Could I somehow squeeze this in? - Finally riding my dream - CycleBlaze

Could I somehow squeeze this in?

Here I was, feeling sorry for myself because work commitments meant that I couldn't plan a tour in Europe this year. Okay, what could I do that didn't require a flight or a lot of time? I thought about riding the Pacific Coast, but Big Sur is closed this year, and I would have to go in August with peak traffic. Save that idea for another time.

Then I received an invitation in the mail. My aunt in Calgary is hosting a family reunion on August 4. Maybe I could ride there? I don't have the time to ride across BC, nor the inclination, really, due to the busy narrow highways, most of which I've driven more than once. I'd consider the Kamloops-Jasper-Lake Louise circuit, except for the part from Golden to Kamloops on the TransCanada Highway. Busy highway, narrow shoulder, lack of facilities, seen it from a car many times...yuck! The big climb up Rogers Pass is the least of the issues.

I posted in a forum here about how to get back from Calgary if I start by taking the train to either Kamloops or Jasper or one of the two stops in between. The most appealing was to ride south to Montana and take Amtrak home, but it could be really hot in August and I don't cope well with heat. So I booked a flight home from Calgary. My sister has decided to drive both ways and she can take my new Thule Round Trip Pro bike bag out with her.

This year though, since I'm in BC, I was also wondering about a trip with my mountain bike. In the fall of 2016, I finally bought myself a dual-suspension mountain bike. I didn't use it much last summer because I wanted to focus on getting ready for touring in the Alps, then I was actually in the Alps (on my touring bike), then back home it was too smoky to ride locally if you valued your lungs. I don't see myself using it for bike packing since the frame triangle is too small for even a bottle cage (it was challenging to find a mountain bike small enough for me) but there are some nice supported trips. In fact, they are so nice and so popular that they are all booked up. I did luck out and got the last two spots with Boréale Explorers in the Yukon. Al is coming too and we fly to Whitehorse, which is why I now have the Thule travel case.

We get back from the Yukon on July 25, I need to arrive in Calgary August 3 at the latest... Can I squeeze this in?

Well, I'm going to. I'll need to start in Jasper, though, because I don't think I could be ready to get on Via Rail at noon on Friday after getting home from the Yukon on Wednesday evening. I plan to take the next train on Sunday and cross my fingers it's not too late getting into Jasper. It's supposed to arrive at 8 a.m., but Via Rail trains are always late because in Canada, freight trains rule the rails.

I've booked hostel beds so I don't have to carry camping gear. I won't need my front rack; dare I leave off the fenders too?

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