Posted by: Silver | June 15, 2011

Grande Prairie to Fairview

Distance: 117 km
Ascent: 652 m
Cycling time: 6 hours, 41 minutes

One of my loyal and dedicated blog followers has brought it to my attention that some of you might not fully understand what the ‘ascent’ figure that I list at the start of each entry actually means, so let me start today’s blog by trying to explain a little: basically, it’s there to give an indication of how much gravity-fighting I’ve had to do in a day. Each time I climb another metre higher above sea level, my GPS-linked cycle computer adds that metre to the total for the day. Of course, sometimes, there might be just as many – if not more – descents than ascents during the ride, but unfortunately, when you’re cycling, going down a hill doesn’t actually negate the effort it took to get up there in the first place. So, when it comes to judging how hard a day’s ride was, it’s the ascent that matters, even if, overall, I actually end up at a lower elevation than I started at – so that’s the figure I post.

Anyway, my ride to Fairview really wasn’t that hard at all, despite warnings from locals about the huge ascent out of the Dunvegan valley that I would encounter on my route (Albertans are so cute, aren’t they?! There was actually barely 200m between bottom and top, but I guess that’s pretty big by Alberta standards… ;-)) I would have reached my destination even sooner, but couldn’t resist spending a little time wandering around the beautiful valley in the sunshine, now that my foot is better enough to be able to cope with such things occasionally.

Fairview really is only a very small town, and yet, for whatever reason, it is actually home to the only Harley Davidson technician training centre in the whole of Canada. I was very kindly given the guided tour of their training machines, and this included the opportunity to sit on a Harley trike for the first time! (Yes, the sort with a motor attached…) I’ve no doubt the Harley would get where it was going a whole lot faster but, you know, I really do prefer Ranger… 🙂

Alberta bills itself as 'wild rose country', and it looks like they're finally blooming 🙂

Ranger admiring the scenery on the way to Fairview

The Peace River at Dunvegan - pretty enough to make it worth the little river hill on the other side

My first bit of official sponsorship! The guy who runs the Harley training programme offered to buy me any item of Harley clothing I wanted, so I went for a white top to keep me cool in all this hot summer weather we're still not getting



  1. WHAT you’re turning into a Harley Biker now? I thought you were more of a leisurely Cambridge biker myself? I’ll be keeping an eye on you in case you start to grow a beard and wear leather!

    • Don’t worry, Helen – I don’t think I’ll be forsaking Ranger for a Harley any time soon. A beard would certainly help to keep my chin warm in the winter though – maybe I should consider it… 😉

  2. Tana, I enjoy following your adventure. I had to chuckle about your impression of the ‘huge’ ascent out of Dunvegan Valley.
    Wait until you reach Saskatchewan and they call that much elevation gain a mountain!

    • Hello Hilda,
      Thanks for your comment, and I’m glad you’re enjoying my posts. The ‘huge’ mountains of Saskatchewan certainly sound like something for a cyclist to look forward to!

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