Cochrane to Water Valley out and back

This group of cyclist are enjoying the route. Note how their solid colour jerseys show up well and they are all riding single file.

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

Distance: 81 km

Estimated time: 4 hours based on cycling speed of 20 km/hr

Elevation Gain: 800 m

Maximum Elevation: 1347 m

Maximum Grade:8.7 % uphill at 58.7 km , 7.8 % downhill at 22.8 km

Best Parking Option: The strip mall at the corner of Hwy 1A and Horse Creek Road in Cochrane or along Horse Creek Road just as you turn north off of Hwy 1A onto Horse Creek Road. Note: Hwy 1A is ofter referred to as Bow Valley Trail on maps. If you park at the strip mall, park well away from the business entrances.

Points of Interest: At ~ 23 km you will cycle past the Dartique Lodge – currently used as a community hall this historic building was constructed in 1934. As of summer 2021 a new metal roof has been installed so the building is being well maintained.

Water Valley has some interesting spots including the General Store (open 7-7 daily and offers ice cream and coffee) and the Water Valley Saloon (popular with the motorcycle crowd but very welcoming of the lycra clad cyclists!).

Amenities: Washrooms at the Water Valley General Store (please support them with a purchase!)

Comments from our test riders:

Beginner Road Cyclist: A long ride!

Intermediate Road Cyclist: A great training ride with some varied terrain.

Expert Road Cyclist: Awesome!!! You can really get going on this ride as there are very few STOP signs and traffic to contend with.

Water Valley General Store.

What to expect from this ride

This fantastic route was made possible with the ~2017 paving of a short section of Horse Creek Road that now allows for a ride all the way from Cochrane to Water Valley on paved surfaces. This route has very low motor vehicle traffic and passes by lovely acreages and farm land. The occasional group of motor cyclists will pass you and usually give you lots of room. If you decide to stop for lunch, you may meet up with the motorcyclists at the Water Valley Saloon. There are some nice climbs but none are too long so this makes for a very pleasant cycle and would make a great route if you are planning a group ride with friends.

This area can be subject to winds so be prepared and plan to do this route on calmer days. For most of the route you will be on a variety of pavement surfaces, but generally very good and as of Sept, 2021 pot holes have recently been filled. Most roads have no lines or designated shoulders once you get past Twp Rd 280.

Very, very quiet roads!

Goldenrod, Madden, Dog Pound Panhandle

Aug 7, 2021 was a smoky day due to wildfires in BC and Alberta. But even then the views of the farm land between Madden and the Goldenrod Hall are spectacular. The condition of this road on this stretch of the ride is excellent….not a pot hole or pavement crack in sight.

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating: Intermediate with option for a Beginner ride by turning around at Madden

Distance: 69.4 km

Estimated time: 3.5 hours based on 20 km/hr cycling speed

Continue reading “Goldenrod, Madden, Dog Pound Panhandle”

Highwood Pass: Through Route to Longview; Gate to Gate to Gate; Kananaskis (North Gate) to Summit; Longview to Summit; South Gate to Summit…the options are endless

Highwood Summit – June 6, 2019 Is that snow??!!

Note: As of June 3, 2021 the road surface is not as good as in past years. For the North gate to Summit route there are sections of rough pavement as well as a few herds of mountain sheep to contend with on your swift descent. Our current recommendation, is to do this route from the South gate to the Summit as the road is in better condition. On Sunday, June 12, 2021 there were cyclists reporting that it was snowing at the summit.

Through Route to Longview – Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating: Expert , also an expert level of logistics and planning required!!

Distance: 98.9 km…darn, just shy of a metric century ride

Estimated time: 5 hours based on cycling speed of 20 km/hr, but you might be quite a bit faster because there is quite a long descent on this route.

Continue reading “Highwood Pass: Through Route to Longview; Gate to Gate to Gate; Kananaskis (North Gate) to Summit; Longview to Summit; South Gate to Summit…the options are endless”

Calgary to Chestermere

June 13, 2019 Irrigation Canal along the Calgary to Chestermere Route

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating: Beginner but can be used as a longer early season training ride

Distance: up to 80 Km (out and back)

Estimated time: Up to 4 hours based on a cycling speed of 20 km/hr

Continue reading “Calgary to Chestermere”

Legacy Trail – Canmore to Banff with Vermillion Lakes extension Out and Back

The Legacy Trail is part of The Great Trail (previously called the Trans Canada Trail). It is well marked and a dedicated pathway for non-motorized modes of travel between Banff and Canmore. The trail is used by Olympic calibre roller skiers, distance runners/walkers/wheel chair athletes and cyclists of all abilities. You will note the ‘Be Kind to Slower Cyclist’ signs along the route. This past year we have noticed the addition of Max 20 km/hr speed signs.

Ride Statistics

Ride Difficulty Rating – Beginner

Distance – 55.5 km (a shorter option at only 44 km is to exclude the Vermillion Lake extension and turnaround at Banff)

Estimated cycling time – 2.75 hours if you go all the way to Vermillion Lakes, 2 hours if not. Based on 20 km/hr cycling speed.

Continue reading “Legacy Trail – Canmore to Banff with Vermillion Lakes extension Out and Back”