Highwood Pass

And hot on the heels of yesterday’s MEC ride is today’s Highwood Pass ride. Considering I was going into the weekend wondering if either ride would happen, I ended up with two.

Highwood Pass is something of a local legend in Calgary. It is high enough and steep enough that it deserves respect, but it’s accessible. The road is closed between December and June 15 every year, and a lot of riders take advantage of there being no cars on it on those weekends right before it opens. I had never ridden the north side before, and my MEC rides didn’t take me all the way to the summit this year or last.

The ride was put on by The Lead Out Project, and sponsored by Bow Cycle. It wasn’t technically a Bow Cyclist Club ride, but there was great attendance.

Some of the gang, ready to roll. Photo by Wing.

There were two distances: 90 km (up to the summit) and the long route (over the summit, down to the south gate, back up and over). I was there for the shorter ride, and thought I was in for a recovery ride after my ride yesterday, but remember what I said about it deserving respect? It wasn’t so much a recovery ride as using up my last reserves.

The weather was much warmer: 12 degrees to start. It was only 7 degrees at the summit, but you didn’t notice that climbing the long, steep last hill. You noticed it at the top, and then when you started coming down. All that sweat evaporated in the 15 km downhill run.

The scenery was tremendous.

Pay no attention to the ghost car

And all the work was worth it for this picture.

Yours truly, over a mile up

At the end there was barbecue (brisket on a bun) and warm sunshine. Almost good enough to allow me to ignore my aches and pains.

The 3D view of the ride:

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