Bow River Bike - Calgary - Biking Alberta

 

Cycling along the flood-altered Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

Bow River Pathway, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

An afternoon bicycle ride to Bowmont and Baker Park seems like a good idea on a beautiful, delayed-spring day following the difficult and prolonged winter in Calgary, Alberta.  An unanticipated and spontaneous right turn from Bowness is contrary to the correct direction.  Apparently this ride is heading elsewhere. 

The bike, on automatic pilot now, is headed south and east out of Bowness through Shouldice Park where soccer and baseball teams in heated competition are cheered on by enthusiastic, sideline spectators.

Progress is swift along the north shore route downtown via the Bow River Bike Path.  Edworthy Park is crowded with people enjoying sunshine in shorts and T-shirts.

Suddenly, and without warning, the bicycle swings right at Angel's Cappuccino and Ice Cream Café in Montgomery to cross the crowded Harry Boothman Bridge over the Bow River. 

Now, on the south side of Bow River, Edworthy Park is jammed with happy, noisy families enjoying picnics and the glorious smell of barbecue wafts through blue-tinged air.

A quick left turn onto rugged gravel path tracks above the flood-ravaged edge of the Bow River.  There is no certainty this route to downtown Calgary is achievable.

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary Alberta, Canada View west on flood-damaged south shore of the Bow River Bike Path in Edworthy Park, Calgary Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada View East on Flood-damaged south Shore of the Bow River Bike Path in Edworthy Park, Calgary Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The south riverside path crosses train tracks to the main Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

The original Bow River trail is in rough shape caused by June 2013 flooding but the muddy pathway has been sufficiently cleared of landslides to navigate the south shore.

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada South Bow River Bike Path is partially restored in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Substantial restoration is still underway along the south Bow River Bike Path in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada A lone bench surrounded by flood and construction debris waits patiently for patrons along the heavily damaged south Bow River Bike Path in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada New river features create artistic flow patterns along the south Bow River Bike Path in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

As the ride gets closer to the downtown core, bike path damage increases dramatically.  Paved path disappears into thin air.  Narrow gravel alternatives provide temporary alternate passage through flood debris-laden forest.

The flood damage on both sides of the Bow River has been severe.  The more commonly used north river pathway has been given repair precedence.  The south side of the Bow River is a more significant challenge.

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bike path disappears into thin air along south Bow River Bike Path in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Concrete barricades discourage riders from falling off the edge.

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Looking over the barricade at destroyed pavement from the south Bow River Bike Path in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Flood related timber debris in the forest along south Bow River Bike Path in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Another interruption on the south Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

There is an opportunity to stop briefly for a scenic stroll at historic Lawrey Gardens, which has been substantially altered, from a lush vegetated area, to a series of rocky sand bars.

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada One entrance to Lawrey Gardens along the south Bow River Bike Path in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

 Lawrey Gardens along south Bow River Bike Path in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Lawrey Gardens along south Bow River Bike Path, Calgary in Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Lawrey Gardens along south Bow River Bike Path, Calgary in Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Calgary City Skyline past Bow River at Lawrey Gardens along south Bow River Bike Path, Calgary in Alberta, Canada

 

The next stop on the ride downtown is at sculptures behind The Pumphouse Theatre.

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada The popular Pumphouse Theatre on the approach to downtown via south Bow River Bike Path in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Further along, after passing beneath the 10th Street Bridge over the Bow River, the bike and take a tour of several new and old sculptures on the grassy ridge.  The interesting, modern sculptures have been placed here by the Calgary Beautification Foundation as dedication to Chief Justice Campbell McLaurin.

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, CanadaBow_River_49 Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

After crossing the pedestrian and cycle bridge beneath the LRT (Light Rapid Transit) rail line, slightly east of the 10th Street Bridge, a left turn to the west will complete the loop using the north side of the Bow River.  Prior to completing the cycle ride home, a few moments are taken to enjoy views of the downtown Calgary skyline and new development of an impressive plaza around the City of Calgary Parks Building.

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Bow River Bike Path, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 

Following the tour of the City of Calgary Memorial Drive Landscape of Memories, the ride home is on familiar and largely repaired path between Memorial Drive and the north shore of the Bow River until the loop home is completed via Edworthy Park.

This different than anticipated day is an energizing experience of new discovery within an impromptu agenda.

Photos for this post were taken on June 1, 2014.

 

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