Posted by: Silver | May 24, 2011

Cochrane to Sundre

Distance: 81 km
Ascent: 708 m
Cycling time: 4 hours, 49 minutes

Happily, the weather gods were on my side again this time: beautiful sunshine the whole day and very little in the way of wind. The bugs were still finding the occasional spot where my application of repellent had been less diligent (mainly on my bum, it seems: sitting down is evidently no solution when your seat is made of mesh…), but overall, it was a very pleasant day’s ride. The ‘Cowboy Trail’ (Highway 22, the road I was on for almost all of the journey) has a reputation for being a very scenic route, and I can now confirm that this reputation is entirely justified. You can’t always see the Rockies, but the rolling foothills are beautiful enough in themselves: with their small fields and mixed woodlands, it could almost be the English countryside – except that here, of course, we’re nearly 4,000ft above sea level and the snow only left a couple of weeks ago…

Sundre is only a small place, so my opportunities for spreading the word about SOS Children’s Villages were unfortunately rather limited, especially since I was here during ‘May long’: the long weekend that traditionally marks the start of the holiday season here in Canada and seems to prompt the entire population to dust off their RVs and take to the roads. So instead, my hosts in Sundre officially designated my time with them as a ‘rest stop’. And believe me: when both your hosts just happen to be professional massage therapists, you don’t argue with this… I was thoroughly indulged and pampered, and was relieved to hear that – in spite of the rigours I’ve been putting them through – my leg muscles were apparently holding up very well. I’d only ever had one massage before in my entire life, so they were very gentle with me, providing more of a relaxation massage than an energetic pummelling, and I can wholeheartedly assure you that being worked on by two people at the same time is very relaxing…

A typical view during my ride from Cochrane to Sundre

Even when you couldn't see the Rockies, it was still very pretty

I think it was the hay that was for sale, not the nesting Canada goose...

OK, so it was clouding up a bit by the time I finally came into Sundre, but it was still pretty majestic

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