Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 17 Jasper to Saskatchewan Crossing

It was going to be a long day we had the climb to the Icefields and 146 kms to ride. So everyone was off to an early start and we were out of the chute at 7:30 Am.  I rode my bike around to the RV dumps station to dump the motorhome and was just cleaning that up when Ken C rode up to tell me that Ed had broken a pedal. Ed rides the Speed Play pedals which have the little round circle to clip into.  The little round circle had come off the pedal as some sort of retainer had broken inside of it.

Ken C and I went to work on getting the old shoe cleat off of Ed’s shoe as the screw heads were badly worn. A little encouragement with a hammer loosened the clip screws however the bolt pattern was wrong so our options to change Ed over to SPD clips where we had some spare parts was frustrated. Ed’s only option was to head into Jasper and get fixed up at a bike shop.  Julie drove Ed into town and Ken and I pedaled off.

At about the 45 km mark we were well into the big ramp up to the summit when I saw this gigantic grin coming up behind me. It was Ed and Julie. The bike shop had fixed Ed up with a new set of egg beater pedals and a new set of shoes. So we were all off.

The Icefield Summit is right at the 95 kms mark and it was at about the 65 km mark when we hit a huge head wind. It was so strong that the best you could do was about 15 km/hr. So Ed, Ken C, and myself battled into the wind together. It was brutal work. Winter has taken a terrible toll on the Parkway road. It has become terribly cracked and broken. There are transverse cracks every 5 feet, this made for a terribly rough ride. In fact I was quite disappointed in the road condition from a few years ago when I rode it last.  

After lunch in the summit parking lot we headed down the big decent this takes you down the “toilet bowl”. The toilet bowl being this huge spiral shaped switchback  which has a lot of super elevation on it.   However the high winds and terrible road surface prevented me from reaching any kind of speeds. I think that the highest speed I was able to attain was 65 kms.

We were staying in the Crossing Resort at Saskatchewan Crossing as the camping in the area does not have showers.  Surly staff, dumpy rooms, and high prices made the poor marks on Trip Advisor seem like high praise.


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