Ride Difficulty Rating: Intermediate
Distance: 71.5 Km
Estimated time: 3.5 Hrs (Based on cycling speed of 20 km/hr )
Elevation Gain: 614 m
Maximum Elevation: 990 m
Maximum Grade: 5.9 % at 17.8 Km and -6.1 Km at 19.3 Km
Best Parking Option: Rosebud side roads
Points of Interest: Prairie panoramas at the high points, the historic town of Rosebud, the Rosebud Theater (The only professional rural theater in Alberta). Rosebud Centennial Museum. The town of Rockyford (est. 1913) is a great place to stop to refuel at the midpoint of the bike.
Amenities: There are no gas stations or ATMs in this tiny village. If you arrive early in the morning there will not be anything open so be prepared to start your ride with that knowledge. Stop for a bathroom break before getting to the town. The Thorny Rose Cafe opens at noon and there are some interesting gift shops and galleries.
Comments from our test riders:
Beginner Road Cyclist: I did a portion of this ride and loved it!
Intermediate Road Cyclist: This was a great ride along quiet roads in a unique setting.
Expert Road Cyclist: I really was surprised that this route had such hilly terrain…it was a great training run.
What to expect from this ride
If your looking for something different head East to the small town of Rosebud where the Rosebud River meanders through an idyllic prairie setting. You could do this bike ride and then enjoy the Rosebud Theatre dinner and play. The ride then justifies the enjoyment of the great buffet! Weather is a consideration in this area because you are exposed in this prairie environment. Don’t forget to check the forecast and start early to avoid strong winds. Wear bright clothing to stand out on the road.
This ride is best done clockwise so head out South on Hwy 840 and travel roughly 15 Km until you come to the junction of secondary Hwy #564 where you make a right. You have been steadily gaining elevation and now you will experience the the highest point at 18 Km. Enjoy this vista before you speed down to the next junction at 26 Km. Make another right onto Range Road #233 and expect to see Rockyford appear in another 5 Km. You can take a break to refuel if you wish before heading North to the junction with the main Highway #9. This is a much busier road but there is a wide shoulder and the pavement is excellent. Travel 12 Km before making your final right turn to join the 840 and enjoy the final cascading hills down to Rosebud.