I've been debating about making some changes to my 600K route to make it more user friendly. Also, I have heard that quite a bit of money has been allotted to Central Alberta for road construction this year, and I've heard rumors about road construction going on around a pivotal town on my route. So last night I took a drive to check out the roads around this town.
A 1-2 km section of the road on the highway to the town is gone ... literally and utterly gone ... like no trace of the road left. And the road that is there is not in any great shape. They are supposedly paving, but WOW that looked more like an entire rebuild! They detour drivers onto a muddy, rocky, cowpath that goes on for several kilometers. I even had trouble driving it! On my current 600K route, cyclists would hit that bit in the middle of the night, on the way back into Red Deer at the end of the 400K loop. So yeah ... I think I'm going to have to make a change there.
And then, on the highway going through the town in question, there's a massive concrete barricade across the road, blocking the entire road. They detour drivers way around ... on paved roads, fortunately, but the barricade is a little annoying.
A road I really hoped would be paved because it would have been the solution to the missing road and barricade was not. In fact, it was in such bad condition, I didn't even attempt to drive on it. Another road led me to believe that it would remain paved, and lead me another road ... another possible solution to the problem, but after about 6 kms of pavement, it suddenly turned to gravel and led nowhere.
The one ray of light is the section of road I avoided in my 300K route because of the construction at that time. They've progressed nicely with it ... it looks much, much better than it did. It's wider and the road is smooth and newly paved. They are still working on it, but I think it's rideable. That means I should be able to keep my Day 2, 200K loop. But my Day 1, 400K loop will have to undergo some dramatic changes.
My 600K goes in 2 weeks ... nothing like last minute changes!!