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Planning BC trip

Discussion in 'Canada' started by dimon, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. dimon

    dimon Been here awhile

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    Hello fellow ADVers,
    Few of my friends and I are planning our summer ride. We are planning to get our bikes to Seattle and go north to ride some beautiful British Columbia. We are planning to do it in June or mid-July. As a result I have couple questions.
    1. What’s the best time to visit? Is it going to be cold and some roads still closed in June?
    2. Good road plan for 5-6 days of riding.

    Thanks
    #1
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  2. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    I did this last year, and I live in Vancouver, I am at work now but I'll write a post with all the options I found worthy.
    I assume you plan to ride on tarmac, or do you prefer offroad? (my experience is 95% street)
    #2
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  3. Dave7

    Dave7 Adventurer

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    Assuming street … I did a decent bike trip two summers ago through mostly BC. The full write up is here - https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blo...ting-a-4500km-road-trip-on-a-250cc-motorbike/

    Weather wise is was great except for Vancouver Island where it was unseasonably cold and wet. Just above zero. My lack of effective rain gear made me very cold. My riding partner had better gear and weather protection on his bike (I had none) so faired much better. We got almost a whole year of weather in just over a week.

    BC is a big place so the two spots I recommend are:

    Near Lillooet - https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blo...irvana-4500km-road-trip-on-a-250cc-motorbike/

    and

    Kaslo area - https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blo...-brill-4500km-road-trip-on-a-250cc-motorbike/
    #3
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  4. TimberPig

    TimberPig Adventurer

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    Only very high elevation bush roads will still be snowed in in June. Paved roads will be fine. Expect daily highs of 20-25 Celsius if sunny, but 10-15 if it's overcast or raining. If you plan to ride the coast, you'll probably get wetter than if you go interior.

    Lots of low-traffic twisty mountain highways in the Kootenays to explore! Vancouver island is really beautiful too, all depends what kind of sights you're looking for.

    Best of luck!
    #4
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  5. dimon

    dimon Been here awhile

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    We are planning to ride mix of paved and forest service gravel roads, but looking for not very technical riding.
    Thanks
    #5
  6. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    How many km a day are you comfortable riding? Interested in camping or prefer airbnb? Hot springs?
    #6
  7. matt.the.ogre

    matt.the.ogre Fair-minded Villian Supporter

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    One idea would be a loop from Vancouver through Prince Rupert. Take interior highways and roads one way and take the ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy the other way. Get’s you a great variety of interior, coastal and Vancouver Island riding. (Port Hardy is near the north end of Vancouver Island.) Might be tight for 5-6 days, but I think it’s doable with long days in the saddle.
    #7
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  8. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    That loop above is a great one with Gibson's in the middle. I think it's called the sunshine coast. If I remember correctly it's a 4-5 short ferry trek.
    #8
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  9. filterx

    filterx Been here awhile

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    Tons of options street/dirt in late June/July I'm sure you all will enjoy your BC ride :)

    I'm assuming you mean NOT technical riding and have you done any research for a rough idea of where you want to ride/see?

    Its a BIG place and 5-6 days is only going to be a short ride :)
    #9
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  10. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    5-6 days is not a lot though, in a short for people that already know the area, I'd send him East to the Kootenay, Ainsworth Hot Springs etc.
    The island is fantastic and probably has better rides, but the ferries steal too much time
    #10
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  11. mroddis

    mroddis Been here awhile Supporter

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    Lots to choose from - what kind of distance do you like to do daily?

    Some quick ideas include Cariboo (it's a must ride) and work your way north east from there. Then cross the border and connect to part of the WABDR.
    Also, just be aware that we've had some awful wildfires of late, so you may have to have a PlanB if it gets closer to your date and there are fires.

    M
    #11
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  12. dimon

    dimon Been here awhile

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    We just decided on the destination today, so a lot of planning ahead. I still need to do my research and decide. We are going to pick up our rental bikes in Seattle and head north to BC. Planning to stay in hotels and keep the mileage between 200-250 miles a day.
    #12
  13. TimberPig

    TimberPig Adventurer

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    Well you've made a good choice. B.C. has the greatest variety of ecosystems in Canada. Enjoy!
    Remember that our FSRs are working roads and usually have logging trucks working monday-friday, but they are good about talking to one another and keeping an eye out for you.
    #13
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  14. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    I wrote a page long post and got an error in posting AAAAARHG now I need to redo all the routes!!
    #14
  15. kirbybikes

    kirbybikes Been here awhile

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    https://www.destinationhighways.com/ Wow, their website sucks but the books are good. Older info but very good guides to the roads in BC and Washington. 5 to 6 day loop for southern BC to the east and then drop down to ride northern Washington. On the way north hit Whidbey Island and Chuckanut Drive and avoid I5 unless you want to make some time. When in the Kootenays hit Highway 31A, you won't regret this. https://goo.gl/maps/xnshc852WTaaAd8M9
    #15
  16. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    To do a decent trip of BC you need to check both the Island and the inland, but getting on the Island is expensive (Tofino is paved in gold and the ferries are expensive). If you wanna stay in your initial 6 days estimation skip the island by skipping days 3 and 4.

    Stay: this includes sending you to2 different campgrounds, but in both you can sleep in permanent stays (vintage camper vans or big tents)
    For Vancouver stays, I recommend airbnb in Kitsilano or Olympic Village

    Day 1: Arrival
    You arrive in Vancouver, get a nice dinner, get an ice cream at Gusto in Olympic Village, elk the waterfront and soak in the Vancouver evening vibe :)
    Day 2: Vancouver sightseeing
    I recommend a day to see Vancouver, you can take a stroll with the bike around Stanley Park, stop by the Vancouver Aquarium, eat at the Prospect Point for a good view and maybe spend the afternoon seeing some museum or walking the waterfront. If you decide for museums I recommend the Museum of Antropology and the Museum of biodiversity (both in UBC). That would also put you in UBC by evening, where you see an awesome sunset from Tower Beach (or Wreck Beach if clothing optional is your thing).
    Day 3: Sunshine Coast and Tofino, stay at Mussel Beach Campground
    https://goo.gl/maps/QyQFY9CEYA7iSUWs6
    This road require careful planning to catch the ferries, there is and you wanna get on the 3rd one no later than 1.30PM.
    The Sunshine Coast Road is fantastic to ride, twisty and with gorgeous views, you can have breakfast and lunch on ferries to save time and the view from the ferries is amazing as well.
    The road from Port Alberni to Tofino is very good as well and goes through stunning forests and great views of the inlets.
    Mussel Beach Wilderness campground can be reached with some 10km of offload and is a secluded quiet place with a rocky beach and plenty of tidal pools where you can see crabs, mussels and some weird amphibious fishes. If you get there on a night with no clouds it’ll be crazy starry.
    Day 4: to Victoria via Juan De Fuca hwy
    https://goo.gl/maps/Ed55DhWmADy6TVfn6
    Go back on your steps to the east side of the Island (totally worth to ride that twice) and then back to the west coast via Port Renfrew. You should be able to get to Port Renfrew for a late lunch and there is an awesome pub where you can catch some comfort food. Weather can be chilly but the ride from Lake Cowichan to Port Renfrew is totally worth it. Make your way to Victoria for some evening sightseeing.
    Day 5: To Lilloet via Sea2Sky (hwy99)
    https://goo.gl/maps/dwnP97mmdVAGfhuP7
    This might seem the shortest day but there is an almost 2 hour ferry. The Ride from Horseshoe Bay to Squamish is used as a race track by the local crop of idiots, so pay attention you’ll find lot of cops. Do not open you throttle until Whistler. From here too you’ll have great views and the road after Pemberton is sublime.
    On the road you can check out Shannon Falls just before Squamish.
    If you want to tackle some offload you can take the Highline Road on the north shore of Duffey lake instead of the paved hwy99 on the south shore. I have never been there as I am not set for offload, but I have been told it’s stunning. In that case your route would be
    https://goo.gl/maps/eaWtsVwoMNG7JBXi8
    Day 6: To Toad Rock motorcycle campground via Vernon and Hwy6
    https://goo.gl/maps/ZP8e9LJVeTFtp8GU9
    This is kinda a long day but the road is AWESOME. Check out this youtube from MotoGeo that covers some of the road and the campground:

    This route has 1 ferry but it’s a short cable one (free) that just goes back and forth, should not take long. Everything on this ride is awesome and you can stop in one of the many wineries or ciders for lunch, they have excellent food.
    Day 7: Ainsworth Hot Springs then back to the US via Osoyoos and stop in Winthrop
    https://goo.gl/maps/SbkJyZo7aQ2G2w3X7
    You can see the hot springs in the above Youtube, they cost a mere 15$ and they are 100% worth checking out for an hours or so of relax before getting on your way.
    This is a ride through beautiful forests and terminates in the very nice Far West town of Winthrop, which is so really cool :D
    Day 8: Diablo lake and then back to Seattle, Chuckanut
    On your way back to the east coast via hwy 20 you’ll find Diablo Lake, which is one of those impossible blue lakes because of the water having sediments from glaciers, absolutely worth a view. I cannot share this route ‘cause it seems hwy20 is closed in the winter and maps does not let me.
    Anyway, Hwy20 bring you to Bellingham and from there you can ride the Chuckanut, which a local favourite coastal ride for the Washington people, and then make your way back to Seattle.
    #16
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  17. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    The whole thing would look something like this, with the last bit in red added manually because of the current road blocks on hwy20 Screen Shot 2020-01-18 at 5.45.07 PM.png
    #17
  18. MGV8

    MGV8 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Not bad Vince82, But I would head straight to BC on I5 and then take the turn to cross the border at Sardis or such, then take Highway 3 over to the Okanagan and hook up with your route. Not that Highway 20 isn't nice it's just that they miss some nice BC. Going to be long days with out much stopping to even cover the ground that you have mapped out. 5 or 6 days that might cover the Kootenays if they want to ride and see something.
    #18
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  19. vince82

    vince82 Been here awhile

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    I do ride a comfy and fast steed (Tracer900), my days are usually like that
    But I did put all the best routes I know in there
    #19
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  20. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Stay off I-5 if you can! Takes a lot of nerves to ride that Seattle north on an unfamiliar rental bike.Hwy 20?Very good and so is the Kootenay part!Hwy6? Oh yes!
    #20