Tag Archives: bikepacking

Elk Lakes overnighter

Last minute trips are the best trips! We got an invite to bikepack out to Elk Lakes, and who could say no to that? We’d been kind of planning to hike Arethusa Cirque with Tanya on  the Saturday morning. But it had snowed a lot, and hiking motivation wasn’t high. I struggle more with hiking than biking, and the boy wasn’t in a hiking mood. So rather than fight that, we decided to keep it short, and get to the trailhead for the bike trip. It was a bit chilly – the forecast had been threatening snow, or maybe freezing … Continue reading Elk Lakes overnighter

Bikepack Canada Summit 2017

After a successful overnighter to kick things off on Thursday, and then a great silent auction and social at the Canmore Brewing Company on Friday night, it was officially summit time. Last year’s summit was spent shivering in a tent in the Rebound Cycle parking lot. This year we went up-market and luxuriated in the warm and spacious confines of the Canmore Opera House, courtesy of Spring Creek.  It’s a recently finished rebuild to match the original Canmore Opera House, which used to exist in that location – the actual original lives in Calgary now. First up was a frosty … Continue reading Bikepack Canada Summit 2017

Bikepack Canada Summit overnighter

The forecast for the Bikepack Canada Summit overnighter wasn’t exactly looking optimal – and that’s even with the summit being shifted back a month closer to summer. The forecast threatened a day of riding in snow, and a possible overnight low of -10oC. Given that it’d been sitting above 25oC for most of the last few weeks, it seemed a bit rude. Nontheless, eleven happy riders and Jeff showed up to the start, enthusiastic to be getting out riding their bikes. Jeff was a bit worried about a repeat of the freezing cold snow camping temperatures we’d experienced in February, … Continue reading Bikepack Canada Summit overnighter

Cheering squad: Hurtn Albertn 550

I’ll be honest, my desire to follow this race so closely was partly  wanting to cheer everybody on (and hope more racers finished this year than last) and partly wanting to make sure no-one broke my record. Except of course if it did get broken, well, that’d just be an excellent incentive to try and get back out there next year and win it back. So, in short, I was feeling a little conflicted, but had a keen interest in who was racing and how fast they were going to go. This year the race had been modified to allow … Continue reading Cheering squad: Hurtn Albertn 550

Bikepack.ca family overnighter: Part II

A post that was split into two not because I have so much story to tell, but because there are so many photos it was getting a little overwhelming. Before everyone started heading off on their separate ways, we got some photos. Chris and Jeremy and their daughters had arrived at dusk last night, having made it through on the Big Elbow side of the loop. The kids were absolute troopers, and were all set to head back via the Little Elbow side today. The one hiking family set off back via Elbow Lake, and the rest of us set … Continue reading Bikepack.ca family overnighter: Part II

Bikepack.ca family overnighter: Part I

A tentative booking of Tombstone campground earlier in the year turned into a crew  of seven families heading out to the campground, one way or another. In hindsight it might not have been the best option for a big family trip – the idea had been that it’s ideally placed for quick access from the Elbow Lake side, but in reality that side isn’t great for bikepacking, and access from the other side means a longer day for small kids. Oh well! Everyone needs an epic every now and again. A few of us started from the Little Elbow campground … Continue reading Bikepack.ca family overnighter: Part I

Cheering squad: Alberta Rockies 700

Another in the ‘race report from the sidelines’ category, as the Alberta Rockies 700 rolled around, and the two Ryans came up with the plan to set up a neutral support station outside Rebound Cycle for all the AR700 riders  who would be rolling through Canmore. It’s possible that some of the supporters were a little more biased than others though! A good crew had assembled and the BBQ had been fired up with Adam and Kyle rolled in, covered in dust and looking hot and hungry. See the death stare that burger is getting? While we waited for riders … Continue reading Cheering squad: Alberta Rockies 700

Lake Minnewanka bikepack overnighter

Last October I attended (and presented at) the Canmore Bikepack Summit – which I still need to write about, but that’s another story. But that led to meeting a lot of very awesome folks who were keen to get out bikepacking, and to me volunteering to host a couple of local Bikepack.ca overnighters, throwing the invite open to whoever wanted to come. And that is how I came to be preparing to go bikepacking when there was a snowfall warning, threats of 20cm or more of snow, and a likely overnight temperature in the vicinity of -20oC.  Despite the weather forecast, … Continue reading Lake Minnewanka bikepack overnighter

S24O

S24O stands for sub 24-hour overnight bike camping trip, for those of you out there who aren’t into all the cool acronyms the kids use these days. After getting the Moosling to bed on Saturday night, I loaded up my bike, and headed out for a solo overnight adventure in the snow – just for fun! Packing took a while – I’d never packed for an overnight snow camping bike trip before, so it took a little organising to get everything onto the bike. It did fairly simplify things to not really need any food or water (I did bring … Continue reading S24O

Fall bikepacking to Lake Minnewanka

Getting out on a family bikepacking trip is one of those things that we kept meaning to do, but somehow we had nearly run out of summer weekends and it still hadn’t happened. We’d initially been thinking of riding the Elbow Loop. Or maybe just going out and back on the north-west side. But our attempts to book a campground failed. Curse you, Alberta Parks with your “oh, sure, we have sites available” website, but then when they get back to you 48 hours after you tried to book online it turns out that there are indeed no sites. Contemplating … Continue reading Fall bikepacking to Lake Minnewanka

Hurt’n Albert’n 550

It was 5.40am and only just light when we arrived in the Cross Iron Mills carpark for the start of the inaugural Hurt’n Albert’n. The carpark already had a cluster of riders gathered in it, and I got my bike together with a whole two minutes to spare. Group photos, hugs and goodbyes, then we headed off for a neutral rolling start along the pavement at 6.05am. I was mostly in a sleepy daze at this point. I hadn’t been sleeping well in weeks. There were lots of awesome looking bikepacking folks riding around me. I didn’t know any of … Continue reading Hurt’n Albert’n 550

The Kootenay Gravel Grinder

It was 6.50am on Saturday morning, and Alex and I were at the 7-Eleven in Fernie grabbing a spare pair of lithium batteries for the Spot Tracker (Spoiler: The batteries we bought were alkaline instead of lithium, and I just realised that it might not have been me who made this mistake). I had no idea how old the batteries in the Spot were, and I was about to go and line up to … race? take part in? ride? the Kootenay Gravel Grinder. Race details had been kind of sparse, and organisation levels minimal. There was originally a 7am … Continue reading The Kootenay Gravel Grinder

Methadone

After a couple of days riding down to Fernie, my legs were still feeling overexcitable. So after a fun night staying with Katya and her family (thanks guys!), catching up and spending some quality time stalking Jackie in her Tour Divide attempt, I set off from Fernie along the Old Stumpy trail. From there I diverted onto a trail that ran mostly under the powerline right-of-way, through an active logging operation, and finally out onto the highway just outside of Sparwood. Far slower than riding the highway, with lots of up and down, but it was nice to be off … Continue reading Methadone

Megan and Kate’s excellent adventure

After waving off Jackie and the rest of the Tour Divide crew, I was on a mission. First, to drop off the offspring at school – he was almost on time. Then home, and to pack my bike ready to cycle out of the house when Kate arrived. Thankfully, Kate was running late, as I had done a bare minimum when it comes to prior preparation. Less thankfully, it was starting to rain. I helped Kate get her bike packed up for her first overnight bikepacking adventure, and then we set off into the dubious weather some time after 11am. … Continue reading Megan and Kate’s excellent adventure

Scotland: The end and the stats

        Clamato juice is so tasty because it’s full of MSG! Excellent. Glaswegians are a pack of communists. Finn has developed a fear of walking around on aeroplanes. Terry’s Chocolate Oranges can be purchased for £1 from Tesco! Watching multiple episodes of Border Patrol on the plane is counter-productive if you’re hoping to pass through immigration in a non-furtive manner

Scotland: Corrieyairack Pass II

The bothy was a little chilly in the morning, but still excellent protection from the marauding midges that would have been sucking our blood, given the chance. One thing I won’t miss about Scotland is having to pick dead midges out of my eyes. We got going by 9am, after an underwhelming breakfast of seed bread that had disintegrated entirely under the pressure of bike bag storage. The menfolk left it to me, opting to eat more structurally sound breakfast material themselves. The climb up towards the pass from the bothy was steady, and mostly unrelentingly uphill. Steep enough to … Continue reading Scotland: Corrieyairack Pass II

Scotland: Corrieyairack Pass I

Corrieyairack Pass is a 770 metre high pass in the Highlands, and is known in a large part because of the military road built over it by General Wade during the Jacobite Risings in the 18th century. These days the road isn’t in great shape, but is relatively popular with hikers and cyclists. Corrieyairack Pass was where we were headed tonight. But first, up we were headed north along the canal route, and the shores of Loch Lochy (really? were they running out of names). Undulating dirt road through mossy forest and enormous trees, forest camp sites, rope swings, ferns, … Continue reading Scotland: Corrieyairack Pass I

Scotland: Glenfinnan, a munro and The Canal

We saw a fox today! But first, packing up camp, I felt my fingers spiking and blistering from sun rash. My skin is ridiculous. I rolled my eyes at it, and was sure to put on my long gloves. We took the coast B-Road to Ashaig. Having a brief stop at the village store, we snacked while watching a beginner group of kayakers heading out on a guided trip. Finn loudly proclaimed: “Look, they’re sailors Mama!” Then we cycled onto the uninspiring A-road to Glenfinnan. There was a cycle path for part of the way, but a great deal of … Continue reading Scotland: Glenfinnan, a munro and The Canal

Scotland: The Isle of Rum

The rain has stopped. The air is still and moist, and the midges are swarming. Packing up our tent, we cycle down to the ferry terminal. Lashing the bikes to the railing, then upstairs to break into our nutella for a civilised breakfast at a table. The ferry takes us to Mallaig. We aren’t sure where we’re going next, it will depend where we can get to. Alex finds a ferry going to Rum, but we’ll have to travel down the coast a little, it leaves from Arisaig. There’s time to do a quick grocery shop, then we hit the … Continue reading Scotland: The Isle of Rum

Scotland: Skye sky

Both Finn and I dream about his birthday. He dreams he is a ninja and has to fight lots of snakes in our house with his sword, and when he gets them he says ‘heeYAH heeeYAHH!’ And then he gets to eat his cake because he did such a good job. On the other hand, in my dream we’re at the wrong place and nothing is organised and I’m letting everyone down. To the cemetery on Broadford Bay, we watch a man in gumboots go to spend time with his cows, and I am reminded of my father. We wander … Continue reading Scotland: Skye sky