Friday, August 19, 2011

Alberta Bound…

Leaving the majesty of the Rockies is always a bittersweet time, every rider I have ever met loves the twists and turns and the absolutely breath taking scenery and yet, heading towards the prairies is also a wonderful experience, with the foothills all around you and the mountains in your mirrors the experience is almost surreal.

I had phoned Jeff LeGrande and he went to one of the Harley shops and grabbed me a couple of spark plugs for my bike as it was running really rough. He and his lovely wife Lin had emailed me to tell me they were going to ride to Canmore to meet me and ride me into the city. We had an iced coffee at Timmie’s, the heat was stifling and the iced coffee took the edge off.  As we headed for Calgary, Lin, the camera bug snapped photos of us riding. The big sweepers had a person relaxed in the saddle in spite of the traffic travelling at machine to get home after the weekend. The highway was also filled with bikes making their way home after Sturgis North.

The 5 Calgary Downtown Hotel was our destination – it was amazingly easy to get to but on the way I faced a danger that many riders cringe at the thought of…a man threw a full can of beer at me – I ducked and it went over me smashing on the ground and exploding. I am thinking that this person was one of the Calgary Stampede revellers – my heart finally settled down just in time to be in down town Calgary in front of the hotel.

After checking in – we hauled my gear to the room and then went back down stairs to put my bike in the parkade. While Jeff and I did that, Lin made a pot of coffee and we enjoyed some chat time.

This hotel started its life as an apartment building so the suites are enormous.  I felt pampered and spoiled – I have to tell you.

After saying my good byes and thank you’s to Lin and Jeff I settled down for a great sleep.  In the morning I headed off to find breakfast and had a wonderful visit with Sean, one of the hotel managers. He gave me the tour of the hotel and all of its facilities. This is a magnificent hotel with affordable rates considering it is right down town!
They offer a great breakfast buffet, they have a lounge but for me one of the best features was their guest laundry room! Equipped with a TV and couch, you can sit back and relax while your laundry is in the washer and dryer and if you want you can even polish your boots!

The pool and gym on the sixth floor is a wondrous sight – the gym is better equipped than many that you pay to be a member of and the pool area affords one a great view of the city.   The business center is also a large one with free computer usage and internet access.  There is a magnificent Spa called the Serenite Spa that I also got to take a peek at. Had I known I might have gotten up a bit earlier to have a hot rock massage!

After the tour of the hotel – the bell man helped me with my bags and I got on my bike.
If your travels take you to Calgary, I really recommend this wonderful hotel – they are very rider friendly and very accommodating!

The 5 Calgary Downtown Hotel  Suites
618 - 5th Ave SW,
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 0M7

One left turn and one right turn and I was on highway 1 headed to Strathmore and Underground Heads.  I had the spark plugs changed in my bike and took a tour of the shop. It is well equipped and by the looks of it the locals take full advantage of it!

If you need service while on the road, check these guys out – they are, like the 5 Calgary Downtown Hotel & Suites, members of our Rider Friendly Business Association®

I bought some helmet stickers there too – they have a great selection.  After my brief pit stop there I was on my way towards Medicine Hat and Dunmore, the home of Medicine Hat Harley-Davidson, sadly I missed them by about a half hour so I continued on my way to Swift Current.

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