The Salty Dog 6hr over in Salmon Arm, BC, marks the official start of the bike season in Canmore. Well, that’s my rule anyway. This year, we really didn’t have much in the way of dry trails in Canmore beforehand – so the greasy muddy trails we ended up having to race on were at least a little better than the snowy trails back at home.
Laziness being the better part of valour, I opted to have a team mate this year instead of going solo. In some ways this was actually harder, as I constantly had to be paying attention to the time, instead of just riding my bike in circles for six hours. On the other hand – well, I got to spend at least 15 minutes sitting down and doing nothing but eating every hour or so. The other bonus was that I didn’t have to do the first lap (pictured above), as sprinting up a hill to get into prime position for the single track really isn’t one of my fortes.
Other added bonuses of the Salty Dog trip included the cultural excursions to both Boston Pizza and Dairy Queen. Yes, I’ve spent this much time in North America without visiting either of those fine establishments.
My fancy new road bike was taken out on its inaugural voyage on the roads, as I cycled it out solo to Castle Junction and back again – a fairly leisurely 113km or so.
There were no bears, but swarms of other bikers out on the road. I’d forgotten how hypnotic a road bike can be, and how hard it can be to actually stop once you’re legs have picked up speed and rhythm. I was tempted to keep going to Lake Louise, but for the knowledge that my knees mightn’t be as happy with this plan as I was.
In the end my knees felt fine the whole way, the weather stayed nice and sunny, and I enjoyed the views along the Legacy Trail and Bow Valley Parkway.
We had another trip to Invermere on the May long weekend, while it rained in Canmore, surprise surprise (it rained a little in Invermere too, but at least it was warmer).
The boy found a friend to ride with, and so he and I rode a loop of the Junior Johnson trail with this new adopted friend and his family. The boys were busy pretending to be trains most of the way around, and we were just pleased they were sufficiently distracted with each other that they forgot to complain about hills or tired legs.
The boy remains cautious on steeper downhills (quite sensibly as he has no brakes on his balance bike).
After that successful weekend, which included a little frustration at trying to keep up with a friend who had pedals on his bike, we finally went out and bought him his first pedal bike.
Right now the boy and his new bike are engaged in a kind of stand-off though. He’s thrilled with the pedals, and keeps telling everyone that he has pedals now. But he doesn’t want to actually learn to use them, as it was a bit tricky the first time he tried, so all bike riding has become theoretical at this point.
Meanwhile I went riding south along Spray Lakes Road, just to see what was there. I found some snow, some ice, a little rain, and a squeaking noise in my bike. No bears.