Is it me, or did Alberta seem to go by a lot quicker than BC? Ah yes, looking back, BC was 9 days of riding and Alberta was only 6. Perhaps the flatter terrain, slightly shorter distances, my increased level of fitness, and my getting used to this trip are making the provinces go by faster.
As I will be doing as I reach the end of every province, here are some things I’ve learned (or relearned) about cycle touring and Alberta.
First, some things I’ve learned about Alberta:
Things here are big. The campers/RVs especially.
Beer is crazy cheap.
Calgary is a nice city, but super spread out.
Like Calgary, smaller towns also have streets that are laid out in a grid system with numbered streets. It’s tough to get lost here. I’ve managed, but it’s hard work.
There are hills in the prairies! What is that about?
The mosquitoes here are crafty. They are brown (rather than black) to blend in better with their surroundings. And they can bite through a pair of thick bike shorts. I don’t like them.
Food is pretty expensive here. Especially compared to the price of beer.
Not paying provincial sales tax is pretty awesome.
There are far more immigrants in Alberta than I had previously thought. Go Alberta.
The cows are very judgmental. I don’t need them staring me down as I ride! It’s intimidating.
I had never seen a natural gas pump in real life before. So I guess that was cool.
In flatter land, you can see storms coming from far off. It gives you more time to take cover.
Alberta stretches from the Rockies to the prairies, having 2 of Canada’s most amazing types of landscapes.
And some things on bike touring in general:
Seriously, don’t look down the pit toilet.
Always pay attention to the slant that you’re about to set up your tent on. You’d think that would be a one time mistake.
Eat eat eat! It’s very hard to take in too many calories.
Taking the time to set up your tent properly will prevent it from raining inside the tent. Which is handy, because I just might be a rain god.
90% of people are awesome. The other 10% are assholes.
There will come a point when you need to use a washing machine. Don’t fight it.
I have never regretted taking a shower.
Amongst all the mystery novels available on a “take a book, leave a book” shelf, there is occasionally a gem. Either that or I just stole a copy of “Roots”.
People don’t understand that when they yell things to me from their moving vehicles, I can’t understand them. They could be shouting encouragement or cursing me out and I would have no idea. Some people are pretty cool and give a friendly honk and a wave, which I like.
A good tail wind will get you everywhere.