Author Topic: RIDES 2017 — add yours here  (Read 8932 times)

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #210 on: October 12, 2017, 04:44:08 PM »
Engaging description, John. You meet some nice people on your bike. Yesterday in front of the bank I found a man closely inspecting my bike. It turns out he knows all my chums but not me, despite living in the same small town for almost forty years, because -- wait for it -- he doesn't have a bicycle, an error he will rectify with all haste now he has met me and been invited to ride with us.

That color the sumacs turn is really something, a red the most crazed artist couldn't imagine without seeing them. Well, or being a Hungarian, because that's also the color of best-grade paprika.

The Holy Ground does look like that -- of course you're right! -- or will in a week or five when it has turned a bit. All your simulacrum requires is a circle of standing stones and a few drops of your blood where the thorns on the gorse caught you.


John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #211 on: October 12, 2017, 07:40:57 PM »
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a circle of standing stones and a few drops of your blood where the thorns on the gorse caught you

For sure. Those items are not really part of our landscape here, Andre. (We do have blackflies in lieu of gorse.)

I came to consciousness in a part of the U.K. with a good supply of standing stones -- Dorset and Wiltshire--and our kids were enchanted when we visited those areas with them for the first time, some 20 years ago. (Gorse on the Dorset Heath held less appeal for them, I dunno why.  I did read them some of the opening pages of Hardy's Return of the Native, but that didn't help.)

It took a while to register with me, though, that there are, of course, magnificent standing stones in the Canadian Arctic: the inukshuk, created by the Inuit.  These have become a symbol of Canada in the last generation.  One of the very best exhibits for Canada 150 was a huge collection of outdoor plant sculptures in Jacques Cartier Park in downtown Gatineau, just across the Ottawa River from Parliament. All ten provinces and three territories provided sculptures which symbolized their landscape, culture and peoples. I had heard about this, but didn't pay very close attention, 'cos it sounded like a niche-market event, maybe a specialized flower show.

How wrong I was, and how delighted to learn that first-hand. I was returning from an overnight cycling trip in West Québec, coming into Ottawa/Gatineau from the east, on the north shore of the river. The bike paths were closed, and I was re-routed around--"What on earth is this?" I thought--an enormous exhibit of, of all things, plant sculptures!!  Marcia and I returned to wander among them on a couple of visits, because they were magical, unlike anything I'd ever seen. Some of the best were from the northern territories -- an inukshuk taller than a house dominating all around it, and musk oxen which manage to combine grandeur and whimsy. I've added a few examples below.

One more example of The Unexpected, which bike trips so often generate :)

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #212 on: October 12, 2017, 10:03:39 PM »
That's... monumental. Funny how these things ring with light skinned johnny-come-latelies. In Australia. while at the University of Adelaide, I wrote on the arts (well, whatever took my fancy, but mostly the arts) for Nation Review. One of my most quoted pieces is a double page spread I did on the Dreamtime, the Aboriginal gestalt of origin narrative and art philosophy and much more, on hand of an exhibition of Aboriginal Art on North Terrace as part of the superb Festival of Arts. Thing is, normally I consider an overwrought interest in native art qua native art as a sign of trendy decadence and lack of imagination, not to mention guilt-driven pandering, but that exhibit had more than sincerity to recommend it -- it was authentic, which was why I gave it so much space.

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #213 on: October 13, 2017, 05:38:29 PM »
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that exhibit had more than sincerity to recommend it -- it was authentic

You're spot-on there, Andre.  Slowly, our collective understanding of Canada, and our expressions of that, are being transformed by indigenous voices and creations. One of my favourite examples is a few years old: The CBC held a poll to identify "Seven wonders of Canada". Two of the items named were creations of indigenous peoples, ways of living and moving in our difficult geography -- the canoe and the igloo. (Another was "Prairie Skies", a happy choice.)

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #214 on: October 27, 2017, 04:05:29 PM »
"Last ride of 2017?"

I'm off the bike for a few weeks (minor foot surgery), so a short ride up into the hills this past Monday may turn out to be my last of 2017. What a delightful trip it was, too: A warm day, temps in the low 20s, light breeze, mix of sun and cloud, and best of all, NO MOTOR VEHICLES on the roads in Gatineau Park. The park authorities had closed the roads last weekend, as per the usual practice. They'll reopen the roads to motor traffic sometime in early/mid-May next year. Cyclists might have another 4-5 weeks this year to enjoy the park sans autos, and the same next spring.

Of course it felt like the first day of the post-automobile revolution, a benign morning after the fading of the petro-age: dozens of cyclists on all manner of bikes, couples walking hand-in-hand, parents with little ones in strollers, joggers, inline-skiers, hikers, walkers with their dogs, and so on. Most cyclists seemed to be going about 75-80% or less, our dopey grins suggesting we could hardly believe our luck, lane discipline completely absent, people weaving all over the place, slaloming just for the pleasure of it. (The more common posture is over the bars, legs pumping, "Finish my ride and get home before I die!")

A few photos attached, showing How It Was.

David Simpson

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #215 on: October 27, 2017, 04:41:07 PM »
Stunning photos, John. That first picture is like a work of art. It captures the beauty of riding in the autumn.

Why is the park closed to cars in the winter? Do they use the roads for cross-country ski trails? (Is there enough snow for that?)

- DaveS

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #216 on: October 27, 2017, 06:32:23 PM »
Superb photos, John. Just yesterday we were saying that a pleasant enough ride could have been much more pleasant without the cars and trucks and tractors on the small lanes. We don't begrudge the farmers getting the last of their harvest in during a brief late spell of mild weather, but huge machines rushing around don't add much to the peace of the countryside.

Hope the foot surgery goes well.

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #217 on: October 28, 2017, 03:54:27 PM »
Thanks for your kind words, Dave and Andre.  The roads in the Gatineau park are closed to motor traffic from mid/late-October to early/mid-May. The parkways are then used for X-country skiing, as well as of course the many kms of trails through the wooded and open areas.  Cyclists usually have about 4-5 weeks in the fall and the spring when there are no motor vehicles on the tarmac.

There are a few winter trails set aside for fatbikes and others for snowshoers, although as you might guess, the majority are for X-country skiers.

The place is such a treasure. I use it mostly for cycling now, but in years past I would also go hiking, paddling and X-country skiing in different seasons.  Dave, if you're visiting your family in Kemptville sometime, give me a call and we could do a ride together. I have an extra bike you could use.

Cheers,  John

jags

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #218 on: October 28, 2017, 08:19:37 PM »
class john. 8)

anto.

rualexander

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #219 on: October 29, 2017, 10:26:13 PM »
We had a nice sunny day out in Perthshire today, getting chilly once the sun went down though, 3'C, and dark early after the clocks going back last night.


rualexander

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #220 on: October 29, 2017, 10:26:54 PM »
......

John Saxby

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #221 on: October 29, 2017, 10:32:42 PM »
What great photos, Rual! -- superb use of the evening light. Esp liked the one of the cyclist on the lane, with the setting sun on the rocky hillside behind.

Those shadows call to mind Yogi Berra's observation about the shadows in left field in the old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx: "It gets late early out there."  :)

jags

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #222 on: October 29, 2017, 11:29:31 PM »
Lovely photos Rual.

geocycle

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #223 on: October 30, 2017, 10:48:10 AM »
Wonderful late Autumn in Barbondale and Dentdale

 

Andre Jute

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Re: RIDES 2017 — add yours here
« Reply #224 on: October 30, 2017, 10:51:07 AM »
I'd advise you not to show that one with the glamorous sheep just fringed by light to too many Australians, Rual, or they might start talking to you about the deep bonds of mateship.

I love the moon, and also the cyclist riding up that hard brown hill.

Proves Julian's remarks a year or two ago that red is a very visible color in low light.

By golly, Geo, that's a lonely landscape. A few years of shepherding there will make a man of any milksop.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 10:55:46 AM by Andre Jute »