The Geek and I and about 10,000 other 'sneaky jerks' were out on the river trail today. The sun was shining and the temperature was lovely. Considering we have all been trapped inside by the cold weather of late, it felt great. The Geek did the whole circuit there and back but I only back and forth from the Forks to Omand's Creek.
Below is an exerpt from today's Free Press.
"So now we've gone from dweebs in snowsuits to sneaky jerks, eh? On the very day Winnipeg laid claim to having the world's longest skating rink, the cold war brewing between our city and Ottawa escalated. Janine Flood, out for a skate Saturday on Ottawa's Rideau Canal Skateway, called Winnipeggers "sneaky jerks" for trying to usurp the Rideau Canal's Guinness World Record for having the world's longest rink.
Saturday, Winnipeg's skating trail measured 8.54 kilometres. Ottawa's Rideau Canal skating trail measures 7.8 kms -- if it ever manages to fully open.
"We did it," said Paul Jordan, The Forks chief operating officer. "We beat Ottawa by three-quarters of a kilometre."
But Flood was not impressed.
"Does Winnipeg have a Winterlude?" asked the former Winnipegger who should know better. "We have a national event that takes place on our canal. I guess it's OK to be factually correct if they have the longer rink, but are people going to travel there just to say they skated on it?"
Flood also said Ottawa should warn people there have been floods in Winnipeg's past. "One minute you're on the ice, the next you're in the water," she said with a chuckle.
Jordan said he stopped clearing Winnipeg's trail when he did because "we just wanted to beat Ottawa. With more money we could keep on going."
An Ottawa Citizen columnist had called Jordan a "dweeb in a snowsuit," in a friendly dissing match between the two cities. That just made Jordan more determined to dethrone Canada's capital city.
The skating trail extends as far west on the Assiniboine River as Omand's Creek. On the Red River, it runs from Whittier Park in St. Boniface to the Norwood Bridge.
"We could go all the way to Portage la Prairie. We could go wherever we want," Jordan said, if Ottawa tries to retake the mantle as longest skate trail."
Sounds to me like some people in Ottawa have a bad case of sour grapes!