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rrrr… rrrr… rrrr…

May 9, 2012

This one is for is for Sara MacArthur (our Sustainability Officer). Yes, rrrr… stands for Red River Rebel Riders, your team in the Sept. MS Riding Mountain Challenge. But as I was reminded at a sustainability symposium last Friday, rrrr also stands for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recharge (OK, I added the last one).

  • Reduce: Is your bike out yet? Riding will help you to reduce weight, greenhouse emissions, and stress. Reading signs while you ride can also reduce time. And of course there’s the sticky bun factor. The farther and harder you ride, the more you reduce the guilt of indulging in that little sweetie at the end, Like my cinnamon bun after 41 km at Darakeh, the little Persian restaurant  (yes, Persian) in St. Adolphe last week, or my 4,327.13 calorie berry crumble (now I’m salivating) at the Mountain Bean.
  • Reuse: You don’t have to reuse the same old routes to get a good ride. A recurring theme at the symposium was that reclaiming, re-purposing, and restoring are central to sustainability: Both new and improved trails are transforming Winnipeg into an increasingly bike-friendly city.Take the new bridge over the Chief Peguis Trail on the recently resurfaced reclaimed Raleigh rail-bed (rrrrr…). This is one route that I do reuse a lot, and a prefect example of reclamation. The only difference between a bike route and a regular street used to be the signs. Not any more. Only 2 of the 30 km from my doorstep in Westwood to the Mountain Bean on Henderson are not over bike routes. And most of that distance is over dedicated paths, from the pedestrian bridge over Sturgeon Creek, past busy Moray through Assiniboine Park, past the bears on the Riverwalk and Gandhi at the Forks, Stephen Juba park, Higgins, and Raleigh.
  • ReCYCLE: As in cycle again and again and again. The more you do, the easier it gets to do longer and longer distances. Like my Saturday ride, my previous 82 km run to St. Adolphe was mainly on bike routes, this time through Assiniboine Park and the Assiniboine Forest, along the Sterling Lyon Parkway, up Waverly to Bishop Grandin, and  Red River Drive. What a great way to start the day!
  • Recharge: Great… I forgot my water bottle again. So recharging was top of mind on last Saturday’s ride. Come to think of it, recharging is pretty well always top of my mind (lattes, sticky buns, black bottom cupcakes, berry crumble). Or, Bud, Spud, and Steak! As in this Friday at the Palomino to recharge our Dragon Boat Team. And speaking of recharge, what a lift the Rockwell show at the WAG gave me this week! It’s only here until the end of May, so if you haven’t yet taken it in, cycle on down! This has been the biggest show for the WAG since Andy Warhol (who said, in the spirit of sustainability, “I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want to own.”).
Norman Rockwell Triple Self-Portrait

Norman Rockwell Triple Self-Portrait