A Journey With An Old Friend and His New Licence.
A BC experience with the Triumph Tiger, a Royal Enfeild Himalayan and a TrailTail Trailer.
Waking up to a cool morning, frozen puddles and the KVR awaited.
Like some sort of lake side walking trail except made for small offload vehicles this trail meanders through many remote sections of mountains and forests. Away from civilization you travel along relatively easy terrain for most of the sections along this first stretch.
A very flat grade, this was originally a railway bed and so many sections are long and straight. Soft gravel at times and a steady stream of whoops keep you entertained as you cruse down the double track trail. Loaded up with camp gear, this is smooth sailing through many of these areas with the worst of it being the loose, sometimes high piled gravel in the centre of the road, that or the slippery cow pies. I slid around on more of those hidden turd piles than I did on any mud this trip… damn poop flingin’ all over the place. Stuck to the bike and my damn pants. I’ll be eating burgers with a grin from now on.
“You open the gate and I’ll close it.” A pattern you get use to passing through the small cattle farm valleys. A simple respect and compromise for keeping access through the areas open.
Hitting this area at a beautiful time of year the trail passes by rivers and lakes with all the silence, smells and colours of a late fall in BC. Remaining or reconstructed railway bridges cross the pristine water crossings reminding you that trains once were the sole travellers of these valleys.
The sections we took of the KVR was only a taste of the vast routes littering southern BC. We continued on the trail, chugging along in relative solitude. My buddy Curt on his Himalayan easily navigating the route, he had a perfect bike for this kinda of riding. A reliable, chill motor with ok suspension and decent riding comfort. I would prefer that thing with a higher seat height and more leg room, however it does seem to do the job nicely. Seems like a great light weight meanderer at a fraction of the price of my Tiger.
Climbing a 4 or 5 foot high bank of rocks and boulders we rode over a slide with relative ease, with a slight misjudgement. Not passing wide enough on the left I hear a metal on rock “Crack”, and then another “Bang”. Striking a boulder with the foot peg of the bike then the trailer’s edge. I roll down the bank and move my foot to shift up and ride on, when I discover the lever wasn’t where it was suppose to be… “Crap”. Puling over, I see the problem. Thankfully Triumph was smart enough to make the lever out of soft steel, rather than brittle aluminum and the thing just bent around into a horseshoe. Just the luck I needed. Pulling it straight with a wrench leaving it a minor repair.
Making our way to the town of Princeton the trail narrows at times. Bordering the river edges and steep hillsides the trail regularly gets littered with boulders from rock slides. The toughest challenges of most off road rides is usually the bypass routes or special trouble spots. This describes the KVR well. Generally a mild ride with a tricky spot here or there.
The exact experience we were looking to get from the trail, we wanted more. Through the old train tunnels and into the town of Princeton we had to leave the trail behind us. With rain and temperatures dropping in the forecast, we decide this wasn’t the time of year to keep the slow pace. With our destination set, Nakusp and the hot springs was over 500kms away. With only a direction and no route planned, we scanned the BRMB (Back Road Map Books) maps over lunch and decided on a off highway side road leading to another line crossing a mountain to Penticton. Just hoping we didn’t run into any snow…
The great things about these bikes is they are just as capable of leaning through the corners as they are at handling the off road terrain. Mixing it up with a fun road section, I rarely even notice there is a trailer back there. We burned our way to another mountain and a dotted line on a map… to be continued.