B.S., bull riding, and snowboards

B.S., bull riding, and snowboards

Kurt Bensmiller, Alberta Train, 2010
Chuck wagon driver Kurt Bensmiller enjoys the view from Alberta Train.


- Feb 18.10

The afternoon was winding down and I was enjoying some beers in the lounge car of the Vancouver to Whistler Alberta Train with Alberta country music star, Aaron Lines, chuck wagon driver, Kurt Bensmiller and bull riding champ, Ty Elliot. 

In case you don’t know, chuck wagon racing is the biggest event at the Calgary stampede. You could say the venue is the Olympics of Chuck Wagon, with a million dollar purse up for grabs. This ain’t Canadian Tire money. Within the sport are a few family dynasties. The Bensmillers are one such family. 

Ty Elliot, Alberta Train, 2010
Bull riding champ Ty Elliot spent on his way to Whistler for three days aboard the Alberta Train.

“My mom cooks for all four camps. My dad, myself, and two brothers. We’re all married now too, so everyday we all congregate as a family and have meals together.”

Bull riders ain't got nothin' on lugers

The Bensmillers definitely have a competitive spirit, and are taking the Alberta Train to the games for three days. 

“It’s funny,” says Bensmiller, “people come up to me and Ty and say how crazy our sport is, but we were at the luge today and we think they’re insane. Than there’s the skeleton which is even worse.” 

Like being at the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Elliot notes how the games have, “a similar atmosphere you can’t get on television. The best part is the people and being in the crowd watching, even though you can’t see the whole event.” 

All the comforts of home

They both agree the Alberta Train is “the only way to travel, as everything’s at your fingertips. You can move around and meet people in a familiar Alberta setting.” 

As crazy as their sport is, if they could pick any sport to do outside of hockey, they’d be in the snowboard halfpipe. 

Elliot, Bensmiller, and Lines are great of examples of what makes Alberta, the train, and the games great: the people. 


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