Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 8 and 9

Trans Canada Highway 1 to Calgary

More Rain - Plan B - Riding to Edmonton via Calgary

Motorcycle road trip day 8 was a ride from Canmore to Edmonton, Alberta. Still lots of thunderstorm activity in the area. I don’t mind motorcycle riding in the rain, but I’m not a big fan of thunderstorms. I have a friend that was actually hit by lightning while riding his motorcycle. After checking the weather report one last time, I headed out a little early expecting it to be a slow ride.

To me, the only bad thing about riding a motorcycle in the rain is inconsiderate (maybe just ignorant) truck, SUV and car drivers. Fortunately, many professional truck drivers also ride motorcycles, or at least are considerate to motorcyclists, and so don’t fall into this group. I tend to ride slower in the rain. So, this provides considerable opportunity for cars to pass me. And when they do, they usually immediately pull back into my lane. Not only does this cause a lot of wind turbulence, but it also blasts me with water from their tires. Since this impairs my visibility, my reflex reaction is to slow down to get out of the turbulence and water spray. This motivates the next car behind me to pass. It’s a vicious cycle. Fortunately, my motorcycle rain gloves have a little rubber squeegee on the thumb for cleaning water from my visor.

Highway 1 from Canmore to Calgary was quite uneventful. The ride started in the foothills, but, quickly gave way to mostly straight and flat roads. The elderly couple at lunch yesterday told me how to bypass downtown Calgary using Stoney Trail, Highway 201. This took me around the north end of Calgary, connecting with Highway 2 to Edmonton just north of the Calgary airport.

Highway 2 is mostly straight and flat, so it was a easy ride, even in the rain. Not nearly as stressful as riding winding mountain roads in the rain. However, there was lots of traffic, and lots of big trucks. I guess it could be worse. I stopped for lunch and a truck driver started chatting with me. He rides a Harley. He said this was the tail end of a thunderstorm with torrential rains. The rain was so bad, cars were hydroplaning all over the highway. He and his motorcycle riding buddy had to stop on the side of the road because their motorcycles were hydroplaning. I guess that I have nothing to complain about. Unfortunately, with all of the rain, I didn’t stop very often for photos.


 

I got into Edmonton late afternoon, and parked my BMW R1200RT motorcycle in front of my nephews house. As I unloaded my gear, I couldn’t help but notice their beautiful green lawn. One benefit of lots of rain. I also noticed the grass was very long. It hadn’t been cut for a while. I assumed because of the rain. However, I quickly discovered the real reason for the long grass. As I stood by the curb unloading my gear, I was swarmed by mosquitoes. My nephew said it was the mosquitoes keeping him from cutting the grass. Supposedly, the mayor of Edmonton made a comment that if Winnipeg was wondering where their mosquitoes are, they are in Edmonton. The good news, I’ll be in Winnipeg in a few days. Sounds like no mosquitoes.

I spent an extra day in Edmonton visiting with my nephew and his family. Amazingly, it was a bright and sunny day. I took some time giving my motorcycle a once over. I cleaned it up, checked the oil, tire pressure, and got it ready for the next leg of my journey. I also decided to revisit my route plan. It’s about 850 miles to Winnipeg, 16 hours of straight riding according to travel web sites. Doing this in two days as planned makes for two 8 hour days of riding. That doesn’t include biological breaks, lunch, and sight-seeing. When I was planning my route, I read about the Alberta badlands near Drumheller. I decided against this because it would add an extra day to my trip. However, the elderly couple at lunch the other day, and my nephew, say this will be a beautiful ride. So I’ve decided to take the Drumheller route and add an extra day on my ride to Winnipeg.

 

Road Trip Previous and Next Day Posts

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 7

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 10

Motorcycle Road Trip 2011 – Day 1

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