Day Seven and Eight: Golden, BC to Exshaw, AB (200km) and Exshaw to Calgary

A beautiful couple of days of tailwinds, headwinds, downhills, climbing, border-crossings, another bear, Trans Canada cruising and friendly faces.

Day Seven started with a delicious cup of coffee and oatmeal courtesy (and some IB Profen, for good measure) of amazing hosts Magi and Graham in Golden, before tackling the slow, beautiful climb out of BC along the Kicking Horse River. The grade of the hill was quite manageable, and a cool tailwind made this the best day yet. Stunning views of mountains, the crystal blue glacial rivers running alongside the road, and even more wildlife all added to the mix.

After a yummy lunch in Field and climbing the Kicking Horse Pass, it felt quite rewarding to cross the border into Alberta, marking the end to a fantastic (and challenging) first week on the road. It felt fantastic to cruise downhill along the Trans Canada Highway into Alberta, finally being able to get the legs moving after several days of climbing.

It is wonderful to have several hours a day to simply think. Lots of memories, dreams and ideas pop up when you give them space to do so.

Yesterday, cruising through Lake Louise, I was reminded of mom, and the time she flew out to Calgary to visit for a few days. I’ve felt an extra ray of sunshine or two that I’ve attributed to her somehow (or maybe a headwind today for the time I made a mess in the kitchen making banana bread that I failed to clean up). Either way, the ones we lose too soon are always with us if we’re opening to the gifts they continue to give us.

Losing her so early in her life has served as a regular reminder to dream big, make plans, and perhaps most importantly to turn both into action. There is no time like the present to act on an idea, big or small and take small steps to bring it to life. You never know what life has in store for you and you only get to live each moment once. Encouraging you to take a minute today to give an extra hug, tell someone you love them, and to get turbo tangible on making a dream or idea you’ve been putting off to long and start brining it to life.

I had a great evening catch up with cousins Andrew, Mayra, and Bella in Exshaw. They made me feel super at home, welcoming me with delicious ceviche! Bella even helped me pack!

Day eight featured an 80km ride into Calgary,during which there was a stiff headwind for about 60km. I don’t remember it being so hilly!

Had a great quick catch up with Acadia family member Jeff Wright, one of the most thoughtful people I know. He writes an amazing blog that I would highly recommend to anyone experiencing grief or trying to find their way in the world. He’s helped me, and no doubt countless others get through dark times with his openness. And he’s got a heck of a sense of humour. Was glad he didn’t mind tromping around the U of C campus with a goof in Acadia cycling kit.

Tale of the Tape

Day Seven

  • 200km, max speed 61.3kph, 11 hours in saddle, 6370 calories
  • 2 packs instant oatmeal
  • Delicious pour over coffee
  • Double espresso
  • Quinoa salad
  • Hawaiian pizza bagel
  • 2x cliff bars
  • Tomato dill soup (at the tasty Truffle Pig in Field)
  • Beet burger with house Frites (Truffle Pig)
  • Ceviche
  • 1/2 bag of kettle chips
  • Two mountain passes
  • 3x Reese PB cups
  • 1 bag of sour patch kids
  • 1 stick of teriyaki beef jerky
  • No coke!

Day eight:

  • 104km, 6:12 in the saddle, 17kph average, 46.7 max, 2985 calories
  • 4 breakfast sausages
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 pieces of toast (with Pineo levels of butter)
  • 1 banana
  • 6 sesame snaps
  • 1 pack of clif blocks
  • 2 handfuls dehydrated apples (Mayra rocks!)
  • 1 delicious pint courtesy of Jeff Wright
  • Guacamole and chips
  • 2x BBQ sausage
  • Delicious spinach strawberry salad (thanks Beth and Lilly!)
  • Maple ice cream bar
  • Dark chocolate sea salt gelato