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 2023. Unlike the old Golden Triangle the 2023 edition will allow for up to 100 riders.
We will meet up at the Lake Louise Overflow parking area 6km south of Lake Louise on the west side of Hwy 1. Parks has given us permission to park here May 26-28. This means that there will be an extra 18 km ride south to Castle Junction to start the event on the first day, May 26, and consequently 18 km less to ride on the last day, May 28. It means we will be riding the shoulder of Hwy 1 rather than on the Bow Valley Parkway.
The daily support is the same for this edition, 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 Hotels in Radium and Golden, then back to the staging area south of Lake Louise.
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. You can stop at the hot springs on the way into Radium and rent a towel and bathing suit. There are also hot tubs and swimming pools at the Prestige hotels.
The Prestige hotels are offering a slight discount to our riders. More on that in the registration confirmation email.
Hwy 1 east of Golden will be open for us to ride on day 3. The flag people with Kicking Horse Constructors are expecting us. We will be through this 5 km section of shoulder-less highway before the “Alberta Wave” starts later in the day.
Food: While planning this year’s GT we are sensitive to the need to minimize risk in food handling and will only provide lunch and snacks. Lunches will be prepared by commercial kitchens and snacks will be prepackaged.
Accommodation: To simplify luggage loading, breakfast and if necessary, prep for the construction shuttle, we are asking participants to meet at the Prestige Hotels (at which we’ve block booked rooms; details including reservation codes are in the registration confirmation email). 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.
As the event approaches, the Radium Prestige rates hive risen dramatically but they own the Cedar Motel on the south side of town where rates are still reasonable. We are keeping a list of those desiring a room mate so if you fall in that category, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
· 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