Archive for the ‘Banff’ Tag

2010 Golden Triangle Day 1 – Castle Mountain Junction to Radium   5 comments

The day starts early, up by 7-ish. I’m excited,  I’ve waited for this day for sometime: a couple of months if you count from when I decided I would ride this year’s Golden Triangle (or 23 years if you count from the last time I cycled this route).

We have a group breakfast in the hostel dining room although at this point I don’t really feel a part of the group and I don’t think most of the other EBTC riders had any idea that I am even with them. A quick clean-up of dishes and then the bikes and equipment  are loaded up for the drive to the starting point: Castle Mountain Junction.  I was not exactly sure where to go so I try to follow the group van – but I eventually lose it in the traffic. I then direct my attention to keeping an eye out for the Radium turn-off, which I easily find and then turn into the Castle Mountain Junction hostel parking lot.

It is a beautiful sunny and warm morning (in the shelter of the parking lot) as I  get my bike out of the back of the car, attach the front wheel on and put-on my handlebar (camera) bag and rear rack bag (rain gear/clothing). I decide to start off the ride wearing  my short sleeve jersey – partly because it feels warm and partly because we will be cycling up hill from the start. I take notice of the altitude of 1437 meters about 800 m greater than I am used to at home

We head out up highway 93, across the Trans-Canada The ride starts uphill – nothing too serious just a matter of a lower (but certainly not my lowest) gear, a moderate cadence and patience. The sky is mostly clear and  blue and the mountains deliciously snow-capped

After a climb of about 7K we reach the first summit for the day and 4K later we cross the Continental Divide, the border between the provinces of Alberta and British Colombia. Through this stretch, the vehicular traffic is fairly light but there are many bikes on the road – primarily due to the 300 members of Calgary’s Elbow Valley Cycling Club that are running their own Golden Triangle ride simultaneously along the same route.

The rest of the morning ride is very peaceful with no major climbs. I find myself stopping every few minutes to  take photographs. One fairly long section had obviously been hit by a forest fire in the not-too-distant past and had the skeletal remains of a forest to give an eerie beauty to the landscape

Our group lunch stop was at Vermillion River Crossing at about 40K, I am the second last in our group to arrive but I keep telling myself that it is not a race and I want to take advantage of the journey to take lots of photos (at least some of which will be references for paintings). The after-lunch section is relatively flat. The weather is coolish with a bit of drizzle and a few flakes of snow. This turns out to be a very solitary section of the route in which I see very few other riders. I do pass a couple of deer but do not stop for too many photos.

Randy mid-afternoon on the road to Radium

At about 75K we start the big climb, the second  and last for the day. It is about an 11K climb up from the Kootenay River. We have our last rest stop of the day at a viewpoint 8K up. The far side of the valley is in thin, low clouds showing yet another kind of beauty to the mountain landscape

view from viewpoint overlooking the Kootenay Valley

Another 3K uphill after the rest until we begin the big descent into Radium.  It is a long downhill. It may have been hard work pedaling uphill  but with the traffic and narrow lanes is not at all relaxing going down – riding one’s brakes with full concentration is required.

After a short ride through town we reach the Bavaria Motel, check in to our rooms, relax a bit in the sun and have a wonderful spaghetti dinner in the Gazebo. That evening a ten of us pile into the van for a short drive up to the Radium Hotsprings where we enjoyed a relaxing soak for an hour or so. I must have been pretty tired and relaxed because once back at the motel I fell asleep quickly.

To see more photos from this first day of the 2010 Golden Triangle click here.

Posted July 22, 2010 by Randy Talbot in Cycle Touring

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2010 Golden Triangle – Day 0   Leave a comment

Day 0 (Friday May21st) – The day finally arrives to get this journey underway. This is the day for final packing and getting to Banff to begin a long weekend bicycle tour – the Golden Triangle: Banff – Radium – Golden – Banff.

I loaded up my gear into my panniers, removed the front wheel of my touring bike and maneuvered it through the trunk into the back of my Toyota .  As planned, I hit the road just after noon and drove south in the  rain for an hour and a half until I reached Red Deer. After a quick lunch break at the A&W, I continued my drive towards Calgary. At the north edge of  the city I took the new highway 201  which skirts around northwest Calgary avoiding the delays of the old route through the centre of town. By the time I got through Calgary the skies were mostly blue and sunny. Highway 1 took me through to Banff where I arrived around 5:30.  I found the hostel, got my key and settled in.

HI Banff Alpine Centre Hostel

I spent some time that evening walking in the vicinity of the hostel taking photos with my iPhone & Nikon D80. It was a rather chilly evening (around freezing?) so I broke out my toque and was glad to have a down vest with me.

Randy in Banff pre-Golden Triangle

Randy in Banff near the hostel taking photos

After walking around fro an hour I headed back to my room and amused myself by creatively  processing some of the iPhone photos I had taken.

tree near Banff HI hostel (after creative processing with Photoshop Mobile)

Later in the evening, 9:30ish many of the others in our cycling group arrived at the hostel, although at this point I still didn’t know most of them.

Hoping that it wouldn’t be too cold or wet in the morning, I called it a night.

Posted July 12, 2010 by Randy Talbot in Cycle Touring

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