Brent and Gary on tandem bicycle towing canoe
photo by David Garden

Below is the story of Brent and Gary's travels by bike and canoe up and down the Bow River in the summer of 2003. See below for a video from the trip.

On a hot summer day, there's only one thing better than riding a bicycle along the edge of a scenic river, and that's paddling down the river in a canoe. For years, these two activities were thought to be mutually exclusive. The logistics of shuttling a canoe to point A and then retrieving it from point B are difficult enough. One doesn't need the added headache of trying to squeeze a couple of bikes on top of the paddles, lifejackets and bailing buckets in an already overstuffed station wagon.


In the summer of 2003, Gary Pluim set out to bring the worlds of cycling and canoeing together. His idea was one of pure genius. He would solve the age-old logistical dilemma that had thus far kept these two activities segregated. And he would do so, not by more organized packing of the station wagon, but by eliminating the station wagon all together! The fact that Gary didn't own a station wagon notwithstanding, his boldness to defy convention was admirable.

His plan was to use a tandem bicycle to tow a canoe on a small two-wheeled trailer from downtown Calgary all the way to the glacier that feeds into Calgary's water supply.

Below the glacier, at Bow Lake, the bike and trailer would be stowed in the canoe and the boat would be paddled back to Calgary along the Bow River.