Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Calgary Off Day!

Hello Faithful Followers!

The blog is back to be up to date and continuing my contribution as the "off day blogger" I am sitting in my Uncle Gary and Aunt Barb's beautiful house overlooking the Kananaskis Mountains with a full stomach and a great feeling of contentment.
Like a Gordon Lightfoot song
The last few days for us have been fantastic, we have successfully crossed the Rockies and are looking forward to (hopefully) having a strong tailwind to blow us across the Prairies. I could take a full page to describe our excitment about the upcoming change in Canada's topography and speculating about the future; but instead I will focus on the last two days.

Sunday, July 15We wake up in Canmore and having forgotten to set alarms (again!) and enjoy a little sleep in. Upon waking up however, we get our butts into gear pack up our stuff into our panniers, eat our breakfast and for the first time in three days we begrudgingly put our saddlebags back onto our bikes! A rough moment that no one particulaly enjoyed after the luxury of having the Davie's Support, but we put on our stoic faces, jump on the bikes and push on and begin the day.
Tour 4 Kids
Before beginning we knew this was going to be an easy one. Only 100kms to Calgary area and options galore for places to crash. The bike ride really nice, the roads were hilly but more downhill than up, and the scenery was beautiful and the bags didn't hinder our progress as much as we feared. We hit some rain, but it wasn't debilitating or much of an issue except for the cold. But after what we went through in Quebec and New Brunswick this rain is barely worth mentioning. A little too cold perhaps, but with our new dishwashing gloves (great idea, thanks Phil and Alex!) and some long sleeve shirts on we were fine.
The ride was also marked by the Tour for Kids. A cool organization where hundreds of cyclists bike for a great cause, for us it was an opportunity to draft effectively and maintain some easy speeds and we flew towards Cochrane (until we eventually passed a group of them!). It was a fun testament to our improved bicycling skills and as we passed a group we'd been chatting with with cheers of "These guys are BEASTS!" as we pushed our bikes fast towards Calgary.

With our panniers back on the bikes we also got reintroduced to our long lost foe...the Flat Tire. Jordan had our first flat since the support crew joined us. A sad moment, especially since it was in the rain and chilly. But luckily for me I got didn't realize right away and eventually pulled into a gas station where I prepared sandwiches for the boys, drank hot chocolate and waited with a book. It was nice, until after 45minutes I watched incredulously as they sped right past the gas station and had to hastily pack up lunch and struggle to catch up. Eventually I did since they stopped where I shared the laugh about enjoying the inside comforts of a gas station and the quick pack up needed to keep from falling to far behind.

The day continued with one other note of interest. Coming into Calgary on the 1A we had a great tailwind, and it was mostly downhill and we FLEW! We covered the last 20+kms in about 30 or 40minutes and sped in and past the off ramps all the way to my Uncle John's house in Calgary. We weren't really ure what to expect having made some dodgy plans but the arrival was fantastic.
Stampede Fireworks
There was a party, it was the last day of the stampede and there were 15people having a good time, eating dinner, and drinking. And we eagerly joined in! Kyle took a good 10minute break when he fell asleep on a couch in the middle of the festivities but other than that small moment we held up valiantly. We enjoyed the luxury of great food, great company, and FIREWORKS! As part of the conclusion of the 100th Calgary Stampede there were 4 simultaneous sets of fireworks going on all over the city, so after a game of Dixit 6 of us headed out to the top of Nose Hill that overlooks the city and the display of bright explosions. We braved the bugs and eventually made our way back to John's house to conclude the night with (even more) drinks and bed.

Monday, July 16Miraculously, I don't have a hangover, but we do sleep in...again. Till almost 10! At which point we get our stuff together and head out to take on the day. Jordan and I go to the prearranged bike shop in Calgary and drop them off and head to the city centre to meet Jordan's friend Nasra. We share some stories and a fast food lunch before parting ways and making our way to visit Jordan's cousin Taylor. We enjoy her company in her ridiculously swanky apartment and arrange to potentially have her join us in the morning for te Calgary departure.

Oh, Kyle at this point is doing our laundry back at John's house! Haha, sorry Kyle.

John and Mark
Anyway, the day continues and we make our way using the easy public transit of Calgary back to John's house where we get a ride back to the bike shop to check out our familiar bikes with all new casings, sprockets, shift cables, overall tune-up, brake pads and lots of other stuff. A big thank-you to Cactus Cycle and its Owner Steve for the discount and essentially neglecting store priority and getting three bikes ready to go in 6hrs; and the bikes actually look a little healthier! Needless to say, we're excited to test out the bikes after their beautiful hollywood makeovers.

To finish the day my cousin Rory picked us up from the bike shop and drove te three of us to Bragg Creek to visit my Aunt and Uncle. Two notes, the food was fantastic and the company great. As I sit at their kitchen table it's really easy to imagine myself sleeping in tomorrow and staying here for the coming days and feeling as good as I now. However, the road is calling and there will be time to rest again at the end of the trip.

Big thanks (once again) to Monica and Elaine for making the Rockies a little easier.
Uncle John, Mark, and Sean for taking care of us, shuttling us around the city and making our little Stampede experience great

And Aunt Barb for waiting for us on Highway 1 (even though we weren't on it) to help us out should we need it, uncle Gary for opening his house and the tasty steak and Rory for driving us around and giving me a hard time for my lack of phone communication skills.

Time to get back on the bikes. Here we come Prairies.

No comments:

Post a Comment