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.
No matter where you wake up, it always feels like home hopping back on the bike. Another long day of riding ahead, we again decided to cross paths with another ski resort on our way to a long mountain valley and a gritty route towards Nakusp.
Riding the lake side back routes out of Penticton as long as we could, we reluctantly jumped on the highway to an unknown road leading up the mountain side towards BIg White ski resort. Unfamiliar to us, it appeared this was another back route to a ski hill. The poorly maintained road wound up the mountain side until turning to dirt.
Let it rain… or not… “Damn it”, thats always a pain in the ass. Pulling over to get well suited in the rain shells only to have it dry out 15 minutes later… Strippin’ it off at the next stop we were sure to keep it close. The weather was destined to turn for bad…for good, it was just a matter of when.
Pushing the kilometres, this was an ambitious days ride, for us. We were on the lazy program. Lets not forget this is my Buddys first road trip. I’ll happy to just lay back to his pace, and try to make it a trip on his terms. Takin’ our time we were just cruising along and chatting. Lending my friend Curt an older Cardo helmet communicator of mine, these are such vital pieces of equipment. Creating a relaxed vibe to the ride, Its great to catch up and listen to each others stories while your sitting on your bike flying down an unknown road.
Grit, slime and puddles. The long dirt road began. Without a map you would surely get lost. Regularly traveled roads seemed to branch off at every junction. Primarily routes for the forrest workers it was hard to tell which route continued to the northern highway. A route I would enjoy more in sunnier weather, I believe my buddy felt the same way, and I also believe the long intense riding was wearing on him. More tough weather ahead, it was also set to get cold in the coming days.
Learning about safety and rider skill is often the only focus to the new rider. However, they might be surprised to find another challenge to the motorcycle life. Constant exposure to the elements. Traveling on the bike can be abusive. You have to learn to enjoy it, or ignore it. The important thing is to try to not let it bring you down. A mechanical breakdown can end a ride, but loosing good spirits can kill it as well. A little maintenance and being mindful of both will keep the adventure going.
Reaching the highway I yearned for dry roads. Sections of this road would be amazing with the ability to lean hard. Knowing my limits in the wet, I set my speed to the edge of them and like a breath of fresh air I shook the draining gritty road experience with a good rip around the scenic highway. Stopping at the occasional rest stop to allow my friend to catch up, this became the pattern all the way to the ferry across the river.
Dark, damp and remote, three reasons why good lighting is so important. The last leg to Nakusp was a tough one for the Himalayan and its rider. Unknown corners, or animal appearances, combined with a blurry visor and a misaligned headlight, my fatigued friend Curt was having a tough time. Coming to a dead stop on the vacant highway I waited for him to catch up. Together will be the only way to reach our destination in decent time. Using my super bright Cyclops lighting set up, it was ideal for these situations. Riding off my shoulder, the bright white light stretching far down the road gave both of us the confidence to pick up the pace.
Hungry, cold and exhausted we arrived late to the hot springs… Closed for the night. I recall “Crap” being one of the words I used… but I am pretty sure there was a few other four letter ones in there as well. The giant tent was set up on the least muddiest spot, some rehydrated dinner was made and we crashed in moments of hitting the sacks.
When you get to your destination, is the trip kinda… over? Was it ever about the destination in the first place? On a bike trip, for me the answer is always the same. Nope. To be continued…