The Golden Triangle (GT) is a three-day bike tour in the beautiful mountainous terrain of Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks. Starting at Castle Junction in Banff, AB, the ride takes you in a great loop through Radium Hot Springs, B.C., Golden, B.C, and back to Castle Junction where you will see hanging glaciers, water falls, big horned sheep, maybe a bear and usually lots of dandelions. You’ll cover 320 km and climb over 3,200 m cumulative elevation gain – but it’s not an endurance contest or a race. The GT is purely a recreational and social event with some of the most spectacular scenery in Canada.
We are in the process of planning another Golden Triangle for last weekend of May 2024 for up to 100 riders.
We will meet at the Lake Louise Overflow parking area 6km south of Lake Louise on the west side of Hwy 1 where Parks has given us permission to park May 24-26. The ride begins with an 18 km downhill to Castle Junction to start the event on May 24, and reduces the distance on day 3 by 18 km. Although we miss the Bow Valley Parkway, we have a wide shoulder downhill from Kicking Horse Pass to the finish on day 3.
The daily support is three snack and lunch stops on days 1 and 3 and two on day 2. We carry your baggage and deposit it at the Prestige Hotel in Radium and Travelodge in Golden, then back to the start/finish at Lake Louise Overflow.
First time riders should expect to ride this in 6-8 hours daily depending on how long you stop at lunch and snack stops, stop for photos and of course how fast you like to ride. We will shuttle any riders who want to soak in the hot springs up and back leaving from the Prestige Hotel in Radium.
This will be the first year of this classic event where there are shoulders all the way around the loop, thanks to the completion on Hwy 1 of the Kicking Horse Canyon project. A result of the detours during the project onto Hwy 95 between Radium and Golden are new shoulders on this stretch.
Food: The food at the snack and lunch stops is pretty great. Sandwiches are made to order as you wait at lunch and snack stops feature lots of fruit, pastries, dairy and a variety of beverages.
Accommodation: To simplify luggage loading and breakfast, we are asking participants to meet at the Prestige Hotel in Radium and Travelodge in Golden. Although you don’t have to stay at these hotels, this is where we will load and unload baggage. If you choose to stay elsewhere, please pack so that you can transport your luggage on your bike for a couple of blocks.
We are keeping a list of those desiring a room mate so if you fall in that category, please email email@example.com.
Luggage and shuttles: Don’t worry, we’ll carry your luggage for you (as above) – but please pack light. You will not have access to your luggage during the day, so please carry on your bike what you need for the ride.
Safety is a primary concern on this tour. We expect all participants to ride safely and cooperatively, showing courtesy to traffic and other visitors in the parks.
· Helmets are mandatory.
· Brightly coloured clothing is recommended to increase your visibility.
· All riders are expected to bring the tools and know-how to fix a flat tire or make minor bike adjustments/repairs.
· Drafting (riding in a close single file) is not recommended. Most injuries resulting from falls in the past have been caused by inattentive drafting.
· Weather in the mountains at this time of year can be highly unpredictable. You are likely to experience a mix of sunny, warm, cold, wet, and sometimes snowy conditions. It is critical that you carry appropriate clothing for these conditions.
· A sweep vehicle will monitor for riders who need help with serious problems -- we discourage riders from arranging a personal support vehicle due to the limited parking space at rest stops.
· First aid kits will be available in the food and sweep vehicles. Please note that the volunteers cannot dispense medication. Please bring your own medication.
This is a challenging ride early in the season – to ensure you enjoy it fully, make time for good preparation. Recommendations from past participants:
· Beat the rush – take your bike for a full Spring tune-up as soon as possible, and check you have all the tools and supplies you will need (e.g., spare tubes, pump (or C02 carts), lube, etc.)
· Start training indoors or outdoors at least 8 weeks before the event
· Training should include a build-up of distance and hill climbing – do at least one 100+ km ride with 500+ m elevation gain before the event
· Practice riding in “bad” weather and test that you have the right clothing for it – you are likely to experience cold, wet conditions at some point on the GT. Old adage; “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.”
· Check out the EVCC event calendar for Spring training rides starting in late March or early April
Day 1: Lake Louise overflow, AB, to Radium Hot Springs, B.C. – 124 km, 990 m elevation
Day 2: Radium Hot Springs, B.C., to Golden, B.C. – 106 km, 788 m elevation
Day 3: Golden, B.C., to Lake Louise overflow, AB – 86 km, 1,528 m elevation