Summertime Ride to Whistler, B.C., eh?

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by GSHighlander, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. GSHighlander

    GSHighlander Enthusiast

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    **EDITED - October 11, 2007

    So, having had ample time to reflect on the ride and everyone's comments, I thought I might try and briefly summarize the trip.

    I think, "WOW," is a good way to start as the unbelievable beauty of our surroundings definitely took center stage. It's amazing to contemplate the area in which we already live (Puget Sound, mainly) and then realize how much more is just a short distance above the border. Canada is one beautiful place and it’s filled with great people, too.

    At times, the ride presented some challenges and each Rider had his/her own set of issues to deal with from time-to-time. Everyone did a fantastic job anticipating and powering through the tough spots and the range of skill sets ran the gamut. The overall technical requirements of the ride, especially in the dirt, were about average (except maybe for a few
    spots on, ahem, West Harrison) and the machine and how it was outfitted made a difference at times. Lighter bikes sailed through the muck but had a tougher time keeping pace on the asphalt. Whereas the heavier bikes, like my R12GS, ran like demons on the asphalt, they required more finesse in the dirt. No one bike was the overall winner in both categories but it was fun to watch them all run and do what they were meant to do – explore.

    The ride encompassed 1,300 miles of slab and dirt. Without doing the math I would guess that approximately 30% of the miles were off-road depending on the route one took. Some road more dirt and some rode less. We even had a HD on the ride and it rolled quite a bit off-road, which was amazing to behold.

    The ride planned for 2008 will be similar in some ways and probably feature more dirt and camping. It will also be planned for a set of dates that does not include Canada Day, eh, as that somewhat impacted camping, especially the first night. Okay, it was the buckets of rain that impacted camping the first night but who’s keeping score? The 2008 ride might also feature another day of riding because BC just refuses to fit into four days of riding. So, maybe a Thursday through a Monday is in order…stay tuned.

    We hope to see you all again next year and feel free to tell a friend!


    **EDITED - May 29, 2007


    DATES:
    => June 29 (Friday) to July 2 (Monday), 2007

    <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--> <!--[endif]-->
    ROUTE:

    <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">=> Sultan, WA</st1:place></st1:city> to Nelson, BC
    => Nelson, BC to Kelowna<st1:place w:st="on">, <st1:state w:st="on">BC</st1:state></st1:place>
    <st1:city w:st="on">=> Kelowna</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">BC</st1:state> to Gold Bridge<st1:place w:st="on">, <st1:state w:st="on">BC</st1:state></st1:place>
    <st1:city w:st="on">=> Gold Bridge</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">BC</st1:state> to <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Woodinville, WA
    </st1:place></st1:city>

    1,295 total miles!


    RIDE NARRATIVE:
    Okay, you may have noticed that this thread has turned into a bit more than a simple summertime beer run from Seattle to Whistler, BC. That would have been fun all by itself! It's funny; you put an idea out there that sounds so complete and fun, and then it slowly turns into something much cooler than you could have ever imagined! Thanks for all the input and support. This is going to be a great ride!

    The ride will start at the Sultan Bakery at 8:00AM (sharp!) on June 29, 2007. If you're there at 8:01AM, we'll already be a mile down the road!

    We'll ride to Nelson, BC and stay overnight at the Toad Rock Motorcycle Campground. That weekend will be their annual biker rally weekend and you'll need to visit their website to see all that is planned. I've secured a special one-night deal for our group at USD$35.00/Rider and it will rock! Nelson, by the way, is a charming little city on the <st1:placename w:st="on">Kootenay</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">River</st1:placetype> (which eventually flows into the mighty <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Columbia</st1:city></st1:place> River). The town has a soft spot for bikes and Riders; you'll love it and want to come back again and again! There's even a brewery in town! Don't even get me started! We'll meet at Mike's Place Pub in the historic Hume Hotel before heading to Toad Rock.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The second day will take us through beautiful, scenic byways and a fair amount of double-track to an overnight stay in Kelowna<st1:place w:st="on">, <st1:state w:st="on">BC</st1:state></st1:place>. Kelowna is a great city and quite a bit bigger than Nelson with lots to do, especially wine tasting. If you're into wine, this is the epicenter of <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Canada</st1:place></st1:country-region>&#8217;s wine production and a must-visit opportunity! And, to top it off, we'll be staying on the grounds of Summerhill Pyramid Winery thanks to the gracious invitation of its owner, Stephen Cipes. This is going to be amazing!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The third day will again wind us through some of the most beautiful scenery in Western Canada and even more dirt tracks, and we'll camp overnight in Gold Bridge, BC. This is really the major dirt section of the ride (Day 3 & 4) and you will be blown away by what you see and experience. You&#8217;d better bring an extra-big micro-chip for the digital camera! Is "extra-big micro-chip" an oxymoron? Anywho...moving right along.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    After we leave Gold Bridge, we&#8217;ll be heading behind the Whistler/Blackcomb Mountains. Yes, behind the famous ski area!!! As we head down toward Harrison Hot Springs along <st1:placename w:st="on">Lillooet</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Lake</st1:placetype> and <st1:placename w:st="on">Harrison</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Lake</st1:placetype> you&#8217;ll be able to appreciate the massiveness of the mountains and the grandeur of <st1:place w:st="on">Western Canada</st1:place> in a way that very few ever get the chance to experience. Did you even know there was a route behind those mountains? Serious bragging rights with your Whistler friends! (Read like Thurston Howell III form Giligan's Island) "So, Muffy, you didn't know there was a motorcycle track back there? Tad, Skip, Biff, and I rode for hours and hours back there along beautiful rivers and all sorts of amazing natural wonders. You really should try it."

    After leaving Canada through the Sumas Border Crossing, we'll all meet up at Redhook Brewery in Woodinville and toast to the completion of the ride and have something to eat...and maybe some more toasting!

    This ride is primarily a camping ride but there is certainly no rule that you must camp. After all, this is <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">America</st1:country-region></st1:place> (and Canada, too, eh) so you can do whatever you want! Stay in a hotel, if you'd like. By all means, be comfortable and remember to have fun! Just know that some of the best times will most likely occur around the campfire! You&#8217;ll see all the pictures but somehow that probably won&#8217;t do the trick&#8230;there's nothing like being part of the group!


    If you have any questions, please send me a PM.

    Thanks for being part of the experience!

    GSHighlander

    **Original Post - 04-11-2007

    Does anyone have an interest in riding to Whistler, B.C. this summer?

    Dates are open, route is open, and number of riders is open, too! In fact, the more the merrier!

    It's near impossible to make a two-day ride out of the trip, although I'm sure it could be done. I figure we could ride up and enjoy a long weekend; say, leave Friday morning and come home Monday evening.

    There are camping opportunities all over the place and condo rentals are pretty cheap that time of year, too.

    Sound like fun?

    I'll buy the first round, eh!
    :thumb
    #1
  2. Cap'n Ron

    Cap'n Ron The Devil's Advocate

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    The ride up to Whistler isn't much fun, lots of slab and traffic. That being said, I'd be game for the trip, somewhat dependent on dates. Whistler Village is fun in the summer :slurp and the ride east out of there is fantastic. I think it would be fun to do something like Seattle to Whistler on Friday, Whistler to Penticton on Saturday, a day of riding near Penticton on Sunday, Penticton to Seattle on Monday. Seattle to Whistler is a pretty easy day, Whistler to Penticton on the funnest roads can be a pretty long haul, but Penticton to Seattle isn't much of a haul :deal really. I actually did this trip last summer and had an absolute blast! :clap
    #2
  3. GSHighlander

    GSHighlander Enthusiast

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    Now, that's the type of response to riding to a kick-ass destination that I was looking for! :gdog Way to go, Ron! :clap

    You make the map, and I'll follow. :deal I just want to get some friggin' miles under the tires and do some camping! Lord knows we all need to decompress a little.

    Another route worth considering, since you've already done <st1:city w:st="on">Penticton</st1:city>, might be to hop a ferry to Vancouver Island or <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">Saltspring</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Island</st1:placetype></st1:place>. We could scoot around over there and hit the ferry back to PA for a final ride on the peninsula as well!

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Either way is good with me!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Keep it rollin&#8217;! I like what I&#8217;m reading!

    Okay, I'll buy the first and second rounds!
    #3
  4. Maddaddy

    Maddaddy Greg

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    There are possibilities of me being in. depending when. Supposedly have another 7 day ride in the plans, but nothing solid. camp definitely.
    #4
  5. WABuckeye

    WABuckeye Been here awhile

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    I might be up for that ride. Im taking 30 days leave in june and have no plans. :freaky
    #5
  6. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    sound uly's right: there are much better choices than just Whistler, although I hear that the dirt roads north of there are sweet. I've been through just about all of lower BC (hell, I think I've been through most of the entire province), so if it looks like I can make it I'd be happy to tag along. Dirt roads will be a plus, as I'm not familiar with many of them :thumb
    #6
  7. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    Avoid Vancouver at all costs. Whistler is very touristy and over priced. Best to come down hwy 99 from the north to Whistler and on to Hoseshoe Bay and catch the ferry to the Sunshine coast then onto Vancouver Island and south to Victoria by all the side roads. Ferry to Anacortes from there and home.
    #7
  8. dammitdave

    dammitdave Long timer

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    When I rode from Cache Creek down through Whistler mid-September the new freeway construction from north of Whistler clear down to Horseshoe Bay was rather a letdown. Long delays, heavy traffic, edge traps and lots of mud on the road. Hope they are mostly done with construction by then. ?Has anyone been up there lately?:ear
    #8
  9. Cap'n Ron

    Cap'n Ron The Devil's Advocate

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    Here's a map showing somewhat what I was thinking. We could stop at the Penticton Lakeside Casino on Saturday night for drinks :freaky and entertainment (they have great live music). There's also a Peeler Bar :eek1 (Slack Alice.... don't ask how I know :deal ) just up the street for the more adventurous among us. :wink:

    We can get out of bed late on Sunday morn for a day of DS rides out of Penticton on Sunday so we can get the bikes dirty. Then a nice leisurely ride home across the North Cascades on Monday. The total loop ride, less the dirt stuff for Sunday, is about 850 miles.

    This ride has some great twisty road bits and some beautiful scenery to boot.
    #9
  10. WABuckeye

    WABuckeye Been here awhile

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    REDCAT i really like the way that route sounds. I havnt been across the border yet and those are all places i wanna check out.
    #10
  11. WABuckeye

    WABuckeye Been here awhile

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    that looks cool to when are yall thinkin about going
    #11
  12. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    nah - we can do better than that. Here's a quick 1,100 mile route:
    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Cap'n Ron

    Cap'n Ron The Devil's Advocate

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    Ah yes.... Vernon to Needles, awsome! The little ferry over to Fauquier to a nice little cafe with great grub. :clap Great roads Dante! I'm ready to roll! :thumb
    #13
  14. Cap'n Ron

    Cap'n Ron The Devil's Advocate

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    Oops.... Looks like you missed Westside Road from just before Kelowna up just north of Vernon. That would be a must do alt in your route. :clap
    #14
  15. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Sir Loin of Biff

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    If you end at Whistler, you're ending at the point you should be starting from. The journey beyond, to Pemberton and then some deeelightlful roads on to Lilloet, is a really, really nice drive.

    Edit: Dang, read thread, then post.

    FWIW, the highway 99 route is one I wanna ride this summer, once my skills are up to par to do that sort of thing. Let me know the time/place and I may scoot across from Nanaimo (I'm in Victoria) and join up with you lads.
    #15
  16. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    I didn't really "miss it" - I just didn't tag it (the downside to to MSN's Streets N Trips - having to tag every other bend in the road). Consider it part of the route if this distance/direction is chosen. :ricky


    Also, I know of a nice dirt road between Quilchena and Vernon through the Douglas Lake area if anyone wants to get the tires dusty :thumb and some sections of the Kettle Va





    Edited to add: STN is doing another annual run next September, hitting just about the best roads in BC. You can check out the route here: http://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,2634.0.html Anyone is welcome to join in.
    #16
  17. Cap'n Ron

    Cap'n Ron The Devil's Advocate

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    That ride looks cool! Might have to join up with you guys over there again. And.... since it starts on my B-day, I could probably get my wife to join me on her new bike this time. :wink: :thumb
    #17
  18. DireWolf

    DireWolf Knees in the Breeze

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    I am sooper interested! B.C. is about one of my favorite places anywhere. I just subscribed to the thread, and would love to hear a date to check schedules, etc.

    Woooo Hoooo! :wings
    #18
  19. GSHighlander

    GSHighlander Enthusiast

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    Okay...Wow! I'm blown away... Awesome energy here!

    It sounds like a set of dates is needed at this point.

    Suggestion: Why don't the interested parties toss out three separate weeks that would work and we'll see where everything overlaps?! Maybe we could shoot for June? July? August? Tomorrow? :D

    How much time do you figure DantesDame's or Sound_Uly's route, both of which rock, by the way, would take??? I'm thinking 7 days depending on side trips. Is that about right? :dunno
    #19
  20. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    7 days?? I reckon I could do my route in 3 without side trips, but I usually just ride! ride! ride! and don't stop for much more than photos and gas. Side trips could be interesting, but this is a tight year for me for anything more than a three (maybe four) day weekend.


    FYI - mid-July is my best chance at this point :ear
    #20