BC in November

Discussion in 'Canada' started by rob_evans, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. rob_evans

    rob_evans Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    London(ish), UK.
    Greetings all, first post here.

    I'm going to be in Vancouver for a meeting at the start of November and I'm then planning to hire a KLR for a week from the 12th until the 19th. No plan on the route yet, so any ideas of what I should see? Tickets back home are booked, so I will need to be back in Vancouver for the 19th.

    I'm probably going to stick quite close to the black stuff, as I've not done alot of off-road. I'd like to see a bit of what BC has to offer; mountains, lakes, forests, well -- you tell me! :1drink

    How far north and east will I be able to roam before running into snow problems at that time of year?

    Cheers,
    Rob
    #1
  2. araspitfire

    araspitfire Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    467
    Location:
    Voorburg, The Netherlands
    Hard to say for sure about the snow... You head east for less than 3 hours and you get mountain passes. Depending on what the weather has done will determine if you get any snow... I'd guess that you'd be fine, but taking a small chance of getting caught on the wrong side of a mountain range if you wanted to go all the way to Banf/Jasper. (Which is about 8-10 hours of straight travel, accross 2 or 3 mountain ranges by highway from Vancouver... lots of side trips along the way to flesh it out.)

    If snow is a worry, a drive North from Vancouver to Whistler will be an awesome blacktop ride... 4 to 6 hours return... You can go past and find gravel roads, you can stop at or just past Squamish if the snow is really low.. the drive to Squamish is worth the effort.

    Take the ferry over to Vancouver Island (Nainamo) and ride out to the west coast (Tofino) for a very full to couple days of fun. Spend time in Victoria if you like pretty, small cities. Take the ferry from Victoria back to Tsawassen (near Vancouver) to make a loop.

    Both these trips involve nice fun curvy roads.

    If you have lousyish weather and want to spend more time down low, you can drive up to the North end of Vancouver Island... a bit of a slab run, but lots of fun to be had at various points along the way... Drive up to the Mount Washington Ski area and go for a walk on the meadow, drive out to winter harbor or Zebalos/Tasis if you want some longish gravel road travel (good roads for a KLR, well traveled hard gravel)

    Al...
    #2
  3. TriplePete

    TriplePete Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Here is a suggestion if you don't mind the ferry rides and dipping into Washington State. This is do-able in about 5 easy days. Weather may be an issue everywhere but that's part of living up here. Check forcasts.


    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Taxguy

    Taxguy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC
    I agree with araspitfire above, riding on the mainland will be somewhat limited by snow. Staying close to the coast will virtually guarantee that you don't run into the white stuff.

    Another possible loop is to take the ferry from Comox to Powell River and ride down the Sunshine Coast.
    #4
  5. araspitfire

    araspitfire Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    467
    Location:
    Voorburg, The Netherlands
    Nice map... I agree with it completely. If you run into snow further inland on some of the bigger loops, turn around and explore along the coast more...

    Al...
    #5
  6. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,659
    Location:
    West is the Best
    By mid to late November anything close to the ocean will not be an issue at all. Rain, yeah, bring good warm rain gear, temperatures ranging from 38-40F at night to 45-55F during the day. You will avoid rain by crossing over the coast/cascade mountain range into the desert, about 150 miles east of Vancouver, with perhaps a bit warmer temps. BUT, you will have to check for last minute weather reports on the passes. I've been snowed on in late July on Allison Pass [Princeton], and ridden the same pass in October and been sunny and 70F.
    You could make it as far as Williams Lake if you've got cast iron bollocks, it will just get colder and colder up there. East, there's a good chance of getting snow east of the Okanogan valley [Sonoran desert], as the altitude goes up into the serious Monashee and Rocky mountains. Great wine country in the Okanogan.
    Don't forget about Vancouver island. It's off season for tourists, and you will get good deals on hotels and stuff. The roads are great, seriously laid back people.
    Ciao, Steve G.
    #6
  7. rob_evans

    rob_evans Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    London(ish), UK.
    Hi guys, thanks for the tips. I arrived in YVR today (a day late because of a Travelocity f**k-up -- I wouldn't use them again if they paid me). There's a week of work, and I pick the bike up next Saturday. I don't think I'm going to head across the border, but a few days on Vancouver Island, going up to Whistler, and generally pottering around all sound like good ideas.

    Thanks again.

    Rob

    (PS: Maybe an old chestnut of a question, but what's the etiquette over here with filtering through stationary traffic. Fine, or a total no-go?)
    #7
  8. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,008
    Location:
    Bow, WA USA
    hi, i'm just south of the border, WA state, I am on the road, just went home, saturday, weather sure is shit.

    stay along the the water , you should avoid snow, if you do cross in to the US bring your passport ( you know that...) van Island is stunning, you can do a run up the coast, probably avoid snow, lots of cold ass rain though last day or two. best of luck, post some pics, watch out for higher elevations due to snow.

    :1drink
    #8
  9. kootenay kid

    kootenay kid Lets Ride

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,615
    Location:
    kootenays canada
    Don't go East of Vancouver. All the passes you will encounter have lots of snow. Vancouver Island would be the way to go. Probably pretty wet though.
    #9
  10. rob_evans

    rob_evans Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    London(ish), UK.
    Hi Kootenay & HC, thanks for that. Snow seems to be a bit early this year? Are Kamloops and Whistler out for two wheels already?
    #10
  11. rob_evans

    rob_evans Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    London(ish), UK.
    ...to partly answer the first question...

    I just heard on the radio that Cypress Mountain could be opening this Wednesday, which would apparently be the earliest ever.

    Talk about good timing, eh?
    #11
  12. Fred

    Fred Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    under my fallen bike
    Yo! I can show you some local stuff that's dirt but still KLR friendly. PM me for details.
    #12
  13. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    16,659
    Location:
    West is the Best
    Officially, lane splitting/lane sharing is illegal in B.C.. Towards the end of summer cage drivers get used to guys on bikes kind of sliding by at stoplights. Be carefull, as there are assholes who don't care if your bike only takes up 2' by6', they may open their door up to take you out. This summer I had a full size transit bus try to take me out as I slowly putted to the front of a taffic jamb on my air cooled Laverda. I've ridden in England many times, and know that car drivers are much more 'aware' of bikes, and will often open up a clear area for a bike to go by. This will never happen in B.C.
    Just the same, once up the north of Van Island, there are few cars. You will have lots of chance to get a speeding ticket.
    Now that you are here, you can see the winter we have, rain showers, with the odd opening of sunshine. Generally the big winds and anger will be experienced on the western shores of the island, but to see the big breakers out there is pretty neat. You will like Victoria. There are many brewpubs, with Spinakers being the most favourite. Do yourself a favour, and ride southwest of Victoria towards Sooke. Great stuff.
    Ciao, Steve G.
    #13
  14. araspitfire

    araspitfire Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    467
    Location:
    Voorburg, The Netherlands
    Good Idea! In fact, considering the low snow altitude, I'd suggest that he does more than go to Sooke.... He should keep going up the road all the way to Port Renfrew. It's a nice ride on it's own, but If He keeps an eye open as he drives along, lots of gravel fun is to be had leading off the road at points such as Jordan River, and even out of Sooke itself.

    Port Renfrew is the southern end of the West Coast Trail, and they have (at low tide) a very special tidal pool area that's worth a visit.

    If getting dirty is on the game, then it's possible (I think, depends on gate status) to drive accross the Island on gravel roads leading from Jordan River, and coming out Just North of Duncan... you pass fairly close to The Carmanah Valley, one of the Tree hugger valleys of old growth forest... quite special. If that level of adventure is what he is after, then it shouldn't be too difficult to get a forestry map that would make it possible.

    Al... (who has done quite a bit of enduro biking at and around Sooke.)
    #14
  15. rob_evans

    rob_evans Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    London(ish), UK.
    Brewpubs, eh? How did you know? :1drink

    Oh, and thanks for the promotion araspitfire, but it is still "he" rather than "He!" :D

    Steve, thanks for the filtering information, I'll avoid it. As you've noticed, it is pretty much the norm back in the UK. I'd never get to work (Central London) if I didn't filter. Couple of weeks back I had to filter along the motorway for close to 40 miles after an accident had blocked the M25.

    Fred, thanks for the offer. Don't have too much dirt experience, but I'll let you know if things pan out that way.

    Sounds like there's going to be plenty of stuff to keep me occupied on Vancouver Island (I'll check out the roads around Sooke). Just as well, latest report on the radio is 99cm of snow on Cypress Hill.

    Cheers,
    Rob
    #15
  16. Fred

    Fred Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,051
    Location:
    under my fallen bike

    No worries. Go to.....

    www.dualsportbc.com

    There's a section devoted to Vancouver Island on there.

    Experience is not a problem for the roads I'd show you near here. My 2wd pickup truck has no problem on them. Even cars have no problems on some of them.
    #16
  17. Hippiessuck

    Hippiessuck Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,015
    Location:
    abbotsford bc canada
    It's November, so
    prepare for RAIN on the lower mainland coast...
    and snow in the interior.
    PERIOD!

    In other words...
    think NOrthern Scotland... and maybe even the same kinda weather as Norway this time of year eh...

    I would suggest bringing lots of warm alkY-hol
    #17
  18. 00Buck

    00Buck dirt rules

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    220
    Location:
    South Vancouver Island, BC
    It's probably too late, but if you see this in time, tomorrow, Sunday the 13th I'll be doing the loop from Victoria to Port Renfrew, then easy logging road to Cowichan Lake, through Duncan and back to Victoria. About 250km in total. Would be great if you or anyone else could join me. At this time, two of us are going. We are meeting at 10:00 am, Tim Hortons on Millstream Rd in Langford near Costco (just north of Victoria).

    http://www.portrenfrew.com/lighthouse/ Lunch stop!
    #18
  19. rob_evans

    rob_evans Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    London(ish), UK.
    Hi Buck, thanks for that, unfortunately (!) today I'm heading up Hwy99.

    Picked the bike up yesterday. Bumped into another KLR owner (Leo?) in Nanaimo that's also off for a ride today. All I can say so far is that you folk are all real friendly. When I parked up in Nanaimo there was an old lady that checked the bike wasn't about to fall over, then I had a chat with Leo (who was eyeing up how the CycleBC guys had mounted the plate higher on the read mudguard), then when in the queue for the ferry the woman directing the traffic had a bit of a chat too. Looks like I might have to take a few hundred km off the plans if I'm going to spend too much time talking! :ear

    Won't be back on Vancouver Island until Wednesday or Thursday, so have a good ride (or by the time you read this, hope you had a good ride).

    (Fred; thanks again for your offer, but looks like it isn't going to fit in. Apologies, and many thanks again -- I'm sure there'll be a next time!)

    The KLR's a pretty tidy bike, I'm impressed.

    Cheers guys,
    Rob
    #19
  20. rob_evans

    rob_evans Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    London(ish), UK.
    #20