Day 16 – Canmore to Calgary

Day 16 – Canmore to Calgary. I was very sad to say goodbye to Stewart and Gill, who have made the first two weeks of my adventure so memorable and enjoyable. Their hospitality and generosity have been unbelievable, and I only hope to get back to this part of Canada again before too long, possibly without a bike (can I borrow a bike Stewart?). After saying farewell to Gill in Canmore, we rode together as far as Morley (Hi again, Morley!) on the Trans-Canada, with the Rockies slowly fading behind us.

  • Today’s Distance (miles): 72
  • Time in saddle: 5h 32
  • Max/min temp (°c): 23°/15°
  • Climb/descend (feet) : 1800 / 2574
  • Calories used: 3,522
  • Cafe time: 2h 34

    Stewart took advantage of a downhill section to get a few yoga asanas together, saying his private mantra “Wheeeeeeeee!”:

    Trying out a bike-route-diversion that was a dead end, we passed a guy with a very professional long-lens setup waiting patiently by an Osprey’s nest:

    We finally stopped at a 1st Nation cafe/gas station that had just opened, where my hip flask came in handy to toast a proper Scottish-coffee goodbye to Stewart:

    After a final goodbye, I set off for Calgary whilst Stewart headed home to Canmore, with a headwind awaiting him that became my tailwind for the afternoon. A very different terrain after the mountains, but not unwelcome to see herds of cattle, horses and endless bird life. 

    This one’s called “The Long Un-winding Road”

    After a long spell I turned off the highway onto quiet, mostly smooth (not all!), rural roads all the way into Calgary. I heard two different bird songs an awful lot; one that sounded like a 1970s Trimphone, and the other like an old-fashioned modem trying to connect to “the internet”. Any ideas anyone? Maybe from the same, rather out-of-date, bird?

    Calgary has great cycle paths, and loads of them. My sat-nav took me along a lovely quiet suburban route, including crossing an entire dam, to the heart of South West Calgary where I had a lovely warm greeting from my hosts for the evening, Ricki & Daron and their two great kids Libby & Willem, and their helper Bambie. Sorry if you’re more than just a helper Bambie! Ricki is my great friend and FOTB John Mills’ cousin. Daron and I worked out that he’d been to a concert near Aix (La Roque) in Provence that we both played John! Message from Daron – he heard me most “and it was great”. Just passing it on.

    Ricki and Daron were absolutely encyclopaedic in their knowledge of the roads I’ll be travelling between here and Winnipeg, having driven them many times during their lives. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have this sort of knowledge about the small towns I’ll pass through, and the various problems I may encounter. Thanks so much. Our meal was superb, huge steaks and red wine, and a nice coincidence was that they got married at the Post Hotel, Lake Louise, where we had our delicious brunch yesterday, and go back often. Also thanks for the lovely singing and fun company in the kitchen from Libby, and for the daring demonstration of Guinea-pig wrangling from young Willem (and Sammy the G-P). I understand they have included this discipline in the Calgary Stampede this year – best of luck Willem! Don’t look them in the eyes!

    Just the one What Is It, Sam? today, suffering from mid-cycle blurring syndrome. Think I should know this one, sort of familiar. Found growing right by the highway:

    And now, it’s back to…..Signs That Are Funny!:

    Alberta’s radical new policy. “Tired of your sister on that long car journey? Recycle! Fed up with your husband’s tedious and predictable unfunny stories? Recycle! Leave ’em here, we’ll dump them out the back! Recycle!”

    Tell me something I don’t know.

    No song stuck today, except Trimphones & Modems. Must be a day off.

    13 thoughts on “Day 16 – Canmore to Calgary

    1. Wonderful Ben!
      I have been forwarding your blog to my uncle, Earl from Nova Scotia. He was most interested in your Rockies crossing as he knows the area well. I thought you might be interested in what he said:
      ” I know that whole area very well. When I was transferred to the Advanced Flying Training School at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Pat and I decided to take Wayne and Peter to Vancouver Island on holiday. This was around 1952 if I remember correctly. There was no road, at the time, across the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Everyone crossed over to the USA and crossed over the Rockies there. We found out that a Canadian road was being built and said we are Canadians let’s try it. We made it through. Many times stopped and waiting for the road ahead to be cleared from a just blasted part of a mountain. One time we had to drive onto a barge which took us out in a lake so as to be safe from blasting then when the rubble was cleared we were brought back to land to continue our journey. Fond memories.”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hello there dear Ben on the long unwinding road! Brilliant to read of your journey and get a glimpse of the people, places and guinea pigs you have encountered. I’m just reading Travels with Charlie by Steinbeck who took the easy option – a small, specially made camper truck – and had his faithful poodle on board. What pet would be suitable for a long distance cyclist like you…

      Sending much love and strength to those legs

      Rebecca at No 19

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Welcome Rebecca! Great to know that you’re following the blog, and I hear from Susie that you had a lovely time in Dorset after your good news. Very glad to hear both those things. I don’t know the Steinbeck so will have a look. Pets….guinea pig? Anything that can cling to your shoulder I think. Lots of love bx


    3. So much interesting info from the ever widening web of comments

      Guinea pig wrangling could catch on…

      And the recycling notice is a gem

      You seem to be scudding across our map now !

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Yeah sorry Daron, I tried to stop him playing in all the rests but I just couldn’t get through. He had his glazed look and kept muttering something about bikes and N+1 over and over…

      I’d completely forgotten he’d seen that concert! I went on from there to a holiday with the family and Daron kindly came to pick me up in his rather plush Mercedes S class hire car. Touring in style! Very glad you guys could meet up in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. It’s very quiet here in Canmore without you – only your blog to cheer us up. I suspect you will really eat up those miles for the next week or more. Power to you!
      BTW, the little flower is ‘shooting star’.



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