Ride Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Distance: 21 Km
Estimated time: Based on cycling speed of 20 Km per hour it would take roughly 1 hour.
Elevation Gain: 341 m
Maximum Elevation: 1411 m
Maximum Grade: 11.0 percent
Best Parking Option: Park at the Sibbald Flats turn off from Hwy #1
Points of Interest: This route has fantastic views of the Mountains but is included in this Blog primarily as a first time beginner trip on a roadway that is quiet and has a good shoulder.
Amenities: There are no real facilities so be prepared with food and water to fuel the journey. This ride is only one half hour from Calgary.
Comments from our test riders:
Beginner Road Cyclist: This was an easy distance with some great hills. I did it twice to get some distance training.
Intermediate Road Cyclist: I think that this would make a good beginning season ride if repeated twice.
Expert Road Cyclist: This was too easy for me….
What to expect from this ride
Head West on Hwy #1 and take the Sibbald Flats turnoff (Hwy #68) and park before you go under Hwy #1. There is a gravel area that is visible at this access point. The first 21 kilometers of this roadway is paved and in excellent condition. This is a perfect place to test out your road bike at the beginning of the season since the pavement is in great shape and there is minimal road traffic. Sibbald Flats is anything but flat. The hills are still challenging and if you go out and back twice it is good aerobic conditioning.
The area is named after Andrew Alexander Sibbald who was recruited to teach in Morley in 1875 by Rev. George McDougall. Andrew was Alberta’s first teacher and taught at the Morley mission until 1896. He and his son ranched in the Sibbald Creek area until his retirement in 1903. Mr. Sibbald was also involved in the design and construction of bridges and buildings from Calgary to Banff.
In summary, this is a very convenient distance from Calgary to do either an early season ride or test out your new road bike. At some point, we are hoping that the entirety of highway 68 will be paved.