By: Jennifer and Scott Paulin
When your backyard is the Canadian Rockies, and you’re a stone’s throw away from Canada’s Banff National Park, it’s easy to feel in awe of the natural beauty that surrounds. This is the case for us.
Their Blix Vika+ has helped us enjoy a little more of all that life has to offer. Here’s our story of love, home, adventure, and the ebikes that helped us experience more.
Scott and I began our “courtship” back in 1970 at the age of five. (You can do the math). We were the best of friends. Our memories of hand-holding as he would walk me home, giggling during nap time, sitting arm-in-arm during circle time, and kissing on the school bus still offer us a multitude of shared stories and laughter.
Life has a way of unfolding, and his family moved away—ending our childhood “romance” at 8 years of age. More than 40 years later, we have been reunited. Our hearts have once again found home and we feel so richly blessed to be moving forward at this stage of our lives with one another… again proving to us that life is always an adventure.
We are fortunate to call Canmore, Alberta, our home. It’s a small town nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies only 24 kms (21 miles) from Banff National Park. I am blissfully (or should I say Blixfully) retired, and Scott will be following my path shortly after a fulfilling career with Parks.
It is true to say that we live, work and play in the mountains.
We own a teardrop trailer which quickly became our home away from home. Canmore is a great launching pad, offering some of the best camping in North America, and is surrounded by provincial and national parks. Adventure is really only a handful of minutes away!
Our kayaks have offered us the quietest of moments. A mirror-like lake with a single loon call reminding us that we are not alone. A bald eagle gliding high above us and a bull moose are visible on a tree-lined shore. Humble moments that make us thirsty for more of such a majestic landscape.
We had talked about ebikes for much of the previous summer, pondering the notion of the purchase and wondering if and how they could enhance our adventure. What would an upcoming holiday look like for us when ebikes are limited to certain trail and path use? Would and could they work for us?
The discussion of transporting them became our greatest dilemma. We have an SUV that we tow with, so we had to be mindful of tongue weight while in transit. So, the following year we did our homework and observed how others made this new mode of transport an option for them.
While camping in Banff National Park, we were fortunate enough to be camped near Blix owners from Ohio. They were a lovely family who answered every question we had about their Vika+—and yes, we had many. They even let us take them for a ride—so very gracious of them.
It was at that moment that we realized that our search was over! Our excitement began, and our quest for future adventures became paramount.
Our Vika+ bikes arrived, and it felt very much like a childhood Christmas morning. Once assembled, they sat in our living room, waiting for our winter snow to melt away. With the first “whisper” of milder temperatures and spring, we put our bikes to the test. We toured random neighborhoods and followed pathways along the Bow River, leading us to areas that were new to us.
The ease of the ride and the wonder of our surroundings were real eye-openers for us both. Here we had lived in this landscape, yet we could now experience it in a brand new way.
We quickly found camping opportunities that not just allowed us to enjoy some kayak play but also put some mileage on our bikes! We’ve been able to enjoy trails in and around British Columbia, Banff National Park, and Jasper National Park.
Scott and I have also been able to use our bikes to aid him with work which has been so much fun! On days when he needs to GPS a trail… we can cover so much more ground with our ebikes than on foot. (Allowing a longer tea break - woohoo)
I’m not sure we’ve had one ride where we haven’t been approached by someone enquiring about our Vika+. We recognize that look of both interest and excitement on their faces as they too, think of their own opportunities for adventure.
Our lives are not busy, so we will always choose humble and quiet versus hectic and scheduled. Yet in saying that, we love to live our “life on the rocks” as I refer to it (it’s a mountain play on words - you know), with a quest for adventure and gratitude for this beautiful place we are fortunate enough to call home.
Whether it's a trip to the market on any given Thursday or an aimless “follow your nose” kind of morning, our Blix Vika+ has allowed us to experience our own “backyard” in a completely different and new way. It’s a simple picnic lunch an hour away that Vika+ has made easier.
We all adventure differently. We all have our own sense of needs and wants when it comes to transportation. Our goal is not never to drive our car again. But owning our ebikes has proven to us that unless we’re actually hitching up our trailer for adventure, our SUV rarely leaves the garage. From an environmental point of view (living with a Parks guy), that’s a good thing. I like to think that every little bit helps.
Scott and I would like to wish everyone in our newly found Blix family the happiest of adventures. May each ride offer excitement and bring you safely home.
Thank you for allowing us to be a part of a community that is only a question away. Together we are a wealth of knowledge, and Scott and I are grateful to all of you for your own shared stories and questions. We can all learn from one another.
Be well, and stay safe,
- Scott and Jennifer