Alberta in May???

Discussion in 'Canada' started by motor_roy, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. motor_roy

    motor_roy Been here awhile

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    I am going to a wedding in Edmonton in early May and really want to ride but knowing Alberta weather I am a little hesitant. A few years ago while visiting family in Edmonton in May we had everything from sunny and T shirt weather to a day with 6+ inches of snow.

    For those of you who spend a lot of time in Alberta, what are your thoughts? Should I risk a ride from Oregon or just buy a plane ticket.

    Route is pretty much open. I've been through the Icefields so that pretty much covers the best riding in Alberta (not that I wouldn't go back and probably will one way on this trip). Might try to go through Montana, North Dakota, Manitoba and Saskatchewan just to check them off the states/provinces ridden to list.
    #1
  2. borscht zanetti

    borscht zanetti Pura Vida ! ... eh?

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    It’s possible. But... you need to be very flexible justa in case!
    #2
  3. CCitis

    CCitis Long timer

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    Airplane ticket... unless you want a real adventure. Late in May... it's possible, I wouldn't do it first half of May. But hey, it depends how(fool)hardy you are lol.
    #3
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  4. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    From April onwards I ride to the ski hill whenever possible. And it's possible much more often than not. By May, I'd call it an 80% chance of rideability on any given day on the TCH. FSRs and dirt trails are another matter but if you stick to pavement I'd call it good odds. If the forecast looks nasty, take a southern route (ID) across the Rockies. You're thinking of going through SK and MB so you evidently have some time allocated for a weather event. Life's too short to not ride when you can.
    #4
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  5. Adanac rider

    Adanac rider O.S.T.R. Supporter

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    I would go for it , coming from Oregon though , Alberta may be the least of your worries . A route with the lowest elevation passes might be the best option . Plan out a few routes and when the day comes let the weather dictate your ride .
    #5
  6. ommoran

    ommoran Experienced Newbie

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    +1 for that. The worst snowstorm I ever drove in was Edmonton to Calgary on a May 24 (somewhere between 2007 and 2009), AFTER the long weekend. It was glorious and sunny in Edmonton when we fueled up at 6am. It was snowing by the time we were at Wetaskiwin, and in Calgary it was 40km/h on Highway 2, we counted 70+ vehicles in the ditch, and my hands hurt from gripping the wheel.

    Oh yeah. We were driving to go to a golf tournament.

    That being said, I'd ride. If you are going to do SK and MB, I would take the Yellowhead Highway from Edmonton to Portage La Prairie.
    #6
  7. The Island

    The Island Im lost.

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    Anecdotes aside — on every mountain pass, weather can and will change unexpectedly no matter the time of the year. For what it's worth, the province states drivers must obey winter tire and chain signs throughout the province from October 1 to April 30 (motorcycles exempt, however). Again, not saying that if you are outside this window you'll have a clean shot but as you get closer to the end of BC's "Winter Driving" season, the road conditions tend to remain better and better. Just plan for the unpredictable, asses your abilities and comfort levels and determine if you can afford to hunker down should you need to. Safe travels!
    #7
  8. shuswap1

    shuswap1 Long timer

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    And if you get stuck, someone will put you up.......can't help but like somebody brave (crazy) enough to ride all the way up to Eddieville that early in the season, eh?
    #8
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  9. Dave7

    Dave7 Adventurer

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    It is rather random. You might get all seasons in your drive. Mountain roads will have an increased chance of snow. I think it depends on the tightness of your schedule. We get snow in May but it usually doesn't hang around for weeks.
    #9
  10. 3990

    3990 Been here awhile

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    'Was on the Crows Nest highway back in July... In a days riding I had low temp of 6 high of 26, rain, Biblical HAIL and light snow...
    #10
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  11. motor_roy

    motor_roy Been here awhile

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    Well you all sold me on it. Riding it is. Thanks for the pep talk.
    #11
  12. baekdongmul

    baekdongmul Been here awhile

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    I've gotten out of Alberta on a sport-tourer in early May, and you are almost 100% certain to see freezing temps and some kind of weather f*ckery. Keep a careful eye on local forecasts and your altitude and give it a shot
    #12
  13. Gerald_G

    Gerald_G mostly still a noob.

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    I saw a guy riding yesterday on #2 between Edmonton and Calgary. Was scooting down the shoulder as all us cagers were stuck in construction traffic.
    -4C - snow on shoulder, possible ice patches at any time. I hope he had studded tires at least.
    #13
  14. knight

    knight Long timer

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    The weather in Alberta is always perfect for riding on the final day of the Masters
    It on Sunday , April 12th this year

    About 20 years ago, Calgary received 30 inches of snow in a 24 hour period during the third week of May
    #14
  15. GP640

    GP640 Long timer

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    I think that is a bit more than the actual amount. We lost a hay shed to a May dump in '98.
    I've seen snow every month but July on the prairie between Red Deer and Calgary in the past 25 years.
    #15
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  16. Night_Wolf

    Night_Wolf Leg Humper

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    I'm in my 14 th year in Alberta & have seen snow every month but July & August & it has snowed in August, but I was flying home that day & it was all gone by the time I arrived that evening, so I can't "technically" say that I saw it

    I will not that the winter of 2015, my buddy & I were riding every 3rd week from the middle of February, until the end of October. Not just local rides either
    #16