To day: 59km, 220m
To date: 915.5km, 9,950m
To go: 6,885km
So just to clarify how I am doing this – I am only keeping count of my riding days in the title – and not my rest days… I am not really sure why I am doing this, but it seems to have just evolved this way. To date I have taken 3 full rest days – one in Kamloops, one in Lake Louise, and today in Banff.
Lake Louise was a really lovely place – yes totally and completely touristy, but a very good reason for that…. the lake is just breathtaking. Honestly I could try to describe it, but it would be entirely cliche and not really explain it anyway – let’s just say, if you are in the area, you must see the lake (Fina & Dom!!). I met Emmy, a girl from the Netherlands, at my hostel, and we hiked up to the Lake Agnes Teahouse. This 3km trail leaving from Lake Louise climbs high into the surrounding mountains and deposits you at not only a lake just as beautiful as Louise, but also a cute, quaint little teahouse. Sure the tea and scones were pricey, but considering the staff hauls everything up and down on their backs, I suppose it is understandable!
That evening I noticed someone had left a note on my bike. It was from a man named Joshua asking if I was cycling to Banff the next day, and if
so, he was in room 101. We met up and agreed to cycle together the following morning. Joshua is cycling from Victoria to Toronto to raise money and awareness for the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. You can find his fundraising page here. The ride to Banff was really a perfect ride – slightly rolling terrain, but mostly downhill. We were able to ride on the Bow Valley Parkway rather than the TCH which was much more enjoyable. Sure no shoulders to speak of, but the traffic was few and far between and moving slowly. We stopped at Johnston’s Canyon – I had been told by two different groups of people that this was a must-see… and sure enough – it was. Within a 5 kilometre walk, you see two beautiful waterfalls – but really it was the walk itself that I loved. Often times you are on a bit of a boardwalk precariously perched out over the raging water below! Just spectacular.
When I first planned this trip, I intended to ride up to Jasper and down the entire Icefields Parkway to Banff, but at the last moment, decided to go straight to Banff. When Joshua mentioned he was taking a tour up to see the sights of the Parkway, it was an easy decision to go with him. So today, my rest day, we were picked up early by a shuttle and delivered to the tour bus. We hit up all the main sites including – Lake Louise (again, but thats ok), Crowfoot Glacier, Peyto Lake, and the Athabasca Glacier & Columbia Icefields – to name a few of the highlights.
The Athabasca Glacier was probably the main attraction – we were shuttled onto a couple different buses – and one terra truck (like a monster truck for driving on ice) to drive out onto the glacier. We got to spend 20min (quite a long time to ooh & aah) on the ice, and drink some of the glacial water if we wanted. Very fresh and cold!
The tour was great, but it was also a reminder that travelling by bicycle is really more my pace. :)
Oh yes, and an update on the knee – it was in some pain riding to Banff, and today it has felt fine walking about. I have been icing and elevating, and taking advil, and stretching and trying to massage out some of my tight muscles – so hopefully it does some good. I also got my bike refitted in Banff – I think once I bought and put on the new seat in Golden, it changed my riding position for the worse…. so fingers crossed this helps too! I am only planning to ride 26km tomorrow into Canmore and see how the knee feels after a short day before I move on. It is mentally very hard for me to move slowly and take a lot of rest days, but I need to remind myself that if I don’t I may have to give up all together, and that is out of the question! Until all other alternatives are explored at least.