64.79 km - Total so far 1,047.08 km - http://ridewithgps.com/trips/4942718
- Today we rode from the Village of Lake Louise to Banff, a distance of about 60 km and mostly downhill. Before leaving the hostel, we exchanged pleasantries with two ladies who were cycling to Jasper and the Icefields Parkway. They were both Canadian Forces Health Care professionals from CFB Edmonton. Hélène fixed the front brake on their bicycle and I talked about our quilt and our insanely cute sewing machine. We wish them a safe journey and hope they will let us know about their ride.
- We did a bit of shopping at the sports store picking up new pedals for Hélène. All that climbing has given her a sore knee. With her current pedals she has to clip in all the time and cannot move her feet. These new pedals allow her not to be clipped in all the time and make moving her feet around possible.
|A yoga bear stretch before the day's ride|
- As we got ready to leave from the parking lot, we spotted Millon heading out of town.
- We had planned on taking the Bow River Valley Parkway to Banff, Hwy 1A. This is a quiet two lane road that goes through the Banff National Park. It is not well signed as you leave Lake Louise but we eventually found it. There is a big archway at the entrance and very informative signs on the large creatures one might encounter. We were particularly interested in what was said abput both the grizzly and black bears.
|Note the warning about the possible location of bears|
- The ride was like a Sunday morning ride in Gatineau Park less the grizzlies. The road was in excellent condition and with a posted 60 km speed limit. Very little traffic and everyone adhered to the speed limit. Did I tell you it was sunny and around 15 degrees...just perfect. We took our sweet time and treated this ride as a rest day.
|View on the Bow River Parkway...breathtaking|
- We did not see any bears but were aware of their presence as they use the sides of the road as their personal washroom. The only large animal we did see was an elk, who wandered across the road and decided to have lunch right there and then. Not having read up on elks, we were very cautious as we approached. By then a number of cars had stopped on either side of the road to take pictures and using the cars as protection we got by the big animal. As we went by him, we noticed two more elks in the woods near the road.
|Big elk is in line with with car on right hand side of the road|
- After stopping many times along the route we finally made it to Banff. As we did many times in the last few days, we had to cross a number of Texas Gates along the route. They are used to keep large animals off the highway or out of town. We found out from a gentleman in Banff that you can cross them at speed on your bike quite easily. We will wait for a demonstration before we try that trick on our own.
|A Texas Gate|
- Tomorrow we head out to Cochrane, that is just outside Calgary. For the first half of the ride, we will follow a bike path to Canmore, and thus avoid Hwy 1. Although Hwy 1 has a wide shoulder, there is lots of traffic and not pleasant.
- We are spending the night in a Parks Canada campsite without access to Internet. We also have been warned of bear visiting the campsite and we have had to lock food and anything scented in a food locker. We will sleep with our bear spray cans at the ready.
- We leave you with some of the pictures we took.
|The still talking to each other couple!|
|Castle Mountain, Bow Valley River Parkway|
|Lunch halfway to Banff|
|Water, trees and mountains|
- Many of our friends and acquaintances have gone to Europe on cycling holidays and reported on the incredible scenery they observed. After experiencing but a tiny bit of this great country, Hélène and I believe that we made a good choice by first discovering what Canada has to offer.