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Old 08-04-2011, 01:42 AM   #1
Crooked Creek OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2010
Location: Alberta
Oddometer: 430
Thumb What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar

Hey. So last year, thanks to ADV, I went on my first bike trip. 4100km in Northern BC, Alaska and the Yukon was just enough to catch the adventure riding bug. Turns out that my favorite parts were the side trips, the trails and tracks, the routes, roads and ruts that most people fly by on their way north.

So I went back.

My name is Ben.

That's my family.

And this is my bike.

I love them both (and in that order), but my family isn't as keen on adventure riding.

Anyways, some people name their bikes, but I am not one of them. Last year, my steed was a trusty 2001 KLR 650. The 1000 or so km of off road I did with the bike that summer convinced me that a lighter mount was in store this year. BigDog's escapades had me lusting after a WR250R, but the price difference between an R2 and my old KLR was a little prohibitive.

So I bought what I could afford, a TW200. It was fun, but not exactly what I had in mind, especially on the highway. So I sold it, making $700 on the transaction. Hmm. Next, I found a super clean DR350SE a few hours away in Edmonton. I caught a ride down and bought the bike with the money I just made on the TW . The DR was much more like what I was looking for. Riding it down from Edmonton to a conference I was attending in Calgary, I took dirt roads the whole way, loving every minute. But when I arrived in Calgary, something happened. The Kijiji Alert (an instant email notification for a specified search item) that I had set up for "WR250R" went off. I had set up the alert in the spring on the odd chance that one might come up for sale in Alberta and odder chance may be in a position to purchase it.

But here I was, 731 km from home, and up for sale is one 2008 WR250R. And it's 6 blocks away from where I'm staying. I took this as a sign that I should at least take a look . I hadn't seen an R2 at this point, never mind ridden one. So I basically went for a free test ride, but to make a long story short, one thing led to another and soon I was riding my new bike the 7 hours home. In the rain. But that's another story.

What happened to the DR? Well, somehow I convinced the former R2 owner to sell it for me in Calgary. In a couple days, it was gone and the cheque was in the mail. That was my signal to put the KLR on the block and in a day it was sold and on the way to Edmonton.

In short order, the WR had new shoes, handguards, the big tank and was training regularly for the trip.

Speaking of the trip, I should get back to that. Basically, my goal was to head back to the Cassiar/Alcan loop but this time, do a little more exploring. I didn't do a lot of planning, which was great, because things didn't go as planned. I did, however get about 1700 kms off dirt, rock and mud in (and a little snow), and saw some beautiful country that I'd like to introduce you to.

Side Trip #1: the Hazelton Shortcut

Side Trip #2: the Spatsizi Rail Bed - South

Side Trip #3: the Spatsizi Rail Bed - North

Side Trip #4: the 40 Mile Flats Trail

Side Trip #5: the Golden Bear Mine Road

Oh, and I'll throw in some free scenery and wildlife:

2008 WR250R
4000km Cassiar/Spatsizi/Telegraph/Alcan fish and ride here
What you're Missing: a Guide to Side Trips off the Cassiar here
Canada's Best Kept Secret: 500 km from the nearest paved road here
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