The Metric Century Ride – Calgary Trails

If your search brought you here and you are looking to read about a real life metric century ride; for the love of Google you have just landed at the right page. Let’s start. The traditional Century ride is a full 100 miles (160.934 km) and for us metric folk, the metric century is a much less grueling, thigh chafing, uncomfortable, leg burning 100 Km ride.

While most people would be happy to just lounge about on their days off… My idea of fun would be to go out for quick 100K ride /sarcasm. So to help bring the ride alive, I took a few pictures along the way to help highlight Calgary’s awesome 800KM (MUP) Multi Use Pathway system.

You can pretty much get anywhere in the city via the pathway system, which means that you can spend more time enjoying the ride instead of riding on the road worrying about when some asshole texting decides to not shoulder check and crush you.

And for those of you who are curious, you can check out more about the Calgary bike path system here.

0-5K – Short and fast to what seems like the end of Calgary and the beginning of farmland and prairie. This is in the area of SETON in southeast Calgary. It is quite awesome to live in the third largest city in Canada and be a 10 min bike ride away from this.

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5K-10K – The cliffs or coulees in Cranston. If you look closely near the center of the second photo you will see a little tiny guy fishing in the Bow. Pescado anyone?

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10K-20K – Down from the Cranston coulee (French for Big ass hill) and along the Bow river for 10 more K and you end up in Carburn park. This is a reclaimed gravel pit that has now been turned into a wetland. This is a great area for bird watching, if you are into that sort of thing. You can read more about Carburn park here.

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20K-25K – The photo below is a good example of why you should pay attention while you are riding and the extent of the damage that was left behind from the massive flooding that hit Calgary in 2013. If I were this guy I would have wished I brought my canoe eh? instead of my bike.

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25K-27K – Takes you into Ogden/Lynwood which gives you a fantastic view of the City core. Just a few minutes further north there is a somewhat creepy abandoned part of the Lynwood community. The city bought out and closed the section of Lynwood due to soil contamination from an old refinery. But the road into the abandoned section is still there,  and so are the street signs and bus stops. Most of the street lights were left in place too. It seems a bit apocalyptic, there is definitely a strange ghostly feeling when you ride through this area.

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27K- 38.9K – There has been a bit of controversy surrounding this 25 million dollar pedestrian walkway, this piece of art called the “Peace Bridge…. or what some Calgarians would call a ridiculous example of government waste. The Peace bridge was nominated as the most wasteful project completed by a municipality. There were other cities nominated as well including Winnipeg for offering a $5,000 grant to notify citizens in winter if it’s slippery outside and St. Albert for a $280,000 bid to buy and open a Starbucks to compete with already open local taxpaying small businesses.

Everything is bigger in Alberta! Including the trucks and government waste.

I think it’s a pretty cool bridge. It seems the tourists like it too. H my oldest son, who happens to be sitting on my lap as I type this – thinks it’s a pretty cool tunnel as well. So there you have it, if you are ever in Cow Town, make sure you stop by and check out the $25 million dollar piece of art that we call the Peace bridge.

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38.9K-46.2K – Edworthy park where you will see Calgary’s love locks. For those of you who don’t know what a love lock is… well nobody loves you, j/k.  A love lock is a lock that lovers lock to a bridge or fence to symbolize their love (obvious). But before you head down to lock your love @edworthy. Remember,  this type of thing is often treated by the By-Law guys as vandalism. So, locking your love lock in Calgary might cost you $5,000.00 and/or a 2 year stay in the big house and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be loved like that.

Despite being against by-law in Calgary, there are several spots around the world that embrace the love lock. Most notably Pont des Arts Bridge. Afterall, isn’t Paris known as the city of love.

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46.2K- 57.9K – A Ferris wheel being set up on the Calgary Stampede Grounds. The greatest outdoor show on earth. AKA as a giant orgy party where everyone from the nice lady at the bank, to the grocery store clerk and the Oil company CEO cowboy up for a week. Pretty much everyone puts on a pair of Wrangler jeans, a plaid button up shirt, belt buckle (bigger the better) and a pair of cowboy boots. Except most of the girls they seem to dress in about 1/10th.

This is the official costume of the Calgary Stampede. It’s Halloween for Cowboys.

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57.9K- 60.1K – Wood’s park along the Elbow River pathway just south of the Talisman centre.

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60.1K- 70.9K – First stop for an awesome bar break. The Glenmore reservoir the primary source of Calgary’s drinking water. This stop reminded me of a news story, where some guy decided to take a quick pee in the drinking reservoir of a major city (Portland).

The City of Portland was thinking about draining the entire reservoir – something like 40 million liters because they are concerned about public safety. Public Safety! People are surely strange when it comes to urine. Here are the stats – The average guy with a super full bladder can hold about 2000ml of urine.  Which would work out to 0.0000001% of the total volume of a 40million liter reservoir. What does the city have to say about all the other contaminants that drop into that reservoir on a daily basis, like animal urine, bird poop, dirt and other debris, petroleum products.

Wouldn’t these everyday contaminants probably pose a greater risk to the population than one guys tiny little tinkle.

But here’s the crazy thing… if I hand you a glass of water and tell you that 0.000001% of it is my urine, I think you would politely decline and fill yourself a fresh glass of bird poop, dirt and petroleum out of the tap instead.

So the City drained the reservoir. Read more about it here.

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70.9K- 79.2K – A section of the pathway that is still waiting to be repaired from the massive flooding that hit this area in 2013. Fish creek is also home to 100’s of KM of single track mountain bike trails. Not so good when you are on your road bike with skinny tires but super fun on your mountain bike or for a trail run. Calgarians are lucky to have Fish Creek (One of North Americans largest urban parks) right in their back yards.

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79.2K-90K – Beautiful scenery along the Bow River and across the Bow into McKenzie Towne for the final 10K.

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91.1K-100K – If you are going to take away anything from this blog post about riding a metric century. Assuming that you made it this far. Enjoy the ride, look at the scenery (but don’t forget to look at where you are going), respect others on the pathway (Ring your bell when passing, Say hi and thank-you!) and always wear a comfy pair of bike shorts. Happy Riding!

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Author: The Money Runner

Husband, father, runner, personal finance enthusiast and computer geek. Thanks for visiting. Please check out my other posts and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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