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Old 08-03-2010, 07:11 AM   #16
Taurkon
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As I mentioned, my wife and I are going to part of this ride. I just ordered a GoPro HD yesterday and can't wait to get video footage of the tunnels and bridges.

Again, fantastic ride report and I am glad you are finally getting some traffic. You deserved it! Jeesh, 30 days before it was noticed. I happended upon it doing a google search on KVR.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:52 PM   #17
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It helps to do the report in smaller installments so that it gets to the top more often. Stuff gets buried really fast around here.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by 250senuf
Great RR!
Rumour has it the nasty washout on the Columbia And Western is to be repaired this year. I'll post an update once I know more.
I am telling you, that would be a BIG job! The pictures do not do it justice as I did not have my wide angle lense with me.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:23 AM   #19
Coho911
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Wow, nice Ride Report Lycan1 ! Thanks for the time & effort.

Question...

Was the KVR pretty much open the whole way ? I have been planning on heading out this sept. and running it (leaving from Calgary as well).

Would be great to have a KVR Map that has green or red marked on it for open or closed to Motorized &/or trail closures.

My KTM 640 will love it !
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coho911
Wow, nice Ride Report Lycan1 ! Thanks for the time & effort.

Question...

Was the KVR pretty much open the whole way ? I have been planning on heading out this sept. and running it (leaving from Calgary as well).

Would be great to have a KVR Map that has green or red marked on it for open or closed to Motorized &/or trail closures.

My KTM 640 will love it !
Try this link for maps: http://www.kettlevalleyrailway.ca/map.html

Most of the KVR is supposed to be off limits for motorized vehicles (according to local special interest groups). Plan to start riding at first light each day and you will have the trail to yourself. The Castlegar start point all the way to the washout is fantastic and not to be missed. Had I been at the Myra Canyon area at first light I would have ridden that as well as there were no signs saying that I could not. You should have no trouble scooting around the washout if you don't have panniers (or be prepared to take them off and carry them as you won't do it with them on guaranteed). The trail west of summerland is OK for bikes all the way to Princeton, so is Princeton all the way to hwy#5. Beaverdell north is OK (although a challenge to find the start, take notes from the RR). Rock Creek to Beaverdell technically off limits so I hear, I would have done it anyway if I had an early start. Beaverdell to McColough is OK, As is Penticton to Chute Lake and up to the Park's west boundry. Sections north of Christina Lake are some OK, then some not (signage is not government installed, but rather local groups, one has a number to call for an OK), so take it for what it's worth. The section out of Grande Forks (going north) states that you need a B.C. Trail association membership to ride it. I may buy one. If you want to see the Othello Tunnels near Hope you will get as far as the parking lot and have to hike to the actual tunnels (like I did). That one is a Provincial Park.

The theme here is start early and no one will bother you. If you come across horse and Rider, or hikers go slow and be respectful and no one will care that you are there. It really was a total blast and I will be back to do the sections that I missed. Most of the reason for the banning of motorized vehicles come back to a small percentage of idiots that don't know how to share with other users.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:26 AM   #21
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycan1
Try this link for maps: http://www.kettlevalleyrailway.ca/map.html

Most of the KVR is supposed to be off limits for motorized vehicles.
I enjoyed reading your ride report, and the photography was great. But right from the start, I wondered about you riding a trail with signage for no access to motorized vehicles, and I am sure that others are wondering too.

The Kettle Valley Railway web site clearly indicates the development of the trail was for mountain bicycling. With many other roads and trails to ride, why ride one illegally? This might be the reason that one trestle was burned by the farmer who was upset by all the dirt bikers.

I'm not criticizing or trying to start a heated discussion, but I would like to know "Why ride a trail when it is not allowed?" Just because it is there doesn't mean you should. --Brent
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBrentMiller
I enjoyed reading your ride report, and the photography was great. But right from the start, I wondered about you riding a trail with signage for no access to motorized vehicles, and I am sure that others are wondering too.

The Kettle Valley Railway web site clearly indicates the development of the trail was for mountain bicycling. With many other roads and trails to ride, why ride one illegally? This might be the reason that one trestle was burned by the farmer who was upset by all the dirt bikers.

I'm not criticizing or trying to start a heated discussion, but I would like to know "Why ride a trail when it is not allowed?" Just because it is there doesn't mean you should. --Brent
During the whole trip we came across very few other users. During my research I found that in most cases there are no provincial or federal laws restricting the trail use. It is in most cases special interest (local groups) that have put up the signage and the restrictions. It was only after consulting with a local, and told that the bikes were no problem that we rode the section starting at Castlegar. If I had been given a ticket I would have paid it with no complaint (considering it a toll) having seen the sign and ignoring it. The Trestle burnt by a farmer was on a section that clearly permits motorized use.

Most of the trail has been re-designated "The Trans Canada Trail", and in a few sections it clearly states that motorized vehicles are allowed (with a speed limit). In only one section were we under the understanding that motorized vehicles were strictly off limits (Myra Canyon) and yet there were NO SIGNS at the Bellevue (west) end stating that. Despite that we respected that and did not venture there. In one other instance, East of Grande Forks the signage was clear about needing to have prior authourization and we respected that (since we did not). Signage along the trail is very limited, to only certain access points, and there is no map that clearly lays out where you can and can't go with a bike. Why leave an old rail bed empty when, ridden responsibly it hurts or endangers no one. The trestles (Myra Canyon) that burnt were done by a forest fire (started by lightning), (not a motorcycle), and the trail was not developed strictly for bicycles (although they would like to claim it as their own as their website implies) it was made for freight trains and had been left to decay for decades. If the B.C. Government were to sell permits, with the money directed to the upkeep and maintanance (of this historic, unique, and beautiful way to explore the interior of British Columbia), I would have been happy to pay. There was a time not many years ago that anyone could use the KVR driving anything (that could pass),and near Naramata you still can, but because of the abuse of a very few (like whoever burnt the Adra Tunnel) more and more restrictions are put in place. Special interest groups have taken it upon themselves to maintain and restrict many sections of the trail for their own puposes (ie; Cycling groups, specifically). Although I applaud their efforts in the maintenance I do not agree with the restricting of the trail. That said, I can see why (from the behaviour that I witnessed around Coalmont) why ATV's and dirt bikes would be unwelcome by some. The trail is big enough for the trains of the past, and with reasonable behaviour is certainly big enough to accomodate both bikes, horses, hikers and cyclists. We showed the utmost of respect to the few other users that we encountered. Closing farmers gates after passing (they also have claimed the trail for their own), stopping (and shutting down our motors) so as not to spook the horses, and slowing to a crawl when passing cyclists (going either direction). If you feel that the Cyclists have more right to the trail than you do, and always obey every sign, put up by anyone, then feel free to stay off the KVR. I for one enjoyed the fact that the Trail was extremely under used.

Others have pointed out since that it is all "Crown Land" and as such in Canada, open to all.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:21 PM   #23
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Lycan, thanks for addressing that issue. It should be helpful to others who want to ride the KVR, but have questions about motorized access. --Brent
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:28 PM   #24
Lycan1 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBrentMiller
Lycan, thanks for addressing that issue. It should be helpful to others who want to ride the KVR, but have questions about motorized access. --Brent
I edited my post about sections of the trail that I know are accessible to Motorcycles, and those not. There are sections of connecting old narrow gauge rail lines that I have no knowledge of yet. I am working on that as the line from Merrit to Spences bridges along highway 8 looks very interesting. There is also a section of defunct line north of Castlegar in the Slocan Valley that I would like to explore, if it is possible.

I set out to do this trip with the idea of only running the sections that were definately bike friendly, to find that there is precious little real info (from reliable sources). If you rely on the various associations, and societies that have web sites promoting their own interests you will get the idea that it is against the law to ride almost the whole KVR trail. This is just not so, and you are left to do what we did and go out with no real (must do) schedule and be open to changes in route. There are many great forestry roads and trails that intersect the KVR (as Brent pointed out) along the way (just bring your backroads map and a GPS) and do as much as you can. You won't be sorry and will experience a fantastic and slowly fading piece of Canadian History that may be a once in a lifetime venture.

Once I figure out how to use a decent mapping program I will try to post up what I know you can do on a bike without having a guilty concience.
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Old 08-09-2010, 07:15 PM   #25
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I rode the KVR last year from Brookmere to Summerland. I met one hiker at Brookemere, and two cyclists just after Princeton. I rode it both ways, on the way back I met no one. I think that the Myra Canyon area has much more bicycle traffic and so I did not ride it, but I do agree that cycling clubs etc have claimed the trail and installed signs on their own. Having seen what ATVs do to trails I don't blame them. There is plenty of room on that rail line for respectful users of all ilks. It would not surprise me if motos are the largest users in the areas I rode.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:11 AM   #26
dwthump
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Great Pics And Ride!!

Great job on the pics and the narrative, very interesting. I had no idea that there was anywhere on the planet that had such an extensive trail that cycles could go on. How many miles of the KVR trail were navigable? Also, how many flats did you guys have? (I need to take a tutorial on changing tires on my KLR, flats freak me out). Your trip reminds me so much of the bicycle tours I used to take in my youth, load up the bike and go. The way you have to pack everything so tight is just like backpacking.

Darren
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:19 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwthump
Great job on the pics and the narrative, very interesting. I had no idea that there was anywhere on the planet that had such an extensive trail that cycles could go on. How many miles of the KVR trail were navigable? Also, how many flats did you guys have? (I need to take a tutorial on changing tires on my KLR, flats freak me out). Your trip reminds me so much of the bicycle tours I used to take in my youth, load up the bike and go. The way you have to pack everything so tight is just like backpacking.

Darren
All told I think we did about 450 - 500 km on the KVR with not one flat. Just for refference, I was using the stock Dunlop K750's and the BMW was on full nobby that were fairly road worn. We did have tools and a tire repair kit with us but did not have to use either one (except to pull off the tourtec panniers a couple of times)

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Old 08-18-2010, 11:16 AM   #28
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Great Report, I',m going next month for a few days to do the KVR, Can you share the GPS tracks?
Thank You
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:59 PM   #29
Lycan1 OP
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Originally Posted by BajaBug
Great Report, I',m going next month for a few days to do the KVR, Can you share the GPS tracks?
Thank You
I did not have a GPS, but the BMW rider did. I'll see if he can get the info off his Garmin. He is not that familiar with the process, but we'll give it a shot. Me I'm kinda "Oldschool" I use a backroad map and just wing it. Or just PM me and we can get together for coffee with my maps. I am in Calgary as well. Going for a ride out south of Cataract Creek on the Forestry Trunk road on the KLR on Saturday, your welcome to join.
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:23 PM   #30
Lycan1 OP
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More Photo Memories of the Kettle Valley Railway

You always have a difficult time choosing photos to go with a report I'm sure. I did, but reviewing the photos some time later I wanted to share some more. I set out to document in pictures the Kettle Valley Railway better than I had ever seen before, and to that end here are more pictures.


KVR south of Penticton by Skaha lake

Warning sign near Osprey Lake on the KVR

West of Keenlyside Dam above Lower Arrow Lake

The big washout near Paulson

The KVR high above Christina Lake

A short groomed section west of Summerland

Dam east of Princeton where the KVR has been cut through by a logging road

small cave along the KVR west of Summerland

South of the China tunnel on the KVR

nearing Princeton from the north

North of Grande Forks on the KVR above the valley

Sharing the trail north of Grande forks

North of Beaverdell, old washout bypass

On the KVR heading to Coalmount

Just north of Princeton along the river, one of my favorite stretches

The Beemer on the north side of the slide onroute to Coalmount

One of the very few new bridges made for the Trans Canada Trail on the KVR

Between Naramata and Kelowna

Old 2003 fire damage high above Kelowna on the KVR

The Bypass at the burnt trestle south of Brookmere
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