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Old 09-11-2007, 04:19 PM   #1
Grainbelt OP
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Escape from the Flatland - Curbjumper's birthday ride

I realize that I'm not Curbjumper. But I was there, and had time to write this, so here it is. I'm sure Joe and Rob1313 will be by eventually to correct me and make up for any omissions.

Just this once, things came together. I had a weekend trip to Edmonton planned with some work buddies to golf and catch a CFL game, leaving Thursday and returning Saturday. Shorthly thereafter Curbjumper sends me a PM, says he and Rob1313 and a few friends are riding down to Banff Saturday. Friday was Curbjumper’s birthday, and their ride is sort of the last hurrah before winter rolls in.

Wheels turn slowly in my head and I figure I can send my clubs and some clothes with my buddies, ride to Edmonton, hit the course and the Eskimos game, leave with the group Saturday morning to ride thru the mountains, and come home Sunday. So I did.

Left Saskatoon after work Thursday night for the 550km ride to Edmonton.

Two thunderstorms, two gas stops, and an exploded bale of wet hay later, I hit Edmonton at midnight, and was apparently too tired to take a decent picture.

Golf sucked, the CFL game was decent, and I had my first Canadian strip club experience. Still trying to reconcile the concept of throwing dollar coins at naked women.

On 5 hrs of drunken sleep I awoke to pack and search out one of the dozens of Tim Horton’s in Edmonton where I was to meet Curbjumper, Rob1313, and the rest of the crew. Got there a few minute lates , met the crew, slammed a cruller and a large double cream, and we were on the road. A group of 8 bikes, we had an in-depth discussion of pace, signals, and etiquette to ensure we had a safe and enjoyable ride. I guess that’s what happens when you tour with a bunch of riding instructors.

First pics I have are of our first gas stop in Hinton, AB, just east of the park entrance.

Left to right: Shawn (DL650), Rob (DL1000), Justin (GS500), Andrea (VFR800), Joe (ZRX1100), Kelly (SV1000), Milton (CBR600RR).

Then some more shots from the park entrance. Rob1313 has the only V-Strom I’ve seen that didn’t make me want to vomit – the lower fairing makes it look quite decent.

Curbjumper pulling in to join us on his loaned ZRX1100, rest of the group in tow.

Eventually we made our way into Jasper, where we stopped twice for lunch (first place wasn’t open). I convinced a policeman to turn on his siren for me. By convinced I mean that I turned the wrong way onto a one way at our final lunch destination. For the record, the white SUV was not perked there when I did this. The cop did this twice more for motorists during lunch, and I’m thinking he was parked there for exactly that purpose. Perhaps they need to rethink their signage.

I don’t know what the hell I was talking about here… something chest high, apparently.

Rob says hi

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Old 09-11-2007, 04:20 PM   #2
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Once out of Jasper, we headed up the road to the Marmot Basin. After an easy pass to check for road safety, we made a couple more at a slightly higher rate of speed.

Candid shot Curbjumper (Joe) talking to Justin about the suspension and tires on the ZRX. Apparently one or the other (or both) suck.

Milton standing proudly next to his CBR600RR

Me saying hello and FYYFF

One road strafed, we headed for the next one, a potholed narrow piece of shit road that wound up thru the hills to a glacier. The Strom guys were all over it, I was bouncing around like a rag doll.

A shot from the end of the road.

From there it was the Icefields Parkway down to Lake Louise.

I had to pee. 50km/h? Like hell.

Views were spectacular. Sometimes we even stopped to look at them, but this flatlander was enjoying the roads far too much to be a good tourist and pay attention to the surroundings.

From Lake Louise, where we gassed up, it was the amazing Hwy 1A, Bow Valley Parkway, to Banff. 1A is a great little two lane road, the lanes actually split off to form their own one-way road winding thru the woods. Good times

Collecting our thoughts in a meadow, where we determined we didn’t know where the others were and went in search of the hotel. About 5 minutes outside Banff we hit heavy rain. Got to the hotel, were getting the bikes unpacked, and I got a phone call – ‘we just got to Banff, can you send Shawn with the GPS to find us’. These idiots had gone most of the way back to Lake Louise, and rode the last 20 minutes in the dark, in a rainstorm. :hehe

Shawn reluctantly set out to retrieve them and we three set about checking in and planning our attack on the hot tub. It was at this point that I decided having a glass of scotch was more important than giving Joe the whole bottle, so I poured a couple and warmed myself as we waited . Kelly had one and promptly asked when the burning in her throat and chest was going to stop.
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Old 09-11-2007, 04:21 PM   #3
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Sometime around Joe’s same-sex massage I determined that he is a dead ringer for Ned Flanders. No kidding. We should change his avatar or something.

As much as I wanted to stay up and drink, we were all pretty bagged after the day or riding, and crashed. Rob snores like a madman, and wakes up early. We eventually roused the other room, and got some breakfast.

After some oil addition and chain adjustment we headed back up 1A to Lake Louise, where we met some nice folks on a weird collection of bikes, then headed to Sask River Crossing for gas, and out to Rocky Mountain House along Estersomething Lake.

We stopped at a scenic point along the lake for some more pics.

Justin claiming victory over his girlfriends GS500. His VTR1000 had a fragged clutch, so he brought the GS on the trip and beat the everloving crap out of it.

Joe enjoying the scenery

Me looking like a tourist

We got to Rocky Mountain House, and I decided to head straight back to Saskatoon, and the rest of the group set off for Edmonton. Shawn’s GPS said it was 650 miles to ‘toon town, that should have put me there around 9:30.

Should have.

I missed the turn where 11 goes east out of Red Deer, and lost half an hour back tracking thru town. On the way back thru town I saw the ‘speed photo enforced’ signs, so I’m expecting something in the mail any day now.

As I entered the flatlands, I saw a few of your classic ‘curve’ road signs. Having just been in the mountains, I found them extremely unnecessary, and actually sped up to take a few of the supposed curves at over 100mph, just to prove a point. I’m not sure who I proved the point to, as I was the only vehicle in sight. That’s saying something - ‘sight’ means as far as the eye can see in every direction.

There are three towns near the AB/SK border. One of them, Compeer, is on every distance sign in eastern Alberta, so I figured it would at least have a gas station. Nope – a church, 3 houses, and an antique shop. Ok, fuel light just came on, two more towns in the next 40kms. Next town had nothing. Starting to worry. Coming up to Major, SK, I spotted a farmer fixing a fence, so I pulled over to ask him what there was for gas in town. ‘No gas ‘til Kerrobert’, he says. I gave him a sheepish look, and told him I wouldn’t make it that far. ‘No problem, follow me to the yard and I’ll fill you up.’

This wonderful man emptied his jerry can into my tank, refused my money, and was happy to discuss the recent harvest, the weather, the roads to Kerrobert, and anything else that came to mind. We had a great chat, and I hit the road having lost 45 minutes. I wish I’d gotten a pic of him and his bassethound, but they were a bit shy and I needed to hit the road.

Gassed up in Kerrobert, missed the 4 elk, 1 fox, and two raccoons, and got home just after 11 . The total:

Time to curl up on the couch, have a drink, and call an end to a weekend of unbelievable roads, great company, and spectacular scenery.

A heartfelt thanks to Rob and Joe for having me along on the trip, and feel free to add pics and commentary as necessary.

Originals, the rest of my pics and a bunch of Joe’s are in my smugmug as well.

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Old 09-11-2007, 04:43 PM   #4
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A Sweet ride!

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Old 09-11-2007, 05:20 PM   #5
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Nice report. I havn't even plugged my memory card into the computer yet. You did a great job. I only spotted one error but its no big deal. Joe I bet you spot it right away too. I'll see about getting my images loaded tomorrow. Thanks for doing the dirty work for us. Pleasure having you along for the ride. Next time your out this way let us know.

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." - Oscar Wilde
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:29 PM   #6
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Thanks for fixing my back, Justin!
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:46 PM   #7
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:27 PM   #8
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Beautiful mountains!

Have to make the escape from this flatland and head up there someday. Maybe next birthday ride, huh Joe? Deb will have her bike by then too!
Red hair & black leather, my favorite color scheme.

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Go out for adventure. Come home for love.

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Old 09-11-2007, 10:42 PM   #9
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Great road trip Wish I had known you were doing this as I was off all weekend (Friday was also my B-day) and instead of painting with my lady, I might have trekked up to Banff to meet some more of the FF's who inhabit this place.

P.S. Think I'll be through 'Toon in October so keep an eye on yer damm PM's

L 51.01.900 / L W 114.05.900

"That road less traveled is a toll road, and sometimes the charge is more expensive than we ever expected. Most of the time, it's a one way road. Make the decision, hope for the best, and start traveling. Carry lots of coins." PecosBill

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Old 09-12-2007, 05:06 AM   #10
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Love the mountain shots!! Thanks for the pics and report.. looks like everyone's having a good time
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Love the mountain shots!! Thanks for the pics and report.. looks like everyone's having a good time
Will have to hook up with you guys in the spring. I live in Cold Lake and could use some twisty roads
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