Sunday, June 22, 2014

Road Bike Hill Climbs in Jasper

Wanting a hill climb weekend, I took a spontaneous trip out to Hinton only 3 hours away. Nice to have the company of fellow ERTC-er Graham Watts. Gotta lure more club riders out!

Rode from Hinton into Jasper National Park up the road to Miette Hot Springs and back. Might have been my first time ever to Miette, and bummer to not stop for a dip in the hot springs.

Wow, the scenery up Miette road was more beautiful than I expected. Midway up the climb, it was amazing to view the Ashlar Ridge the rest of the way. The road climb is 17 km to the top, in two sections with a one dip in a valley in the middle.

Photo from - view of Ashlar Ridge from top of Sulphur Skyline Trail
Had a mom bear and cub sighting, and easily rode by. Ride to/from Hinton seemingly flat though rolling ascent/descent with winds favourable on the return.

Round trip 98 km, 3:30 hr, 4100' elevation gain

Next day, started out from Jasper town-site in the early cool morning 6C. Took a warm-up hill climb up Pyramid Road, a 17-km return to the car to toss off a few layers.

looks like a Pyramid
Out Hwy 93 South, the next climb was warm up Whistlers Road to the gondola base. Only 4 km though super steep with a lot of 14% grade! Great descent. Temps now getting nice in the 20'sC

Graham with Jasper the Bear at the gondola base

Continuing on Hwy 93, turned onto Hwy 93A. I thought the road would be flat as it just paralleled Hwy 93. It climbed big to the turnoff to Marmot Basin Rd.

Marmot was a huge wide open road, without traffic, not overly exciting. Almost cresting to the ski hill base, a young black bear was happily eating near the side of the road. I was bummed to turn around only 100m elevation from the top.

2nd last corner before the top, thought the bear might love the opportunity to chase a couple cyclists for fun. - photo Graham Watts

Continuing South on Hwy 93A, only a couple km to Mt. Edith Cavell Rd. Fresh smooth pavement, narrow twisting road sheltered by trees, grading around 7%, and the most amazing view of 11,033' Mount Edith Cavell in the distance as well as the turquoise coloured Cavell Lake.

My favourite climb of the weekend! 14-km one way. Back towards Jasper on Hwy 93A was fast!

Trailhead at the base of Mount Edith Cavell

Round trip, 95-km, 3:50 hr, 5730' elevation gain

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Edmonton Raw Vegan Potluck - Coconut Opening Demo

Whenever I am in town, I'll make my way to the monthly Raw Food Potluck. Opportunity to taste the most amazing dishes people bring, and trade recipes. Just a good crowd of people to hang out with!

The most recent Raw Food potluck combined with the Vegan Potluck crowd and was held at Riverdale Park outdoors.
Samples of shredded coconut fresh from the dehydrator hours earlier, complete with all its oil (unlike commercial coconut flakes). And chunks of coconut meat from the dark coconut
(L to R) - photo Keltie Barbutza

As I am a frequent user of coconuts, I gave a coconut opening demonstration.

Great video by John Kohler, king of coconut knowledge. I used his technique shown at 12-13 min mark, and succeeded on my first attempt.

Made Cacao Vanilla Smoothies with my Vitamix plugged in to a few super long extension cords to the Community Centre, hence the parking lot view for the demo.

Three coconuts in various stages of life... the dark brown mature hairy coconut, a not-as-old paler coloured coconut and the super sweet and tasty Thai Young Coconut (L to R) - photo Keltie Barbutza
Would not do without the Coconut Tool to remove the thick meat from the dark brown coconut
Best spot to purchase Young Coconuts in Edmonton is at any of the Asian markets, like Lucky 97, where the turn-over is quick. Never know how long it's been since the coconuts were plucked off the tree and made their boat travel over from Thailand.

Another option is to purchase frozen coconut water and meat at Earth's General Store. The coconut water and meat is removed in Thailand before shipping, and is organic!

I gave a demo using the CocoCut Tool from Australia for opening Young Coconuts without a knife. My knife technique went so smoothly that there was little interest in this "workout" tool! I thought this tool would be awesome though took way too much effort.

Potlucks are open to all. For more information on the Raw Food Potluck, email
Check for more info on the Vegan Potlucks.

Smoothie demo I did at Pedalhead Roadworks on Whyte Ave
while Guri the owner was building a bike