NMBL and I did something different this past weekend. We went to a racetrack. And we traveled up to Pemberton to do it. For those of you who haven’t heard of Pemberton, it’s a town just north or Whistler, BC’s most popular and famous ski resort. The trip up to Pemberton is done on the Sea-to-Sky Highway which, as we’ve written before, is a great stretch of highway to ride. It’s arguably the most popular ride among motorcyclists in Greater Vancouver! The ride up there offers spectacular scenery and fun curvy stretches of asphalt. So much fun!
We stopped off in Squamish for brunch as usual. It’s a regular stop for motorcyclists from Vancouver as it’s half way to Whistler. Right off the highway there’s a Starbucks that all the bikers stop at. Anyone into bikes needs to stop here on the way to Whistler. You’ll see every kind of bike imaginable. There are sports bikes, cruisers, adventure, touring, and all manner of bike styles. It’s like going to a bike show for free.
On the road after eating and checking out the bikes, we made our way north again. Passing through Whistler and on to Pemberton took us through the valley between snow covered mountains. It’s still winter in the high places of Canada. Creeks and rivers are flowing high with runoff as temperatures rise causing snow to melt. The ride is nothing short of stunning this time of year.
Neither of us was too sure of our destination, the Pemberton Speedway flat track just outside of Pemberton. We knew that it was about 80km from Squamish so I set my trip odometer. We passed a spot at about that distance with a sign that said Moto-X but nothing for the flat track races. We continued on and found ourselves right in Pemberton a short time later. After stopping for gas and asking some locals, we headed back to the Moto-X spot. That’s where the flat track was as well.
Taking the turnoff we had previously passed, we traveled down the dirt road along the side of the Moto-X track and back to the oval. There were signs up for camping, loads of trees (hurray!), and the sounds of announcements and bikes on the track. One of the camping signs mentioned quiet camping, so we rode over that way. The first thing we saw? The Rising Sun Motorcycles camper-trailer. These guys are our local bike repair shop. They do great work on our bikes plus treat us like human beings. Sometimes that can be a rare thing. And we got to hang out with these guys for the night!
We set up our hammocks behind the Rising Sun guys and made our way over to the track. It was great fun! Both of us had a much better time than I expected we would. We’ll be going back for the next Pemberton race later in the season, August 5th and 6th. If anyone wants to come with us, get in touch! It’s a great time!
The cost to attend the races and camp for the night was a whole $10 each. Oh gosh. That might break the bank! Just kidding: it was a great deal for some swell entertainment plus a place to hang the hammocks. Plus they had a food truck there which specialized in smoked pulled pork! We had the smoked pulled pork poutine for $8. It was so big we had to share one plate. And it was delicious!
So it was some good food truck grub, fun races, and good camping. What more could we want for an overnight trip? Not much really. We had a great time at the races and hanging out with the Rising Sun crew afterwards.
For our hang NMBL and I took slightly different approaches. We both regularly use our ENO Atlas straps. These are our go-to suspension for all of our hangs. Nothing changed there. Where we differed was with our hammocks. NMBL put up her DutchWare Half-Wit and I moved back to my ENO Double Nest for the extra width. While I got the extra space I needed, I gave up some ease of setup since I had to add on the full sized bug net on a separate ridge-line. My setup took an extra 5 to 10 minutes over hers.
I’ve ordered a custom Half-Wit from DutchWare which will give me a bit more width and length. It will be a bit bigger, taking up a touch more space on the bikes, but it will give me the extra space I need to sleep. I just got the email today that it has shipped! It’ll likely arrive next week. Hurray!
We also packed a lot less on this trip than we did for the Tofino trip the previous weekend. Our aim is to play around with what gear we take on these shorter trips to get a better idea about what we can do without and what we absolutely need. We’re heading out for a three week trip starting the third week of June and want to have our gear requirements sorted by then.
We’ll leave you on this post with some pictures from the track. Enjoy them, drop us a line, and let us know what you think!