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Old 11-18-2008, 08:22 AM   #196
GS4ME
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonker
But all was not well.....
You can't leave us hanging with something like that.
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:11 PM   #197
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yeah, sorry about that. Didn't mean to leave you hanging for quite so long. Will get the next installment up in a day or two. Thanks for your patience.
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:12 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klay
Remind me what the stick on the side of the panniers is for.


Great story!


here is my VFS in action! The heavily loaded bike is more likely to stay upright with the stick.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:44 PM   #199
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Thanks Kari, that explains it far better than I did with my description.



So what happened next? I began to feel unwell. Very unwell in fact, and in the end had no choice but to haul my sorry arse into the doctor's office. I'm not really one or going to the doctor if I can help it, so this should give you an indication of how bad I felt. Sick to the core. The doctor pushed and prodded (luckily no poking!), tested and swabbed and sampled and eventually announced that I had what those in the medical profession call a 'Chronically over-developed sense of adventure'. And the only known cure - a motorbike trip . You might laugh, but it is a lifelong condition and I don't expect to ever recover. I will most likely have to keep on taking motorbike trips for the rest of my life - and you think you have problems.....

The problem was exasperated by the fact that I had spent the last two or three weeks staying with my friends Simon and Tammy and I had become softened and susceptible to disease through using beds to sleep in, sheets, laundry fcilities and showers on a daily basis. If only I'd known. And much as I'd like to have stayed for longer and taken advantage of this hospitality, I couldn't risk becoming even more ill.

All this happened with perfect timing. A firiend from D2D, Sander (the Dutch guy who'd shipped his bike to Anchorage and was riding to the tip of South America) was on his way down from Alaska, and we agreed to meet. He caught the ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy and rode down to Victoria. My friend Jon put us up and we spent a day sightseeng in Simon's 1952 landrover, 'Flash'. Here's Sander at Jon's place.



Sander changed his oil while Jon sewed the clips back on my soft luggage (he used to be a sail maker and they'd broken due to too many spills). Jon then made me a waterproof cover for my tank bag - hang on, I need to go look for pics of Flash and the cover.
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squonker screwed with this post 11-17-2009 at 09:11 PM
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:14 PM   #200
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Good to see the Sand-Man again!
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:04 AM   #201
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Ben, those of us who have the DISEASE will never get cured!!! I've got children your age and I still get antsy if my bike is parked more than a week!!! I thought maybe when I got my Medicare card it would go away, but it only gets worse!!! LOL!!!
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:11 PM   #202
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I've got that disease.....


Been sick for a while now!
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:05 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercenary
I've got that disease.....


Been sick for a while now!
May they never find a cure...




Couldn't find the pics that I was looking for so I'll just carry on.

Sander and I decided we'd stay on the island, and although we didn't really have much of a plan other than to end up at Tofino, I suggested that we head to Port Renfrew on the west coast that first day. It's beautiful there, and the road in is a good biking road- I hadn't done it for the best part of ten years.

Port Renfrew


We weren't disappointed. Stopping to admire the view at Jordan River we were joined by a group of 5 bikers from Washington who were out for a weekend jaunt. A really nice bunch of guys, and generous in the extreme. Two of them were riding new bikes - there was a Versys which was about a month old, and a Wee Strom which was new only two weeks previously, out for it's first real ride. Both the owners offered, and then re-offered, that I should take their bikes for a spin. I kinda played it down but with the third offer I knew they were serious and gladly accepted both. I only rode each literally a couple of Kms max, and enjoyed them both too, but the V-Strom was particularly sweet. I've never met a Strom owner who wasn't in love with his bike. The Strom owner was the second person on the trip who I exchanged info with only never to hear back from him when I wrote. It's sad because on both occasions they were really nice guys that I'd genuinely like to stay in touch with. Maybe I'll shoot 'em both another email. Or maybe I'll just shoot 'em both.

Jon had told us about a good camping spot on the beach at Renfrew and described where it was. We knew we were in roughly the right place, but all the access roads to the beach were blocked, other than at the campgrounds and wide open spots where you weren't allowed to camp anyway. In the end we found a gap in the barrier that the bikes fitted through, and made ourselves at home at the beach.













I know it looks as though you'd get a pick-up through here, but nothing bigger than our bikes would make it.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:13 PM   #204
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Port Renfrew to Port Alberni

Wow, I'm getting lazier and lazier about this thread, will try and pick up the pace a wee bit.

So we woke up in the morning to find the west coast weather doing what it does the best, and packed up in the rain without breakfast. We'd tried without any luck the day before to find gas, but the old station that had been open the last time I was there was long since gone, and we couldn't find the place we were told about at the store. We had heard that we could get gas at the marina, however, and that's where we headed.

The weather was pretty miserable by now but we had a stroke of luck in that there was a fishing derby on at the marina on the river that weekend, and as part of it a proper food trailer had been bought in, complete with covered eating area. We had a good warm breakfast while deciding what to do next.

We were going to head for Port Alberni, and to get there by logging road. Right out of Renfrew there were two different routes we could have taken, and I'll admit that because of the weather and my uncertainty about the longer one we took the eaiser of the two to Lake Cowichan. On the way we passed a classic ADV sign and tired to get a decent picture of it. But we failed miserably.











Oh well, can't say we didn't try.

From Lake Cowichan we made our way around Cowichan Lake, which takes a couple of hours if I remember correctly. It's a good thing that Sander had a GPS with him because it's a maze of logging roads back there and it isn't all very clearly marked. At one point we took an extended break and found that we were actually further ahead than we'd thought - until then we hadn't been completely sure that we were even on the right road.

The weather started getting to get better, too, and the sun even began to come out.



As we came toward the turn off to Bamfield the road became horribly washboarded. It was one of the worst roads I've ridden on, actually, and we had a hard time finding what was the best way to tackle it. Was speed or a lack of it better? Standing up or sitting down? Nothing helped much, it was a very uncomfortable ride. A few other vehicles were out there, it being a weekend, and I noticed a trend.

It has long been my opinion that guys who drive jacked up trucks are compensating for something, and so it was that all the beefed up trucks that passed us did so dangerously or too fast. Sometimes both. Everyone else was considerate and careful, just the pricks with the small pricks and the big trucks feeling the need to try to prove something. Assholes. I've never understood to advertise the fact that I'm an arsehole by souping up my truck - you only have to meet me briefly and it'll be painfully obvious anyway.

We reached Port Alberni, 120 kms from Lk. Cowichan, mid afternoon and stopped downtown to fihure out a place to stay. We met a friendly couple who recommended the Somass Hotel which had the added advantage of being on the Tofino road and therefore would keep us heading in the right direction.

The recommendation was accurate and the hotel was cheap and friendly. They even had a pool. While we were drying out our things I noticed that the fender bag had come off the front of my bike, presumably on the washboard road around Cowichan Lake. It had been ther ethat morning when we set off. That thing had been on there for something like 10,000 kms so far, had survived the Dempster and two spills, yet a two hour jaunt around a lake had been too much for it.

Camped at Port Alberni, minus one fender bag.


It had always been the plan to have Chinese food that night, and we found a place within stumbling distance of the camping spot at which we could sate our appetites for MSG. Afterwards we went for a beer at what must be the world's most pathetic bar. We were the only two people in there and the barman spent the whole time sitting in front of the tv. What a terrible job. We were so miserable-ised (!) by our experience that we decided to call it a night and go back to our tents completey sober. Oh well.


I forgot to mention that on the beach at Port Renfrew the night before Sander had asked me about my bear bangers. I'd never actually fired one before so I did so on the beach right there. Pointing it away from us and looking the other way I pulled back on the spring trigger and let go, expecting to hear something along the lines of an amplified 'pop'. Holy shit, that thing was louder than any shotgun and we were both rolling around laughing for a while. I sure am glad I know what they sound like now, and I expect they work pretty well on bears, too. Ow, my ears!
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:28 PM   #205
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The next day we rode on to Tofino.



If you've never been to Tofino you need to know two things - firstly it's one of the most beautiful places in the world, and secondly the road in is FANTASTIC!! Even in a car it's a hoot - on two wheels it is pure motorbike porn, without doubt one of the more memorable stretches of road on the entire trip.

But first, a quick break for lunch in Uclelet.





There was a lot of discussion as to where was the best place in Tofino to camp. Unfortunately, as with the rest of BC, it ain't cheap, and Tofino is no exception. In fact, prices are jacked up there just because merchants know that people will pay. Whereas on the rest of the trip the most I was ever charged for a camping spot was $20, some places in Tofino wanted over $50 - for a tent spot! One place I went to check out even refused to rent me a spot simply because I had a tent and not an RV!

We pulled in to the Govn't campground at Green Point and the lady there was helpful, letting us look at the sites and giving us advice. One thing I know from Tofino is that you don't leave anything valuable unattended and we wanted to make sure that we'd be close to our bikes. The camping spots the lady offered us were nice, but we wouldn't be able to take our bikes in there. (Actually, the path was wide enough and if we had stayed there I'd have wheeled my bike in after dark). We ummed and arhh'd enough that the attendant eventually said she'd let us use the group spots. We'd be closer to the bikes and had the added advantage of being allowed to have a fire. As it happens there was plenty of room and we hid our bikes right in there, away from the parking lot.



The group spots were decent. There were five of them altogether and we were the only people there, plus the rate was $17.50/night which was far and away the best deal in town. I wasted no time heading to the beach, one of the most amazing beaches I've ever been to. It blows my mind every time I go there.



Later that night a very cool couple from Utah showed up on their GS and took one of the other spots. J.D. and Carrie were great folks. He knew the roads around Goldbridge/Bralorne that I'd so...enjoyed ...and she had lived in Whistler at the same time as me - we knew some of the same people.

J.D and Carrie



We all stayed up long after our bedtimes chatting over a few beer, and agreed that we'd all stay there the following night, too.

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Old 11-25-2008, 07:40 PM   #206
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:47 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klay
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:56 PM   #208
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This is so cool

Thanks for posting and letting me travel with you.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:52 AM   #209
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Thanks for posting and letting me travel with you.
The pleasure is all mine. You chipping in for gas, or what?
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:04 PM   #210
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I took a lot of pics in Tofino. Time to unload a few of them....















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