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Discussion Starter #1
I float this as a trial balloon, a suggestion to meet and ride as a group.

Circuit clockwise: Calgary-Crowsnest-Cranbrook, [overnight], BC93-AB1A-Calgary to return.

400km each day, more for those who have to ride to reach the circuit.

Rally points in Calgary and Cowley (good folks pump gas there).

With names up front, quite possible to arrange a group rate at a bike-friendly motel in Cranbrook or Kimberly, or we could take over Skookumchuck completely. If there is sincere interest (meaning reservations) I know who to call. Otherwise, rooms might be a scramble.

Early April as I write this, looking at six weeks away. Anyone interested should say so here, and as things firm up, this will be the thread to find out.

Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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Sounds like fun Scott. The only thing would be the weather in May. The mountains still get snow in May. Might be an idea to plan for the end of May or even the begining of June. Could still do a day ride through the Kananaskis loop on hwy 40 in early May with a weather contingency of a route to Drumheller or the bridges to Wayne if it's nasty in the mountains.
 

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I'd love to do that ride, but unfortunately I live in Nova Scotia. I have been to Kananaskis, Skookumchuk and Crowsnest, but by car 20 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yup would b interested.......Usually run that way about a dozen times a year......Stay in Cranbrook quite a bit...Love that area.......Terry.......:)
Thanks, Terry. I'll be the first to admit that I'm out of my depth. I'm still quite new at riding, and don't know quite what to expect from a group ride. I hope there will be some folks from Calgary that will rally, and I can stand down and defer to people who have done this before and have some experience. I haven't. All I have is my common sense and my desire to ride with others, with two years of touring to guide me, much less than many here.

If this happens, I'd hope that you or someone like you will coordinate the riders from your neck of the woods to get everyone to a rally point. I stuck up my hand because it seems I am not alone around here, and I would like to meet other folks who are as passionate about their ride as I am. I'm totally junior, but I have my hand up. I thank you for your response, and hope the greybeards from Calgary will also step up. If they don't, I won't have a hymen any more, but I'm determined to enjoy losing it.

Love the sun, hate the snow
Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I'd love to do that ride, but unfortunately I live in Nova Scotia. I have been to Kananaskis, Skookumchuk and Crowsnest, but by car 20 years ago.
Hmm. Nova Scotia, eh? You got some weeks to get here, and be part of a group hug. Otherwise, set something up for July or August, and we'll come to you. Maybe. Canada is pretty big.

I suspect Maritimers have the dream to ride in the mountains. I've been there, and as much as I love those mountain twisties, I want to see Atlantic Canada, explore Newfoundland, and find out how the other half lives. We suffer with many days of flatland between us, punctuated by a day of empty wilderness thorough Northern Entherieaux. A day later to reach real people, and find out something about your world. It's too soon to say whether this is the year, but the Maritimes are on my Bucket List.

Bugs taste yukky, unless they're on your teeth.
Smile hard, and add mustard.
Scott Fraser
Calgary
 

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Thanks, Terry. I'll be the first to admit that I'm out of my depth. I'm still quite new at riding, and don't know quite what to expect from a group ride. I hope there will be some folks from Calgary that will rally, and I can stand down and defer to people who have done this before and have some experience. I haven't. All I have is my common sense and my desire to ride with others, with two years of touring to guide me, much less than many here.

If this happens, I'd hope that you or someone like you will coordinate the riders from your neck of the woods to get everyone to a rally point. I stuck up my hand because it seems I am not alone around here, and I would like to meet other folks who are as passionate about their ride as I am. I'm totally junior, but I have my hand up. I thank you for your response, and hope the greybeards from Calgary will also step up. If they don't, I won't have a hymen any more, but I'm determined to enjoy losing it.

Love the sun, hate the snow
Scott Fraser
Calgary
Hey Scott.......How goes.......As Vulcanskier mentioned above the weather can b kinda crazy in May in the mountains.......This year especially, i would not trust it at the moment....I have no problem hooking up 4 a ride....I just need a date so i can book off and make time.....Also if anyone from this area wants 2 head up 4 a ride and meet up with u is cool and i have no problems.....My only problem is i work in the oil patch, ya crazy...We r in break up right now so i have a bit more time than normal 2 get things done and hang around....Once break up is over all hell gonna break loose 4 us....I was kinda retired once....Did not work 3 1/2 years....Then had the bright idea 2 go back 2 work....Still not sure why....LOL.....Will stick with it 4 a bit and see i guess.....Anyways take care and talk 2 u soon......Terry....:D
 

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"Could still do a day ride through the Kananaskis loop on hwy 40 in early May with a weather contingency of a route to Drumheller or the bridges to Wayne if it's nasty in the mountains."

Ooops. I forgot that Hwy 40 between the Peter Lougheed Park cut off and Highwood pass is closed until June 14 every year. My bad. Guess we would have to go east instead or just cruise up 1A to Canmore.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tick, tick, tick

Hello all,

Has this been firmed as to dates yet?

I could be counted in once I know the dates.
Good question without a good answer. May long is next weekend, so now's the time to get after it if it's gonna happen.

As of a week ago it was still cold and rainy high in the passes, but the webcams show clear and dry today. I don't think a run through Crowsnest and back through Radium via 93 is out of the question. Calgary-Cranbrook is 400km, a nice day ride each way, and the northern group could meet the southern group at Pincher Creek or Ft.MacLeod. I know a place in Skookumchuck where we might get a group rate on a block of cabins, but it's time to make the call.

Plan B would be to head east, maybe carve a loop through Drumheller and Brooks to Taber and back up AB22 or AB23. I don't know the terrain to the east, so would defer to someone else to select the best route there.

Another option would be to run up to Red Deer or even Edmonton, although that's more miles for people coming from Highway 3, and I'm not sure how many forum members there are up there. It seems to me that more people are in the southern part of the province.

Show of hands? Who would be interested? Preferred route? Overnight? If so where, so we can arrange accommodations in advance.

Interested parties can post in the thread or send me a PM or an email and on Monday I will post back what the response is.

Scott Fraser
Calgary
scott_fraser(at)shaw.ca
 

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I didn't see this thread till just now. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to get down that way for a while. I'm just taking the bike in for 1st service this week, and I'm taking a course all next weekend. Someday an 'Alberta loop' might be interesting. i.e. folks from up here around Edmonton head to Calgary, meet up with folks there - do the ride to Banff, Jasper, back to Edm and then the Southern folks head back home. Just a thought.

Kerry
 

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Scott,
I'm just back from 3 weeks working in SFO area. Managed to rent a Harley (no Vulcans for rent!) and cruise the pacific coast for 4 days. Great ride if your ever in the area. I'm available today if you want to go to go cruising for a few hours. I'll check back here until 13:00 and then head out on my own.
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Scott,
I'm just back from 3 weeks working in SFO area. Managed to rent a Harley (no Vulcans for rent!) and cruise the pacific coast for 4 days. Great ride if your ever in the area. I'm available today if you want to go to go cruising for a few hours. I'll check back here until 13:00 and then head out on my own.
Ian
Sorry I didn't see this until now. The Motorcycle Awareness Ride was today. We ran across them in Cochrane and joined up, had a great BBQ at the Simons Valley Ranch. No idea how many bikes, but we were stretched out, double formation, at least a couple of miles along Big Hill Springs Rd. Great day for it! Weather is supposed to continue... do you think it's spring yet?

Cheers
Scott
 

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Scott F,

I will be riding in that area in late July. Do you have experience and names of some hotels in the Banff, Edmonton and Calgary areas that are good to contact? Thanx
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Scott F,

I will be riding in that area in late July. Do you have experience and names of some hotels in the Banff, Edmonton and Calgary areas that are good to contact? Thanx
PM incoming.

Both Edmonton and Calgary are major cities, full of motels and hotels, including all the major chains. Most towns also have a large motel, usually part of a chain. In very small towns, we often seek out the original local hotel in the town center, which is usually the best place to meet the local characters on a Saturday night. If you go to Evansburg you can meet the original Bob and Doug MacKenzie, forty years on, and talk to the Town Grouch, an elected official. Every little town also has a Chinese restaurant, often the best food around and definitely better than truck stops. The best place to gather local intel is of course the barbershop.

Beware: Banff is a total tourist trap within the National Park, an hour west of Calgary. Japanese is the most common language heard in the street. It's beautiful, but expect to pay double there for everything. Canmore, just outside the park, has good dining and scads of very nice rooms at half the price. Cochrane is 20 minutes outside Calgary, and am excellent place to stage from. All the good rides from Calgary seem to go through there, there is good food and there are many bikes around. :)

AAA is a very good thing to have. The local affiliate (AMA) offers members 24/7 roadside assistance to motorcyclists, including gas delivery, boosts and towing up to 120mi. Distances between centers can be great, 100 miles or more, so it's worth having.

Calgary is a day's ride (450km) from many places: Kalispell, Cranbrook, Revelstoke, Jasper and Whitecourt. It is 360 km on the superslab from Edmonton. The run from Canmore over Highwood Pass (AB40) to Longview is a favourite day-ride for people here, as is the run out to Lake Louise or Drumheller and back. We generally avoid both superslabs out of Calgary, Highways 1 and 2. Both are posted 110kph (65mph), straight flat and boring, so everyone blows by at 140kph (80mph) and beyond. Alberta drivers routinely drive too fast, and not very well, so head's up.

There are city cops in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge. The RCMP look after the rest of the province, including the highways. There is also a smaller Alberta Highway Patrol that lives solely to collect road taxes, and recently Alberta Sheriffs have also been given ticket books. (Sheriffs in Canada are different than in the USA. Here they are generally limited to acting as bailiffs and transporting prisoners, so this is new.) Cops will usually ignore +10kph before they pull you over, but sometimes not. They all drive white sedans, usually a Crown Victoria, except for the odd unmarked vehicle. Photo-radar is used in major cities, including cameras mounted in vans and at major intersections. Radar detectors are legal to own but not to use (go figger). Cops in cars use laser, as do motorcycle cops behind mailboxes.

Watch out for weather along the Foothills, especially within 60 miles of the mountains (BC border). We get freak weather sometimes. It can go from blue sky to black in half a0n hour, with violent winds, (crosswinds if coming north), heavy rain and often nasty fat hail in the high summer. Evening showers are not uncommon. I've actually seen snow on the road in the Porcupine Hills (AB22 between Mycroft and Longview) and in Banff in July and August, too, so be advised.

Send me some info about your itinerary and I can offer some more concrete suggestions. This is enough of a ramble without going on.

Cheers
Scott Fraser
 
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