Icefields parkway - biking?

Jul 24th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Icefields parkway - biking?

Any advice if we want to do a bit of biking on the Icefields parkway? While my husband may be up for big climbs in elevation, I prefer flat and easy. Interested in info on good stretches and where to rent bikes.
leahinsc is offline  
Jul 24th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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I have never biked in the mountain national parks, but we almost always see cyclists when we go there in the summer months.

As far as I know, it is not possible to do a "bit" of biking on the Icefields Parkway. I think it's an all-or-nothing proposition. Either you cycle the whole of the Icefields Parkway, or you don't cycle any of it.

You can rent bikes in Banff townsite and Jasper townsite, but not along the Icefields Parkway. There are only three restaurants and one gas station along the Icefields Parkway, so it's not as if there are many businesses along that stretch of road.

When I visualize you cycling, I wonder about the logistics. How will you get your luggage from Banff to Jasper (or vice versa)? Will you carry it on your bike in those bags that I see hanging from cyclists' saddles? That doesn't strike me as being a lot of packing space. Even if you do that, where will you leave your suitcases? Do you intend to ride both ways, i.e., Banff to Jasper and back again or only one way? If you are going to ride only one way, how are you going to get back to the town from which you rented the bike so that you can return it to the rental shop?

If cycling the Icefields Parkway is an all-or-nothing proposition, as I believe it is, you aren't going to be able to choose flat and easy stretches and skip the steep uphill parts.

If you want to cycle in the mountains, I think you'd be much better off renting bikes from a store in Banff townsite or Jasper townsite and riding locally. There are some nice trails that you can ride outside of, but not TOO far away from, Banff townsite for example.

I don't remember the names of bike rental stores off the top of my head, but I walked past one right in the heart of Banff townsite just recently.

If you want to cycle the full length of the Icefields Parkway, I've seen the Internet sites of companies that rent out bikes and offer logistical support, e.g., a member of the company's staff drives a van that contains the bike riders' luggage and he/she delivers the luggage to the point at which the riders will stop for the night. After the riders have reached their destination, the van driver takes them, their luggage and the bikes back to the starting point. I don't recall the names of those companies, but I found them by doing a Google search.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
Friends of mine have cycled from Jasper to Banff and raved about it, but as Judy mentions, you won't have a flat and easy option. Here is a link to a cycling trip report for the Icefields Parkway which you may find helpful.

There is good written detail after the pictures section.

Also, if you google "Cycling Icefields Parkway", you will pull up further links.
bmacdon is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 431
I cycled from Jasper to Banff years ago. We did it over 3 days, spending two nights in hostels along the way. There was nothing flat or easy about it. I suggest renting bikes in town and asking about local flat rides. The most popular bike rentals in Jasper and Banff are Mountain Bikes for trail riding.
saltymuffin is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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i guess I'd envisioned more of 1/2 day bike ride - not a 3 day biking/camping trip...
leahinsc is offline  
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