Cycling and Mountain Biking
Alberta is perfect for both road biking and mountain biking. On-road cyclists appreciate the wide shoulders on all main highways, whereas those on mountain bikes enjoy the many designated trails in the mountain national parks. One of the most challenging and scenic on-road routes is the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper, which has several well-placed hostels along its length. Bike rentals are available in all cities and resort towns. Expect to pay $5–7 per hour and $22–28 per day for a regular town bike and up to $20 per hour and $60 per day for a full-suspension mountain bike.
The Alberta Bicycle Association (780/427-6352, www.albertabicycle.ab.ca) represents all racing and touring clubs in the province and can provide further information.
Backroads (510/527-1555 or 800/462-2848, www.backroads.com) has trips designed to suit all levels of fitness and all budgets. An average of six hours is spent cycling each day, but there’s also always the option of riding in the support van. The cost for a six-day Canadian Rockies trip, inclusive of luxurious accommodations, is US$3,500.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition