Posted by: Silver | May 12, 2011

Fort Macleod to Lethbridge

Distance: 28 km
Ascent: 186 m
Cycling time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Well, I have to confess that, when I came through the Rockies, I did think I’d seen the last of any 15% hills, for at least a little while… but the prairies still have some fairly steep-sided river valleys and although my chosen route into Lethbridge – through Botterill Bottom Park – was very pretty, and traffic-free, the climb back up from Oldman River could easily give the hills of the Gulf Islands a run for their money. A group of dog walkers politely huddled to one side of the path to get out of my way, but then had to stay there for an awfully long time while I crawled past…

But this wasn’t the only reason why my really rather short journey took really rather a long time all in all: for the first time this year, I think, the ‘sunny Sunday’ factor came into play. Lots of people were out and about and in a good mood and inclined to stop and chat. I bumped into the lady who’d organised the Mothers’ Day tea at which I’d spoken the previous day, and another chap, who initially stopped me to ask about Ranger (my chief publicity agent!), ended up giving a very generous donation to SOS Children’s Villages (which immediately went into the bank for safe-keeping, of course; one of the reasons I don’t actively encourage people to give me on-the-spot donations is so that no-one starts getting the idea that I’m wandering around with large amounts of cash on me, but equally, I can hardly refuse to accept people’s generosity when it is offered…!)

Lethbridge turned out to be one of the hardest places thus far in which to find someone prepared to take me in, but I’m very glad I persisted (and very thankful to the kind lady who finally did agree to host me), as not only did my stay in the city enable me to speak to two separate Rotary Clubs, but… gulp… I was interviewed by the local TV station as well! Given the number of you who have noted and commented on my reluctance even to display photos of myself in this blog, I probably don’t need to go into too much detail about just how enthusiastic I wasn’t about having a TV camera thrust in my face, but they did let me keep my cycle helmet and shades on, so at least I could pretend I was hiding… I was on the road again by the time the segment finally aired, though, so I never actually got to see my ‘moment of fame’: I just hope they plugged SOS Children’s Villages enough to have made it worth me screwing up my courage for!

In other news, the SOS Children’s Village in Surrey, BC is holding a fundraising fun run and family festival on May 29th, so if you’re in the Vancouver area, check out the details at

The tree guardians. When I saw these three deer lined up like this on the University of Lethbridge campus, I couldn't resist taking the shot - and couldn't believe that they stayed in place long enough for me to do so!

Prairie crocuses. I might not have even noticed these beautiful blooms on the university campus, if my host in Pincher Creek hadn't introduced the flower to me as her favourite, so this picture is for you, Catherine!

OK, so I definitely wasn't expecting that: pelicans in the centre of Lethbridge. From the number of other people taking photos as well, though, I think I wasn't the only one taken by surprise

Henderson Lake in Lethbridge, a rather attractive city centre park



  1. The crocuses and lake pics in particular are just wonderful.

    • Glad you’re enjoying the photos, John 🙂 I’m still amazed myself that they sometimes come out so well: photography is definitely something else to add to the list of ‘no prior experience’, along with the long-distance cycling, public speaking, media relations…

  2. wow first you start appearing on the front page of local papers and now your first tv interview – hope you don’t forget about us when your famous or should I ask for your autograph now 😉 . Was the interview one that you had planned or was it a complete surprise? (by the way have you googled yourself lately – there are pages and pages of articles about this mad Englishwoman cycling across canada all in aid of SOS Children Villages)

    How’s Ranger holding up after the fairing incident.

    I love the pic of the deers.


    • How could I ever forget you, Alicia?! A lady from the TV station left a message on my blog, so that bit was a complete surprise, but fortunately, the interview itself was scheduled so I didn’t have to deal with a TV camera being shoved my way without even having time to prepare myself! No, I haven’t googled myself – ever, actually! – but it’s good to hear the message about SOS Children’s Villages is getting out there. And Ranger is fine again now – thank you for asking 🙂

  3. Hey Silver:
    We’re enjoying all your posts and admire your continuing courage!
    Been too busy a Spring here for my liking?

    • Hey Wilf! Lovely to hear from you! You’ve had a spring then, eh?! Congratulations! Hope things calm down enough for you to enjoy the summer 🙂

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