Monday, July 20, 2009

Sunday’s Highwood Pass Ride

Back in June a few of us had planned on riding Highwood Pass in Kananaskis one weekend.  Apparently this ride is amazing – big climbs and terrific scenery.  The road is closed over the winter and we were hoping to ride it before it opened to traffic.  Sadly we were going to ride it on the day that it wound up alternating snow, hail, rain and sun.  On my schedule for this weekend was a hilly 100K route.  No easy riding allowed.  So when it came time to consult my riding buddies Pam and Tara I proposed Highwood Pass for our ride this weekend.

We met up at my place early on Sunday morning and drove out to Kananaskis together.  As we passed a few trails on the way in I noticed they were closed off due to bears in the area.  Gulp!!  We parked at the village, hit the bathrooms and got ready to go.

The ride is essentially an out and back along Highway 40.  There are no services along the way until Highwood House (where there is a gas station), then turn around and come back.

It was an amazing day – nice and warm and a clear blue sky.  I tried to take the time to look up and appreciate the amazing scenery.  I wasn’t sure what to expect for hills or climbs but I was feeling pretty good on the uphills.  I kept scanning the ditches on the side of the highway looking for animals (okay, specifically bears).  We were trying to keep together as much as possible just in case we did sight one.
 DSCN0485 DSCN0486I was pedalling along and all of a sudden I dropped my chain.  I had enough momentum going that stopping wasn’t an issue and I hollered at Pam as I put the breaks on.  As I stopped my bike I looked down and then looked back.  My chain was lying on the shoulder of the highway behind me.DSCN0484
Oh so disappointing!  We were just over 13 miles into the ride…less than an hour.  None of us were carrying the handy dandy chain repair tool.  Thankfully there were three of us, so Pam rode back to get her car and Tara stuck with me and we started walking back towards Kananaskis together.  I was happy she kept me company in case we saw any bears.  She didn’t want to leave a girl on her own on the side of the highway.  I guess we all have our own perspectives on what to be worried about!  A couple of cyclists stopped to help, but no one had the tool or was able to rig the chain back together. 

I’m hoping the 2.5 miles or so that Tara and I walked (in our bike shoes) was enough to count for a brick that day!  Note to self though, walking that long in bike shoes makes for exceedingly tight calves the next day…ouch!

15 comments:

Missy said...

Those are some good friends! You be sure to get you a chain tool. Oh, and have the shop guy teach you how to do pull a link out. I hate to say it'll never happen again...

ShirleyPerly said...

ACK!!! That happened to my husband once and I had to ride 20 miles back to the car to get him and his bike since no one else who passed by had a chain tool either. Glad you guys hadn't gone too far. This is a good reminder for me to learn how to use a chain tool since I ride alone often.

ShirleyPerly said...

PS - Gorgeous scenery!

Charisa said...

Oh noooo broken chain :( Beautiful pics though!!!

Marci said...

I need to learn how to fix a broken chain and repair a flat tire too! Yikes! Beautiful scenery!

aron said...

eek i never think about all those things that can break on a bike.

Melanie Tait (Mel Tries to Run) said...

Leana I'm sorry about your chain snapping, but... those pictures! Wow! I already wanted to do a big travel next year through the US and Canada... now it's a definite!

Wes said...

What kind of watts were you pushing that you break your chain? Geeez girl! You are getting so strong!

:-)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

great pics as always, glad there were no bear encounters, but bummer about the chain. didn't even know there was a tool for that lol.

Marlene said...

You have a great group there!

Sorry about the busted chain getting in the way of your ride. Looks like some incredible scenery out there.

lindsay said...

glad you weren't out there alone! looks like a super pretty ride. i like that about biking - you can ride on the roads that are not-so well suited for running.

Alexandra said...

Oh Man! Bummer! Sorry that happened! Here's hoping you have a third opportunity, which turns out being successful, to bike that route! It is so beautiful!

teacherwoman said...

WOw. I wouldn't even know what to do if I broke my chain. Maybe I should figure that out, just in case!

Great photos!

Bootchez said...

That totally counts as a brick.

rocketpants said...

YIKES!! wow...that is NOT good. Glad you got back safely.