"ALCHEMY is the ancient chemistry of turning base metal into gold. THE RIDE is a metaphor for life. Turn your RIDE into GOLD." - from Alchemy of Ride website
In the spring of 2017, after many visits to Lynne Harrison's art gallery on Main St. here in Canmore, I finally settled on purchasing a gorgeous, gorgeous jacket featuring Lynne's colourful art work. Indeed, it was so goregous that for the better part of three years, it hung in my closet as I couldn't bear to wear it doing the outdoor activities it was perfect for. I didn't want it to get damaged or dirty. So there it hung, coming out on the rare occasion I went out in dressy casual wear: out to a meeting, or movie or dinner. Then one day, three years later, I finally decided this was silly. This jacket needed to be out there in the wilderness, living its full and active life, even if it did endure a few snags and tears along the way. The coming out day was late in June of 2020, when my husband Colin and I did a bike and hike adventure to Moraine Lake. It was that brief period of time when the road was clear of snow but not yet open to the vehicle traffic. We cycled to the lake, had the famous rockpile all to ourselves, where photos were snapped of me in my vibrant "new" jacket. Of course, the photos were soon posted to social media. Shortly after that, I was contacted by Lynne, who asked me if I would be interested in becoming a brand ambassador for Alchemy of Ride.
To say I was thrilled would honestly be an understatement. Lynne generously provided me with an array of her bright, colourful, eye-catching designs. Now you see me Nordic walking, hiking, biking, paddling and skiing sporting tanks, T's, jerseys, jackets, base layers, gloves and more from Alchemy of Ride. Because of the breathability of the fabrics, the high SPF ratings and the attention to design detail on things like pockets and zippers, the Alchemy of Ride (AOR) items are perfect for my all my outdoor adventures.
I must confess, now that I am in my sixties, I never anticipated adding "fashion model" to my resume! But I am loving this new path my career has taken me down. In the past 10 months I have had dozens and dozens of complete strangers come up to may saying, "Wow, I LOVE your jacket" or "I LOVE your jersey/shirt/vest." But I really don't care what others think. I just LOVE wearing these beautiful yet functional pieces of clothing for biking, hiking, skiing, Nordic walking (of course), paddling and, yes, just lounging around the house as well as going out when I get "dressed up". They make me feel beautiful and they serve their purpose extremely well. Here is a link to my complete collection of Alchemy of Ride photos.
The fingerless biking gloves are particularly "handy" for Nordic walking. I keep a lose grip on my poles, which means on a long day on the trail, with a little bit of movement of my hand against the handle of my poles, I will work up a bit of a blister. No more! But they are also light and breathable, so my hands do not get overly sweaty, while it is still easy to grab my phone or camera and snap some photos.
Many years ago, I used to wear drab clothing out on the trail - greens and grays and blacks. Then I went to a photography workshop at the Outdoor Adventure Show, where the professional photographer encouraged us to never do wear dull, boring colours. He shared with us many examples of how colourful clothing makes for outstanding outdoor adventure photos, when the subjects do not readily blend into the background and disappear. He mentioned how professional photo shoots for travel brochures, calendars and books always feature people in bright and vibrant colours. His tip of the day was to "buy your loved one a bright red jacket for Valentine's day and see what that does to your photos. I followed his advice and bought my husband the very same. However, today his wardrobe is now similarly sprinkled with Alchemy of Ride pieces, which he also loves.
My advice to you: add some Alchemy of Ride fashions to your wardrobe of outdoor wear, whatever your activity is. Although Lynne no longer has her gallery on Main St., she often does pop-up shops on the street when it is open for pedestrians and cyclists, during the summer and at special events held in and around Canmore. Her fashions are sold at Rebound Cycle, at the end of Main St. on 8th Avenue and wherever you are, you can shop on-line here: Alchemy of Ride. Use my ABYN promotional code for a 5% discount on regularly priced items. I will look forward to colourfully bumping into you out there on the trails, or perhaps at a restaurant or movie theater. Keep on moving and grooving!
What to wear & bring (Spring, Summer, Fall):
What to wear & bring (Winter):
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Liability waivers are a necessary part of any commercial activity experience. I recommend that you take the time now to review this legal document that you will be required to sign before we start our clinic or walk together:View the Waiver
Your Health & Physical Activity Readiness:
We ask guests who are experiencing cold symptoms and symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home and practice self-isolation under the direction of the appropriate governing body. For almost everyone, the benefits of physical activity far outweigh any risks. For some individuals, special advice from a Qualified Exercise or health care provider is advisable before becoming more active. This questionnaire is intended for all ages – to help move you along the path to becoming more physically active.
Please review this Questionnaire if you have concerns about your health or fitness level for participating in Nordic walking.
Full refunds are given if a cancellation is received 24 hours or more prior to the clinic or tour date. No refunds are given with less than 24 hours notice. Clinics/tours go rain or shine. If the weather is extreme, then it may be cancelled with a full refund given.
Parking is available on-street or in public lots throughout Canmore. It is a good idea to arrive early on busy days to locate suitable parking.
Restrooms are available at the Malcolm hotel in the lobby.
Public restrooms are available within a short walk:
Public pit toilets are available at all trailheads.
Where to meet:
Starting locations will vary seasonally with instructions included in your booking confirmation.
Parking options will vary by location with details included in your booking confirmation.