New mountain biking guide to the Bow Valley

bike guideJust out: Bow Valley Mountain Bike Trail Guide by Peter  Oprsal, who many of you know as the creator of bikepirate web site. Covers  Lake Louise through Banff to the Canmore area, and includes such classics as Reclaimer, Riders of Rohan and the Benchland trails. Right now there is nothing written up  east of Canmore. Quotes Peter, “The reason  that Prospector and Razor Edge are not included, although I would love to have included them, is because they are not sanctioned.” Hopefully, that will happen later on this year. I Know that  Razor Edge will have a new ending, to be built this summer, that will take bikers and hikers to Quaite Creek valley via a traverse above the highway .

Measuring only 5” x 6.5”, this small 60-page book nevertheless manages to cram in all the salient points, such as technical rating, physical rating, trail type (x-country, all-mountain, downhill), distance, height gain/loss, times and trail profiles. Even some color pics. There is good info on trailheads (though I would prefer he use the UTM grid as opposed to lat. and long.) and essential info on the trails themselves based on local knowledge. Maps are small and basic, just general guides really,  so for trails in Canmore for instance, you would need to pick up a more detailed map. See Canmore Trail Maps.

4 comments… add one
  • Erica Skoko Jun 27, 2016, 2:41 pm

    Hi Peter,
    I am just returning to mountain biking after a long hiatus. I am 55 and did most of my biking in my mid twenties to late thirties and then stopped. We used to use this book that had a map of the trails and would tell you how far to go down the trail based on your bike computer that was hooked up to your wheel. I think it was one of the first mountain biking trail guide books every written for K Country and Banff. It was a lot of cross country. Now it seems that most people don’t do that kind of riding anymore, they seem to stick to places that have loops that are a couple km long and then go and do other loops. I would like to buy some new trail guides but don’t know what to purchase. I have bought a new full suspension this year, and taken a women’s riding camp and really like it. I just can’t seem to correlate the way I rode in my 30s to how people ride now. Things have changed a lot. Is your book a good start and do you need a computer any more, or is it all GPS now? I do prefer eastings and northings over lat, long.

    Hope you can help?

    Do people ride that way any more?

  • Peter Oprsal Apr 17, 2012, 8:56 am

    The book is available in most Bow Valley bike shops and book stores, plus a few stores in Calgary. For a full listing of all retailers carrying the book, please visit my retail listings page at: – retailers are being added weekly.

    The Map will be available at a number of these locations sometime in mid-May.

    Thanks again Gillean.

  • Gillean Daffern Apr 13, 2012, 10:57 pm

    Thanks for the info Peter. Where can we buy the map? I forgot to mention in the review that the book is available from both bookstores in Canmore and from where else?

  • Peter Oprsal Apr 13, 2012, 10:42 pm

    Thank you so much for the review. Just as an FYI, I have also partnered with a friend to create and publish a new Canmore Mountain Bike Map due out in May. Currently the map is in print. Our hope is that it will compliment the book.

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