Got up, had a big breakfast and looked outside, the sky was blue and the sun was shining. I knew from having looked at the weather in Canmore and Calgary, there was a chance of rain (actually, Environment Canada had issued a rainfall warning). I had talked to the visitor centre staff the day before and she had told me that her father in law who was 60, had ridden his bicycle from Lake Louise to Cochrane (just outside Calgary). So, I got it stuck in my head that if he could do it, then I could do it too! The plan was to ride to Canmore, see how I was feeling when I got there then decide from there.
I considered going on the 1A because of less traffic on that road; however, I decided if I was going to have any chance of making it to Calgary, I probably needed to be on hwy 1. I’m glad I made that decision because the shoulder turned out to be really wide, keeping me a good distance from passing cars and trucks. There was also fencing along either side (which made me feel good cause my chance of coming across a bear went down!) There was a slight downhill grade, that got me averaging 25-28km/hr. There were still some uphill bits, but generally it was downhill much of the way. The views along route were spectacular!
I saw a few of these wildlife corridor bridges that allowed wildlife to cross from one side of the hwy to the other side safely. There was fencing on either side of the Hwy.
Shawn stopped on the side of the road part of the way, to ensure I was doing ok and had enough water. I am so lucky he ended up supporting me on this trip, or it would have been so much more difficult! Thank you Shawn!!!!
I love seeing signs telling me how much further I’ve got to go! Canmore is within striking distance now 🙂
I had started the ride at 8.40am and made it there at just about 1pm. I stopped for a gatorade, a banana, a boston cream and an iced cappuccino (healthy!!). I could stay in Canmore, or carry on and give Calgary a shot – I decided it was only 1pm and lots of daylight left, and I’d see how far I could get. Shawn decided to stick around and do a hike – the Ha ling Peak that overlooks Canmore. His injured calf hurt on the uphill part (he had to stop lots to shake it out), but not so much going down. Looks like he is on the mend!! Noticed this sign! looks like they are free of this invasive plant 🙂
I was moving at a good speed, but there were a lot of uphill sections that slowed me down. I was having a lot of issues shifting my gears and at one point the chain got entangled. I managed to fix it (note to self: pack up rubber gloves next time!)
Distance to Calgary (…getting there!)
No more mountains and it got dark and ominous.
Thought this was an interesting sign (imagine an aircraft on speaker, I assume a helicopter, hovering behind your car saying you’re getting a ticket!)
One more Calgary sign
The last hour, it started pouring rain 😦 then there was headwind making the rain spit into my face harder that it actually hurt. Imagine going uphill, rain spitting in your face hard, trucks roaring by and splashing you with even more water and the wind blowing against you! Nice last hour 😦 It was brutal to say the least. There was one bright moment. A car went by with bicycles attached to the back and they cheered me on loudly with their hands waving out the window to keep going! I was on an uphill part and they were probably just encouraging me up it – however, what they didn’t realize was that I was on the home stretch of a 12 day epic cycling trip from Victoria to Calgary and that they inadvertently were cheering for so much more. They made my day! Thank you strangers!! Finally a sign welcoming me to Calgary!! Shawn had stopped the car just ahead of it and had walked to it in the pouring rain to take a photo of me next to it (very sweet!). The first photo is me taking a selfie.
I could have carried on to the city center, but it was really dumping rain at this point. I called it a day. It was 7.30pm, I’d been on my bicycle since 8.40am. Long day. I’d done 162 kms. I was elated to have made it! Such an epic unforgettable trip!