Day 15 – Banff to Calgary, Alberta – 142km

As challenging as the mountains can be to cycle through,
I feel sad to leave them. However, I think about what is ahead in this campaign—the
people that we’ll be meeting, the unexpected, and my reunion with Kerr and my
dad when we get to Southern Ontario, and then I’m glad to be moving on.

Today, I’ll start by working backwards. For the last
several hours, I’ve been putting together a Power Point presentation which Gail
and I are going to be presenting tomorrow. We’re also going to be giving
another presentation on Saturday morning to the ICE Conference in Toronto via
Skype. I’ve been a busy bee; a tired bee too.

Earlier today, I cycled 142km from our campground just
outside of Banff to Sien Lok Park in Calgary. Sien Lok Park is right at the
centre of the city. I didn’t realize was that there was a lot of construction,
Google Maps failed to realize that certain paths didn’t actually cross (there
was either a railway or a creek in the way), and there were plenty of one-way
streets—I ended up improvising to get to my destination. I seem to have this
knack for surprising local CTV reporters by taking back-routes rather quickly.
A CTV crew was trying to intersect me on the way into town. They had a rough
idea of what my route was. They caught a glimpse of me making a turn off the
major road onto a side road. I didn’t see the CTV vehicle, they weren’t able to
make the turn, and I disappeared into my weaving back route of side streets and
bike paths to the Calgary core. Les and Andrea were faithful, and actually met
me at my end point—so I have to give them credit for being patient, trying to
find me, and ultimately spending 2 hours looking for me, trying to catch up,
and then going to the finishing area. I also did a similar act in Victoria.

I took a lovely paved trail from Banff to Canmore—probably
the most exciting paved trail I’ll ever ride. It was mostly downhill, quite
windy, and it had tiny hills; almost mogul-like. I slowly left the mountains.
The riding became quite flat. Slowly the coniferous trees thinned out. The nice
paved shoulders turned into neglected, bumpy single-lane highway. Grassy hills
and dry wind met me. Nice to meet you Prairies; for now. The terrain isn’t as
interesting, so I can tell already that on my longer days there’s going to be a
lot of mental effort required. When I was passing massive snow-capped
mountains, rushing waterfalls and mountain creeks, spooky tunnels, and lots of
wildlife, it didn’t matter how fast I went. My average speed increased
significantly today (to about 30km/hr), but I’m not sure it’s worth the mental trade-off.
At this very moment, the wind is throwing a tantrum. It is shaking our RV. I
can’t imagine having that force against me. I will inevitably have the wind
against me some days.

Anyways, today is quite a short blog due to the work load
I have for presentation preparation. In addition, a decent cycle earlier in the
day, not having as much resting time as I need, and an interview earlier, all I
want to do is curl up in my sleeping bag.

I have photos from Vernon to share when I have a chance.
I have more helmet cam footage to share. As well, there will surely be lots to
share after the next two days in Calgary. Ok…my eyes are getting heavy.

Good night!

Actually, one last thing…I wanted to share this photo.
Taylor, a good friend who I worked with for a couple years at Cyclepath, at Yonge
and Eglinton in Toronto, painted the front wheel of his bike in support of the
campaign. He sent me this photo. That made my day yesterday.

Kilometres for Communication painted on the rim. I love it. That's no junker bike either. That's a prized possession.

-Skye

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