Double Johnnys to Dirty Reverse Northside Bernie

Well, lucky number seven passed me by
Lucky number seven called my name and passed on by
Well he came back don’t you know
With his brother six in tow
And that is how number thirteen wound up at my side

And that is how I got these lonesome Johnny blues
How I got these lonesome Johnny blues
Got the lonesome Johnny blues
And there’s nothing I can do
‘Cept sing these sad old weary lonesome Johnny blues

– Cracker, ‘Lonesome Johnny Blues

Dirty Burton Loop

Board’s gone.

Used to be a board here to cross the stream. Has been there for years. It was a strip of tree that was rounded on the bottom (live) and the top was cut flat, like it was an off-cut from a sawmill.

It laid across this spot, seems like, forever, curved side down. I think I have a photo of this spot from years back, if I can find it, I will add it here. It was super springy and though I’m sure some folks rode across it, I always walked it.

Due to it’s rounded underside if you didn’t get your weight smack in the middle, you were looking at – the very least – a rolled ankle, or worse, you were off it into the drink.

We’ll need a new board.

Outdoor Cycle KM042923.95

There is a section of the Lincoln Trail on the south-side in Fredericton by the airport that I call The Forest of Fredrenberg after the famous Forest of Arenberg sector in the single-day classic, Paris-Roubaix. Also known as the Trench of Arenberg, it is a legendary section of ‘road’ in cycling.

“Officially, the 2,300 meters of cobbles were laid in the time of Napoleon I, in the late 18th century, crossing the large forest of Saint-Amand-Wallers, close to Wallers and just west of Valenciennes. The road is straight and narrow (3 m), dropping slightly when entering the forest from the village of Arenberg, then rising in the second half. The altitude is 25m at the start and 19m at the end. The cobbles are extremely difficult to ride because of their irregularity. Many fans have taken away cobbles as souvenirs, leading to a regular check-up of the road.[1]

François Doulcier, the president of Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix, the voluntary association which takes care of the race’s cobblestones, said that “objectively speaking, it’s the worst-maintained sector of cobbles in the whole race”, giving three reasons: the rough and grooved surface of the stones, resulting from poor cutting; the wide gaps between the stones; and the uneven laying of the cobbles. These difficulties mean that riders have to carefully balance the need to avoid accidents and mechanical problems with riding at high speed.[2]

It has been noted that the road’s layout, as a long straight surrounded by trees, is unique among Paris-Roubaix’s cobbled secteurs: Doulcier has stated that “it gives the impression that you’re standing in a cathedral. Even if it were tarmacked over, it would be impressive”.[2]

-Wikipedia Page
Here we see Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara, Alessandro Ballan and others in 2008, really hating themselves.

The real Arenberg is 2.3km long but probably feels like forever. The Frederenberg is bout 2km and the surface is a tad better – it’s a long section of what seems to have once been paved, has broken down into chunks and had gravel thrown over the top whilst being savaged by a grader from time to time.

At one point there is also a tree stump right in the middle of the trail.

Of course there was coffee and other shenanigans. And a big crane.


I have been coming to this spot on this river for over 15 years, sometimes as regular as once a week. Several years ago the property changed hands and the new owner put up signs and a gate to keep people out. I tried to respect this, telling myself if I had a large tract of land and I wanted to keep people out I would want them to abide – and maybe understand. But I also know from the other side what a connection with a place can mean, so I wonder if I could ask that of other people. I have done my best. I think it’s been over a year since I have been here. Today I rode down and washed my face and hands in the river.