Strange times. When we finished up last riding season no one could have predicted that the world would be in the clutches of a pandemic. But here we are in the middle of a new riding season with a new set of social norms. Now we meet up at our usual spots and physically distance. Some of us wear masks. All of us have noticed the somewhat reduced traffic. And for those of us going on Forest Service Roads (FSR) we have seen a LOT of other motorcyclists (and ATV riders). It has been an interesting summer so far.Continue reading “Pandemic Riding: Odd and Unpredictable”
And it’s about time. Last year’s riding season was a bit crazy for us so we didn’t do any big rides or hangs. NMBL had her own adventure last year to GBB Fest but that was it! There was very little hammocking and even less motorcycling.
This year we’re getting our feet back on the pegs, hands on the throttles, and gear on the pillion. To get our butts used to the saddle again we once again trekked off to Tofino for the May long weekend. It was a great choice for a few reasons: first, Tofino is less than a day’s ride with some great mountain highway riding; second, it gives us a chance to suss out our gear with low risk after a year off; third, it’s just so damn beautiful over there! The west coast of Vancouver Island is one of the most striking places in an already stunning Province. We’re lucky to live here and have such a gem to travel to. Continue reading “Back to Tofino!”
It’s not often that one of us can get time off but the other one can’t, but it happened this year: NMBL wanted to go to GBB Fest, but DES’s work schedule just couldn’t accommodate that.
NMBL is an old hand at music festivals, having worked in lighting and entertainment at several of them in the past. Often the last mile into the site is terrible, as festivals are frequently held at sites in more… uh… rustic locations. While the private recreational park at Pekin Ferry (Ridgefield, WA) is sort of rustic-ish, the last mile of road into it was amazingly lovely: farmland with the freshest, smoothest, curviest asphalt you could ask for. Continue reading “GBB Fest 2018: NMBL’s Solo Tour”
We left Nakusp for the North Okanagan to visit with family. That ride took us through the Monashee Mountains along Hwy 6, through Cherryville, Lumby, and on into Vernon. On the list of great rides from this trip, we’re rating this one at number two just behind the ride along Hwy 31A from Kaslo to Nakusp. Going through the Monashees was a treat! There are some very tight high mountain turns along this road that deserve the reputation it has as one of the best rides in Western Canada. The asphalt relentlessly snakes along sheer mountain cliffs. There is one stretch that is 8km of nothing but curves non-stop. It was a magnificent ride.
Bikers really know how to party.
NMBL and I both quit the party early last night. Neither of us drank much. We enjoyed good conversation, good music, and the company of some new friends. But we wanted to have a good ride in the morning. Everyone we talked to said that the 31A from Kaslo to New Denver was a great ride but to be careful. There are bears, deer, tight corners, and rough roads. Pay attention is what we were told. We wanted to be on our game.
July 1. Happy 150th Canada.
Picture a biker in your head. A real North American biker. What do you envision? It’s likely a bearded guy on a Harley, wearing leathers, shades, and a beany helmet. He may have a woman riding behind him in the post seat. There are probably some sort of side bags on the bike. Maybe something that looks like a bed roll. Lots of chrome. And the bike is loud.
Now picture a few hundred of them. That is Toad Rock on the Canada Day long weekend.
Oh. A bit of a heads up about some of the charm of Toad Rock. There are dogs, a pig, and ravens. The dogs bark all night but keep the bears away. The dogs and pig are terrible thieves. The pig in particular likes beer. Secure your food and drinks. The ravens are just loud.
Wow! And we thought yesterday was good. Now that we’re back in B.C. the rides just keep getting better. We were told that the Kootenays offered some of the best riding in the Province but I don’t think either of us was prepared for this.
NMBL and I had the usual casual morning consisting of breakfast, coffee, and a leisurely tear down of our camp. We packed up the bikes and hit the road for another day of fun but relaxed riding. It was that and more!
This trip has fewer days left in it than have passed but some of our best riding is still ahead of us. A big part of that is the 93 south through Radium and Cranbrook to Wyrie Lake Provincial Park. Right along the Continental Divide. A day of riding the Rockies; we’ll take it.
We woke up to clear skies at Bow River. After the usual breakfast and coffee we struck camp and headed out. The goal was to hook up with the 93 Interchange on the #1 west of Lake Louise. What we didn’t know at the time was that we could have continued along the 1A. Next time. We made a quick roll through Banff since NMBL had never been there. It’s crawling with tourists, ourselves included.
Continue reading “The Continental Divide”
When you live in the mountains they are just always there. Omnipresent. Unmoving. You navigate by them. Hike them. Ski them. And, when the vast majority of your home Province is defined by them, you can take them for granted.
Then you leave home, riding through mountains to visit flatter lands. You’re still in your home Country, but not your home Province. The roads are straight. There is a horizon. The sky goes on to eternity. Nothing breaks the straight line marking the curve of the earth and, while it has a certain beauty, it feels… odd. Like there’s not enough topography.
Continue reading “Mountains”