Damned good ride today! The conditions: 15°C Clear WIND SE 15 km/h GUSTS RELATIVE HUMIDITY 29% The snow is all gone but for a few sad remnants melting away in the parking lots. The wind is what they call brEE - zEE on the east coast. I tried to avoid roads as much as possible - first heading south for the 6 km loop of MU trail. I'm not going on the off road trails further down as the ground is still to sodden from the spring melt. I head north; down to the river then up the north slope. I can go most of the way avoiding city streets. The city hasn't done it's annual spring cleaning of the gritty sand from a winter's worth of road clearing: Winter didn't want to leave this year. But still, green is starting to peak out of the yellow grass and bare trees. The geese and ducks are making their presence known along the river. No sign of the heron. I've seen him [her?] the past three years, taking a solitary position on a little artificial waterfall on the river - hunting for fish I guess. Past the river I take the spur-line trail that cuts across the city diagonally. This gets me to the northern trail up to Guelph Lake. After the park land the trail goes deeper into the forest. surprisingly in the shade of the trees I encounter snow/ice/slush patches. Winter seems to hold on longer 'way up north' of the city. I have to draw on my winter skills to traverse them. Where there isn't snow patches it's a soggy trail from the run off. I avoid the smaller branch trails and stick to the maintained MU path. I stop at a road crossing. The 'officially' maintained MU path ends at the point. I know from experience the trail is even more water prone further on. It's still too early in the season for that section. It was a nice hour run though. I pause for a breather and water then turn to go back. The return is easier of course. It's down hill after all. I take different route that leads me through the city centre and a stop at the atm machine. I continue on down to the river. Lots of people about on the trail. I consider doing an easterly loop where the rivers meet. 'Leave it for tomorrow', I decide. I turn west to run along the river across the trestle covered bridge. I follow the river to the MU trail's end - severed by the concrete pillars of the Hanlon Parkway. I turn north through the suburbia populating the hillside; kids playing street hockey, basketball, parents doing spring cleaning, gardening. A tyke, 8 or so I guess, on a bike tries to pace me as I work my way up the suburban streets. I pick up my pace a little to give him a challenge as he shadows me on the side walk. Norman Rockwell meets the 21st century. After that it's a straight shot across the athletic field and up the final hill to home. Time: 2 hours Distance: 40 km. So far the allergies are at bay. And I even came up with my own take on a Lennon song. All in all a good Saturday. -- [apologies to John Lennon] Imagine there's no autos, It's easy if you try, No asphalt below us, Above us only sky, Imagine all the people biking for today... Imagine there's no SO2, It isn't hard to breathe, Nothing to make you gasp or wheeze, No carbon monoxide in the breeze, Imagine all the people cycling in peace... Imagine no pollution, I wonder if you can, No need for inhalers or respirators, A brotherhood of cyclists, Imagine all the bikers Sharing all the world... You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one, I hope some day you'll join us, And the world will live as one.