Update: until ~June 6, 2021 there is construction (repaving) of the road from Black Diamond to Longview so we would recommend avoiding this route for the next few days. But…after that, it will be a treat to cycle this section of new pavement. It does look like they are widening the shoulder so hopefully that will result in a safer cycling experience.
Ride Difficulty Rating: Intermediate
Distance: 101.7 km (or round it to 100 km! and call it a century ride)
Expected time: 5 hours based on 20 km / hour average cycling time
Elevation Gain: 798 m
Maximum Elevation: 1403 m
Maximum Grade: 4.7 % short uphill on the return ride on Hwy 40, -5.5% downhill on the out trip at about the same location
Best Parking Option:
Park in Turner Valley at the Community Centre if there are no activities going on. Alternatively, there is ample parking in the town along side streets. Do not block driveways.
Points of Interest:
The town of Black Diamond is a great spot to experience the cowboy life. Visit the famous Black Diamond Bakery and Cafe on Centre Ave, but best to keep the stop for the return trip.
Beautiful ranch lands and foothills are the highlight of this trip.
Washrooms available in Longview.
Comments from our test riders:
Beginner Road Cyclist: A very long out and back but you an turn around at any point.
Intermediate Road Cyclist: A great ride….but the on a windy day it will be very challenging.
Expert Road Cyclist: Challenging yes! But on a good day extend the ride all the way to the Highwood summit.
What to expect from this ride
This is a fun out and back ride to do with friends on a weekend afternoon. The first part of the ride is through Turner Valley, then within a few minutes you will be in Black Diamond. But don’t get distracted as the ride has just begun and there is still a long way to go.
Continue on to Longview by heading south on Hwy 22. This part of the ride is a series of fairly gentle ups and downs on a fairly good shoulders. Some cyclist find this portion of the ride unnerving on heavy traffic days. Ride single file, wear bright clothing and attach a light to your bike for added visibility. This section is about 17 km, each way.
Once you turn off Hwy 22 at Longview, head west on Hwy 541. There will be little traffic but you may be surprised on how windy the Foothills can get. On one ride here I was sure I could have walked faster than I was cycling…there must have been a 60 km/hr wind! Hwy 541 is a very gradual uphill climb to the turn around point. Take a moment to soak in the view!!! There is always the option to continue west …but the goal of this ride is to reach century status (at least the metric century status of 100km). There is no specific marker on where to turn around so make sure you have your GPS coordinates with you. Click on the link above to see where we turn around to make it a metric century ride.