Elbow Loop, in winter, is one of the prettiest places on earth. Fiona hasn’t done the full loop in winter yet. With that in mind, we set out to do it as a single night trip.
The closed section of highway is highly variable. Sometimes it is easy to ride, other times it is hard to push. It is often windy.
We set out from the van around noon, and started riding. The riding was boring, which is good, since that meant fast and easy.
About half way up the pass, it started to get seriously windy, with huge gusts coming at us. Around the 2/3 point, we were slowed significantly, and the next 100m took us 40 minutes. I put my bike down to fish out some snacks from my pack, and as if to drive home a point, a gust flipped my bike over, and was pushing my loaded bike away.
We decided this was not the day for us to ride the loop.
Rather than go straight home, we got back in the van, drove to Banff, and rode what is as close to a sure thing as fatbikepacking gets, the Spray River trail. We rode at night, which Fiona hasn’t done much of, and we did the 6km of trail in about 50 minutes with stops for snacks.
After a good night’s sleep, we got up and rode back in the morning. Though neither of us were challenged, we had fun, slept outside, and got some more exposure to natural beauty. Neither of us is complaining, and we’re both looking forward to the next trip.