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Experience Road Cycling

Photo Courtesy of Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta

Heading west into the warm Chinook wind, my ride to Bragg Creek – along super-scenic Hwys 22x and 22 – took longer than expected. Due to the strong headwind, a little more sweat equity was required. It proved a blessing in disguise, actually. The slightly slower pace gave me time to enjoy the stunning prairie-and-mountain vistas. And the extra calorie burn meant a bigger piece of pie could be enjoyed when I finally made it to the Cinnamon Spoon coffee shop!

Photo Courtesy of Travel Alberta / Mike Seehagel

Photo Courtesy of Quin Schrock @everchanginghorizon

In Cochrane, for example, the Grand Valley Road is a revered ride incorporating idyllic Alberta scenery and a wonderful highway twisting and turning through the foothills. For me, a newbie road cyclist based in Calgary, two of my favourites are definitely Bragg Creek and Cochrane.

Unquestionably, the 50 km ride from Calgary to Bragg Creek is a classic. It features pretty pastoral countryside, awesome mountain views, gentle grades, a four-lane highway (not the entire distance) with wide shoulders, and a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. With great coffee and baked goods, the Cinnamon Spoon is a payoff that always hits the spot!

An avid cyclist and the Sales Director at Bow Cycle in northwest Calgary, Kurt Christensen says, “Alberta is so awesome for road cycling. We have some of the most picturesque riding in the world. The mountains are a stunning background on so many rides. And the variety is off the charts. You can ride in the mountains, the foothills, urban pathways, badlands, boreal forests, gorgeous valleys, wind-swept plains, it’s all there. If you want to go on a scenic road ride in Alberta, your options are basically limitless.”

Rural Alberta is full of tranquil highways that dip and dive through wide-open spaces, quaint townsites, beautiful badlands, and aspen-lined valleys. Other towns (or cities) such as Cochrane, Devon, Medicine Hat, Beaumont, and Okotoks offer exceptional road rides just beyond their limits.

While the cycling in and around Calgary is definitely worth noting, getting further into the rural areas can be the crème de la crème. For example, charting a course through the badlands and the Red Deer River Valley near Drumheller can be about as rewarding as it gets. And cruising through the Highwood

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