Day 10: Easing out of Calgary

Day 10: Easing out of Calgary

Last night was a wonderful night of catching up with friends in Calgary. One of them, Umair, was with me in Davos in January, so we took a photo to celebrate the first reunion of a country’s Global Shapers from the 2018 Davos crew.

Ben and Umair are standing in front of a beer list.
Ben and Umair

The catching up went longer than planned, so I rolled in to a late brunch with Heide before heading out of town at about 2pm. The ride out of town is great, from Kaj’s apartment until about 25km from the city is all on protected bicycle lanes and trails, so I could sit back, relax, and pedal. Or so I thought.

Calgary has oddly poor signage for its bike lanes. I kept having to stop and consult a map when approaching a fork in the path. At one point a path spit me out on the side of a busy road, and I had no idea how to get to the next segment. Thankfully Ron and Etta rolled up as I was studying my map, and they led me to the irrigation canal trail that I rode all the way out of town. Then I hopped on a secondary road running parallel to the Trans Canada, intending to intercept it when the highway cuts south near Gleichen.

As I cruised down the road I could see threatening storm clouds in the distance and had to push through a headwind. I stopped for a gas station sandwich (sadly noticed the Subway a hundred meters away afterward, veggies would be handy). A woman at the gas station asked if I was headed toward Strathmore, which I was, and she warned me not to continue due to the strong winds and hail.

Gleichen, Alberta’s water tower shown at sunset
Gleichen, AB water tower

Having no choice but to go east I chanced it. Thankfully the headwinds were the only part of the storm I had to deal with, as I watched it move northward in front of me. The whole evening was marked with sunshine up until my arrival in Gleichen and their barebones municipal campground sandwiched between the water tower and a bull statue. Unfortunately tomorrow is going to feature pouring rain all day.

Today’s lesson: bikes move so slowly that you can literally watch a storm in front of you but never actually catch it.

Today’s distance: 98.5 km

Cumulative distance: 1,213.5 km

Today’s climb: 196m