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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by squonker, Jun 13, 2018.
Many thanks Wayne. I'm looking forward to them too
Thanks for the report so far, look forward to the continued adventures.
Thanks agplant. While I was in High Level on the way down I was thinking that had I been prepared I'd have dropped you a PM before I left and arranged to meet you. Next time!
For sure, this summer I was away a fair bit putting my own miles on but keep me in mind. I have not made it north to YK in a number of years either, but think its on the plan for next summer I'll look you up if it works.
I can recognize almost all the locations when you did the Rainbow/Chateh run. After 25 years you get to recognize every curve in the road.
Look me up for sure when you're in YK.
Less than a month to go now before I fly back down to the bike again. I have big plans for this summer, had to buy some new maps and I'll need to update the thread title!
I think a few friends and I might head BC way in maybe June or July, I'll be sure to keep up and see where you're at. a friend of mine has a wicked cabin along the shore of Jewel Lake near Greenwood, we'll base out of there and hit the good spots and probably ride down into Washington state.
Being a Brit, I truly believe that massive explosions are better accompanied by stirring music and clipped RP commentary. Thank you Pathe News!
Looking forward to this year’s instalments Ben.
Holy cow that's wild when he's just stacking the sticks of dynamite in a big pile! Good find!
I saw the Ripple Rock blast on a live national TV broadcast. It was the major event of the year.
I bet it was!
After some environmentalists complained, Justin Trudeau now wants to reinstall Ripple Rock back into the narrows..
I assume there would be a formal apology also?
Yep, apologies in spades..
I hike the trail out to Ripple Rock often, just think how much more exiting it would be to sit there and watch ships try to dodge that rock again.. Of course to make it more exiting they would have to make Maud an island again so the current flow around it could add more spice to the turbulence..
I had big plans for this season - to ride from Victoria, B.C. to Kenora, Ont. (which would have meant changing the title of this thread to keep it accurate ), but as so often life throws you curve balls and plans for that particular trip were kyboshed when I had to go to England on my days off in May instead of to my bike. I'll likely be going to England again in July rather than riding (although that isn't definite yet), so in the meantime I did manage to get riding last month...
Even things on Vancouver Island had changed significantly over the winter. Two of the friends that I introduced you to on this thread last year were diagnosed with cancer since I last rode. One has completed her treatment - chemo and radiation - and the other has yet to start his. Two sick friends made me change even my Plan B plans (if Plan A had been Ontario) to give priority to seeing them, but I still managed to have a fabulous time and put 1500km on the bike.
I had left the bike in Chris' barn for the winter, and was pleased to find it still there.
There were a couple of other bikes stored there too, but mine was easily accessible and was out in the fresh air in no time.
Chris wasn't around so I hoped fervently that the bike would start, and she did, like a boss. In sorting out all my gear I found a bunch of condoms in the pocket of my riding jacket. What (or perhaps who!) the hell had I been doing when I parked up for the winter? First stop was the nearest gas station to air up the tires, followed by a quick stop for food. When I walked back out to the bike some punk with an N plate had parked half way in my spot so the condoms were placed under their windshield wiper. I don't feel great about that now as they likely just threw them on the ground at which point they became litter. Too late now.
That evening I visited Simon and Tammy (whom you met last year), and the following morning set off to do the Renfrew Loop. It's a superb ride should you ever find yourself in the Victoria area, one of the best in terms of both views and twisties. Victoria - Sooke - Port Renfrew - Mesachie Lake - Lake Cowichan - Duncan - Victoria. There was noticeably more logging going on between Port Renfrew and Mesachie Lake, and when I passed a yard I stopped for some log truck porn. Check out this old Pacific.
It might not be easy to see from the pics to see how much larger it is than a standard tractor trailer, needs something parked beside it for scale. I should have used my bike...hold on, I'll nip back!!
Now that's dedication to a Ride Report!
On the way back I made a quick stop in Cobble Hill to see friends Jon and Katie, then was back in Victoria in time for Chinese food - my favourite
The next day was a hunt for a jacket. The 6th Gear jacket I'd bought for very little money at the Seattle bike show several years ago was the most badly made piece of clothing I've ever bought. I had saved up some money over the winter for a proper one, and wanted to buy from Adrenalin Motorcycle Co-Op in Victoria (www.adrenalinmotorcycle.com) because they're wonderful people to deal with and always give excellent customer service. First I thought I'd scoot around town and see what the dealers had to offer, line up a plan B should I need it.
I went to SG Power first, my least favourite dealer in town but they have a decent selection of gear. Well, they used to - they didn't this day. I was greeted as I parked by a chap who turned out to be the owner, Bernie. Nice guy, actually. Nothing that interested me jacket-wise, but I did pick up a part for the KLR I keep in Yellowknife, a part I had ordered the week before.
Action was next. They've always been good to me and had a moderate selection of gear, but when I walked in there was not a single helmet, glove, boot, jacket or pant to seen! They have an upstairs now (that's new), and all their gear is there. The two women who were staff up there were really friendly and knowledgeable, they really knew the gear they were selling. There was an Olympia jacket that I liked other than the fact that it was black. I'm not into hi-viz, but I'm definitely not into low-viz so black wouldn't be my #1 choice but it would do in a pinch. I had to get my new jacket today because I had promised my old one to a passenger you'll meet soon enough. So, the Olympia would be my Plan B.
I was on a roll now and headed out to Savage Cycles to see Alex (the owner there) because he's a good guy and they sell Triumph, meaning that they'd likely have a Triumph jacket to match my Triumph pants. The Triumph pants that I wear on my Suzuki and my Kawasaki, that is. But Alex had sold up and Savage is now called The Island Motorcycle Company. I parked and walked over to a couple of Scramblers on display outside - I love the Scramber, and they had a Street and a 1200 there neither of which I'd seen before in person. I was surprised at how small the 1200 was, physically. While I was looking at that a salesman came out and asked me whether I was looking to change my bike out for the ride back home (he'd seen my plate). No. And he then described the 1200 as a 'naked West Coast adventure bike'. Wtf is a West Coast adventure bike? Hmmm.
And finally to Adrenalin where I found exactly what I was looking for . As always I was given the five star service by Steve at the counter, and then I popped back into the shop to say hi to Scott. It was a Scott jacket that I bought, actually, a DualRaid. I wonder whether I took a pic. Jesus, I don't have a single photo of it anywhere - what an idiot. It's dead sexy, I promise. I just found out yesterday that I don't have to go back to England on my upcoming days off so I'll be flying back to Victoria and I'll get a photo of it then.
In the mean time, because there hasn't been a single pic in this post yet, I forgot to mention that the previous day two friends (and inmates) from Edmonton had driven (4 wheels) to the island to do some work at a campground in Uculet. I've been friends with Smurph and mardaf for a while, so a friend and I met them for breakfast.
mardaf on the left, Smurph on the right.
Alright, from now on my posts will have photos in them too. I realize now that I just wrote a whole post about looking for a jacket - a jacket you can't see - and nothing else. It can only get better, folks!
See what those long hours driving trucks by yourself do to your mental health....
Thicker than a whale omelette, I am!
A...friend...and I had decided to go camping while she had a couple of days off work. She'd been a passenger on bikes when her Dad had owned them so that was a plus, I'm a little wary about carrying passengers in general and camping with company was also going to be an experiment, but you only live once, right? The original plan was to go to the Campbell River area but the forecast was for rain. So we started looking at forecasts for anywhere that we might camp. Lillooet - rain. Sunshine Coast - Rain. Tofino - rain. Kamloops, Kelowna - rain. I can't remember how many places we looked at - it must have been 10, and all were forecasted to be either wet, very wet, or biblically wet.
Smurph and mardaf had suggested that we come to Uculet and hang with them, and funnily enough the one place that was supposed to be only wet as opposed to nothing but rain was Uculet. Ok, so destination is sorted but what about camping? I have no interest in staying in a tent in the rain. Zero. My friend wasn't put off by that idea, but as far as I was concerned it wasn't going to happen. There are glamping tents at the campground we were going to which is bit of a bruise to the ego, but better than being wet for 48 hours. Holy cow were they expensive though. Then there was talk of the possibility of a cabin that was now freed up. In the end it all became too complicated so we packed everything and just took off. It's about a 5 hour ride from Victoria.
Had a good stop at the Taylor River Rest Area where the water was an amazing colour, tropical.
We spent probably an hour there (no rain yet, although it wasn't going to be long). There was a sign with lots of info about a huge forest fire (the Tay fire) that spread through that area a few decades ago. https://www.albernivalleynews.com/news/50-years-later-alberni-logger-recalls-taylor-river-fire/ By this point we weren't more than a couple of hours from Uculet, but it was a wet couple of hours. Some of the road is exceptional biking road, but traffic, construction, rain and a passenger all tamed things down. Probably just as well!
We arrived at the Mussel Beach Campground (https://musselbeachcampground.com/) in time to get settled in a cabin in daylight. It really is a remote campground, 8km off the highway on gravel roads. And wild. And beautiful. And friendly. I was greeted warmly by the owner Curtis, who has the same bikes as me, and we had a quick look around before it was time to settle in with beer. s.
I didn't take many notes over the next couple of days because it rained so damn much, but everyone still had a great time. I have to say that Curtis and Lori, the owners, went so far above and beyond that I was blown away. Exceptional hosts to be sure, and I'm not just saying that. They also have the loveliest dog, Nelson, who is an old man now but has the cutest puppy paws still.
Home for two nights :)