Day 13. The Badlands of Drumheller to Calgary!

So, last night after being spooked by the sounds I packed up and rode on again a few miles down the road and found a supermarket car park with a trolley park! Perfect! Isolated enough to be safe enough from animals and humans alike. 

The morning view of my hotel!
Hotel with secure parking!
I woke up feeling pretty rough and more tired than the night before having not slept that well at all. I don’t think I had any more than 30 minutes undisturbed sleep the whole night. 

I packed up my hotel room and popped on over to the Timmy Ho’s to my “ensuite” freshen up exactly like Jack Reacher would do. 

I had a black coffee with very little milk and decided to ride to Calgary and get the back tyre sorted out before Monday morning. But first I took a look at the dinosaurs! 

You can climb up inside the T-rex’s mouth and take in the view!
Drumheller is famous for its dinosaur fossle finds and has a museum
set up for visitors and tourists alike!

The one on the left is the towns original T-Rex. It’s tiny compared to the one on the right bit at this angle they look a similar height!
Cute Dinosaurs!
It’s a pretty cool place to see and visit. I took a look around and then like the littlest hobo, I heard that voice calling me to take me on down to the next stop…..Calgary. 

I love these water towers!!

The rode was good, the weather was fine and I had a few more miles of the prairies infront of me yet!

I rode through the back roads and took my time to get there and enjoyed the nice weather Canada was affording me today. 

I saw another gorgeous car along the way. Not sure what this one is. Anyone? 

Is it a sign?
I didn’t see any police today and at last I’m getting used to going slowly. 

After miles and miles I reached the main highway into Calgary, which is way busier than any of the roads I’ve been on recently, so I got my London riding head on and kept up with the fast pace, eventually finding my clover leaf exit. 

The reason I’m in Calgary is two fold. 

First you need some back story………

I had the 24000 mile service done in Saskatoon by FFun European Motorrad the mechanics there were very competent , however (even though they are BMW approved) they did not have the tools to adjust my valves for my bike, also because of the location, in the middle of the prairies, they did not have the parts needed that were faulty, (one rear spoke & the rear rubber guard for the final drive) and to top it off they did not order the tyre I asked for even though he called me to say he had done it!  (Thanks FFun European Motorrad). Kinda Ffucked me a little there!

So whilst in Saskatoon I called around a few places and found a dealership in Calgary called Blackfoot Motorcycles that had a tyre in stock and was able to do the valve adjustments for me & replace the worn parts under warranty. Great! A one stop shop. They booked me in for Monday! I felt happy & relived it was all going to be sorted! Then about 20 minutes later they called me back to say that the manager is not happy he squeezed me in as they have lots of bikes waiting to be serviced and at this time they could not accommodate any last minute travellers, but he said, they are expecting 4 days of rain (great!) and they may well have some cancellations due to the fact people will not deliver their bikes for service and could fit me in if they have any cancellations! 

Thanks but no thanks I said. In the end I just bought the rear tyre over the phone for me to collect when I arrived today. 

Earlier I had called another dealership in Calgary called Anderwerks run by David Anderwerks and asked if he could do the work. He said yes no problem at all, but he does not do warranty work and gave me Blackfoot’s phone number and said if I have no luck with them, he’ll do the work for me. So I called David back and he agreed to open the shop for me on Monday(which he doesn’t usually do) and do the work on the bike! How very nice of him. He has the list of parts that need replacing also and with some luck I’ll be able to help him with the work and learn about the bike at the same time.  

So…..back to today! 

I arrived in Calgary and headed to Blackfoot motorcycles to pick up my rear tire and see if they could fit it for me today (rather than pick it up on Monday then head to Anderwerks later than the arranged time) 

They have a great selection of European and Japanese bikes. It probably the best bike shop I’ve ever been in. 

The stock of parts and accessories are endless. 

The cost of them taking the wheel off and fitting the tyre was over $100cad, the cost of me taking the wheel off and then them fitting the tyre was $40cad. Pass me the spanners please! I whipped it off and handed it over to be fitted! Whilst that was happening I went to the parts department and ordered another set of tyres for my return leg as these now will let me 4000 miles but I have around another 55000 to go. I’ve learnt In Canada it’s easier to sort things out whilst you can, and if I have to carry the tyres for a few thousand miles, it will be better than trying to get some in small town later down the line. I ordered some Capra tyres. See pic below. 

They have a very similar tread to the Michelin Anakee Wild, but are a 1/3 less expensive. And as I’m on a way tighter budget than I ever expected to be, I’m giving them a go! 
I also bought another compact electrical air pump and puncture repair kit as the one I bought with me was stolen on the ferry over here. So I have peace of mind again now, should I have a puncture I can get myself out of trouble. So far so good, but there’s many many many miles left to go on this crazy ride I’m on. 

A fitting read!! Get it? Tyre fitting!

I left Blackfoot with my new tyre, air pump and repair kit and felt happier about the situation with the bike. I should say it’s performs faultlessly so far on this trip. It’s a dream to ride. 

I rode on into downtown Calgary and passed a gunshop. I stopped, turned the bike around and parked outside i, and then went inside. 

It’s a curiosity for me as we don’t have gun shops like this in England. Not just on the high street. Back home they are few and far between and usually only have rifles a shotguns. But here in Canada it’s a different story. 

Wow. I’ve never seen so many guns in one place in my entire life. Enough guns and ammunition to start a small war! 

Modern Handguns
vintage & classic handguns
All sorts of shotguns

I took a good look around and saw my first moose! 

Sadly he had been dead a long time. He’s a big mofo though! 

I left the shop and headed for some lunch. I found a nice place downtown and had a burger and fries with coffee. Mmmmm. 

Now the problem of finding a camp ground. 

I downloaded the couchsurfing app and  out out some feelers but had no luck. I rode a 40 mile route around the outskirts of the city and into the forest to find so where suitable to make camp for the next few days but found nowhere. 

I even tried campsites, which again were full! In a few minutes the rain started coming down and the prospect of a wet weekend waiting for Monday to come along wasn’t making me a happy chap. 

Fuck it. In the end I found the cheapest motel I could on the web and checked in for two nights.

I like my hammock and am happy to sleep in it, but not when it’s going to rain solidly for the next two days. Getting wet and being cold is not fun. Been there. Got the t-shirt many times. 
So now I intend to sleep and recover from last night. Watch the rain from the balcony and be warm and cosy for two days. 

See my bike tucked under the roof of the motel !

Tomorrow I’ll look around the city some  more, and may even visit a gun club to go shoot a magnum 45!

It’s a bit wet here in Calgary

2 thoughts on “Day 13. The Badlands of Drumheller to Calgary!

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