Bike Odyssey
North America 2004

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Journal for 17-June-2004 : Calgary

We cycled out to the park and completed the scheduled maintenance: changing tyres, replacing some old gear and brake cables and a few little niggly things.

We cycled out to a park by the Bow River and enjoyed Lunch in the sun. It was very very pleasant, but we were escorted by lots of flying (but not bighting) bugs.

After lunch we cycled around downtown through the various bike shops looking for various bits and pieces we needed.

On the main bike track by the river in the centre of the city we met Susan and John. They are cyclists from Calgary who'd just ridden from Vancouver en route to Newfoundland, stopping here just long enough to feed their cats.

We found the last bike shop on our list, eventually. Calgary has a comprehensive network of pretty good bike paths that can take a cyclists from almost any river or park to any other river or park. It also has an impressive light rail transit system which we'll try out tomorrow. But in fact we've found Calgary is a pretty hard city to navigate by bike. Much harder than Los Angeles. Like the newer parts of Australian cities, the are major roads that a like freeways without the bike lane, and effectively isolate the suburbs. The thing that makes Canada (and Australia for that matter) look so much better than the USA: grass and trees on the road verges, takes the place of the extra bitumen America provides the touring cyclists. So finding our way around Calgary was rather difficult and took us most of the afternoon.

So we didn't go all that far today. But it still wasn't a true rest day, so we've made an executive decision to have a *real* day off tomorrow.

I've been told that I've made all Canadian roads look something less than desirable to cycle on. There have certainly been some less than ideal sections which I seem to have thoroughly documented, but these have been the exception rather than the rule. So thumbs up to Canada so far!

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