June 14, 1999
|Initially I woke up at 5am and laid there
drifting in and out of sleep. I finally got up at 6:30am and left by 7:10am. Then, after
approximately 12 miles of riding, I stopped at the Husky House Restaurant at the junction
of 93 and 95. Sitting in a booth by the window I ate 1 pancake and a slice of toast for
breakfast. Leaving the restaurant, I immediately enter Kootenay National Park. Oh Crap! I
have to start my day with a long 11% grade to climb. Soon after entering the park I see
several bighorn sheep.
After taking some photos, I finished the climb and paused to take in the scenery. I then rode until 12:30pm and stopped for a Powerbar break. What! Ahhh! Im out, shit! I have no food for the 90 mile ride through the park. So I just kept riding until I was beyond starving at 3:30pm. There was still the good ole TVP and instant mashed potatoes I had left. I sat by the road eating dry potato flakes and TVP. I felt better with food in my stomach.
I continued riding and there was little traffic. The park season doesnt begin until the end of the month, leaving me with a nice, relaxing, ride. Then I saw something by the road what is it? It was a black bear, right by the road! I stopped to take a couple of photos with "Counter Assault" in hand :) Being only 30 feet away, the bear didnt seem to mind. Cool, this is the closest I want to be anyway, maybe even too close as it is.
Soon I came up to a small store and gas station which sits in the middle of the park. I bought 2 chicken pitas, 8 Powerbars, 6 Granola Bars, and some Gatorade. Then, just down the road I saw another, bigger, black bear. Cool! After the continental divide it was mostly downhill. I reached 43.5mph through the curves, what a rush! I think thats the fastest I ridden through turns. Reminded me of my motorcycle days. Of course after wiping out too many times, and being lucky enough to tell about it, I decided to get rid of it.
Riding into Banff at 10:30pm, I met 2 guys on bicycles. Lets just call these guys Fred and Barney, to protect the guilty :) There was an "Ay" in every sentence, sometimes 2 in a sentence. Barney had been on several bicycle tours and rode from here to Anchorage one summer. They offered to ride with me and show me the hostel. After riding through town, they pointed to the road that leads to the hostel. Ugh! Its a steep, uphill, climb! Geez, I thought I was done with that hard work. Fred pointed out where he lives and invited me to stop by tomorrow for a beer.
The hostel is huge! Too big! It has 220 beds, a giant shared kitchen with several refrigerators, and a café. The bikes have to remain outside and I no longer have a lock. They let me put it in another building and lock it inside. Bikes are constantly being stolen in this town. After being given a key for my room, I went downstairs and down a hallway to find room 104. It was rather small to occupy 3 bunks, making it difficult for 6 people to put their belongings in the room.
Today - 100.29 miles