We just returned from our backroads bike trip through Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper National Park. It was an extraordinary adventure.
My husband Dave and I, and our friends, spent six days immersed in nature’s splendor. Cycling through the tranquil backroads, we encountered stunning vistas, diverse wildlife, and moments of profound tranquility that left an indelible mark on our souls.
Season 3 Volume 30
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Venturing on a Backroads bike trip through the majestic landscapes of the Canadian Rockies is a dream come true for any nature enthusiast and cyclist. The iconic Canadian Rockies destinations offer unparalleled beauty, wildlife, and a sense of serenity that can only be fully experienced on two wheels.
Dave and I were lucky enough to join some of his college friends for six days of biking on a trip that was so much better than I ever imagined.
The trip was coordinated by our friends who I have known since high school. Twelve of us (who we knew from Stanford) were on the trip and part of a group of 21 amazing people. We made friends with everyone and got to know some wonderful people.
The bike trip was hosted by Backroads Bike Tours which is the leading bike tour company in the US. Back in 2020, we were supposed to take a Backroads trip to Provence but it was canceled and we rebooked this Canadian Rockies trip instead.
Backroads planned and handled everything which included supplying all of our equipment, three amazing guides, vans to transport us and our bikes, all meals, glorious hotels, and great guidance and advice. Everything they do is first class and their trips are wonderful.
Each day our guides outlined our route for the day which included a lot of snack breaks and always a delicious lunch!
So why was this trip so much better than I imagined?
A six-day trip biking through the Canadian Rockies for someone who has never been on a biking trip was intimidating.
I had never been on an e-bike and was very happy to learn they weren’t hard to master. I cannot even begin to share how wonderful the e-bikes are as you still need to pedal but the assistance they provide makes even the tallest climbs manageable. It only took me about an hour on the first day to realize this was fun and not intimidating!
Our journey commenced in the picturesque town of Banff, where the towering peaks greeted us with open arms. Riding along the backroads allowed us to experience the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies up close.
Banff is teeming with opportunities for cyclists of all levels, from leisurely rides through the town to more challenging mountain trails. We cycled through the Bow Valley Parkway, a peaceful road that led us through dense forests and along the gentle flow of the Bow River. Along the way, we encountered grazing elk and a bear, reminding us of the untamed wilderness that surrounded us.
As we pedaled further into our backroads bike trip, the iconic Lake Louise came into view like a fairytale setting. The sparkling turquoise waters framed by rugged mountains and majestic glaciers left us speechless. Lake Louise to Moraine Lake became one of our favorite routes, guiding us through alpine meadows adorned with wildflowers and vistas that seemed straight out of a painting.
An amazing part of our backroads bike trip was undoubtedly the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic drives. Cycling this legendary route allowed us to truly absorb the majesty of the Canadian Rockies. The turquoise lakes, cascading waterfalls, and immense glaciers left us in awe at every turn.
Jasper National Park greeted us with open arms as we reached the northernmost point of our backroads bike trip. Cycling along the Pyramid Lake Road and Maligne Lake Road, we found ourselves immersed in untouched wilderness, where the only sounds were the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves.
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My Biggest Challenge This Week
So how challenging were six days of cycling through Jasper National Park?
To fully understand the experience you have to know that before we left on this trip I was nervous. I am not an avid cycler and my preparation was not what I had hoped it to be. I did know that we were using e-bikes and assumed they would help with the days when we were climbing close to 5,000 vertical feet.
It turns out I loved every minute of this trip.
The e-bikes were better than I had expected. They were comfortable to ride and offered different levels of assistance (Eco, Tour, Sport, and Turbo) when climbing hills. It took me about an hour to figure out the best way to use the speeds and e-bike levels and it was amazing!
We also biked a lot of routes that had very long downhill rides. At one point I caught myself going 35mph downhill. I realized that was a bit fast for my first-ever bike trip and managed to bring my speeds down to about 24mph for the rest of the week.
My only challenge was seat comfort, which was a common issue with many of the bikers. Even though we wore padded bike shorts and pants, there was still a bit of getting used to. But to be able to comfortably ride 30 and 40 miles a day was quite an accomplishment.
At least for me!
Some bikers in our group (including Dave) biked 60+ miles on some days and conquered very difficult uphill climbs. The best thing about the trip was each day there were options of difficulty and length of the ride. The first day I only biked 15 miles and the longest ride I did was 45 on the 4th day. But I always knew I had the option to stop and hop in the van if I was done for the day!
There were a few in our group who did not use e-bikes and I am so impressed with their biking abilities. Wow.
The weather was perfect, ranging from 50 – 75 degrees until one day we were surprised with temperatures of a low of 34 and a high of 45 degrees. Fortunately, we were able to buy gloves, hats, and face guards and surprisingly the ride wasn’t as bad as I expected.
But it was cold.
This Backroads bike trip not only challenged us physically but also enriched our spirits, providing us with an experience that will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
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While we were biking through the Canadian Rockies I was still able to share lots of fun new ideas on the blog! There were lots of DIYs which included our new wine cellar at the beach house, a flower pillow, a beautiful mirror, and a fun craft with paper clay. I also shared lots of summer lemon ideas and the best new peach recipes. Click on any link to learn more.
Martha shared this week a 3-Ingredient Homemade Weed Killer that Uses Vinegar to Safely Remove Pesky Growths from Your Garden.
Fall is right around the corner and I am starting to plan my color palettes and decor ideas! I am also sharing our Waco kitchen, some amazing iced tea recipes, new lemon blueberry desserts, my craft room remodel, and my favorite s’mores recipe.
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- Summer Birthday Week – S3/V23
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- Finishing the Exterior of the Beach House – S3/V21
- Happy Mother’s Day – S3/V20
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- Martha, “You are Wrong About My White Farmhouse Kitchen!” – S3/V4
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