Ride Report – Sheep Valley 2012

by Peter Hoeltzenbein

I rode the SV300 last Saturday under perfect weather conditions. The wind was below 10km/h for the entire ride, it was overcast and the temperature between 20C and 25C.

I started the ride at Mac’s at the intersection of 33 Ave SW with 20 Street SW just after 7am. The ride soon is on the pathway around the Glenmore Reservoir and the TsuTina Reservation. The blood circulation started on the ‘Road to Nepal’ with it’s rolling hills. I arrived in Okotoks after about 2.5 hours. Since I was still good with my water I continued to Turner Valley on Highway 7. The traffic was low and the road has only gentle rollers. I filled up my water at the Esso at the 4-way-stop before starting into the Sheep Valley. There is no supplies for the next 80km (that is in and out) other than from naturla sources. The road into the valley, Hwy 546, is smooth for the first half. Then the surface changes, watch out for potholes and be aware of 10 Texas Gates each way. Only half of them have the metal strips on them, the other half shook me through. In general the uphill is modest, however, it is more than 500m elevation gain (net) and there is one climb with a 15% grade in it. Good thing it is only 50m elevation gain on that one. At the end riding the turn-around-loop you hit the maximal elevation of this valley with 1615m.

The way back is mainly downhill and really enjoyable the last 15km towards Turner Valley.

I was dreaming now of an ‘All-Day-Breakfast’ at the Chuckwagon…..but there was such a line up that I decided to ride through and get something to eat at the Millarville General Store. I drank 1 liter chocolate milk (640kcal), a loaded packed sandwich (740 kcal) and an Ice cream cone (300 kcal). This was 167km into the ride and after about 6.5 hours. Note: I had 4 dry bagels on board; 3 of them I had before Millarville ad the last one later (when I add it all up I ate about 2800 kcal on the ride; I burned somewhere around 10,000kcal).

After less than 20 min stop I continued to Hwy 66 and all the way over the highest pass (1720m) of this ride in the Elbow Valley. Without further stop reversed, passed Bragg Creek rolling and was done in just over 12 hours.

To the stats:

  • Distance: 302km
  • Total ascent: 3120 m (10,400 feet)
  • Lowest elevation: 1035 m
  • Highest elevation: 1726 m

For me it was a good ride, overall average speed 24.8 km/h, average moving speed 25.7 km/h, max speed 84.7km/h (that was on Hwy 66 on the downhill to Powederface Trail).

For more detailed information about the route you can check out the GPS Garmin data.

This is the 300km with most elevation gain I have done so far, and still, it does not appear to be that much.