Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die

I downloaded Fifty Places to Bike Before You Die by Chris Santella from the library.


It’s not nearly as good as the title might suggest. And wasn’t what I was looking for.

I want to know the best cycle touring routes with the LEAST traffic. Santella’s book is not that.

But I did add a few of their recommended cycling destinations to my life list:

  • Icefields Parkway Banff Jasper
  • North Rim Grand Canyon
  • Natchez Trace  (Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Crater Lake, Oregon
  • Mickelson Trail out of Rapid City, South Dakota
  • White Rim Trail out of Moab, Utah

Texas hill country cycling out of Austin or San Antonio sounds great too.

Sandia Peak Tramway, Albuquerque

One of the top tourist attractions in New Mexico.

I took the Sandia Peak Tramway trip on one of the snowiest days of the year.


Views were cool. But limited.


The Tramway provides access to a ski hill on the other side of the mountain.



In summer this is a terrific way to access hiking and mountain biking trails.

Still … I’m glad I saw it. Highly recommended.


Sandia is wrongly advertised as the “longest in the world”.

The entertaining cable car announcers grudgingly concede that Dajti Ekspres cable car in Albania is longer.

And I’ve been to Merida, Venezuela. That series of four aerial tramways – reopened April 2016 – goes 1640 – 4765 meters making it the highest tourist aerial tramway in the world. It’s 12.5 km long. Far longer than Sandia.

I love cable cars and have taken a number of these – 10 Most Amazing Aerial Lifts In The World

Sandia did not make that list. It did make this one – Amazing Aerial Tramways of the World

What’s unique about Sandia is that it has only two support towers.

cycling the new Coombs to Parksville Rail Trail

It was busy Jan 2, 2017.

The trail only officially opened Dec 23, 2016.


I rode the 7km from Parksville out to Coombs.


Checked out the tourist trap. Then returned to Parksville.

Cost is in the $3-4 million range for the Parksville-Coombs stretch alone. Instead of ripping out the rails they built a trail parallel to the rail line.

  • Approximately 7 km of 3 metre-wide tread surface trail finished with compacted high fines gravel.
  • Except for the first 200 m of trail in Springwood which has an 8 % grade, the Coombs to Parksville Rail Trail is fully accessible, that is, no more than a 5 % grade.


cycling Canmore

We finished the 1st annual Canmore Gymnastics Camp today at 1pm. With the traditional pie in the face for coaches. 🙂


A few days ago we talked about heading back up to the Nordic Centre this afternoon to ride trails including Soft Yogurt again.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Instead I relaxed only touring the excellent trails in and around Canmore.

Rick Canmore

Tonight I’ll open a bottle of Old Farm. Celebrate with Ashley Sportun and the rest of the coaches.

cycle hiking Gulf & San Juan Islands

7 islands. 10 days on the bike. Perhaps 1000km in the saddle.

I tented for free every night aside my rest day in Port Townsend.


I picked up my new bike at MEC in North Vancouver. Took the train to the ferry at Tsawwassen.

First up was Galiano Island. Then over to Pender. And on to Mayne.

BC Ferries Discovery Pass gives a discount on routes not connecting major cities.

I rode excellent dedicated bike trails from Swartz Bay to the terminal in Victoria Harbour. The Black Ball Ferry got me to Port Angeles.

My toughest day was riding P.A. to Port Townsend. There is supposed to be a route, but it’s very confusing.

Cycle trip 1

I took a much enjoyed rest day in P.T. Then caught the short ferry over to Whidbey. The next island is connected by bridge – Fidalgo.

From Antecortes I sailed to Orcas and then San Juan.

my first cycle touring trip

The ferry Friday Harbor to Sidney BC departs only once a day in the morning.  Many times ferry schedules determine your days.

Once back to Sidney CANADA, I cycled to Swartz Bay and rode the big ferry back to Tsawwassen.

Some say you cannot ride out of Tsawwassen because bikes are not allowed in the tunnel. Just in case I put my bike on the front of a bus.

A local on that same bus recommended we ride together downtown from the River Rock Casino. That’s not bad. You spend a lot of time on a street called Ontario.

Cycle trip 2

The best hiking was on Orcas. The best riding perhaps Galiano and Whidbey.

I’d love to go back to Orcas too for mountain biking.

It’s easier to carry gear by bike than on your back. But hills are murder. I’ll definitely lighten the load next time.

full hiking pack in addition to panniers
full hiking pack in addition to panniers

I’m planning a future short loop from Whidbey to the mainland and back to Port Townsend by road. Perhaps in winter when traffic is lighter. And – of course – I’ve many of the Canadian Gulf Islands yet to explore. 🙂



The GOOD reason I bought a 4th bike.

I bought a hybrid bike for touring May 2016. It’s in Calgary. I’ll be doing some Rocky mountain biking in August.

July 2016 I bought a second identical bike to be stored in Parksville, BC at my parent’s place. (I’ll now have a mountain bike and a hybrid in each city.)

I got the second on sale for $550 as it’s now last year’s model. It would have cost me well over $100 to ship a bike Calgary to Parksville. And another $100+ to ship it back. THAT’s the good reason. It’s less expensive for me to own two bikes than to ship one back and forth.

I’ll be cycling a lot both out of Calgary and Parksville on the two bikes.

IMG_1922 (1)

However … MEC bungled my order for the $550 last-year’s-model. Instead I had to buy this year’s model now $775. AND I needed to accessorize twice. Quite costly.

adding water bottle and pump
adding water bottle and pump