Central Alberta ride – 420 km meandering through Central Alberta

Coffee at Sweet Capone's Bakery, Lacombe, Ab

Coffee at Sweet Capone’s Bakery, Lacombe, Alberta

One of my favourite day rides from Edmonton is a lovely 420 km ‘loop’ starting in Edmonton, then heading south on Highway 2A to Wetaskiwin (home of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum) continuing south to Ponoka, and Lacombe.

Last Saturday, a rag tag group of 13 motorcyclists on an assortment of BMW RTs, GSes, a lone CL and a beautiful new Yamaha Super Tenere (nice buy, Hans!) took me up on my offer to lead this fleet of motorcycles on a Saturday day ride.

With such a large group, I commandeer good friend Robyn on his R1200RT to lead half the group, and ask that he leave about a half minute gap between my group and his, so as not to create a frustratingly long convoy that will undoubtedly annoy other traffic.

We left Blackjack’s Roadhouse in Nisku at 9:30 AM sharp, and exit the QEII Hwy at Leduc, following Hwy 2A to Ponoka and a first stop at a terrific little bakery, Sweet Capone’s on main street, Lacombe.

From Lacombe, we rode east to Joffre, then through Red Deer, stopping at Turple Bros. motorcycle shop on Gasoline Alley.  We were greeted by Glen Turple, Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee.  Turple, who is well into his 80s, continues to be an avid and active rider, and can be found aboard a Honda Gold Wing trike or Can Am Spyder, and still puts on more miles per year than the majority of motorcyclists!  It was great to see him.

Our group eagerly acquiring the much-needed calories to sustain them on the incredibly vigorous activity of motorcycle riding!

Our group eagerly acquiring the much-needed calories to sustain them on the incredibly vigorous activity of motorcycle riding!

From Turple Bros. we ride to Sylvan Lake and continue to Rimbey, where we have a lunch stop at Three Brothers Restaurant.

Three Brothers Restaurant was a terrific foody 'find.' Our group, with highly refined 'foody' snootiness declared the eatery a 'destination diner'

Three Brothers Restaurant was a terrific foody ‘find.’ Our group, with highly refined ‘foody’ snootiness declared the eatery a ‘destination diner’

Prime Rib, Mushroom and Mozzarella sandwich with super crispy fries. Outstanding!

Prime Rib, Mushroom and Mozzarella sandwich with super crispy fries. Outstanding!

After a late lunch at Three Brothers Restaurantin Rimbey, we continued riding northwest on Hwy 20 to the T-intersection at Alsike, where the group breaks up to find their own way home.

For me, that means riding east on Hwy 39 to Leduc, then back home to Edmonton.

All in all, the round trip is 420 km, and with a gloriously sunny day and temperatures in the mid-20s C, a perfect day ride, and appropriate in-saddle ‘training’ for the upcoming annual May long weekend ride to Cranbrook and Idaho.

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