Ride Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Distance: 47.2 km
Estimated time: Just under 2.5 hours based on cycling speed of 20 km/hr
Elevation Gain: 328 m
Maximum Elevation: 1387 m
Maximum Grade: 5 % at the 11 km, 5 % downhill at the 36.5 km
Best Parking Option: After driving through Cochrane, keep heading west on Hwy 1A. Turn north off of Hwy 1A onto the Grand Valley Road. There are a few pullouts within the first few km’s after you turn north. I just pull into one, making sure not to block farmers access to their gates.
Points of Interest: Working ranches and Big Alberta Sky’s
Comments from our test riders:
Beginner Road Cyclist: Perfect!!!
Intermediate Road Cyclist: A great quick training ride with very little motor vehicle traffic.
Expert Road Cyclist: Ok when short on time…
What to expect from this ride
This is one of my favourite routes when I want to ride solo. There are often other cyclists but very few motor vehicles…and the cars, motorcycles and trucks that pass are very respectful of cyclists.
There are just a few gentle ascents early in the ride, then relatively flat for the middle half, then on the way back gentle descents. A perfect route for practising some high cadence and standing drills…or for just looking around at the stunning countryside that is not fragmented by acreages like many other rural areas near Cochrane.
The road surface is chip seal for most of the ride. Some picky road cyclists may not like the vibration that comes with chip seal but generally the road is very well maintained and potholes seem to be filled yearly. Be mindful of the 4-way stop at Twp Road 280.