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Travel Page: The Banff ride from Calgary

I have had some requests to do a ride tour page so here we go with one of my favorite rides.

I am starting this trip from Calgary Alberta, just below C.O.P.( Canada Olympic Park ) On Highway 1 also called the TransCanada Highway heading west to those beautiful Mountains in the distance. This piece of Highway is a great scenic cruise so I am not going to try and get to detailed, because it would get way to long for personal enjoyment. As you follow this ashpalt ribbon over rolling foothills and long winding curves you can't help but want to open her up and get some major ram air. You cruise past old Banff coach road, Springbank,Caloway park and and a host of appealing looking stops but the call of the mountains keeps you rolling on. You come to an overpass that shows Bragg Creek to the south and Cochrane to the north. Just ahead past the overpass is a gas station. If you are on a sporty or low on gas you better stop here. Okay the tank is full, so off we go, heading straight into the heart of the mountains that are about 40 miles away still. About 15 miles on you will see a long hill ahead of you and a turn off to Kananaskis Country, Don't be tempted to take that turn to K country it can get bad in there on a bike. Just continue on up the hill, if you need to stretch, there is a pull over at the top of the hill,that has a telephone for emergencies. Once you start down the hill onto Morley flats, the foothills and mountains start to unroll in front of you. There is a small gas station, restaurant and native crafts store just ahead at Morley junction. about 10 miles past this point is highway 40 the other turn off to Kananaskis country. This is a beautiful ride so I will give you teh basics of what you will find there. Kananaskis has some great hotels with all ammenities, a great golf course,some beautiful lakes,picnic and camping spots. If you have time to spend the day out here, I am sure you will be impressed. Up near the Kananaskis lodge is a memorial monument dedicated to Sam Taylor my lost bro, that I wrote about in the feature section. So these people are Biker friendly. After highway 40 you travel a few miles and cross the Kananaskis river.Just after that is turn off to Seebe and Exshaw. At this point my personal preference is to turn here and follow this route to Canmore. the first thing after the turn is a campground and then a guest ranch just across the Bow river. This guest ranch was home to the 2nd National HOG rally, so their biker friendly too. About 2 more miles and you come to a T, turn west here, towards Exshaw for the most part this cruise to Canmore is very scenic. This is one of your best chances to see some elk,deer and big horns without alot of people around. about 15 miles down this road you come to Canmore on the old highway. There is alot to do and see in this little town. The old hotel here is the second oldest existing in Alberta. There are lots of place to stay,eat,just unwind at in Canmore. If you happen to be having bike problems while out here, there are no bike shops, so your best choices for help are some of the local boys, Steve Cameron or his friend Greg, the other choice is a guy named Chris Brooks. I consider Steve & Greg as the best choice to get you fixed up one way or the other. Chris is a good wrench but sort of too Techy for me. Well lets head on down the road to Banff. Go back out of town and head west on highway 1 again. Stop at the park gates and get a day pass for the park. Now you are in the park and about 10 miles, from the town of Banff and it famous hot springs. When you get to the first turn to Banff, you will have 2 choices, one is to go north on the Minnewanka loop, this is a nice cruise and takes about 45 minutes to get around it and back to where you are right now. There is way to much stuff to list off to see and do in Banff so I will just say that the Campground is up on turtle mountain if you are camping out. Other than that you have over 100 hotels and a mirad of B&B's to choose from. My choices for bars are the Barbary Coast or Wild Bills but their is something for every age group in Banff. You will also see that there is a strong Japanese influence in Banff. If you find Banff too pricey head back to Canmore the Prices are a little more reasonable. If you happen to ever get to take this ride I am 100% sure you will love it. I haven't even come close to doing the ride justice.

Big Dog


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