bikes canada general

Another week of biking

Lusk/Jumping Pound/Cox Hill

We wanted to get out for a ride, somewhere out of the valley. I agreed to, or maybe even suggested, adding on Lusk Pass to the JP/Cox ride. It would make it a little longer and would mean we wouldn’t have to drive all the way over.

And sure, I’d heard Lusk Pass wasn’t a great route, and best used as a connector if you needed it, and not worth riding more than once.  But I didn’t know. I just didn’t realise! How could I have known?

It was worse because I was riding a borrowed bike. A borrowed bike that’s great for riding down hills, but an absolute pig for riding uphill. I’ve never been so close to stopping and hurling a bike into the bushes as I was on that ride. Between the steep, hideous, washed out rocky terrain, and the deadfall, and the vegetation overhanging the trail – it was just beastly.

So we climbed directly up to the Jumpingpound summit rather than riding down to the south end. And that climb was a breeze in comparison to Lusk Pass.

So we were at the summit taking stupid photos in no time. Here’s me filled with joy at having finished most of the climbing, and having eaten most of the skittles.

Then we started to get moving, over and across to Cox Hill, wishing it wasn’t quite so overcast, but at least there are so mosquitos this year.

The descent down Cox Hill was fantastic fun on the big bike. Not so much fun that I’d ride it over Lusk Pass again though.

We ended up taking the road back to the car. Because we’re not complete maniacs, and kind of wanted to make it back there before sunset. Which we accomplished. Just.

Distance: 45km
Elevation gain: 1,350m
Time: 4 hours

Highwood Pass Granfondo

Why do Granfondos have to start so early in the morning? I’d scored a free entry into the Highwood Pass Granfondo, but was debating whether I really wanted to get out of bed that early so I could go ride in the rain. But who was I kidding, of course I did.

Allan, Greg and I had planned to ride together. Kicking off at the start, we ended up in a big group of riders that just got bigger. By the time the first aid station came along, we were relieved to have an excuse to stop – one or two of the riders obviously didn’t have much experience riding in a group.

After losing our big peloton, we made it most of the rest of the way to the top on our own. Once we hit the last couple of kilometres I decided I may as well see just how fast I could ride the final section, and started hammering to the top on my own. Fun!

Once I got to the top I snacked, waited for the guys, and then we started to head back downhill. And then the rain joined us.

Here and there we joined forces with other riders, but mostly rode on our own to the finish line.

And then devoured our delicious meal! Transrockies, you guys are the best!

To top things off, I actually won the female hill climb, and scored myself a sweet green polka dot jersey.

Three generations ride the Legacy Trail

This was Finn’s idea, and so we set my mum up on my single speed, and set off to Banff.

Finn set a new PR – it’s easier when you keep getting longer, stronger legs and bigger wheels.

The only hitch to the whole ride was when we tried to catch the bus back to Canmore from Banff. The driver was strictly enforcing the number of bikes permitted on the bus, despite the fact the bus was far from full, with a good queue of folks with bikes trying to get on. After missing the first one, we cunningly made our way over to the first bus stop in town, and the driver reluctantly let us on this time around.

Another Canmore experience in the bag for mum.

bikes canada general

Jumpingpound Ridge

Being a stinking hot day on Sunday, it seemed like the perfect day to go and ride a bike up a very steep hill. Note that this is the Bow Valley definition of stinking hot, meaning it was just about 30oC, not over. When it only occasionally reaches 25oC, anything hotter can be a shock to the system. Anyway, it was hot, so we decided to ride up a steep hill, settling on Jumpingpound Ridge (and thinking we’d maybe tack on Cox Hill on the end). It’s one of the best rides in the area, getting the ‘world class’ descriptor from the mountain biking guide.

And there are definitely some very nice views. But first there was a long slog up through the trees, in the sun, with not the slightest breeze, gaining a few hundred metres of altitude in not very much distance. Thankfully I didn’t have to tow the Chariot though, as Finn was off hiking up to the summit with Papa, where they would meet us for lunch.

As soon as we broke out onto the ridge there was a lovely cool breeze, and things improved after that. Single track wound in and out of the trees, climbing the ridgeline, until finally we were out into the open within sight of the summit. And then there were sandwiches! Actually, bagelwiches.

We were both nearly out of water, so decided the Cox Hill portion of the ride would have to wait for another day, and proceeded to scream along the ridge before dropping off the side and back down to the road again, where we were picked up by Alex and Finn.

Five stars, thoroughly recommended.