bikes canada general snow trip reports

The return of adventure Sundays

With a knee that was starting to feel a lot better, I decided to make the most of having a whole Sunday to play. First up was a ski at the Nordic Centre, where conditions were surprisingly pleasant – although would certainly have been better if I was skate skiing. The main plan was to keep Miles company as he hit 1000km of skiing for the season.

Next up was loading the fat bike, and then waiting for the road up the pass to clear of crashed vehicles (it had been an icy morning).

A few centimetres of fresh snow on crust made for pleasant riding and clear tracks. There was no-one much else about though. Two bikepackers coming out from the Spray River, and one guy coming from Banff along Goat Creek, and that was it for the whole afternoon of riding. Just me pedalling along with a knee that felt perfect – meditative bliss.

From Banff I headed up along the Brewster Creek trail to Sundance Lodge. Quickly, because I realised I was going to run out of daylight if I wasn’t careful. It was another deserted trail, although in great shape and with plenty of previous fat bike traffic.

On reaching the lodge I paused for a minute to eat a snack, then flew off downhill.

Hurrying back along Goat Creek the light was getting low. It was silent and deserted, but a beautiful evening. And then I came upon a bull elk standing alone in the middle of the trail. We eyed each other. I asked him politely if he could wander into the bushes so I could get by. And waited. Eventually he wandered off, and I rode by.

The descent back into Canmore was achieved with minimal light, but thankfully also minimal traffic. I rolled in the door at 9pm or so, having ridden 92km and still wondering if I should get out and ride another 8km (to make it a round 100km). But I was starving, and out of water, and succumbed the the seductive pleasures of food and warmth – besides, another 8km would have been a contrived addition to a really fun ride.

bikes canada general moosling snow trip reports

February adventures: Fatbiking and skiing slush

An exciting round up of a random selection of trips that now get crammed into one post thanks to the fact that it’s now a month after the fact and I’ve almost forgotten what happened. Welcome to the exciting world of me having an un-injured knee again! (For a while) (It’s actually hurting again right now and I’m not sure why, but am attempting to pretend it’s fine, and that I’m not worried) (I’m actually a bit worried)

Adventure 1 was a fatbike trip from Canmore to Banff, via Goat Creek. With little snow and lots of warm days, Goat Creek was getting glazed and fast, easy riding conditions, and perfect for towing the trail-a-bike along.

We’ve actually hacked up our Tout Streamliner now so that it has a 2.4″ on it instead of the skinny tires it came with – downside is less gears available, as we had to remove half of the cluster to get the tire to fit.

As most of February has been, it was a gorgeous day, and nice and warm. There wasn’t much other traffic about, either on the road, or on the trail.

And so we rode our bikes, and mosied along, and the trip was uneventfully peaceful and pleasant. We may have sung Bohemian Rhapsody (or as the boy calls it, “the Mamalayo song”), and Everything is Awesome. Loudly, and with little regard for accuracy or tunefulness.

Not pictured is the end of the trip, where we arrived in Banff and descended on the Wildflour Cafe like a plague of locusts. And from there headed to the Roam bus stop, and the very friendly bus driver helped us load our ungainly pile of bikes onto the bus for the ride back to Canmore. Success!

The next random adventure was me deciding to ski the Cookie Race in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. I’d signed up a couple of months earlier, back when the snow was still good, and the promise of 42km worth of cookies seemed like a good deal. The shorter 24km race costs the same amount, but there are obviously less aid stations to pass through, and thus less home made cookies. I am not silly, and so opted to maximise my cookies.

When the day came, waxing conditions for classic skis were verging on ludicrous, and I set off hopefully with a couple of sticks of borrowed wax, hoping I wouldn’t have to double pole the whole course. On the plus side I opted to wear my rainbow fur gaiters and unicorn rainbow leggings, which at least made the suffering more entertaining. I definitely had a lot more conversations out on the course as a result, and received a lot of cheering on from random by-passers.

But in short – it was warm, waxing was terrible, I survived. I finished the 42km and came second in my category through virtue of the fact there were only two in my category. I did however win the most awesome outfit category, so there is that (note for accuracy – there was no such category). The cookies were great though!

Adventure number three was a ride of the High Rockies Trail. We started at Driftwood, rather than riding the section from Goat Creek which I’ve done a few times now. Starting at Driftwood and heading south provides some glorious well packed single track, and it was in great condition.

Pictured above is me concentrating furiously on not falling off the bridge and down into the precipice of imminent peril. Certain doom awaited.

Incredibly fun trail, highly recommended winter fat bike ride, and much more moderate than some of the epic climbs that are required on the trails around Canmore.

And so that was February!

bikes canada general

Bike date day!

Novelty of novelties, Alex and I have things set up now so that every 3rd Friday we get a day off together, with no boy to look after. Provided no-one is sick. Which means we’ve only pulled it off three times so far. But still!

This particular bike date day, we opted to ride to Banff on the fat bikes, via the pass, then the bumpy and frozen Goat Creek trail.

By the time we hit Banff, the day was really warming up. We ventured out towards the Tunnel Mountain trails, but pulled the plug when we saw how muddy they were. Then it was back home on the bus – luxury!

This unnaturally early spring is making for a confusingly early shoulder season – I’m a little bit worried about what weather summer might bring.

bikes canada general moosling snow trip reports

Goat Creek (Spoiler: There were no goats in the creek)

There was movement at the bike shop, for the decision had been made
That we would bike the Goat Creek trail today,
And all the way to old Banff town — and maybe back again,
so we needed one more snow bike for the ride.
All the gear was gathered from the cupboards high and low
And piled in heaps upon the hallway floor,
For we’d learned to love hard riding through the snow and mountain air,
And the toddler in his carriage cried for more.

The bikes were fully loaded, so we set off up to Whiteman’s Gap,
The old pass that takes forever just to reach;
But from the top the views around could not be beat —
On a day with such a blue and cloudless sky.
As we reached the trailhead we switched the Chariot to skis,
The better then to glide over the snow;
For things were getting tougher as we pedalled down the trail,
Could be we’d bitten off more than we could chew.

The snowy path we pedalled — staying out of skiers tracks
So the going was as hard as it could be,
For we rode on deep fresh snow, completely uncompressed
A straight line was hard to keep, and so we tired.
Then we halted for a moment, for a snack and sip of tea,
And for the wee young toddler to run about,
Before long we returned sore rears to seats and then were off,
Churning through the snow with heavy legs.

And down by Banff Springs Hotel, where the tourists flock about
The mountains rise majestic up on high,
Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze
At midnight in the cold and frosty sky,
And where around the ski trails the pine trees sweep and sway
To the breezes, and their icy beauty cannot be denied,
The snow bikes are still looked at with amazement and dismay,
And the people tell the story of their ride.


(My apologies to Banjo Paterson, I have no idea what possessed me.)
(Distance covered: 30km, Elevation gain: 750m, we didn’t bike back to Canmore as we ran out of time, and weren’t feeling that masochistic anyway)

canada general moosling snow trip reports

12 hours of Saturday


8am – Peaceful breakfast :)



9am – Finn helping me with the laundry



10am – Another warm day! And it’s snowing like crazy.



11am – Back in the car after finally meeting up with everyone, now off to the trailhead



12pm – Skiing along the Goat Creek trail, starting from Canmore, heading to Banff



1pm – Lunch break at the first bridge



2pm – Crossing the second big bridge – still snowing like crazy



3pm – Still snowing! (the Chariot behind me is covered now)



4pm – Skiing with Finn on my front. Nearly there.



5pm – Finally got to the carpark (18km later), then hike up the hill to the Banff Hot Springs.



6pm – I opt for hot chocolate instead of hot springs (too dehydrated!)



7pm – Car shuffling complete, we all head back to Canmore



8pm – Hanging out on the sofa with the boys


More 12 hours captured here.