• Canada – Beautiful British Columbia

    Posted by admin on August 30, 2012

    After much careful planning and a dedication to fitness that ensured we were as fit as two humans could be, Mr Murray McNab and I, Loren Vercoe, esq, saddled our BMW GS motorbikes, and in January 2011 departed Vancouver, Canada for a ride to Buenos Aires, Argentina. This journey has been extensively documented on these pages, the result being I completed the journey, and Murray finished in Cusco, Peru due to health reasons. Upon arriving in Buenos Aires, I arranged to have my bike flown back to Canada to “sell” it. Shipping the bike was successful, and I proceeded to prepare my bike for sale in Vancouver. This preparation included such things as trying out new coffee shops, going to the beach, visiting friends, and generally fussing about. In short, I did not get around to attempting to sell the bike, instead, bought a bike cover, disconnected the battery, put it in storage, and departed for Sydney.

    In the proceeding year, I was often asked about my favourite part of the trip. There was no one favourite part but there were plently of best of’s. Two of the best of’s, the best quality roads and the most friendly people, the United States of America was near the front of the pack. The idea of a three month trip through the Rocky Mountains started to take form, slightly prejudiced of course due to the fact my bike was sitting in a shed at the foothills of the Rockies. So it was that I finished my contract and went on a second “once in a lifetime” trip on my motorbike – Steel Horse Tour 2012!

    On August 7, 2012, I touched down in Vancouver, having just missed the “heat wave” by one day, where it had reached 29C! Thankfully this did not hinder my preparations for the trip, which I attacked with much vigour. I’m sure there have not been too many others waiting for the doors to be flung open at Pacific Motorsport’s, but batteries must be replaced, not to mention rear taillights, front wheel tire pressure monitor and some chain oil for good measure. With a chain and sprocket replacement confirmed for two days time, we left them in peace and went for my brother Dale’s birthday breakfast.

    A ride to Seattle to pick up some bits and pieces, as well as to ensure I was still able to ride a motorcycle, a service at Pacific Motorsport’s, and a couple days attempting to squeeze everything into the panniers, and I was ready to ride. First stop, Whistler. Here, we find the inspiration for the name of the blog update. Okay, so the slogan has clearly been thought of by someone before me as it does appear on the BC license plate, but BC assuredly is beautiful. In early 2010, Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics, and one of the first priorities was to improve the Sea-to-Sky Highway, from Vancouver to Whistler. Turns out one of the first priorities should have been to ensure they had snow, but I digress. Many years of single lane roads, followed by many more years of construction and culminated into this the first day of my ride with clear skies and not a breeze blowing, blue seas surrounded by jagged peaks. I think my bike was equally as happy to be out of the storage unit.

    Having spent many hours of my youth be transported or transporting myself around BC, I was always heading somewhere, or driving home from somewhere. I can’t say I ever went on a driving holiday where I sought out roads that would be enjoyable for driving. Why not wait to do that until you have a motorbike, I say? From Whistler, I headed across country to Jasper, then down to Banff via the Icefield’s Highway. Granted, this is Alberta, but share and share alike, no? From a purely riding perspective, the road is a tad boring, but the views more than make up for it.

    A detour to Calgary to pick-up some headphone pieces for my Starcomm, as well as a reminder of what it was to drive on dead flat roads at 33C, brought me back to Banff on a Friday night. Turns being in Banff on a Friday night in the middle of summer does not make the Canada Top 10 List. Most likely not in the middle of winter either, but for altogether different reasons. A campsite was procured not 100m from the Trans-Canada Highway, earplugs were inserted, and the sound of traffic was altered to be the sound of a waterfall, dropping 300m into the Rocky Mountains. The mind is a powerful thing.

    On the last ride, we had deadlines to meet along the way – a time to be in Panama, a time to be in Iguazu Falls, and these deadlines dictated our route, but the route was always heading south. For this ride, I can meander wherever I like, which I do, with abandon. If I feel like warming up, leaving the mountains, I do. If I feel like having a rest day by the lake, I do. It is all rather exciting, for myself anyway! Finding myself in the Kootney’s at a campsite north of Kaslo, I have to make the decision, stay here forever, or head to Idaho. I head for Idaho.

    It’s good to be back.

    I am always looking for some ideas for the next trip
    I am always looking for some ideas for the next trip

    and always on the lookout for some coffee

    Very shiny and clean ready to ride!

    Logging Roads, BC Style
    Logging Roads, BC Style

    And now, a word from our Sponsors
    And now, A word from our Sponsors

    Looking a bit like a garden gnome (just getting in before anyone else)

    I think I know the maximum distance I will be camping from the road. Very precise are the Canadian hunters.

    Hot Springs you say……

    …. Don’t mind if I don’t.

    This is what most of my panniers are full of, powercords and maps.

    Kaslo, BC

One Comment | Leave a Reply

  1. Murray on September 1, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Ha ha, good to see a few pics coming through Lozza! The trip so far looks pretty similar to Honduras minus the 15 military roadblocks. I especially like the garden gnome shot, the fern tree latte and the awesome lake pics! Most of the motorbike photos seem to be missing a big yellow machine though…?? Stay upright bro

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