Sunday, May 26, 2013

Legacy Trail & Banff Road Climbs

Mission - ride the climbs around Banff

From Canmore, took the Legacy Trail bike-path towards Banff (first time on it, fun and rolly). Good timing to have a fast guy just fly by as I started so I jumped on his wheel as he hauled strongly into the headwind. He finally noticed me hanging onto his wheel and remembered me from epic Transrockies 2004 (a crash does that!). Cool to chat with him (Greg Stevenson) and ride to Minnewanka and back.

I then rode solo up Tunnel Mountain road, back behind Banff Arts Centre, up/down Sulphur Mountain road, up/down Norquay, along Vermillion Lakes road, back onto bike-path, onto Hwy 1 for 2-km to Sunshine turnoff. 

Went out/back 8-km one way to Sunshine gondola base - fun fun fun - as almost 1000' of climbing to the base, flew back to Hwy 1, headed 2-km to Hwy 1A turnoff, up and around the road split, stopped to fill a bottle with spring water (right at the fork at 3-km), back along the bike-path with a tailwind to Canmore - phew!

GPS battery died on-route, guesstimate mileage was over 135-km and 5,300' elevation gain. Super nice day, especially the tailwind back!

The Legacy Trail from Canmore to Banff is great! Way nicer than riding on the highway. Awesome to see so many riders/inline skaters/walkers/runners using the trail.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

rainy spring days - Prairie Mountain

After a 2-day rain storm throughout Calgary area and the world... 
(Giro cancelled their 19th stage yesterday due to snow, worldwide flooding), decided to hike Prairie Mountain than be on a road bike in the cool temps.

Trail was bare 2 days ago.
Skimo friend Michelle Roberts joined me on her first time venture up Prairie Mountain.

Hitting knee deep snow at treeline - photo Michelle Roberts

Cairn at the top. Super stiff winds (note flag!).
Short stop due to windchill factor
Moose Mountain Fire Look-Out on the peak to the right.

The expansive view of the Rockies to the foothills
with Michelle descending from the peak

  Marg trudging thru snow - photo Michelle Roberts

Thanks to Kahtoolas for the great traction.

Great place to be...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Prospector Trail Exploring - Exshaw

Checked out a new trail for me called Prospector out in Exshaw (15 km east of Canmore) with a bunch of the Deadgoats and a few Calgary Canoe Club paddlers and mechanic Janet Liu.

Amazing Rocky Mountain views

crazy fun trail - photo Deadgoat Steve Walsh
Riding this trail got me more enthused to get out on my mountain bike more. I'm a roadie at heart though trails like this one certainly puts that permanent grin on the face for awhile! fun fun fun

Deadgoat Henry Yau zooming down the Canadian slick rock

Marg focused on the ladder - photo Deadgoat Craig Marshall
Following a good technical rider will have me ride scary sections I would probably have balked on. I was following ice-paddler Barney McIlhargey on his full suspension when we approached another ladder. There was an easy turn off to the left.

I was already on Barney's line when I saw him take a huge drop-off from the ladder. I was committed and made it cleanly on my hardtail! Then I hear Linda whoop behind me as she followed me as closely as I followed Barney, so she was committed too!

Deadgoat Linda Green cruising through the forest - photo Deadgoat Craig
Trail starts with a good climbing effort interspersed with flowy fun sections. Not a super long trail, though opportunity to ride a few loops in a beautiful area.

Deadgoat Steve ace-ing the rocky ridge

Check out this link for AMAZING photography of this trail!

Deadgoat ride debrief - photo ice-paddler Candace Mihalcheon