Elizabeth Verhagen: Bicycle Touring

Since 1974 Edmonton-based artist and long-distance cyclist Elizabeth Verhagen has spent most of her summers bicycling throughout Alberta’s countryside mixing bicycling with on-location drawing and painting. She has travelled a total of 87,717 km (54,505 miles). She has bicycled as far north as Peace River, as far south as Calgary, as far west as Dawson Creek, BC, and as far east as Cold Lake on her Peugeot (and since 1985, her Apollo racing/touring bicycle.

On her journeys, Elizabeth is continually inspired by the iridescent colour and radiant light of the Alberta landscape. She is also fascinated by the early architecture of Alberta’s small towns. Many intriguing buildings are lovingly recorded in her sketchbooks.

She finds that the landscape is more accessible from a bicycle than a speeding car. Elizabeth enjoys travelling alone to master Alberta’s varying terrain. Whenever she sees something eye-catching, she will draw or paint the scene on the spot.

Staying in local hotels or motels at the end of her ride, she faithfully records her impressions, bird and wildlife sightings (and occasionally drawings) in her lively, meticulously kept journals.

Elizabeth spends the winter season creating paintings and other works in her Edmonton studio.

Here is a sample from her diaries: The 1984 Athabasca trip:
Athabasca Trip: 15 Sept 1984
Athabasca Trip: 19 Sept 1984
The trip started in Edmonton and went through Legal, Westlock, Athabasca, Island Lake, Grassland, Lac la Biche, Hylo, Boyle, Newbrook, Thorhild, Redwater, and Gibbons.

Here is a live Google map of the trip. Enjoy exploring it.


Here are the entries for 2011 - Rocky Mountain House to Caroline, and Sundrie to Olds:
29 July 2011
5 August 2011