300 km Highwood loop

YEAH! Tomorrow I head out to tackle the 300 km Highwood pass loop. I'm pumped.

It's an epic ride and should be even epic-er tomorrow because the pass is still closed to vehicles. That means wildlife galore - bears, big horn sheep, elk, moose, etc. In 2005 when Greg B and I rode the pass we ran (almost LITERALLY) into two grizzlies laying in the middle of the road. They didn't pay us much attention and we didn't feel like a challenge so we turned around and headed back.

The M5 is packed and ready to go

At 7000 feet, the Highwood pass is the highest paved road in Canada. (click on "show elevation" on the route map below). The total ascent is 9200 feet and 3000 foot climb from my house to the summit.

I checked my training log, and this will be the 6th time I've done the 300 km loop. I did it 4 times in 2005 leading up to my first attempt at the 24 hour HPV record, and once in 2006 leading up to my successful attempt at the same record. In 2005, the most epic Highwood loop ride was 370 km where I started at 4:00 am inside with a three-hour inside mag trainer ride, then packed up and headed west in the dark and cold before the sun rose. It was a very memorable day.

On the rear rack of the M5 is a pack containing food (Cliff bars, gels), cell phone, money, a camera and some additional clothes like a rain jacket and arm warmers. On top is my 3 liter water bag.

My training leading up to the 24 hour human powered boat record of last June wasn't nearly enough and I'm not making that mistake this time around. In fact, I can't make that mistake because Carter's 245 km record won't be reachable unless I am able to fully expend my available wattage.

Note the can of bear spray strapped to the front boom

Here is a comparison of the weekly long-rides from before the 2006 HPV record where I felt I was well-trained and capable of accomplishing a record, and training up to now this year.

12 weeks leading up to 2006 HPV record attempt
  1. 4 hrs
  2. 6 hrs
  3. 8 hrs
  4. 5 hrs (fast)
  5. 9.5 hrs
  6. 6 hrs (fast)
  7. 12.5 hrs
  8. 6 hrs (fast)
  9. 14.5 hrs
  10. 4.5 hrs (fast)
  11. 1 hr
  12. 24 hrs (record)
18 weeks leading up to tomorrows 12 hour ride:
  1. 4 hrs
  2. 4 hrs
  3. 4.25 hrs
  4. 5 hrs
  5. 4.75 hrs
  6. 6 hrs
  7. 7.5 hrs
  8. 1.5 hrs
  9. 8 hrs
  10. 8 hrs (Achilles pain)
  11. 6 hrs (Achilles pain)
  12. 2 hrs
  13. 9.5 hrs (Achilles pain)
  14. 3 (Achilles pain)
  15. 3
  16. 2.75
  17. 8.5 (Achilles resolved)
  18. 12 (tomorrows Highwood ride)
If my ride goes well tomorrow, (hopefully this Achilles issue is resolved, and no other issues suddenly appear) then I should be ready to challenge the HPB record soon. I would like to get at least 2 or 3 very fast 100 mile rides in, plus at least 3 more ultra rides - another 12 hr, a 14 hr and maybe a 16 hr. At least two of the ultra rides need to be on a lake in V11G.

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1 Responses to “300 km Highwood loop”

  1. # Anonymous Russell Moore

    Greg, I have happy memories of passing through Calgary in '95 on a bicycle trip from Alaska to Las Vegas. I stayed with a fellow Audax cyclist whilst in Calgary ( Don Mankewick). We rode into Calgary from Banff, stayed a day and headed south through Okotoks and Black Diamond.
    If you use Lake Louise for the record attempt you won't lack some wonderful scenery! Good luck

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