Welcome to bikeforcancer.ca      Km so far:
Welcome to bikeforcancer.ca

Trip Logs

  Wow, that's far!Wow, that's far!Wow, that's far!Wow, that's far!




Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Wed May 30 Walsh, AB 155 1725
So our cold evening turned into a cold morning.  The fish were happy and alive in the bottom of Nadia's sleeping bag in the morning, so we took that as a good sign.  We got rolling at a decent time and took our first break at the rest area where we had considered camping.  It was an outcropping of pavement into the desert marked by three little outhouses and a little sign.  There was nothing else for as far as we could see except for the telephone poles.  There was no water and there were actually cacti growing there.  We were glad we camped in Brooks. After our second rest in Suffield, in front of Kingo's Restaurant, I managed to run over something sharp and ill-tempered which one the fight with my back tire.  I made the repair, and we kept rolling to Medicine Hat, 'The Gas City.'  We met a large group of young cyclists from Redcliff.  We bought our groceries and did lunch in front of the grocery store before hitting Staples and Wal-mart for various supplies.  Not that far out of Medicine Hat, I got my second flat of the day, bringing my total to four and moving me into the lead for the most flats - a distinction fiercely fought for amongst serious cyclist (ya right).  I made the repair, I'm getting good at it with all the practice.  This was a problem since it was our last spare tube.  I had checked at Wal-Mart, but they didn't have our size, now we're down to patching the tube with the repair kit.  During this second intermission, while I was honing my bicycle mechanic skills, Adam and Nadia finally managed to name the fish - Cliff and Luna.  Cliff has the spots and Luna has the stripes.  We finally got rolling again, and did very well with another brisk tailwind.  We got to Walsh, a town just shy of the Saskatchewan border.  Again, as with last night we would have like to keep going, but there wasn't another marked campground within a reasonable distance.  So we stopped in Walsh...  Walsh is a small spot marked by a gas station.  Right next to said gas station, and very close to the highway was the 'campground.'  I use the term lightly, it was a few fences, gravel, dust, and the occasional brave blade of grass.  It was also ridiculously overpriced.  At least the washrooms were nice.  It was an incredibly windy evening, with our few piece of laundry having to be knotted to our little clothes line for fear that we would be finding them well beyond the Saskatchewan border if we didn't tie them tight enough.  At least it was a west wind, and hopefully it will continue tomorrow.  The wind either calmed itself or blew itself out around 9 and it was a pleasant evening for sleeping.  The sunset was quite spectacular, but I was the only one who got to enjoy it as both Nadia and Adam were enjoying the luxurious gravel by that point.  It was a long ugly day, and I wasn't having fun, I actually enjoy the mechanical work, and know that it's a part of a trip like this, but the novelty wore off after the first flat.  Hopefully we can find another hardware store and get more spares before the next flat.  The patches work fine, but are a little awkward at the side of the road.  -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Tue May 29 Brook, AB 153 1570
After our weather day yesterday, we got up at 0500 to check the wind, and it looked like a decent tail wind.  We slept to our usual 6 a.m. since we had been up late talking and laughing lots.  At 6 it was quite cold.  The wind, while from the west as we want, was still rather chilly.  We took advantage of the laundry room yet again, and did a fair amount of packing, and our sun-screening there.  We got rolling around 8 and enjoyed the nice tailwind, we were rolling along quite nicely until... the road made a sharp turn to the south, and our nice tailwind became an ugly cross wind.  It blew us around for a bit, and definitely slowed us down, but eventually the road turned back to the east and the wind was at our backs once again.  We rode along a stretch where they were re-tarring the cracks in the road.  It was nice because they had closed the right lane and we had it and the nice wide shoulder all to ourselves.  The downside was that we were riding on the fresh tar, and get a few little splatters of it on the bikes and our legs.  It was making a popping noise as we rode over bubbles in the sticky stuff.  With the nice tail wind, I was rolling really well, to the point where I was coasting ahead of Adam and Nadia, and they were pedaling to catch-up.  We took a quick lunch in Bassano, so we could get back out and take advantage of the winds before they changed direction.  We had beautiful weather, but were chasing some rather dark clouds towards Brooks.  In Brooks we did our groceries and asked about the 'Rest Area' which we were thinking about camping at, if it had water and perhaps a bit of shelter.  We were told it was only two outhouses, so we decided to camp in Brooks, since there was nothing in between.  In Brooks we watched some very nasty and unpleasant looking dark clouds which were very close to us.  We decided to hang out in the local McDonald's for a while, at least until the clouds made up their mind as to which direction they felt like threatening.  When the clouds seemed to be steering away from us, we headed to camp and get set up.  It turned into a very pleasant evening.  We ate and showered and met the large group having a street party/BBQ.  We headed to bed early, which was fine since it was a very cool evening.  The fish spent the night in Nadia's sleeping bag.  It was a good day, and it was nice to get rolling and knock off 153 km.  It was a shame that there wasn't another camping area 40 or 50 km further since we were feeling so good, but 150 isn't bad at all.   -SK
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Mon May 28 Strathmore, AB Rest Day 1409
So today was our first 'weather day' so far.  We woke up at 5:00 (even earlier than usual to beat the wind) and our tent had nearly collapsed, so we went back to sleep until 6.  No change, still windy, reset the alarm for 7.  Still no change, still VERY windy.  Reset for 8.  You guessed it! We weren't going anywhere!  So, we slept for a little longer and then finally rolled out of the tent.  First order of the day was taking down the tent even though we would be in Strathmore for at least one more night because we figured if we didn't it would blow away.  We decided that since we wouldn't be riding a big greasy breakfast was in order so we head out to a local restaurant (even riding with unloaded bikes was challenging!).  After breakfast we went downtown.  Adam and Scott needed to mail some extra gear home and I wandered and happened across a pet store...a little dangerous...I have a tradition of keeping "portable" pets...so, I gave in and bought two fish.  Both like the kind that I carried around Europe last summer for three months.  And yes, they are living in my Nalgene bottle (and in my sleeping bag at night because they're tropical).  Adam got his head shaved (can you say SUNSCREEN?!?) and then we found a used bookstore and internet cafe.  I bought a book - Elizabeth and After written by Matt Cohen - and finished it.  It was a great read, I highly recommend it!  After email we did groceries, bought a "cook-less" dinner and then head back to camp.  Just as we were unpacking from our trip into town the rain started and the wind picked up.  We took refuge in the laundry room and waited out the weather before venturing outside to eat our dinner. NS  
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sun May 27 Strathmore, AB 72 1409
This morning we were up and rolling from the Holten's place in pretty good time.  Cycling across the city proved to be fairly straight forward, except for one tight-fitting gateway.  A road had been blocked off from traffic, but had an opening in the fence for pedestrians and, we think, cyclists.  But with our fully loaded bikes, we barely squeezed through.  An amused cyclist from New Zealand watch as I used my bike/trailer as a jungle-gym, while he just lifted is mountain bike over the fence before riding off.  Nadia's bike made it through more easily, but Scott's was a bit more difficult with his big panniers.  From there we left the urban part of the city, and the wind picked up significantly as there were no buildings to block it.  It was a stiff South East breeze that kept us going fairly slowly.  We got a nice break when Scott got his second flat of the trip.  That means Nadia has had one, Scott two, and I lead the pack with three.  But I've also got three wheels, one of which doesn't have a Mr. Tuffy protecting it, so I'm claiming an unfair disadvantage in this race!  For the 6 km that we rode north to the Trans-Canada highway we flew at about 30 km/hour, before getting schmucked by the wind as soon as we turned east again.  We stopped for lunch at a trucking weigh station, where we decided that since it looked as though we would only make Strathmore anyways (we had been aiming for Bassano) we would try and wait out the wind.  At the station there was a large building on a trailer, and the trucker told us that that one was only 'baby sized', and that the big one would be rolling by tomorrow.  It would need a trailer with 188 wheels, pulled by two trucks and pushed by a third.  I wonder if it gets its own lead vehicle (cheers to Nick and Dave)?  We weighed ourselves and our bikes on the truck scale, and Scott came in at 140 kg, myself at 120 kg, but Nadia skipped it.  From there we pushed it into Strathmore and grabbed some groceries.  The wind, which didn't die down all evening, was giving the stove some problems.  Hopefully its a bit better tomorrow.  We were all in bed by sunset (around 9:30), ready to get up the next morning at 5:00 to try and beat the wind.  Cheers, Adam
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Sat May 26 Calgary, AB Rest Day 1338
Of the three of us Scott had never been to Banff before, and was a little bummed when we chose not to ride through there.  So the three of us and Christa jumped in the car and headed up there today to check it out.  It's a cool place, if not psychotically touristy.  We wandered up and down the main street, and then drove up to the Hot Springs and soaked for a while.  In the parking lot we realized that we had forgotten to get a shot of a BC license plate, so with the power of the zoom lens we got a picture of some woman's car from across the lot.  Unfortunately our break in Calgary has come to an end, but onwards and upwards ... we start riding again tomorrow.  Later Dudes, Adam 
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Fri May 25 Calgary, AB Rest Day  1338
Today we got to have a well deserved sleep-in, and for the first time I was last to get out of bed, being beat by both Scott and Nadia.  After getting up and going, Glenys was nice enough to take us to do some errands around Calgary.  We hit a bike shop for Scott's bike (who needed to get his rear cassette replaced), Mountain Co-Op (to fix Scott's front panniers), the bank, and a grocery store.  Part way through Glenys treated us to lunch downtown with Christa. Mmmmm.  After dinner that evening, Scott and Nadia took care of picking up Scott's bike and faxing some newspapers, while I took off with Christa and her friends to see Shrek.  Funny movie.  We should give a big thanks to the guys at Single Track who fixed up Scott's bike, and then stayed late so that he could pick it up!  All and all, it was a great rest day, especially since we got to give our tired legs a break.  On to Banff tomorrow (a al the car!) to be tourists.  Peace Out, Adam
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Thu May 24 Calgary, AB 52 1338
This morning we were up and moving well in our break-down of camp, except for the fact that I parked my brain in the tent, taking about an hour to really wake up.  After a couple of unsuccessful tries last night, I got though to Glenys and figured out where we needed to go in Calgary.  We were all glad to hear that the Holtens live in the SW corner of the city!  The manager of the campground in Black Diamond gave us directions on how to get into Calgary using secondary roads, which proved to be interesting.  First we forded a river, where Nadia was surprised by a fish (here's to you, Janda!).  Then we went onto a gravel road, which was too steep to ride, but turned out to be the wrong road, anyways.  Once we found the right road, we biked along its rolling hills until Calgary.  Mental note:  Secondary roads are steep (and not necessarily paved)!  We ran into a guy riding from Saskatoon, who had only a couple of days to make it too Spokane, Washington, from where we were.  More power to him, but that will be tough to pull off.  Also along this road is where Scott got his first flat of the trip.  On the upside: no rain this time around!  We timed it so that we would arrive at the Holtens when nobody was home.  This way we could be showered and cleaned before anybody got home from the work!  After a nice dinner, we watched some TV and hit the sack.  We were pretty tired from today.  Even though it was only about 52 km, it had lots of uphill and was hot.  Here's to Prairie Flat after our rest in Calgary, Adam
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Wed May 23 Black Diamond, AB 135 1285
This morning really impressed me!  We were off to a great start at 7:45 and that includes packing up camp and applying sunscreen (which normally takes 10 minutes or so)! We were only 4kms from the base of the Cowboy Trail (Hwy 22) and then it was all north to Calgary.  I was unpleasantly surprised - having assumed that Alberta would be FLAT - that we were going mostly uphill with some nasty head and cross winds.  My other unpleasant surprise was that Alberta lacked the trees behind which I could pee at the side of the road...grass doesn't hide much...that's when I discovered the cattle crossings under the highway! Nobody sees you down there! Once it warmed up we were flying! We actually increased out average speeds even on the crazy roller coaster rolling hills.  For a few hours we were easily over 25kms an hour. My favorite was a stretch of highway that ran along a farm where each fence post was topped with a ball cap.  It was cool to see.  We stopped for a rest just short of Longview.  Scott scraped his knee on the guardrail, close encounters like that are never fun. A couple driving by in their SUV stopped at the top of a hill to see if we were okay.  People never fail to amaze me.  A bit later we arrived in Longview and made the decision to stop and let the heat pass.  The library was closed but the town's woman let us use her computer to get the phone number of our Calgary contact off of Adam's email account.  we went to the ESSO, got cold drinks, ice cream and snacks and napped outside the post office in the shade until the heat subsided.  At about 5 we got rolling again and biked another 20 kms to Black Diamond figuring the closer we could get to Calgary the better because city driving tomorrow would be slow. We picked up groceries and then found a Lion's Municipal campground.  Those of you who know me will know that I am a big fan of the Lions so I talked to the camp custodian for almost an hour before having my shower (hot and free!!!!) and crawling into bed.  It was definitely a long day but we made great ground and we're feeling good.  One more day 'til Calgary and then it's flat - for real this time!
Good night.
Date Destination Distance (km) Total (km)
Tue May 22 Lundbreck Falls, AB 97 1150
So, waking up in comfy beds this morning in the motel was great and the good nights sleep made for a quick start this morning. We got rolling (after a stop for bagels and donuts at the Country Style) at about 7:30 - our best morning yet which certainly impressed me!!  Riding in the mornings is always nice and cool which I much prefer to cycling in the heat of the day.  About 20 kms down the road we pulled into Sparwood where Adam and Scott insisted on taking pictures of a massive green truck (apparently the "world's largest"!) while I checked about camping and road conditions at the information center.  Ironically, the Crowsnest Pass (our route through the Rockies) was the easiest and flattest pass that we've done so far...I was eager to phone home from the Alberta-BC boundary but missed the sign on my way down a hill (down hills are exciting) and the guys had to call me back for a picture and to pull out the cell phone...they'll be talking about that one for a while I'm sure!  We all noticed that we had switched provinces almost immediately when the pavement was miraculously smoother and the shoulders were nearly 6 feet wide!!  I guess that's privatization for you.  We felt special because we got a whole cyclist lane to ourselves.
Shortly after the Crowsnest was an Alberta info center where we stopped and the staff recommended a campsite for the night.  We also ran into a friendly man who was traveling up to Alaska from Nova Scotia by RV and had a fun parking lot chat.  Blairmore (a town about 20 kms into Alberta) was our next stop for groceries, bike tubes and lunch under a tree.  We met an oncology nurse and her kids in the grocery store who had seen us on the road earlier and were very encouraging and generous.
Finally, after a few more (about 20) kilometers we pulled into our campsite at Lundbreck Falls, and just in time because I think we were all ready to melt.  The heat of the day was boiling - must have been above 30 - and we were all pretty lethargic.  We decided to hang out in the pavilion where the concrete floor was cool and there was shelter from the sun.  The friendly man who was in charge of the park let me use the phone in his RV to call home (the cell phone was out of range and I knew that mom and dad would worry).  We had dinner care of Ms. Peatfield who bought us dinner at the MEC in Vancouver before we left.  It was still light out at 10pm (apparently - I wouldn't know, only Scott stays up that late, I'm in bed by 8 at the latest!).  All in all, a long and hot day but rewarding because we finished out first province!! Yippee!


Home Page
How this got started
When were we near you?
Stories from the road
See where we've been
Thanks to our sponsors and donors
Your kind words of support
Who are we?
Our Route
Check out our gear and equipment
Related sites