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Canada, Cycle Touring, Cycling Across Canada

Cycling Across Canada – on the road to Banff

Rest day behind me, it was time to get serious on the road to Banff.  Cycling across Canada – always an adventure.

My first day after my Kamloops rest and my first century ride was in the bag – 118 kms to Salmon Arm.  Luckily, the day was relatively flat – I knew this wouldn’t last long.  I had the first 100 kms by noon making the day a double milestone day!  After a solid day in the saddle, it was amazing what excited me – chatting to a stranger while waiting at a construction zone and camp sites with good showers.  Love that the stop/go person at most of the construction zones let me go ahead on the bike – sometimes I would have huge stretches of road to myself before the cars would catch up.  The ultimate in freedom – clear road ahead, sun in the face and breeze in my helmet!

Day 2 was another milestone day with me racking up 140 kms to Canyon Hot Springs.  This was my longest day in the saddle so far, and it did not prove to be so flat with plenty of (killer) hills to climb.  It was at one of the lookouts that I met up with Kevin, a pastor from the prairies, also doing the cycling across Canada trek.  While I had my bike loaded to the hilt with panniers, he had a neat little set up with a Bob trailer attached to the rear wheel of his bike.  He set up was sleek , however he did tell me he had a few issues.  There are pros and cons to each, but I was quite happy to stay with the loaded bike.  Kevin slowed down and we road together – it was great to have company.  His high spirits and good mood helped me and my heavy load over many of the climbs of the day.  With nearly 7 hours in the saddle, we pedalled in to Canyon Hot Springs – and as the name suggests, a magnificent hot pool (42C) was waiting – the perfect way to melt the road weary muscles!  A night at the campsite adjacent to the pools was in order!

Canyon Hot Springs, photo from http://www.bchotsprings.com

I quietly melted away in the pool, my legs turning to jelly.  In not time, it was too hot, and I had to switch to the cooler water.  The rest of my day was spent going back and forth – pure heaven!  I was convinced this was just what my body needed – after all, tomorrow I had to climb Rogers Pass.  I didn’t exactly know what to expect, but people kept telling me about it!!!  Funny thing – that night, after cooking in the pools for a few hours, I really knew what a lobster felt like – I lay in my tent, unable to sleep.  It felt like I had cooked myself through and through!

Summit of Rogers Pass - photo courtesy of http://www.scenictravelcanada.ca/rogers-pass-bc

On my own again the next morning, it was time to face Rogers Pass.  1330 meters – it was tough, but not nearly as tough as I had expected.  As I was nearing the summit, a car slowed and asked if they could take my picture.  As long as I didn’t have to stop, I had no problem with it!  Face red, and jersey open as far as it could, I pedalled on until I hit the summit.  I have to say – the gatorade at the top was probably one of the best of my life!  I continued on, destination Golden.  I remember little of camping that night –  I am sure it was lovely!

After 3 days, covering 380 kms, the shorter ride from Golden to Lake Louise was supposed to be a blissfully short day.  Having climbed Rogers Pass, I thought it would be easy – cruise along, cross a time zone and enter Alberta.

Then I met Kicking Horse Pass, named in 1858 for the horse that kicked James Hector.  It was a kick in the teeth – why had no one warned me of this one?  I had met pure evil!   I struggled to get my bike and gear over the pass, each switchback hiding the road and climb ahead.  I don’t know how many times I stopped, but it may well have been the toughest climb on my entire trip!  The views were without rival but at times it was all I could do to look ahead of me!  I gladly stopped to look down the incredible cliffs, catch my breath and let the screaming in my legs stop.  Five hours later, I dragged my sore and tired body into the HI Lake Louise Hostel – paradise in paradise!

Time for another stop – 2 nights and plenty to see!  After all, the point of cycling across Canada is more than just pedalling – must also see the sights!

On the road to Banff ride stats:

Start Stop Distance (km) Time Riding
Day 6 Kamloops Salmon Arm 118 5h 31m
Day 7 Salmon Arm Canyon Hot Spring 140 6h 42m
Day 8  Canyon Hot Spring Golden 121 6h 45m
Day 9 Golden Lake Louise 84 4h 58m


About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!


18 thoughts on “Cycling Across Canada – on the road to Banff

  1. Oh my gosh! Those mountains are BEAUTIFUL!!!!

    Posted by Faithrises | March 2, 2012, 4:29 pm
  2. I remember going to Canada about 35 years ago and its beauty was unforgettable. Your photos help jog those memories. 😉

    Posted by orples | March 2, 2012, 4:31 pm
  3. i cant imagine what you are going through, but the views are fantastic.. love it, brill’ 😉

    Posted by cobbies69 | March 2, 2012, 5:38 pm
  4. Wow…you are conditioned! That’s a lot of miles–you have really accomplished something!

    Posted by Travel Spirit | March 3, 2012, 6:20 am
  5. The wilderness is what I miss the most from when I lived in BC. There’s nothing like it.

    Posted by themofman | March 3, 2012, 12:23 pm
  6. Looks like Beautiful Country to visit and explore:) Thanks for sharing and Have a Great Weekend!

    Posted by cravesadventure | March 3, 2012, 3:47 pm
  7. Hi. I originally stopped by to say thanks for taking the time to look at my photos and click “like.” But then I started looking over your post about your bicycle trip through Canada. Whew! I am tired after just reading about it! More power to you!

    Posted by sandraconner | March 3, 2012, 5:15 pm
  8. I am in awe. Here I am worrying about 150 miles over two days in the relatively smaller hills of North Carolina. You are an inspiration!

    Posted by cole | March 5, 2012, 6:50 am
  9. Have done Roger’s Pass in a car and that was hard, beautiful and unforgetable. for you to do it on the bike. I take my hat off to you. And then on to Lake Louise. You have my admiration. Looking back at all this must be fun.

    Posted by katehobbs | March 6, 2012, 8:48 pm
  10. What an adventure! I could see how much effort you pour at staying fit. Nothing is more rewarding, after bustling (like Kicking the Horse Pass) for hours, than relaxing into this wonderful place called Lake Louise Hostels — which I just visited via the link.

    Well, it’s Canada baby and I know, from the movie Twilight alone, how conducive the place is to an adventurer and nature lover like me. However, I’m not from there and I don’t have the means to globetrot yet (?).

    I’m content in visiting your beautiful place for now — virtually.


    Posted by Sony Fugaban | March 7, 2012, 3:40 am


  1. Pingback: Cycling Across Canada | traveldestinationbucketlist - May 6, 2012

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