Praise be to the Irish
Cowtown here we come!

July 28th, 2015

What happened…

Andrew writes: It was freezing last night. Ok, not technically 0C, but it was cold enough to wake me up in the middle of the night, and I had to put on more clothes to keep me warm enough to get back to sleep. Amanda meanwhile appeared super-snug in her -50C sleeping bag. I honestly didn’t think we would get this kind of weather at this time of year, but in the high-alpine, anything can happen!

I had thought about joining Shannon on a morning ride 14km uphill to Lake Moraine, but decided instead to tell Amanda that we were going to ride down the highway to Banff and/or Canmore today. So that’s what we did in a nutshell. Leaving the campground, I couldn’t help but gape at the number of cars lined up down the highway trying to access Lake Louise, and drive up to the lake itself, or further to Moraine. As a result of this uber-tourism, I didn’t even feel like climbing 4km up to Lake Louise proper to take a photo. I’m sure one of the thousands of tourists took one for me.

The ride today was along Hwy#1A, the Bow Valley Parkway. It was a really nice chill ride, mostly downhill, with calm traffic who were happy to share the road with cyclists. There were plenty of road bikers out going both to Lake Louise, and to Banff. There were also a few other cycle-tourers too. A pair of french were napping at Hillside Meadows, one going to Calgary, the other Quebec. Then there was a pair of guys from Vancouver just heading to Calgary. Then there were a few people who didn’t even stop when hailed.

That irks me; when other people like us, loaded for bear, don’t bother to stop and chat. It’s not a requirement, but I think that by and large, we are a solitary group, we cycle-tourers. So to be able to talk by the side of the road for a few minutes to share road conditions, favourite haunts, cautionary tales etc. I think is just par for the course. Ahh well, that was the biggest bee in my bonnet today, so all in all, it was a great day for a bicycle ride eh!

Arriving in Banff is was a zoo. It really reminds me of Whistler, since it has a lot of the same stores. Except Whistler doesn’t have traffic running through the middle of it, grid-locked on a Tuesday of all days. Stopping at Nestor’s Market to buy food for dinner, I met a man who had just completed cycling the Great Divide Route from New Mexico, to Banff. I’ve been thinking of directing us down that way, since it is a popular cycling route, and mostly off the beaten track, so traffic should be pretty quiet too. Amanda said no more dirt roads though, so I’m not sure how to sneak those past her.

There was WiFi at the Nestor’s and there was an e-mail from Sonia and Jimmy, sent yesterday, saying that they were in Banff. Figuring that we had missed them by a day, we pressed on to Canmore. The ride into Canmore from Banff is divine. It all takes place on the Bow Legacy Trail which is pretty much bikes only, and it’s downhill for 20km. Arriving in Canmore, we received another e-mail from Sonia saying that they were still in Banff and we should go and see them! Dang, it was 20km backwards, with a headwind, and uphill the whole way. Maybe we can connect tomorrow with them.

Amanda writes:
I was looking forward to the ride today because Andrew promised it was mostly downhill. And he was right! It was a fabulous trail mostly separate from traffic and still an opportunity to see the beautiful rocky mountains. We arrived in Canmore in good time and settled in at the visitor centre. They had wifi, actually a wifi lounge and we made ourselves comfortable. Then after we made dinner we went to the municipal campground right next door and slept there. All in all, nothing notable about today other than some nice cycling, good company and a leisurely pace even with the higher mileage than we normally do.

Today’s Photographs

Praise be to the Irish
Cowtown here we come!