Southern Alberta one Weekend at a time

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Lycan1, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,268
    Location:
    Calgary
    Hey Lee
    What chain tool is that?
    #61
  2. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,567
    Location:
    Calgary
    #62
  3. Lav1200

    Lav1200 Pig Pen

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,595
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    Looking good Lee! My Saturday was spent in a similar fashion - pulled the carbs on my 950 to get them ready (rejetted) for my Rottweiler intake that arrived in the mail last week. Can't wait to see the 2' of snow in my alley clear out a bit so that I can take it for a rip.

    Almost time for a new bike cover, eh?
    #63
  4. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,757
    Location:
    Western Canada
    Good chuckles! Keep up the good work.
    #64
  5. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    985
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Lee, I will have to stop by the Camera Store and piece together the same mount. Thanks, David
    #65
  6. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    985
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Lee, I picked up the parts and made the same mount as you. It is great! I will have to try out some of the many mounting options it allows. But first , new shoes. I am going to use my other new toy to mount a set of Heidenau's I have in the garage. Cheers, David

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #66
  7. JOKER650

    JOKER650 Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,860
    Location:
    British Columbia , Canada.....Eh
    Hey that's a sweet camera mount set up.
    Have you got a link to the store and the p/n's of all the parts (not the camera though)?:clap

    :ear
    #67
  8. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,567
    Location:
    Calgary
    Manfrotto Nano Clamp: http://www.manfrotto.com/nano-clamp

    Joby Gorrilla Pod Ball head: http://joby.com/gorillapod/ballhead/

    Manfrotto(3/8 to 1/4) adapter stud: http://www.amazon.ca/Manfrotto-037-Reversible-Short-Stud/dp/B001M4HTDE/ref=pd_sim_p_18

    GO Pro tripod adapter: http://www.amazon.ca/Tripod-Mount-Adapter-Replacement-Camera/dp/B00EQ35EQM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390659176&sr=8-1&keywords=gopro+tripod+adapter

    This is where I bought it all: http://www.thecamerastore.com/

    IMG_0561.jpg

    Since this is a Photo thread here is a collection from 2014;


    IMG_0471.jpg

    IMG_0521.jpg

    IMG_0264.jpg
    #68
    Kona990 and Phipsd like this.
  9. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    985
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    All the parts except the Manfrotto Nano are available at The Camera Store. The Nano is out of stock at the moment. Saneal Cameras has the Nano in stock as of yesterday. David
    #69
  10. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,567
    Location:
    Calgary
    "Tires Spitting Gravel I Commit My Weekly Crime"

    Well it has been a long time but rather than clutter up the Calgary thread I'll reboot this old thread with a Rush reference.

    The hottest weekend in the year thus far and most likely a record breaker, so why not get all geared up and go riding? Sounds like a recipe for dehydration, so why not!
    Taking well worn paths as far as Beaver Creek road in the Porcupine Hills, I got a little off plan, having missed a turn. With the heat getting unbearable by Pincher Creek I pulled in to get supplies and ran into "Lav1200"and his wife after talking to an American traveller who was having final drive issues with his BMW 1150 (which explained the oil on the traffic circle).

    IMG_0098.jpg

    Shortly after a brief respite in the Co-Op air conditioned supermarket I found myself off the map and onto a "green-lane" that satellite images had tempted me to explore. The smell of the adjacent crops was great and took me back to my childhood on the farm.

    IMG_0104.JPG
    An unexpected challenge gave me a workout carting bags across a washout to lighten the load and lessen the chances of failure navigating the 990 across a washed out road that wasn't part of the 2013 damage. The landscape had changed so much that I didn't recognize the area.

    Once over this test it was clear and fast travelling to Payne Lake campground to relax and try to cool down (4 Liters of water and some gatorade later).


    The lake was so warm that an algae bloom (but not the blue-green nasty stuff) had fouled the southern shore line. After the wind picked up it cleared off allowing a little cool-down in the water.
    Relaxing in my campsite listening to the rustle of the Aspen leaves and miriade of birds was cathartic. I was so still that a creature that looked like a Prairie-Dog with Chipmunk markings (cue funky 70's music and your imagination) snuck up and almost touched my foot. It retreated hastily when I looked down at it, but returned to scavage a few remaining peanuts from the last camper.

    IMG_0118.JPG
    As the sun set I shot a few pictures of the sun dropping in the smoky-west giving a coppery hue to the landscape.

    Taking advantage of the fleeting cool air Sunday morning I made good time on my way back to Calgary.

    Again well-worn routes interspersed with a few unexpected detours for bridge repairs made for an entertaining run over marble covered (freshly graded) roads. Although I crossed several one-laned-bridges by river sides, thankfully no gleaming-alloy-aircars bothered me.
    The worst of the day's heat avoided with an early return home (but not to join my uncle by the fireside).



    The track is attached if anyone s interested.

    Attached Files:

    #70
  11. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,899
    Location:
    Yellowknife and Norman Wells, NWT
    Stellar photos, I've been drooling over my keyboard :D
    #71
  12. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,567
    Location:
    Calgary
    I appreciate the kind words. Alberta makes it easy.

    IMG_0102.JPG

    IMG_0132.JPG

    IMG_0653 (2).JPG
    #72
    Kona990 and Phipsd like this.
  13. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,268
    Location:
    Calgary
    Added to my Lycan track collection! Headed to Squamish tomorrow on the new to me road bike, Vernon was 42 today, guess I'll ride till noon then quit.
    #73
  14. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,567
    Location:
    Calgary
    A couple of weeks ago I visited a nice hiking trail (if somewhat busy) just off highway 1A across from Johnson Canyon campground. Scenery that you won't see from the seat of your motorcycle, although it can get you there, and 1A is a nice ride.

    IMG_0003.JPG
    near the lower end of the trail.

    catwalks along the rock face.

    IMG_0032 (2).JPG
    bridge to the tunnel viewpoint for the lower falls.

    Post-card shot.
    IMG_0067.JPG
    Toll-attendant.
    #74
    Kona990 and Phipsd like this.
  15. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,567
    Location:
    Calgary
    It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes words paint a picture that pixels can't. So it is this time and I have decided to add the story behind these images, so here goes.


    After scuttled vacation plans and having a paid campsite reservation a couple of friends agreed to join me for a quick out and back weekend trip. The plan was to run the canal route from Carseland to Vauxhall and then run back roads for the remainder. It just so happened to be mostly the TCAT (Trans Canada Adventure Trail) as well. As clouds rolled in, I sat enjoying a coffee on High Street in McKenzie Towne waiting for my riding comrades to arrive. The forecast called for a cool and partly cloudy day with a few showers overnight. Like most forecasts it was as wrong as they come, with a HOT day with just a few clouds drifting by.

    IMG_0135.JPG
    Part of the TCAT East of Lake McGregor.

    IMG_0136.JPG
    As we rumbled along the canal service roads we switched between well-traveled fresh gravel to grass covered and little used sections with only one cattle gate to contend with that was lying on the ground. Not wanting to drive over the barbed wire, I moved it aside and after we were all passed, closed it properly.
    One connecting section (not beside the canals) east of McGregor Lake was so little-used that the road-bed grade could only just barely be seen in the tall grass and weeds. Having an accurate track as well as a bit of scouting by me and we all decided to attempt it. The road bed was rutted and rocky in places and difficult to see in waist-high weeds. A few close calls dropping into ruts we came upon a low lying, swampy area. I mistook a dark path through the area as road and dug into the gooey gumbo, a big black rooster tail as I attempted to keep moving. With a lot of help from my buddies (who had stopped when they saw the black muck flying up behind me) we extricated the bike from the swamp and back to terra-more-firma. A bit of hiking and we found a go-around beside the west fence, allowing us to avoid the gumbo and rejoin the track. A couple more tense moments, swapping ruts on the way up a hill and we were back onto a recognizable road.


    Near the Traverse dam we ignored some signage (something about road construction) and eventually came upon a large crew working on rebuilding the road. One of the graders came over and the guy leaned out of the cab asking if we saw the signs? I played dumb and motioned at my GPS saying we were trying to connect to the road just past where we were (pointing in the general direction). He was good about it, telling us to be careful since there were “a lot of young guys running big equipment” and said (with a laugh) if our bikes could handle it we could go past. I thanked him and showed him that indeed our bikes could. Once around that little obstacle we enjoyed another short section of grassy canal two-track before coming out at Vauxhall.

    Dusty grid roads, some of them long and straight, but all marble-covered connected us to the western edge of the Cypress Hills Provincial Park. A few stubborn Cattle caused minor delays along the road into the park (me having to honk, rev the engine and gesture threateningly). The heat of the day dissipated rapidly after arriving with dark clouds rolling in from the south. After finding the campsite and setting up including my big canopy the rain started, and continued through the night into early morning. After sharing stories and whiskey, we retired to our respective tents, clustered close together in likely the smallest campsite in the whole campground. It looked bigger online.

    I awoke to the same sounds that I had drifted off to sleep with, rain pattering against the tent-fly. The sound is relaxing in the dusk, but annoying at dawn, (funny how that works). Thankfully it eased off to next to nothing as we packed up our wet tents and my big canopy tarp (which had kept us and our camp table dry last night).

    It was cool, misty, and breezy as we head south up Ferguson Hill out the south side of the park, part of a route that I created for the Gravel-Travel website. The two campsites up on top of the hill were more to my liking with huge tall evergreens throughout. The elevation gain was considerable (about 250 meters) and the road south out to the park boundary narrow and dark with tall trees densely lining both sides. The southern half of the road fresh, wet gravel that was a bit squirrely, especially first thing in the morning.

    IMG_0140.JPG
    Some roads are no fun when wet. This one east of Manyberries, AB.

    Working our way south toward the tiny town of Manyberries, the roads were becoming more treacherous with very soft clay bases. Eventually my route took us to a road that was nearly all clay and no gravel, and proved to be impassable after the deluge last evening. I was leading and made it in the furthest. My riding buddies were somewhat more prudent after seeing me peeling up road, adding it to my tires. They stopped but not soon enough and we all helped each other turn around in the sticky goo, which added height to us with every step. It is a wonder none of us crashed considering how hard it was to even walk on the slippery, sticky mess. After some time clearing around the wheels so that they would turn again we retreated to the safety of the last good township road we had turned off. Not long after we found the pavement that took us through Manyberries and along the “Red Coat Trail”.


    No one crashed but there were some close calls.

    Once again joining the wet gravel roads that were to take us across to Taber I had to stop, having intense pain suddenly in my lower back and abdomen. It was so intense it had me on my knees and for a short time I couldn’t make sense of it. Slow realization that it was familiar and the last time that I had felt this was when I had a Kidney Stone about a decade prior. Anyone who has had this experience knows the intensity and unpleasant nature of the pain. Even women that have gone through childbirth insist that a Stone is more painful than giving birth (I’ll take their word for it). The cramping, intense ache (of a Kidney stone) is astounding considering how small they can be. It is hard to think straight and at times the pain can blur your vision and make you nauseous. Nothing short of strong painkillers or getting rid of the stone will take the pain away. I stopped a couple of times in the next hour and a half to walk around and attempt to ease the pain, but all I accomplished was possibly avoiding a high speed crash from distraction on greasy marble-covered roads. We ended up having to turn around and go back across the greasiest couple of miles of road when we saw that the only way out was as bad as the clay-mess from earlier. All of us had near crashes with the bikes weaving in (as Chris referred to it) Death Weaves. He was amazed that I recovered from the biggest one. The key was standing on the pegs, gripping the tank with the knees and keeping relaxed on the handlebars. The rear end must have went side to side a foot in each direction without spitting me off.

    At the last stop we decided to take the fastest route to the nearest town to our current location not knowing if there was even a hospital there.
    When we got to Bow Island I had not seen a sign for a hospital, but did see one for the local RCMP detachment. The station was not to be found, and I was in total agony, and waved down a local kid to ask about a hospital. He knew that they had one and that it was on the “other (south) side” of the highway, and as we made our way back through town we spotted the EMS building a combination fire hall and ambulance station. Being a small rural community and a Sunday, it was closed and empty. They did have a phone number (other than 911) on the building and responded very quickly when called. The guys wheeled my loaded bike into the Fire hall upon offer from Kelly the fire-chief to keep it secure, and Karen the ambulance driver asked me if I wanted to go in her minivan or the ambulance. I told her that her van was fine. It was a whole 3 blocks to the hospital and we had just not seen the signs. My friends followed us to the hospital after securing my bike at the Fire hall. They had already offered to return to pick up my bike with a truck to get it back to Calgary should I be unable to get it home myself. At the time I had no idea how long I would be down.


    The only thing that I had in my camping supplies was good old Aspirin for medication, and had taken 4 by the time we arrived in Bow Island. It, to be honest had not done a noticeable thing. The last Stone had required 2 shots of morphine to take the edge off so this was no surprise to me. After about half an hour in the hospital, while the nurse was making notes (having done my vitals) I felt the pain ease, just a rapidly as it had come on. A visit to the washroom and I contained one less nasty stone. Much like the first time, I was lucky to have my body rid itself of the nasty, excruciating stone on its own. A check over by the on-call doctor, another test and a shot of quality pain-killer (that would not make me drowsy) and the ordeal was over. I walked over to the Fire hall to retrieve my bike, since my helmet was with the bike. We continued toward home, with the proviso (from my friends) that we stay on pavement, as much as it pained me to do so.



    Thanks again to the great EMS people of Bow Island Alberta!

    Attached Files:

    #75
  16. payner

    payner Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    430
    Location:
    Calgary
    Thanks, Lee for putting that trip together!
    Twas a great weekend and an amazing route. Had the rain not turned some of the roads into gumbo, the ride West would have been even more stellar!
    #76
  17. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,941
    Location:
    Montreal (traveling Americas June '17 to May '18)
    :clap
    #77
  18. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,567
    Location:
    Calgary
    A little Catching up; Photo-wise.

    IMG_0442.jpg
    Boring Adventure Ride, no "Dual-Sporting" here, move along.

    IMG_0509.JPG
    More boring slab (and we did stop for Ice Cream), nothing to see here.

    IMG_0139.JPG

    IMG_0438.jpg
    #78
    Kona990 and Phipsd like this.
  19. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,567
    Location:
    Calgary
    A few from early this season; April

    IMG_0055.jpg

    IMG_0072.jpg



    The grass will be knee-high in the fall along that lane.
    IMG_0089.jpg

    IMG_0329.jpg

    Southern Alberta is a great place to "Adventure Ride" even if it is too boring for some.......
    #79
    Kona990 and Phipsd like this.
  20. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,400
    Location:
    Winterpeg - site of flatness beyond belief
    Great pics - thanks for sharing. Love your ride reports. I like to make it out to Cypress Hills, and would like to explore there more, but am frankly worried about getting stuck in the gumbo in the-middle-of-nowhere (had a close call on the Gap Rd). What would you recommend for routes in and around the hills... something reasonably less risky? I'm keen on checking out the mystery rocks: https://readreidread.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/sacred-places/
    #80