Four Day Mattamy/Rotary Greenway Challenge
Originally scheduled for August 10, 13, 17 and 19, rain forced us to reschedule the 17th to the 24th. Although every ride was mostly full to the 15 rider limit, only seven riders managed to complete all four rides totalling over 200 km. Leaders Ken Parent and Doug McCulloch organized the rides to follow the Mattamy route on the way out and then return to the starting point by the shortest, safest route possible.
Riders who completed all four segments were: Ken Parent, Rafael Barredo, Alfredo Gomez, Jeff Harris, Bryan Leach, Aldo Longo, and David Lumley. Each may receive a gold medal at some future date!
The route is mostly complete with the exception of the section joining the communities of Keystone Hills (north of Stony Trail and west of Deerfoot) and the industrial area of Stony1 just south of Stony Trail. There is a 1.5 km. route on a gravel road shown on the Calgary Pathways Map as are construction closures https://maps.calgary.ca/PathwaysandBikeways/ One awkward detour was south of Country Hills Blvd. in the northeast where riders became walkers in a muddy environment. Another detour needed to be made as the route leaves Cranston and goes down the embankment to the Bow River. DON’T GO DOWN! If you do, you’ll have to turn around and climb back up. Take a detour under Stony Trail to Mackenzie Meadows and then back to the ridge and down to Fish Creek Park. The final detour of consequence is along the west side of the city where well marked detours take you into the communities of Cedarbrae and Woodbine.
The only portion of the route that we did not ride was a section that takes you along 52nd St. SW since the trail to the east is still not built. This is a terrible section that is marked as a bike pathway but with frequent street crossings requiring riders to slow down, look behind and maneuver around traffic bollards. Riding on the street on weekdays is in the company of lots of big trucks in a hurry but on a Sunday, it is far quieter and might be an option.
Ken and Doug have now done annual challenges on the trail as a one-day ride, a two-day, two loop ride and as a four-day out and back ride. Other members have done a two-day ride with an overnight stop at the half-way point (Glenmore Inn) so it’s a matter of “pick your poison” to take a look at our city. It’s sometimes a beautiful scenic ride, sometimes very spread out and almost boring while other times there are long flat stretches or challenging climbs followed by runs down exciting switchbacks. Just like the city itself, there’s variety, beauty and some grime.
Several photographs can be seen on the Club's Facebook page.