weekend trip to nelson, bc
what a fantastic weekend of riding.
the trip began in calgary with a destination of nelson, british columbia. beautiful weather in the high 20s to start.
picked up another rider in okotoks, just outside of calgary and headed out to longview, which soon after we realized who was going to ride and stick together for the weekend.
not 10 minutes into the journey the group of 4 are all speeding, 2 of us just to keep up – 140 in a 90 km/h zone. not good. luckily i recognized the pattern of the headlights and look of the car about a mile behind me and immediately slowed down to posted speeds – saved us all nasty and expensive tickets. whew!
headed out highway 22 through longview and to the crowsnest pass. it’s notoriously windy in the crowsnest/lundbreck area – nearly enough to push you right off the bike.
the trip continues through fernie and along to creston, bc. from long sweepers and tree lined vistas we enter the fun part of the ride.
the journey from creston to the ferry en route to nelson is spectacular. two lane road with narrow single lanes in each direction. it is without a doubt one of the twistiest roads in western canada, roughly 80 kms of multiple combinations of turns. decreasing radius turns, left followed by blind uphill rights, etc. the first time i’ve been on a ride and used the entire tire right to 3/4” from the absolute edge.
the new bike (2005 VFR) performed flawlessly and was a joy to ride. the regular highways on the way there and back were so boring compared to being completely dialed in and focused for the quick turning route.
one note about the group – 4 riders, interesting and not fun dynamic developed. two sportbike riders (my pack) and two cruiser riders that rode like they were on the track. we were quickly separated and spent most of the time trying to figure out where one another were. some riders need to exhibit a sense of macho, tough guy stuff to prove something. riding fast doesn’t impress me in the least it’s fun to do when it’s safe, but exceeding those limits in new areas on tough roads is a recipe for disaster.
two conservative riders (includes me) – passing when necessary, or occasionally for fun, quick pace often slightly over the posted limit, getting used to our new bikes
two crazy riders – passing on corner double lines, exceeding limitation of the designs of their bikes – ones that are new and unfamiliar, not resting adequately, not stopping and waiting for rest of group
the other two of us were interested in stopping for a pee, food and photos along the way. so needless to say there was some friction. i think for future rides it’ll be important to establish more ground rules about the ride and establish an itinerary of meeting places and rest stops so everyone gets the type of riding they want. there is no bottle of champagne, medals or hot models waiting to give out awards at the end of the ride. ride, have fun, take it cool and get there safely.
route to nelson – calgary to longview to frank slide to fernie to cranbrook to creston to kootenay crossing ferry and on to nelson.
route return – nelson to creston to cranbrook to invermere to banff to calgary
total distance – 1380 kms
total time – 3 days / two riding one resting in between