Archive for the ‘Radium’ Tag

2010 Golden Triangle Day 2 – Radium to Golden   1 comment

Day 2 of the ride started off good. After a soak in the Radium hot springs the previous evening and then a good night’s sleep I was ready to go. first of course we fueled up at a good communal breakfast. I think we were pulling out of the motel parking lot around 8:45. The weather was cool (single digits) but dry. Wearing long pants and a jacket over my long sleeve jersey, I was very comfortable.

The ride north from Radium to Golden is just a little over 100K and relatively flat(some climbs but no mountain passes). Highway 95  follows the valley between two mountain ranges providing  mountain scenery without the climbs. In the valley is the Columbia river which is broken up into many channels and picturesque  little lakes. The terrain beside the road is mainly rangeland and farmland. It was rural but not wild country one wouldn’t go very far before seeing a driveway leading to a house set back from the highway.

Between the 20-some riders with the EBTC and the 300 with the EVCC there were a lot of cyclist on the road this day but it was never crowded. Towards the end of the day I would ride many kilometers before catching or passing another cyclist.

The Columbia River Valley

The EBTC support van at a roadside rest stop

My touring bicycle

The day was peaceful, enjoyable and eventful (except for one story yet to come). I stopped many times to take photos along the way (which made it a little difficult to keep up with the group (I think I did slip to the back of the back). I was not helped by a knee pain that developed about mid day and got progressively worse. This is not a chronic injury nor could I trace it to any specific incident, so I just kept moving along and using photo stops to settle the knee down.

Black Bear

Along the route I would see a black bear down by the river. It was a fair distance (a few hundred meters) away and across the road, down a hill on the other side of dual railway tracks and across a hundred meters of marsh, so there was never any worry of an encounter.  I was also fortunate to see a young (but large) bird-of-prey (not sure what kind) in a nest – pretty cool! I stopped for awhile to watch as the mother left the nest, presumably on a hunting expedition while the baby remained in the nest squawking. It is interesting to note that his nest was not in a natural habitat but rather located at the top of a pole that had probably been set up to provide a nesting habitat.

Bird in a Nest

By late afternoon, I was pretty alone on the road – there were a few others but not many. My knee continued to hurt but I soldiered eventually  using my good leg for most of my power. Also late in the afternoon my crank developed an annoying creak. With my knee hurting I didn’t feel like stopping to check out the crank – another 20km or less and I’d be in Golden and then could assess the situation. Unfortunately as I was going up one hill I discovered that I couldn’t shift my front derailleur properly and when I looked down I discovered that my large chainwheel was wobbling. Still I figured i could carry on with just my smaller chainwheel – just a little farther to go. Then my chain fell off and I had to stop to fix it. At that point I looked more closely at my crank and chainwheels. I discovered that a bolt that holds the chainwheels  together was lose – no it was missing! Looking more closely I discovered I wasn’t missing just one of the bolts but two … three…four of the 5 bolts! How could that happen?!

Anyway I got out my tools, tightened up the remaining bolt very securely, left my chain on the small inner chainring and hobbled on into Golden. I found the motel we were staying at, caught up with the group, cleaned up and had a great dinner.

In the evening I had a little time to wander around the town of Golden and take a few pictures. I love the fast and cold Kicking Horse River

Kicking Horse River in Golden B.C.

As I marked the end of Day 2 I was thinking ahead to the next day, wondering if my bike and my knee would be up to some serious mountain passes on the return to Castle Mountain Junction.

To see many more photos of the wonderful scenery from this day please visit my Facebook album. Also check out my blogs of Day 1 and Day 3 of this tour

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Posted March 6, 2011 by Randy Talbot in Cycle Touring

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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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