bikes canada general moosling trip reports

A grand day out

Kat and I hatched a cunning plan – well, she had a plan to hike up Sulphur Mountain. I said I would ride there with the boy, and meet them at the base. She decided to join me for the whole grand outing.

The ride to Sulphur Mountain was in itself quite epic. Getting to Banff takes long enough when you’re towing small children. We made it there, and then had a refuelling stop at Wildflour Bakery (ohh, that place is delicious). There we met Mike and Dwayne, who bravely cheered us on from the safety of the car, as we started the ride up the hill.

And that hill? Up to Sulphur Mountain? I’d never ridden it before, and it’s really quite steep when you’re towing a small boy who doesn’t feel like pedalling.

In the end I was glad he’d decided to save his legs though. As it meant he happily hiked the whole way up Sulphur Mountain once we got there – 655m elevation gain over 5.5km, it was a decent effort.

The older menfolk turned back part way up the mountain, as they had serious business to attend to elsewhere. Or something.

The rest of us forged on to the summit – well, to the point where the gondola takes you anyway, which isn’t the true summit, but close enough. After admiring the view, we caught the gondola back down again – to the great excitement of the boy.

And then ever more excitement, it was icecream time!

And we weren’t even done then! It was time to bike tired boys back to Canmore. Thankfully the return trip on the Legacy Trail is always easier though, and we fairly flew along the trail to be home in time for dinner.

bikes canada general

Biking to Banff with my favourite training weight

Now the boy is big enough to big enough to be pedalling we’ve sold off the bike towing devices, and he’s only ever on the trail-a-bike if we get out on long rides together.

Sadly though, the trail-a-bike we have really doesn’t handle offroad trails that well (at least not the rough rocky rooty ones around here). We’re still torn about what to do as a solution – Tout Terrain make a gorgeous trail-a-bike with suspension, but it also costs close to $2000.

In the meantime, the boy really enjoys riding the trail to Banff, and has taken to suggesting it often (could it be because he gets icecream if we go there?) (and I tend to agree because I know we’ll go to the Wildflour Bakery).

And he’s actually pedalling these days. At least occasionally. Which is helpful when you’re trying to haul a 12kg bike plus however many kilograms of small boy up a hill.

Mostly he just pedals when he really wants to get to icecream or a toy store though, and isn’t convinced he needs to help me pedal into the brutal headwinds that tend to lurk on the route to Banff.

We had our last adventure with Al and Lincoln on a ride to Banff and back – they’ve now disappeared back to Australia, and we have lost some good quality adventuring partners. Sad faces all round.

bikes canada general moosling snow

Welcome to 2015

At 9am on New Years Day we were picking up a hire bike for me, then driving out to West Bragg Creek. Ideally we would have gotten there a little earlier, but we still made it in time to snag a good parking spot – unlike the hoards who’d slept in a little longer.

We chose poorly, and headed out on the Snowshoe Hare loop. It’s a snowshoe trail. Snowshoers only travel on pretty moderate, friendly, trails don’t they?

Nope. Snowshoe trails incorporate many more ridiculous hills and drops than most of the bike trails at West Bragg.

We had fun getting up and down the hills. Well the boy had fun getting down some of the hills, that’s for sure.

Once we hit the Telephone Loop trail, we headed straight back to the car to warm up toes.

I then headed off for a solo loop of my own on the south side of the trail network.

Riding south on Ranger Summit, the trail was in great shape. I didn’t have studded tyres, and didn’t lament the fact once. There’s not a lot of snow though, with bare patches in spots.

Then it was back on Strange Brew, with flashbacks from Singletrack6 going through my head. The course on the first day finished up on Strange Brew, although it rode a little slower with snow, and without race adrenalin… and with skiers to avoid at the trail crossings.

Once back in Canmore we headed out for a quick lap at the Nordic Centre, just because we may as well, seeing as we both had fat bikes for once.

It was a good start to 2015. Now for the rest of the year I’m just hoping for house renovations to be finished soon, no injuries, minimal illness, optimal fitness for Tour Divide, lots of outdoor adventures with my family, and work to be a good balance of fun and challenging.