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day 11

Day 11: Lake Louise to Canmore 87km

When I woke up and looked outside, to that amazing view of Lake Louise, instead of smiling, there were dark clouds, lots of wind and everyone I saw was all bundled up in winter gear.  A little different from the couple days before when everyone was in summer clothes. Luckily I over packed and came prepared with layers for all seasons.  It felt strange to put on so many layers when just a few days ago I was making sure to start rides early before it got too hot. Today I waited until check out time in hopes that it would warm up.

Cycling down from Lake Louise got me energized and pumped up for the day. We followed along the Bow Valley Parkway all the way to Banff. It was such a peaceful ride with little traffic. Just 5 minutes into the ride, I looked ahead to see a number of cars stopped, looking out their windows and cameras in hand. I knew I was about to approach some kind of wildlife. What was it going to be?

When I pulled up I saw a black bear. Right away he stopped what he was doing and starred right at me, ears pricked up.   He showed little interest in anyone but me, as they were all in cars but I was in the open, with food in my back pockets.  My excitement was still high though I was starting to realize how close it was to me. I biked a bit past to get a safer look at him. I was so excited I completely forgot to turn on my GoPro. Even with the distance he then started looking at me again. I realized this was probably a good time to bike away though I really wanted to stay. I also knew my mom was for sure panicking in the car and would prefer me to move quickly. So eventually I did. I was thrilled to have seen a black bear so close!

Continuing on the road I was enjoying the twists and turns on the quiet road. I started to think about how I was probably not going to reach the Strava goal for elevation. But at least it kept me motivated on those steep climbs. I’m not that motivated to do extra hills just for the challenge on Strava though.

Once in Banff I got onto the Legacy Trail. It was awesome having a bike path all the way to Canmore. It was beautiful and was excited to see so many cyclists out. I really enjoy how much emphasis people in the mountains put on being outdoors. For me I find being active especially in nature is the best medicine. I may be having a bad day or struggling with my mood but as soon as I’m rock climbing or cycling it all goes away.

My mood changed quickly when I arrived at our Canmore hotel.  They would not allow, under any circumstances whatsoever, bikes in the room and did not have a locker to store them in. When your one bike is your transportation home and the means of promoting your message and the other bike is your late fathers you want to make sure they are in a secure location. I became overwhelmed at the thought of what to do.  Fortunately a local bike shop helped us out and is storing them for us.

Now I am able to relax and am getting excited about the friends I am going to see in the next couple of days in Canmore and Calgary. Lots of events to look forward to both related to the ride and not!