Having celebrated one birthday in 2012 that senior OAP Arthur Benbow had the offer of 3 months hospitality the following year from friends in Canada the USA . However before that adventure Arthur was taken on a 21 day bike ride on the longest trans Canada trail with cycling friends from Canada the USA and one UK companion.
When Arthur told me he wanted to ride the TransCanada Trail for his 81st birthday I said can I come. That started a 6 month long process of reading trail guides and planning a route suitable for aging cyclists. We met in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, a few days before the start of our ride. Arthur had arranged the perfect support vehicle for this trip. It was a 29 ft motor home which could sleep 6. Beth provided all of the linen and kitchen utensils making it a 5 star support vehicle. Our journey from Vancouver to Banff, Alberta was thru some of the most beautiful scenery in North America. Our route was partially on the Trans Canada Trail and on highways where the trail was thru remote areas where our support vehicle could not go. There were many highpoints on this trip. Our favorites were:
This was a memorable trip with a great group of fellow cyclers, good food, sunny days and days we wiil always remember. Our thanks to Arthur.
- Riding the trestles on the Kettle Valley Railroad
- The 4 hour climb up the Paulson Summit near Castlegar
- Celebrating Arthurs 81st birthday in Penticton
Willma and Ed Lang
The Bike ride through the Rockies from Vancouver to Banff was definitely one of Arthur's finest. The excellent company of ex Odyssey riders, the magnificent scenery, the luxury RV (recreational vehicle) that was our home, and the mostly fine weather all combined to make it pretty memorable. Our thanks to Arthur for initiating and organising the event. The photographs accompanying this show the stalwart company in various poses. The picture of me pointing at a tent is when I discovered that the one man tent I had brought for the trip was really designed for gnomes, leprechauns, or dwarfs. No way could I get in it! I think I threw It in the trash. Incidentally I have since repeated this route by train 'the Rocky Mountaineer'. This less arduous approach enabled my wife to accompany me, and I can highly recommend it.
We were blessed with great weather on this bike ride. Highlights of the trip in the Canadian Rockies included staying overnight at the homes of your home exchange connections. We started the trip in Burnaby at the home of one family, and en route stayed at the home of another family. That was special. Camping and hiking in Banff and around Lake Louise were stunning. Another highlight was locating and cycling on the Rails-to-Trails routes which allowed us some out-of-the-way adventures. The six of us were harmonious co-travellers. Our RV was perfect for four vs six in the sleeping quarters; six was a bit cramped. Our solution was to take turns, two slept in the "bedroom" in the rear, and two slept on the beds up front, and the two who did not get a bed in the RV slept outdoors in their tent. We also took turns cooking for one another. I recall the delicious Pasta Carbonara which John Ambler made for us. The RV doubled as a sag vehicle. We took turns driving. The driver could drive ahead and scope out prospective campsites and other destinations of the day. Arthur always was cooking up fun times to be shared with others. We are so glad we said yes and joined Fred and Wilma, John Ambler and Arthur on this fun trip.
Tom & Beth