went off to search for the first cache, the rest of us headed in the general direction of the second, stopping many times to photgraph wildflowers, mark potentail coordinates for new hides and explore the hill.
K photographed this Spreading Fleabane
C captured a perfect Alberta Wild Rose
View near The Capitalizer
Mrs. GeoK descends the hill
We came across the hill by accident, spotting it as we were pedalling along a little-used trail enroute to our target cache. What boy (or adventurous Mom) can resist a ten meter high mound of dirt with well established single-tracks, perfect for riding up the gentle side and riding kamikaze down the steep side? Not us!! K was the first one to barrel down the steep side and he felt compelled to immediately repeat the experience!
After we found The Capitalizer, we returned to the hill and I decided it was Mom’s turn for an adrenalin rush. C figured out the rapid fire mode on my camera and took plenty of photos of my one descent and K’s third time down. Everything was great – until we headed for the parking lot.
We rode down from the hill on the gentlest slope of all and somehow K’s back tire locked up, skidded out of the track and he was moving sideways down the hill. All it took was one little bump on the hillside for him – and his bike – to go flying. He came through in pretty good shape, with a couple of bruises, sore wrists from taking all his weight (and his bike’s weight) on his hands as he landed, and a dusty shirt / pants. Unfortunately, his bike was a little beat up, with one of the cranks so badly bent that he couldn’t shift into his highest set of gears. Our 3.5 km ride back to the parking lot was a little slower than our usual pace, but K did really well; I think he was more concerned about his bike than himself.
Mr. GeoK was waiting for us at the parking lot. He assessed the damage and concluded it was beyond his ability to repair, so as soon as the bikes were loaded and K was cleaned up a little, we headed to Bow Cycle, where we bought K’s bike last year. Our timing couldn’t have been better, as there was no one in line at the service department. Within 10 minutes, the service tech, equipped with nothing more than a screwdriver and pair of pliers, had K’s bike in excellent riding shape, the crank straightened and the brakes tuned up. K’s world looked a whole lot brighter once he donned his helmet and took his Norco for a little test ride along the sidewalk.
I was a little worried about whether K would be put off by his experience, so I was happy to hear him volunteer to ride with me to the grocery store this afternoon. He might be a little more cautious next time we visit the hill on Nose Hill, but he still loves riding his bike!
Total distance today = 11.8 km; 2 geocaches found; adrenalin rush = awesome; one wipe-out = learning experience!