Riding/renting in Banff

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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dj97223
Posts: 658
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:27 pm

by dj97223

I will be in Banff in a couple of weeks with a free afternoon, so I'm looking to rent a bike and get in a ride of a few hours or so. I'm a road rider but would consider off road. Any recommendations for rentals or rides? Thanks.
“If you save your breath I feel a man like you can manage it. And if you don't manage it, you'll die. Only slowly, very slowly, old friend.”

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53x12
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 6:02 am
Location: On the bike

by 53x12

For rental, you should check out Banff Cycle. They have DeRosa Planet and Sk Pininfarina as well as Cervelo R3 for rental.
http://banffcycle.com/rentals-2/


Ultimate Banff and Snowtips-Bactrax are two other options.
http://www.ultimatebanff.com
http://www.snowtips-bactrax.com/Full_Su ... Bikes.html

Those 3 are actually in Banff, if that is where you are staying. There are also some rental shops in Canmore.

The Banff Legacy Trail is nice. I think round trip from Banff to its end, it is around a 30 mile round trip ride. Depending on the time of day, it can get quite crowded in the summer with families and little kids riding the trail. But for a nice relaxing ride to enjoy the scenery, it is a nice ride.

https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/ ... age-Legacy

If you are looking for something else, where you can really open things up and not deal with other cyclists, I would take Vermillion Lakes Rd west our of town until you hit Legacy Trail. Then take that to Bow Valley Pkwy (1A) and go as far as you want. I believe Lake Louise is about 40 miles from Banff if you want to go there and back.

The Lake Minnewanka Scenic Dr is a nice loop and isn't far from downtown Banff either.

Have fun and enjoy. Banff is a beautiful place.
"Marginal gains are the only gains when all that's left to gain is in the margins."

by Weenie


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HammerTime2
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Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed

by HammerTime2

Whatever you rent and wherever you ride, make sure you keep a look out for the burglar of Banff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qUagJGeZhc

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dj97223
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Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:27 pm

by dj97223

Thanks much! I will be careful in Banf-f-f-f.
“If you save your breath I feel a man like you can manage it. And if you don't manage it, you'll die. Only slowly, very slowly, old friend.”

c50jim
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Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 4:42 am
Location: Calgary

by c50jim

A few thoughts on riding in the Banff area.

The biggest challenge around there is that it's in a mountain valley so there is really only one way into and out of town. Generally, you'll want to avoid the Trans Canada Highway. It's busy although it does have a nice, wide shoulder.

I have a second home in Canmore, which is about 25 km east of Banff and ride quite on the road quite a bit around there.

A nice longish ride would be to ride up the Bow Valley Parkway (1A). From the start, which is about 5 km west of Banff, it's a 100 km or so round trip to the mall at the base of the road up to Lake Louise. You can get something to eat there or refuel. You can also ride up to the lake, which is really beautiful. However, you'll want to find the trail (It looks like it starts over by the railway station and I think it's paved but haven't ridden it for a long time) since the road is just a narrow zoo. The parkway also offers at least three other places along the way where you can refuel if you don't want such a long ride. There are a couple of hills along the way and a number of scenic overlooks. A friend was riding the 1A the other day and saw three bears so be careful.

If you want hills, you can ride up to the Norquay and/or Sunshine ski area parking lots. The Norquay road is right at the western edge of town, Sunshine a bit west of the 1A on the Trans Canada. Each would be a climb about 10 km long (Sunshine might be 15) and is a good test. Minnewanka is a shorter climb and is at the eastern entrance to town from the TCH. I prefer riding the loop clockwise because the downhill is a blast that way but it's a good ride either way. The loop would probably be about 25 km if you start in town. I've done Sunshine, Norquay then Minnewanka in an afternoon. Lots of climbing, lots of speed descending.

Legacy Trail is a nice way to get from Canmore to Banff but is really busy on weekends. I also avoid the downhill as you're leaving the park because the trail is narrow and fast. It's OK if the trail isn't too busy and you know enough to take it slowly.

Mountain biking is severely restricted in the park and you'd need to ask at a local shop to find out where you can ride. Lots of mountain biking in Canmore at the Nordic Centre if you want to do that. Rent bikes on site and there's a lot of well marked trails.

by Weenie


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dj97223
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Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:27 pm

by dj97223

Thanks, again, guys. I only had one afternoon free to ride, but I rented a DeRosa from banffcycle.com, who I recommend highly. Tom of banffcycle set up the bike to my measurements, brought it to my hotel and picked it up from the hotel later. Easy peasy.

Per your suggestions, I rode up Norquay, out the 1A a bit, to Lake Minniwanka (clockwise) and up to Tunnel Mountain. The scenery was incredible and the roads were very bike friendly. I was even able to avoid the Burglar of Banf-f-f-f!
“If you save your breath I feel a man like you can manage it. And if you don't manage it, you'll die. Only slowly, very slowly, old friend.”

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