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Riding the Rockies

In the summer of 2005 we cycled for the first time in the Canadian Rockies, in some of the mountain parks of Alberta and British Columbia. Now, in late 2010, we have trouble deciding whether that ride, or our trip in New Zealand, was the greatest cycling experience of our lives. In any case, the first ride in the Rockies was so wonderful that we returned for another in 2007, this time looping into Montana as well as cycling in Alberta and British Columbia. We hope to return for more.

The map below shows both years' rides. The first, a little under 400 miles, is outlined in maroon. Circles indicate the start and finish of the ride. We started in Jasper, Alberta, with an out-and-back day trip to Lake Maligne. After the flight to Edmonton and the bus trip to Jasper, we wanted to be sure that our bikes and bodies were all in working order.

Then we headed southeast on the Icefields Parkway, between Jasper and Banff. Spectacular, as photos will show. Near Lake Louise, we turned southwest through Yoho National Park to Golden, B.C.; then south to Radium Hot Springs; and finally north through Kootenay National Park to Banff, Alberta. A number of shorter side-trips aren't shown on the map.

Our second tour was longer, about 700 miles. It's shown below in blue. We started just east of Banff at Canmore, Alberta, and rode south into Montana. We cycled the Going-to-the-Sun highway in Glacier National park, and then rode north through British Columbia to Radium Hot Springs. There we headed back to Banff and continued on to Calgary to stay with new friends, before returning home.

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