Today started with an awesome breakfast compliments of the BnB hostess. Yum. Then we were off with the bikes on the car, headed to Jasper. I love it here, the mountains, crisp fresh air, and gorgeous scenery. Wildlife sightings every 10km or so....deer mostly but also bighorn sheep and a coyote.
We parked and headed out on the Icefields Parkway towards Lake Louise. The sun was shining, and the air was only slightly cool. I stopped to take my armwarmers off about 2km into the ride. I knew right away this would be a leisure ride for me. I was so happy to be in the surroundings, and I wanted to drink it all in. I stopped frequently for pictures and just to gawk, and rode at about a 104 HR the entire time. There was quite a bit of climbing on the way out, and with such a slow speed I only made it about 34km when the clouds started to look a bit like rain, and I was ready to turn around. I called D, who was a lot further out, and told him I was heading in. I think he was a bit shocked to hear how far behind him I was...tee hee. I was on a pleasure cruise...
I only got hit with a few big rain drops and made it back to town in about half the time it took to ride out. I cruised around town checking out the residential areas, the schools, the rec centre and then the pool. It is very quiet and laid back in Jasper. Unlike Banff, with its busloads of tourists and tacky souvenir shops, Jasper feels a bit more like a small town, than a tourist trap.
By the time I returned to the car D was there. We changed clothes and went for a walk to find lunch. We ended up in an awesome little sandwich shop that had the best vanilla coffee ever. The food was awesome and as I was sitting there, staring out at the mountains I said to D..."honey, can we move here...please?" He laughed, he is used to me saying that whenever we are in a town like that. Nelson was the same, as well as every time we are in Penticton. Something about those places makes me want to move there, have lots of babies and grow my own vegetables.....sigh.
Maybe in the next phase of our life, for now it is just great that we are able to drive there anytime and enjoy it.
I have a feeling it will be come our near to home vacation destination of choice.
When we got back to Hinton it was time for the carb loading pre race dinner. It is unusual to have one in a smaller race like this, but it was fantastic! Home made salads, pasta and sauce as well as home made cookies for desert!! I love the small town attitude, where everyone comes out and supports events like this. It beats many of the larger center races we have done, where your race fee gets you the race and nothing more.
We received our heat times and were happy to be told that we could show up 20mins before the heat start to set up and get marked. Another bonus- no sitting around for 2-3 hrs pre race, and we could sleep in until 7am. My kind of race for sure.
TFTD: Bike 2hrs50