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Wanderlust cured’s Travel Diary

Monday, 11 May 2009

Location: Banff & Canmore, Canada

MapSaturdays invitation was for downhill biking in Banff. The weather had threatened to turn bad all week and I guess as the weather usually does, it waits until the weekend to really turn bad. After a bit of a sleep in we packed all the bikes in the truck to head over to Banff (about 20kms from Canmore). It was only drizzling when we left and the downpour started as we got closer and as we really thought about getting out into the elements. After the rain settled we parked at the top of Tunnel Mountain and strapped our helmets on for some awesome downhill and cross country riding. I always love to go out with locals as they know the best tracks, they know the conditions and if the trails are bad, because they are leading - they are the ones to find out first :) We peddled past some great scenery, one deer, one squirrel as we hopped over logs, rocks, tree roots and walked our way up the steepest bits. Towards the end of the ride before the last big descent we were spoilt with Bow Valley Falls. Cascades of water flowing over the rocks - take a look at the mountain bike pics for a couple of photos as well as the giant Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in the background. After we went riding, we watched some awesome downhill riders on dvd in Utah...crazy guys. Im heading to Utah on my way to Mexico as part of my roadtrip to a well known place called Moab for some mountain bike riding, its a special place. You can camp and the canyons are all around with brilliant red rocks, makes for some awesome sunsets. There is a link on my google map (link kindly provided in previous blogs) or just google it. Special :)

After a few beers on the deck in the sunshine discussing and organising the next biking trip, camping trip and boat trip (or all done together) we headed to the Rimrock Hotel where a friend works to get into the pool, spa, sauna and steam room for free! The pool was cool, the hot tub not surprisingly hot and it was nice to spend a few hours splashing around. An $8.00 milkshake completed the afternoon (which was totally worth it just for the view from the swish hotel dining area as the piano player filled the space with sweet music) . We then headed out to the local pub for dinner. I promised myself that I would be requesting a chicken parmigana at the pub firstly because we were in Banff and im not joking when I say over half the population there is Australian, so I thought I might get lucky with an Australian chef...otherwise I was going to be educating the chef on how to prepare one, and secondly because its been so long (damn Canada not having chicken parma), I was willing to pay whatever for it! Walk in and what is on the specials menu but a "chicken parmasen" which translates to chicken parma on linguine :) Sweeeet!!

I heard on saturday night that there were bears seen at the Nordic Centre in Canmore...so for some strange reason I felt compelled to go riding there on Sunday....like a magnetic force pulling the stupid bones in my body towards the grizzlies :) So on Sunday, bear spray in hand, new helmet on head and a big bellowing voice to tell the bears we were in the area made for awesome riding exploring trails along the Nordic Centre. This is also where the 24 Hours of Adrenalin is held...so good to get one up on the competition by riding there :) I definately knew that I didnt know my way around when I was going uphill on the downhill tracks...not the best idea, but fun all the same. Home time with a quick stopover at a cafe for warm cinnamon scrolls (yum) and home time for an afternoon playing basketball in the sunshine.

Snows almost gone...no more skiing for me...current weather:

12°C | 2°C Mon - showers
8°C | -2°C Tue - rain
9°C | 1°C Wed - rain and snow
8°C | -2°C Fri - rain and snow, good for the ducks and flowers i guess.

Well at least you know its not the weather I look forward to each day. Hello rain jacket :)

Happy mothers day to my wonderful mum for yesterday, missed her on that special day. She truly is the best, total sacrafice for her 5 wonderful children who will continue to be successful based solely on a very solid foundation she has helped build for us. Thanks Mum - we are the timber, but you are the structure! XX

Much love - R.J.

"Get on your bike!"