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Old 03-20-2015, 02:20 PM   #1
AustinW OP
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Newbie travelling from UK to Canada and USA Summer 2015

Hello all, first post but third attempt and I lost all the text on the last two attempts so just to say hello for now. Next post will have all questions....
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Old 03-20-2015, 02:40 PM   #2
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and now the questions....

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Originally Posted by AustinW View Post
Hello all, first post but third attempt and I lost all the text on the last two attempts so just to say hello for now. Next post will have all questions....
Brill, that worked. A reboot works wonders

Ok, so we are booked to fly us and bike into Montreal early June. Return in Mid September. I don't know if you guys know but Air Canada are doing a fantastic shipping deal on bikes to any of their wide body jet destinations - $700 per bike each way.

The plan is pretty basic at the moment and tbh won't get much detailed as we prefer to keep things loose and flexible: ride west and north until we hit the Rockies, then mostly north to Alaska for a few days (not Deadhorse though) then south to Washington USA and East back to Montana. About 10-12,000 miles I reckon so a fairly easy pace over 14 weeks. There will some big days, lots of short days and some nil mileage days. Bike is a BMW 1200 GSA. Wife is pillion.

We are fairly well travelled - most of Europe, Morocco, Southern African States, and USA east to west so get the basics but some country specific stuff always helps. So a few questions to start if off....

We intend to camp whenever possible. Is there a good campsite guide or two for Canada and Northern USA states?

Can I get discount motel vouchers from Tourist offices in Canada?

I suspect we will get every type of weather (we are from the UK so used to that) but how hot is it likely to get. Have read it can be proper HOT, and I expect it to be at least cool if not cold in the mountains. Generally we will be geared for 3 season northern UK weather, so that's not too hot and not too cold, but a lot of wet weather (we both go for leathers with waterproof overs).

As I said the exact route is flexible, so any must see place, must do routes, or must visit events over the summer?

I will need a service and probably tyres at some point. Any recommended BMW workshops - probably needed in BC somewhere.

I am sure there's more. Thanks in advance

Austin & Anne
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:20 PM   #3
Steve G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinW View Post
Brill, that worked. A reboot works wonders

Ok, so we are booked to fly us and bike into Montreal early June. Return in Mid September. I don't know if you guys know but Air Canada are doing a fantastic shipping deal on bikes to any of their wide body jet destinations - $700 per bike each way.

The plan is pretty basic at the moment and tbh won't get much detailed as we prefer to keep things loose and flexible: ride west and north until we hit the Rockies, then mostly north to Alaska for a few days (not Deadhorse though) then south to Washington USA and East back to Montana. About 10-12,000 miles I reckon so a fairly easy pace over 14 weeks. There will some big days, lots of short days and some nil mileage days. Bike is a BMW 1200 GSA. Wife is pillion.

We are fairly well travelled - most of Europe, Morocco, Southern African States, and USA east to west so get the basics but some country specific stuff always helps. So a few questions to start if off....

We intend to camp whenever possible. Is there a good campsite guide or two for Canada and Northern USA states?

Can I get discount motel vouchers from Tourist offices in Canada?

I suspect we will get every type of weather (we are from the UK so used to that) but how hot is it likely to get. Have read it can be proper HOT, and I expect it to be at least cool if not cold in the mountains. Generally we will be geared for 3 season northern UK weather, so that's not too hot and not too cold, but a lot of wet weather (we both go for leathers with waterproof overs).

As I said the exact route is flexible, so any must see place, must do routes, or must visit events over the summer?

I will need a service and probably tyres at some point. Any recommended BMW workshops - probably needed in BC somewhere.

I am sure there's more. Thanks in advance

Austin & Anne


You should have a fantastic time!!
GSA will work great for this trip.

Each province runs it's own tourism, and park camping system. Here's B.C.'s camping/tourism site:
http://www.hellobc.com/

Depending on the time of year and location of course, you will find 4 season weather from June to September. The hottest place most probably will be the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert which enters into south central B.C around Osoyoos, and stretches as far north as Vernon/Kamloops/Lilloett. Expect 105F. Cactus. Rattle Snakes. Nice! You may however find snow during that hottest time within the confines of Jasper, Lake Louise, and any passes through the high Rockies. Expect 25F-60F.
Best motorcycle roads in Canada, are south central, and southeast BC.
Can't speak for anywhere east of Calgary weather wise, or camping wise.
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:24 PM   #4
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Camping in the USA can be ridiculously expensive if you ask me ($35/night!). You know about the "Tent Space Thread", right? http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=776925
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:09 PM   #5
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This may help you as you pass through.

http://www.saskregionalparks.ca/

Are you heading to the MOA rally in Billings MT on your travels?
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:17 PM   #6
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Hey Austin

Sounds like a fantastic trip! I was reading about the deal from AC as well and it got the wheels turning!

I'm not sure if you you will be doing a ride report but let me know if/when you are in the Vancouver area. You could spend a few nights here if you like. There are lots of roads around here that should be on your bucket list.

Just PM me if you want to chat.

Cheers,
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:48 PM   #7
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If you plan to camp in Ontario, provincial parks are well managed: http://www.ontarioparks.com/reservations. Charleston Lake Provincial Park is beautiful and not far from Montreal. From there, the Thousand Islands, the USA (via Interstate 81), Kingston, and Prince Edward County are all easily accessible and nearby attractions/destinations/waypoints. Maps will show that the quickest way to BC is through the States, but the North shore of Lake Superior is beautiful. Have fun.
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:19 AM   #8
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Thanks for the comments guys, especially Dan for the offer of somewhere to stay in Vancouver. We will be in touch if we need to take it up. Thanks. I hadn't found the tent space thread. I will investigate but the map won't open on my Mac book. I am sure we will have a great trip. not just the roads and the scenery but the random encounters that you only seem to have on motorbike trips.
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Old 03-21-2015, 12:23 PM   #9
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I am two hours west of Montreal, you can camp in my yard if its a convenient stop for you.
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pelvis_98 View Post
I am two hours west of Montreal, you can camp in my yard if its a convenient stop for you.
Thanks. Our first night will be in a Hotel near the Airport for convenience, then we will probably be heading west (or north) for a few hours and seeing where we end up. Two hours may just be a bit close, but thanks and we may still take the offer up.
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinW View Post
Thanks. Our first night will be in a Hotel near the Airport for convenience, then we will probably be heading west (or north) for a few hours and seeing where we end up. Two hours may just be a bit close, but thanks and we may still take the offer up.
Pending the direction you take first, but if you head to Ontario, check this event out on your way.
http://www.overlandadventurerally.com

If your plan is to head further east towards the Gaspe area, very scenic plenty of camping along the route.
Enjoy your ride.
Cheers'
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:56 PM   #12
AustinW OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelvis_98 View Post
I am two hours west of Montreal, you can camp in my yard if its a convenient stop for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterlilly View Post
Pending the direction you take first, but if you head to Ontario, check this event out on your way.
http://www.overlandadventurerally.com

If your plan is to head further east towards the Gaspe area, very scenic plenty of camping along the route.
Enjoy your ride.
Cheers'
Thanks. We are heading West but will be way out west by the time of the Overland rally. Which is a shame because I see Lyndon Poskitt is there - he lives less than 5 miles from me here in the UK, although I don't really know him and wish I had just 10% of his ability.
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Old 03-21-2015, 02:07 PM   #13
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Yeah I know its kind of close to your starting point. But the offer stands if you need it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinW View Post
Thanks. Our first night will be in a Hotel near the Airport for convenience, then we will probably be heading west (or north) for a few hours and seeing where we end up. Two hours may just be a bit close, but thanks and we may still take the offer up.
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Old 03-21-2015, 02:22 PM   #14
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I did something similar in 2010 - flew into Toronto and rode across into the US, did a loop and then back into Canada for the flight home (links to prep thread and RR in my sig).

A few things - be aware the ESTA doesn't work if you're crossing the Canadian/US border by land - it's only for direct flights into the US. That's not really a significant problem as you can still cross but they'll (the US border guys) will want to know where you're staying the first night in the US so book a hotel (I hadn't and was almost declined entrance, luckily a fellow Guzzista vouched for me). The guys at the border are understandably twitchy so it's very much walking on egg-shell time. Oh, have a printed, and confirmable if necessary/requested, reservation ready for when you cross.

The other but of advice I'd give you is to join the KoA (Kampgrounds of America) - it was about $25 and it'll give you something like a 10% discount at their campsites. Pick up one of their brochures which list all of their US and Canadian campsites and you're good to go - they're not always easy to find, and campsite signposting isn't as conspicuous (or existent) as it is in the UK. I ended up using hotels more than a few times because I didn't know of the KoA campsite that was just another 10 miles on. I did crash in a few national parks but they're somewhat limited in terms of facilities and tend to be in the middle of nowhere and I likes me a good bar :)

I did 12,000 in 5 weeks but I was solo and only really stopped to drink a lot :) so your 12 in 14 is gonna be be comfortable. The US trip was, without a doubt, one of the best trips I've ever done and I was shown an enormous amount of hospitality and generosity during my stay - you're gonna have a hell of a good time :)
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinW;26409
802
Thanks. We are heading West but will be way out west by the time of the Overland rally. Which is a shame because I see Lyndon Poskitt is there - he lives less than 5 miles from me here in the UK, although I don't really know him and wish I had just 10% of his ability.
Pending the direction you take first, but if you head to Ontario, check this event out on your way.
http://www.overlandadventurerally.com


I see that by your posts that your going to be further west by the time of the Overland Rally but you may want to consider the Horizons Unlimited Meeting June 18,21 in Ontario just north of Lake Simcoe.

www.horizonsunlimited.com/events/ontario-2015
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OldSilverFox screwed with this post 03-21-2015 at 06:12 PM
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