Saturday, October 19, 2013

Random Trip to Alberta

AB Ride

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As some of you may have read, I recently travelled to Alberta and I got to take my bike with me. Everyone had talked to me about riding from Canmore to Banff, but having seen the drive to Canmore from North West Calgary, it was a bit of a longer round trip plus I had to go Karting later that afternoon. A lot more after the break. Less powermeter, more adventure stuff.
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So I ducked into Cochrane area off Highway 1A because Strava said the Grand Valley Road was very well travelled. Sure enough, it even had signs indicating “Cyclist Must Ride Single File”. If a road has to have signs to remind people not to be jerks, it’s pretty well ridden. I say awesome. It was a cold morning and I got to see a few cyclists along the way. Eventually I felt too chilled and turned around.
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I was using the SRAM Rival powermeter prototype (not the Accuity + Quarq one as it was acting up due to bad math talked about in the last post here). I re-zero when I took the pictures at the top of the post but it never disconnected resetting the unit at all. Good data. However, I was using a lithium rechargeable battery instead of the CR2450 coin cell. Turns out a cheap, exposed lithium cells from Sparkfun don’t work so well in 8 degree temperatures. It worked flawlessly up until 2/3 into the ride. And then it stopped as shown by the graph below. I decided not to bother with trying to sort it as my hands were too cold to swap it.
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It sucks that I lost power data, but I’m learning that this design is holding up well. It has close to 300 outdoor kilometres (or more, I lost track) of riding on it and still holds up so well. Zero values are rock solid only drifting a few counts. I’m hoping the Quarq + Accuity holds up as well in an exposed state. Now that it’s almost figured out I’m looking forward to riding a bit more. I’ve got a few more weeks outside, but likely more indoor trainer rides.
Also, my friend lent me his Jeep TJ. I drive a Subaru Impreza and have very little experience driving anything taller than a compact car. It’s interesting, that’s for sure. Also, it doesn’t hold a bike as well as a compact hatch. See below. Subaru knows its demographic. I also received a $750 rebate when I got the Impreza for competing in Triathlons. Who else offers that and proper roof mounts!
It was awesome to putter around in the Jeep. I wanted to offroad it but didn’t feel it appropriate.
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Banff, AB

Banff is generally regarded as one of the most beautiful places ever. I had my friend Brent drive Highway 1A most of the way as it was amazing. That way we could twist and turn along the road and see the pretty scenery like below.
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We drove through Canmore and onto the Trans Canada Highway (Highway 1). I think Brent had enough of my sight seeing. I think this is Canmore below, though it might be Banff.
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Brent and his lovely girlfriend, Carly, played such gracious hosts to me.
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So I showed them my surprised face. I might be hamming this up a bit.
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It was beautiful, but cold, at the top. I mean of course none of us had thought about gloves, hats, scarves, toques, etc. So we braved it and did what all Canadians do. We complained about how cold it was.
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And made some silly pictures
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We grabbed some supper (thanks to yelp.com finding a nice place) and hit the hot springs. I didn’t think it was appropriate to take pictures in the hot springs pool.

Go Karts

Sadly, the video I took didn’t work out so well. Seemed to corrupt itself on my phone. However electric Karts was a blast. Pricy but I know have a years membership. Worth looking up. I spun out once and Brent got called on hitting.  Our other friend Mike was fast and didn’t cause caution flags like me and Brent did.
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