After such a rousing success 2 years ago, I decided to host another cycling tour through
the Rocky Mountains. This time, the goal was to ride the Golden Triangle. My friends Steve,
Luca, and Dan made the trip, and Dan's amazing wife Sheila drove the sag wagon again.

Day 1 - Banff, AB to Golden, BC


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For this trip, since we were only 4 riders, I decided we could forgo the 15 passenger van and get something else.
After wiring in the trailer harness to my car, I rented a utility trailer from the U of C outdoor centre.
It was actually pretty reasonable and gave us more space than we needed. Here are Steve and Luca along with our utility
trailer, parked outside our hotel in Banff.


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It was a balmy 5 degrees Celsius when we left the hotel so we were all pretty bundled up. Here are Dan, Steve, and Luca
in front of the Welcome to Banff sign. You'll note that 4 of us left Banff.


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Our first stretch took us from Banff to Lake Louise along the Bow Valley Parkway, or Highway 1A. This road is substantially
less travelled than the highway and it makes for a pretty ride. We would ride for ~an hour and then Sheila would be waiting
for us with the sag wagon to ensure that we ate and drank. This is the view from our lunch spot just outside Lake Louise.
Dan thinks the Rocky Mountains in Canada are pretty excellent.


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Dan, at lunch, taking a load off.


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I tried to take a few photos of both Dan and Sheila together on this trip.


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Steve and Sheila with the Louise Group behind them. That's Victoria Glacier visible just behind Fairview Mountain.


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I thought the view was so nice that I had to get a shot of Luca too.


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Shortly after lunch, we made the top of Kicking Horse Pass and we entered into Yoho National Park.


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I think Yoho is terrific.


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It took a little bit of work, but I got a photo of the four of us at the top of Kicking Horse Pass.


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A view of Dan looking into Cathedral Mountain area near Lake O'Hara. You can also see the excellent shoulder on this
section of the Trans Canada. What this doesn't show is the massive amount of construction as we left Lake Louise.


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Steve and Luca looking across a nice little lake to a few peaks.


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Dan thinks the view here doesn't suck.


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One of the sights that Dan wanted to see (he even bought a book!) on this trip was the Spiral Tunnels.
We were very fortunate in that there was actually a train going in and coming out of the Spiral Tunnels
while we were there. See it entering and exiting the mountain below.


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Dan and a train inside the Spiral Tunnels, Yoho National Park.


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Dan, Sheila, and Luca with a scale model of the area around the Spiral Tunnels.


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We figured that we had a little time, so we disconnected the trailer and took a drive up to Takakkaw Falls.


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Here's Steve taking a photo of a raven.


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Sheila and Takakkaw Falls.


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Here are the four of us rocking out our extra-awesome spandex.


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Luca and Mount Stephen above the town of Field.


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It may have actually been the longest distance I've ridden in a day (144 km) with decent elevation (1074 m net).
In either case, I was pretty happy to have gotten to the car in Golden.


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Here are the four of us after a big day on the bikes. Total riding time was 5 hours, 12 mins for me.

Video of Steve explaining the day of riding


Day 2 - Golden, BC to Radium Hot Springs, BC


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Considering I wore my Alaskan Amber Ale jersey the day before, it seemed fitting for Luca to don his Fat Tire
Amber Ale. Here he is showing us how strong he is.


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Here are the four of us, getting ready for our recovery day.


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We waited a little longer in the morning for the fog to lift out of the Columbia River valley,
and also for it to warm up a little bit. We had the luxury of starting the day on a bike path.


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Here are Steve and Luca enjoying a nicely resurfaced section of highway 95, just outside Golden.


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I thought this photo with Steve's jacket billowing in the breeze was a good one. Again, check out the great
road surface.


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We gained net ~50m from Golden to Radium. Due to the flatness and broadness of the valley, there is a fair amount of
pools in the river. I just thought it was pretty.


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I had a bit of a mission on this day as I decided I wanted to maintain 30km/hour as an average speed since the bulk
of the ride was pretty flat. I got to our break stop just as Sheila was pulling in. The guys are enjoying their break.


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Our next stop was Spillimacheen for lunch. I think the crags around Spilly look pretty cool. Sheila bought some
honey here and we had gourmet PB and honey sandwiches. Yummy!


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Dan went a little too far (he missed the car) and so he had to turn around. If you look above Dan, you'll
see that we were blessed with yet another perfect cloudness sky.


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Steve and Luca enjoying their PB+H's. If we could get up in elevation a little more, the view here is in
the direction of the Bugaboos.


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There's a terrific little coffee shop in Spillimacheen that we'll have to remember for future rides.


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This road surface was my least favourite as it made my hands numb from the vibrations. Here's Dan expressing his
displeasure with the road surface.


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A better shot of Dan.


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The ride into Radium was quite lovely. Both Dan and I saw a ram bighorn sheep, which was cool. Here's Steve,
thrilled to be done another day in the saddle. Total distance - 111km, 662m elevation gain, and 3 hour 47 mins
of riding time for me. This meant I was ~29.2 km/hour average speed. Pretty decent for a slow rider.


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We stayed at the Motel Tyrol, which was very pleasant. Here's Dan and Sheila getting ready to go for dinner.


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Steve and Dan enjoyed this bumper sticker calling out Golden as Canada's G-spot.


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The weird treehouse-living guy lives here.


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We were quite excited to have a few pints (or pitchers) at the Old Salzburg house. Gotta love the pfandl!

Day 3 - Radium Hot Springs, BC to Banff, AB


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This day was expected to be the tough day as it starts right into a lot of climbing up to the Sinclair Pass.
Here are the boys getting started to enter Kootenay National Park, their 3rd Rocky Mountain National Park in 3 days.


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This is the really cool canyon walls that we rode through to start the morning.


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There isn't an awful lot of space on the road at this point.


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This was the steepest section of the ride, coming in around 12% grade. It's the only place I used my granny
gear and I was very happy I had it. Here's Dan just pushing his way up the hill.


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Here are Steve and Luca coming up the same section.


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We rode a little on the sidewalk near the actual hot springs.


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I think tunnels are cool.


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This is a sign near the top of the pass telling people what the other side looks like. Yeehaw!


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Steve and Luca had no issue going up the Sinclair Pass. They put out a lot of heat though. Sheila
thinks Steve looks like a cycling ninja in his all black garb.


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On the way down the hill, we pulled over for a nice view looking up the Kootenay River valley.


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Dan, alongside the Kootenay River.


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A slightly better photo to see the area around which we're riding.


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We had lunch at Vermilion Crossing and this was Steve's last stop. Dan was feeling a little bit beat
down as well, so he took a short siesta in the sun.


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The view looking to the west as Luca wanders around for lunch.


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Who wears short shorts?


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As we were coming through the Vermilion River area, there was a controlled burn that had been started.
The air smelled strongly of wood smoke for the rest of the day.


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Here is Dan coming just about up to the continental divide.


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We're just starting to get a better view of Castle Mountain from the divide.


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Dan is telling me what he thinks about finding one more hill before getting to the top of the divide.
I might note here that this was the first year in 3 that I actually beat Dan to the top of all of the hills.


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Me at the Continental Divide between Alberta and BC, near Boom Lake.


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This is Storm Mountain behind me.


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Luca got back on his bike and did the last hard climb from the Paint Pots area. Good work Luca!


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As we biked back along the Bow Valley Parkway, we could see the smoke that was coming from the controlled
burn. I thought it looked pretty cool from here.


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Here are Dan and Luca enjoying another perfect day for riding.


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Dan rode all the way back into town.


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And so did I.


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Thanks for a great bike trip Dan, Luca, Steve, and most especially - Sheila! Maybe Switzerland next year?

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