Weekend Biking Trip

Our bike trip this weekend was wonderful. Despite a very sore bum and a bit of snow in one of the passes, our bike trip was a success – except for poor Mr. Bean who found out the hard way that his bike was too small for him and was only able to ride the first day.

Seriously, if you ever have a chance to go up the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper, do it! It is so amazingly scenic and breathtaking. You climb over two passes – Bow Summit (2070 m) and Sunwapta Pass (2030m), go through river valleys, by lakes, by huge cliffs, see some amazing vistas and there are some crazy climbs (about 500 m in ~15km up to Sunwapta Pass). It was hard work, but totally worth it!

Mr. Bean and I at Bow Lake

Since Mr. Bean was unable to bike on the second day, I gave him my camera to play around with while he waited for us and so he could play paparazzi. He took quite a few beautiful photos, which you will see below. I’m really happy that he did that so I could focus on biking and taking in the scenery instead of stopping to take photos every few minutes. My only regret is that I saw a bear but didn’t have a camera to take its photo. On hindsight, it’s probably for the best as getting too close to animals, especially bears,  is NOT a good idea!

The North Saskatchewan River

I wouldn’t say that we had beautiful weather as we did have some snow at one of the summits and it was cold and windy for a lot of the time, but we did have some periods of sun during a few of our breaks and when we finally made it to the Columbia Icefields.  I guess one bonus about cooler weather is that it encourages you to bike faster so you can stay warm!

One thing I love about being in the mountains is the colour of the water. There’s nothing quite like the blue-green from glacier silt, especially compared to brown water (ick.)

I had some fun making animated gifs of us biking, using the instructions Elena gave for this week’s Selfie Saturday tutorial. They’re not self portraits, but they are a great way to show movement!

Here I come up the biggest hill. I’m about 2/3 – 3/4 of the way up. In the later slides you can see my brother – he stopped and then ran to meet us and give us high fives. I told him that he could probably walk up the hill faster than I could bike, but I was determined to do the entire thing on my bike. For part of the hill, the wind was behind us, but once we turned the corner, there was a HUGE headwind that made it so much harder. Only my brother, the champion, was able to make it up the hill in gears higher than 1, 1. (The easiest setting on the bike.)

Snow Covered Parker's Ridge

Here we are almost at Sunwapta Pass. Right before this, there was a small stretch of downhill, where I thought to myself: “Downhill? What is this strange phenomenon?”

Columbia Icefields

When we finally made it to the Columbia Icefields, I was so happy! Not only had we all biked 125 km, it was sunny and I didn’t have to sit on a bike anymore! We all were especially impressed that it was sunny (with no wind!) as usually it’s at least 10C colder than the rest of the parkway with a howling wind. Funny how that works!

I definitely enjoyed myself and I am looking forward to the next bike trip that comes my way (hopefully soon!) Now it’s time to find Mr. Bean a new bike so that he will be as excited as I am about future biking trips!

Have you ever gone on a bike trip?

All the photos (except the GIFs) are SOOCs – not quite sunrise themed for this week’s Good to Wow: Shoot and Edit, but pretty nonetheless!



Filed under Life, Photography

121 responses to “Weekend Biking Trip

  1. Are you kidding me? These views are absolutely incredible!

  2. My parents keep telling me that I need to visit out West, I think they secretly hope I will fall in love and want to move back to Canada. Your pictures prove to me that I would probably never want to leave.

    • It definitely is very beautiful in the Rockies – sometimes I don’t want to leave either! haha. If you ever do head out west, let me know so we can meet up and go for a hike or something. 🙂

  3. Have you seen this website? I saw it and thought of you!


  4. Wow! These are incredible! Such a fabulous trip!

  5. ostranderblog

    LOVE the animated Gif use of your photos… I had subscribed to Elena… hmm not getting her updates. Anyway – you GO with your bad self. The only bike trip I take goes VROOM 😉 The view here is gorgeous! LOL the Mr. Bean photo watermark is great. I’m glad you both had a fabulous trip, happy bike shopping Mr. Bean!

  6. I am in desperate need of some mountains and trees!!! These views are breathtaking.

  7. What a beautiful setting. Love the photos.

  8. I’m so jealous! Amazing views, what a great weekend experience!!

  9. These photos are absolutely incredible!! The scenery makes me proud to be Canadian. 🙂

  10. You are so fortunate! These are beautiful pictures…


  11. Looks like a successful journey 🙂

  12. ladyintelligence

    Gorgeous pics.

  13. Pingback: Weekend Biking Trip | WPBlogger

  14. thebigbookofdating

    These photos are stunning, if I had a place like that to go biking to, even I would leave the house (;

  15. La.

    Dude, you made it to freshly pressed! I saw your blog when I went to log in and was like WOW! Congrats to you! And your bike ride…wow. The views are amazing!

  16. beautiful pics, looks like a great place to bike (although I bet the hills are brutal, going up!)
    congrats on fp

  17. wow, beautiful photos! reminds me of our recent camping trip. unfortunately, we were unable to complete our hike to garibaldi lake due to the snow.

  18. thor27

    That was a very nice little trip beautiful country.

  19. You almost took into this beautiful places, amazing photographs. And also how nice biking there too, I can imagine. Congratulations and Thank you. With my love, nia

  20. You almost took me into this beautiful places, amazing photographs you captured. And also how nice biking there, I can imagine. Congratulations and Thank you. With my love, nia

  21. The Icefields Parkway is a fabulous stretch of road no matter what mode of travel you use, but experiencing it by bike would make it an even more amazing experience. I’m so glad you were Freshly Pressed so I was able to read about your trip and see your photos — the animated gifs are pretty cool. Its been quite some time since I travelled this beautiful stretch of road, but you’ve inspired me to start thinking about doing a bike trip in that area. My biggest bike trip was in Ireland (http://blog.mec.ca/2011/04/13/favourite-places-ireland-2/), but exploring the world on two wheels wherever you are gives you a completely different perspective on your surroundings. Happy riding!

  22. Chinook Country Chick

    Such a fun and amazing trip!

  23. Lovely report.
    How did you do these flipping pictures? That’s a great idea.

  24. I love to bike but have never been on a bike trip. The pics are beautiful. I am working on getting up hills without getting off and taking a cycling class twice a week seems to be paying off. Congrats on being FP!

  25. Great pics and lucky you! Hope you have more eye-popping bike rides this summer! I love the teal-blue colors of the lakes and rivers in the Pacific Northwest! It doesn’t get any better than this!

  26. When I first saw the pic in Freshly Pressed I thought the place was Llanganuco lake in Callejon de Huaylas in Peru. Anyway, both places are great for biking, indeed!

    By the way, how did you make those two small kind of videos?

  27. those views are stunning!

  28. My husband and I did a trip around New Zealand. Absolutely stunning, as are the photos of your trip. Reminds me that we need to plan another bike trip. Columbia Icefields are now on the radar. Thanks for the pics.

  29. myfilthyroom

    breathtaking.. wow.. 🙂

  30. Very nice! It’s posts like this that I hope get people out and appreciate our planet in hopes of keeping it clean for generations to come!

  31. Beautiful photos! Congrats!

  32. adimase

    woow.. when I can goto in the picture.

  33. The views are amazing, what a fun trip it must have been. congrats.

  34. albeindc

    wow those mountains look amazing.

  35. Awesome pictures! I believe that you have a wonderful bike trip. Thank you for your sharing!

  36. The 1st picture is really breathtaking!

  37. Awesome photos. I saw the same scenery, but from the comfort of a car and bus. Wish I had your muscles and endurance.

  38. Nice. Makes me miss the homeland.
    And you’re right on having it cool to keep you biking harder. I’ve given up cycling in LA -any distance- in the summer. The heat kills you. Even on the West side by the ocean.

  39. wow…….lovely sight….

    and remarkable pics to back it……… 🙂

  40. One of my favorite mountain places. Yoho pass and Lake Louise are spectacular as well.

  41. As kath and kim (aussie version of course) used to say…. “Kimmoi kimmoi look at moi ploise. I’ve only got one word for you, are you carzy?” LOL I’ve have gotten 2 k’s before I gave up. Bike big or small would have made my undercarriage much the worst for wear. Congrats for doing it, and congrats on the FP

  42. wow…very beautiful scenery !!!

  43. Awesome pics and great place !!! n loved the gifs !! 🙂

  44. 125 km!! Awjc!! I just can bike around 10 km! Poor me!!

  45. What an adventure! Did you have to train for a while to be able to ride the roads on this kind of terrain? Also (like several of the above comments), wanted to let you know that these pictures are beautiful!

    • I didn’t do any big training for the trip except for one 40km practise trip, but I usually bike 15 – 20 km every few days, so it wasn’t that taxing. By the end I was feeling pretty tired though!

  46. Looks likes you enjoy so much… Really sooooo nice pics.

  47. Arnab

    Very nice pictures. 🙂

  48. Awesome… I am doing the Canadian Rockies in two months… seeing your photos.. I can hardly wait!!!!!

  49. Great pictures and great fun! I miss biking. I’ve been doing a few small rides around town but I miss extended trips like I used to do. One summer I biked across the US. It was a fantastic trip and I want t o do it again. It’s been 31 years since my sister and I made that trip and we plan to do it again sometime in the next five years.

  50. British Columbia looks beautiful.

  51. I love biking too. Beautiful view. And i like the GIF pics

  52. Samantha Winter

    I can’t I wait till I get this place. The site and photos is so great!

  53. What an amazing view you had! Looks like an awesome trip.

  54. You photos are beyond gorgeous! I just bought a new road bike last night and can’t wait to get outside! Please oh please don’t rain.

  55. For a report on a weekend cycling trip in Ireland, please check out http://www.ralphmexico.wordpress.com Aplogies for the lack of photos…

  56. Hey Bean! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    When I lived there, I went witha group to Barrier Lake to mountain bike up the mountain. It was amazing, thanks for the memories 🙂 Looks like you had fun too!

    • I’ve hiked up the ridge by barrier lake but never biked up it. I’m not a huge adrenaline rush mountain biker, so I might find it a bit stressful. It might be fun to try though! 🙂

  57. QUE hermoso paisaje envidio el placer de quienes lo saben disfrutar que sigan disfrutando yo soy mexicano y espero tenga la oportunidad de igual un dia centirlo.

  58. More evidence that the best way to travel is indeed by bike! You can see the sights so much better that way!
    This makes me pine for a bike rack.

  59. I used to live in Colorado, similar landscape as some of your great photos. I really miss it as I am now in the flat midwest for a while. Congrats on freshly pressed.

  60. Wandered in from the WP homepage. Looks like it was a great ride, and these photos are awesome. I did my first “long” ride last weekend…75 miles for a charity fundraiser. Looks like you had a fabulous time and enjoyed some beautiful scenery!

  61. what kind of camera do you use and the pictures are breathtaking luckily there were no cougars!!!

  62. Wow, the views are spectacular!

  63. WOW! The pictures are really beautiful.

  64. woww! amazing scenery and great trip! i wish i could go there someday

  65. Great pictures, but an even greater ride. Congratulations!

  66. Maria

    Congrats on getting freshly pressed, working through your gorgeous challenge and posting here. Much enjoyed!

  67. Nice fictures I like it, thanks

  68. Canada is a geographically amazing land…compare to the teensy-weensy tropical island i live on. But I did get to go there for my honeymoon years back and travel the icefields parkway and stay at Moraine Lake. I drove though, not cycle. 125km. WOW. I’m in awe! Did you have to have like…special tires and gear?

    I understand that Bow Summit snows all year round…i was there in June too and it was snowing. supremely love I must say.

  69. talhasalam

    Beautiful views. Amazing in fact!

  70. an excellent place! wow!

  71. very good prepared post! i like colours in these pictures. And the trip looks wonderful. i love bike’s trip because you can do big distance in short time and you are still able to watching the views! i think that it’s obvious: the most important thing in traveling is not getting from place to place, but discovering roads that nobody knows, places which exists only for you.

  72. Definately looks like home. Makes my heart hurt a little. Glad you enjoyed it!

  73. Pingback: It’s July! « whooz's Weblog

  74. All of you are great!! I’ll try have a bike trip with my husband in following days!! It must will be funny!~

  75. wow, awesome trip it seems

  76. This sure is an awesome scenic bike ride! Great pictures!

  77. I went to Banff and Jasper two summers ago and it was the most incredible experience in my life. I would like live in Canmore if I could, even if it has like a 12,000 population. My dream is to go there during the winter but my mom would never allow me because she’s all scared about avalanches and slipping on patches of ice.

  78. Charity Froggenhall

    Beautiful views! Can I ask what cool-weather gear you like to use? We’re planning a trip to Vermont in October, and we need to get some proper gear. Thanks!

  79. This is awesome! You are giving me inspiration for my next biking adventure!!! Nice photos. Lake Louise is on my list of top destinations, and I guess it’s cold even in the summer time. What a relief for a Texan like me.

    • It can get fairly warm there (up to ~25C or 80F) during the summer, but we’ve had an incredibly late spring this year, hence the cooler temperatures!

  80. P.S. Gluten intolerant, so happy about the GF recipes you’ve posted as well!!!

  81. Victoria

    Those mountains are beatutiful!

  82. It’s always wonderful to be rewarded from the bike saddle with fab views. Haven’t seen Bow Lake yet but we have been to Lake Louise several times. Biked and another time, x-country skied the Continental Divide near the Lake.

    Wishing you more cycling adventures. I know we’ve cycle-toured on our own in Canadian Maritimes, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and parts of Alberta. Plus other places.

    From a cycling ethusiast at: http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com
    http://www.velo-city2012blog.com (My love for cycling is in all of my babies here, all cycling, some food and art blogs!)

    • Thanks for sharing the links to your blogs, Jean! I am looking forward to checking them out!

      I really want to start doing bike tours more. It makes me wish that Canada had things set up similarly to how they do in Europe: you bike between bed and breakfasts on paths made for cyclists. I can always dream! 😉

  83. WOW the views are AMAZING! And the gifs are sooooo much fun! I can’t believe theres snow in July somewhere. I’m such a Florida girl, I can’t imagine that!

    • Thanks! We also had a really late spring, so we’ve gotten more snow than what is usual. It thankfully didn’t last very long though!

  84. Amazing photos, great post!

  85. Holy cow – what a beautiful trip!!! Great photos, and I love your gifs! 🙂

  86. Great Photos….. very nice clicks…. i envy you guys now..!!

  87. yas

    It is a dream of mine to visit saskatchewan one day…

  88. Yay! We just went biking 2 Sundays ago. I had a very sore bum too! Haha.. =p The pictures are lovely!


  89. Pingback: Saskatchewan Road Trip | Without Adornment

  90. What an amazing trip you had!! Such a wonderful and impressive landscape! Cool!!

  91. Ha! Your .gifs make this post definitely unique! Great pictures and thanks for sharing! I just saw this documentary called Discover The Gift and your post reminded me of the gifts we have to share with the world… I need to gift myself a bike with that being said! I guess my gift, however, is that of photography and creative pursuits like writing screenplays, direction, etc. Anyway i’m getting off topic.. have u heard of the doc before? Congrats on being freshly pressed and thanks again!

  92. Wow! The scenery is amazing. I often cycle in the Wicklow hills in Ireland. It’s
    beautiful there too, but not so mountainous.

  93. Pingback: 101 in 1001 Conclusion | Without Adornment

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