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Old 09-24-2011, 10:01 PM   #31
BOOCH
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Three things made our touring so much easier
Our Rick Mayer seat
Our Garmin 2730
And most importantly,our Autocomm,intercom.

Best of Wishes

Steve & Sharon Bouche'
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:33 AM   #32
Tom-Traveller
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Europe



Very good .... you are on the move and you will enjoy it

I like the the route you choose and you will see the most interesting and rideable countries.
Other travellers I talked to said, the East coast of Africa is more touristy but also more to see

However, the time you hit Europe, give us a call and you are more than welcome to stay at our place

We live about 45min north of Zürich, right on the border to Germany/BlackForest. There is always a hot shower (or hot tub), a garage to work on the bike and the next KTM dealer/workshop is about 5 km away., where we bought our KTM 690`s.

In 2012 we will be away in September for a 2 week vacation in South France (Alpes maritimes), our last testride before we leave again in 2013

If you make it early enough (end of August) , I can show you my favourite routes heading south to Portugal and we can ride together for the 2 weeks and split in South France.

OK, this is just a suggestion for next year .... right now have fun riding south and

HAPPY TRAILS
Thomas & Andrea

www.miles-to-ride.com
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:42 PM   #33
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...However, the time you hit Europe, give us a call and you are more than welcome to stay at our place
Awesome. Hopefully we'll all keep in touch and hook up when we get over that way!
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:00 PM   #34
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Thanks for sharing your story, looking forward to hearing more.
If you find yourselves in the PHX AZ area drop us a line. We'll help however possible.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:02 PM   #35
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On august 30, the weather turned bitter and it was a cold ride to Calgary, Alberta. Luckily it was a short trip because we weren’t wearing the weather liners on our riding gear. The tread on our back tire was wearing thin and since we have to learn to do all the repairs on the bike ourselves, we were about to replace our first tire. Fortunately, we were offered some help from a man named John. He lives in Calgary with his family and he replied to a post that Rocky had placed on the website www.ADVrider.com. After entering his garage, it was obvious that he loves motorcycles and his enthusiastic stories had me wishing I had my own. It was very kind of him to help/teach us and I thought it was really cool that his wife was also celebrating her birthday that day. With the weather still cold and wet, we were very thankful to have been invited to spend the night in Calgary. It is a great feeling to be treated so well by strangers.

The rain remained by the next morning and the ride felt longer than it should have. As we reached Canmore, Alberta we were only able to get a few peeks at the mountains as we literally rode through clouds. That is when we finally decided that the weather sucked! We had an entire day to waste so we pulled over and spent it at Tim Horton’s. We were hoping the rain would stop, but it didn’t. So, we rode into Banff National Park, located in the Canadian Rockies and before it got dark, we found a great place for our tent.

The following morning we rode to the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper, Alberta. On our way, we stopped at the famously beautiful Lake Louise, but everywhere I looked was jaw dropping. The mountains were majestic, the lakes and streams were all aqua marine in color and I love the smell of fresh air. “Alberta, Wild Rose Country” is incredible but no words or pictures could properly describe it’s intensity.

Just as the sun began to set, we passed the border into British Columbia and stopped in a town named Fields, BC. It was definitely a scenery I wanted to wake up to. The morning was beautiful but during the night, a storm almost blew us away. The tent swayed viciously and at first, I thought it was a bear attack. Ironically, we fell back asleep too tired to care.

When we were in Calgary, John recommended we take a different route than we had planned. We trusted his opinion and am I ever glad. We rode through “Beautiful British Columbia” on winding roads that took us up, down and all around the mountains. These mountains were green, covered in trees and their peaks, smooth. We took ferries across a couple of lakes giving us the chance to stretch and enjoy a different type of ride. After a long day on the road, we pulled into a town named New Denver. We found a very small park on the edge of Slocan Lake and the view was breathtaking. It was a great home for the night but our morning was a rough one. As we packed up, I tried releasing the tent poles to take apart the tent. I was having a tough time but finally managed to bend the pole just enough to have it pop my front tooth with all the built up pressure. Imagine me with a missing front tooth? Haha close call, but thankfully, I still have them all. With everything finally packed, the motorcycle refused to start. A local who lives across the street, had seen our troubles and offered us a boost from his portable battery charger. Within a few minutes, the engine begun to purr. Thanks David!

We finally headed out towards Grand Forks BC to meet a local named Nancy but since we arrived late, she had to go to work and her sister Joanne greeted us instead. Nancy is a kind lady we met on www.couchsurfing.org and we were the first she had hosted from the website. When she finally made it home from work, we were pleased to meet her. We shared stories, drank wine, walked around town, and shared many laughs. Two nights later, we had to part ways. I love meeting new friends but I always feel sad to say good bye. We were on our way to Vancouver and the roads we took were a lot of fun. At times I wished I was the one steering but who am I kidding, I’ve had the best seat on this trip. I once thought I might be crazy for wanting to join Rocky on this adventure but, everyday I have been reminded by every moment passed how amazing it is to be experiencing this. I have traveled a lot in my life but nothing beats doing it on a motorcycle.

Looking for a place to take a break, we came across a town called Osoyoos. We didn’t stay there for long but I just want to mention how much we liked it there. Rocky said that it looked like a great vacation spot, I thought it looked like a great place to live. It was really pretty.

The entire ride through Canada, I don’t remember seeing any police, it must have been because they were all hanging out in BC. They were everywhere pulling over groups of vehicles. At one point, the car in front of us and about four cars behind us were asked to pull over. We weren’t sure if we were asked as well so to avoid trouble, we did anyway. As soon as we realized how many of us were waiting for a ticket, Rocky decided that the cop had his hands full so we did him a favor and left to make his job easier.












With Almeida’s original rear tire tread thinning, I had posted on a internet motorcycle message board asking for tips on changing tires. I was contacted by a couple members of the website www.ADVrider.com who were willing to help. A guy in Calgary named John emailed me his contact information offered to show me the ropes.

Heading towards Calgary, the clouds became increasingly dark and the air much cooler. We pulled into Blackfoot Motorsports in a frigid, drizzling rain. After picking up a new Pirelli Scorpion, we followed the directions entered into the GPS and arrived with John waiting for us in his driveway. Pulling into his garage and seeing seven or eight motorcycles, including a KTM 990 Adventure, we knew we were in good hands.

After getting the tire changed, Paula and I washed up and headed out for her birthday dinner — all-you-can-eat sushi. John had offered us a place to stay for the night, so we finished up dinner and headed back to his place in the rain.

The next day was just a cold and rainy as the previous. Nevertheless, we loaded the Almeida up with our gear, thanked and said our good-byes to John, and headed towards Banff. Arriving in Banff after enduring a bitterly cold rain, we found a Tim Horton’s to camp out at for a while to rest, dry off and get warm. We waited for several hours for the rain to stop. It didn’t. After about five hours of sitting, we decided to find a place to stealth camp. We found a suitable location on the outskirts of town, set up camp and endured a long, cold night.

We awoke the next morning to some breaks in the clouds that had been overhead for the past few days. The day was spent riding along the Canadian Rockies – to Lake Louise, Bow Lake, and up to the Athabasca Glacier. The scenery was awesome. The sun shared the sky with the clouds, and the temperatures cold, especially while riding. With nightfall quickly drawing upon us, we pulled off the side of the road to camp just outside the town of Field, British Columbia, a picturesque town of approximately 300 people situated along the snowcapped peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

We were awoken in the middle of the night to a fierce thunderstorm. I was sure that the tent would be blown apart by the winds, but I was too tired to care, so I shut my eyes and went back to sleep.

Coming down in elevation the next morning, the sun began to shine and the temperature began to rise. We followed the route John had made up for us through Golden, into Revelstoke, and down along Upper Arrow Lake where we had our first ferry crossing. We continued along twisting and winding roads and beautiful scenery, and stopped just before sunset. We camped out in the park next to a lake in the small town of New Denver along the edge of Slocan Lake.

The next morning, the bike refused to start. My initial guess was that the battery was drained from charging all of our electronics the previous day, even though it was while Almeida’s alternator was turning. The several attempts of fire up the engine were in vain. The battery just didn’t have enough juice to crank the starter motor. Luckily, a neighbour, just across the street from the park where we were camped, heard us trying to start the engine and offered his assistance and his battery charger. After about fifteen minutes on the charger, I tried the to start the bike and the engine immediately fired up. We thanked our new friend, David, for his help, I put the bike in gear and we headed towards Grand Forks, British Columbia.

In need of a rest, a shower and a friendly conversation (Paula and I get sick of each other after several days with just each other), we decided to give couch surfing another try. We contacted a lady named Nancy who agreed to host us for a night or two. We arrived in Grand Forks, and were let into Nancy’s apartment by her sister, Joanne, who lived across the street. Nancy worked at a local pub, and wouldn’t be arriving home until later that evening. We were surprised at how trusting someone could be to let strangers into her home without ever meeting them. Nancy finished work and arrived home at around 10pm. We sat at her kitchen table and talked about everything under the sun as Paula and I polished off a bottle of red wine that Nancy had opened up for us. Tired and tipsy, we took our last sips of wine and hit the sack.

In the morning, Nancy cooked us a tasty organic breakfast, and took us out for a cup of Joe at her favourite coffee shop in town. She offered great stories of her travels around the world, a bit about the history of Grand Forks. Many of the residents of the town were descendants of the Doukobors, a group of pacifist Russian immigrants that settled in the area at the beginning of the twentieth century.

The remainder of the day was spent exploring the town and enjoying its sunshine.

We left Nancy and Grand Forks the next morning. From there, we made a beeline for Vancouver, stopping only twice. Our first stop was a great little town in Southern B.C., called Osoyoos. Riding down into the valley and into the town, it felt like we were in the wine country of Southern California. The buildings were Mexican-style with stucco facades, and the landscape seemed out-of-place for British Columbia. Our next stop was Hope, British Columbia, where the first Rambo movie was filmed. I had hoped to get a photo taken on the bridge during the arrest scene of the movie, but was disappointed after learning that it had been torn down a few months earlier.

We rode into Vancouver and hit, what seemed like, every red light before finally arriving downtown at my friend’s apartment. Vincent, a good friend from Taiwan, greeted us and took us up to his apartment for some much-needed R&R.


Lake Louise


Paula and I at Lake Louise


Paula at Lake Louise


More Lake Louise (it was awesome!)


North of Banff, Alberta


Paula


Up in the Canadian Rockies


Athabasca Glacier


Waking up after a night of camping out near the town of Field, British Columbia


A strange man whom we met in good ol' B.C.


In Grand Forks, British Columbia

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Old 09-27-2011, 08:35 PM   #36
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I'm in , this is going to be good .

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Old 09-27-2011, 09:11 PM   #37
*Paula*
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Originally Posted by fulviapaulo View Post
Hi guys!!

It sure takes some balls (sorry Paula ) to do what you've just done and are starting... It really goes a long way from dreaming something and just do it. Glad you managed that

Will be following your adventure and be sure to say something when you get to Portugal First bottle of wine's on me...

Btw, why calling Almeida to your bike?

Godspeed and boa viagem!

Cheers
Paulo
Haha. No balls, just a lot of heart!
He named her Almeida after me.

Uma pinga de Porto, e um prato de bacalhao? :p
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Old 09-28-2011, 05:57 AM   #38
Cowtowner
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Bc

Hi Rocky and Paula. Glad you guys had a good trip through southern BC, I think Paula's picture marked "southern BC" is north of Creston above the Creston valley - awesome pavement twisties on that road. Now that you've seen some good pavement roads in BC, come back one day and I'll show you some cool unpaved ones.

Best of luck,

John
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:33 AM   #39
Rockwell OP
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Originally Posted by Cowtowner View Post
Hi Rocky and Paula. Glad you guys had a good trip through southern BC, I think Paula's picture marked "southern BC" is north of Creston above the Creston valley - awesome pavement twisties on that road. Now that you've seen some good pavement roads in BC, come back one day and I'll show you some cool unpaved ones.

Best of luck,

John
Damn, you're good. That's exactly where it was taken (I had to look it up on the map).

When we come back to Canada, we'll meet you up in those northern gravel roads you were telling us about. I've got an awesome video riding in the Alvord Desert. So much fun! I need to get it off-road more often. I'll be posting the video within the next few posts. We're a little behind, and trying to get caught up on the website. These things happen when you're busy riding.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:00 AM   #40
fulviapaulo
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Originally Posted by *Paula* View Post
Haha. No balls, just a lot of heart!
He named her Almeida after me.

Uma pinga de Porto, e um prato de bacalhao? :p
Well said!

You do understand that usually you don't call bikes by a family name... that's why i found it funny

Um copo de Porto antes ou depois do prato de bacalhau! Combinado!

Cheers, ride safe!
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:47 AM   #41
*Paula*
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Well said!

You do understand that usually you don't call bikes by a family name... that's why i found it funny

Um copo de Porto antes ou depois do prato de bacalhau! Combinado!

Cheers, ride safe!
Then it's a good thing he's my lover and not my brother! Haha

*Paula* screwed with this post 09-29-2011 at 11:35 AM Reason: Spelling error
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:23 AM   #42
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Guys, enjoying very much reading about your trip/adventure. Truly inspiring!

Wondering how you are finding the KTM? I'm in a similar situation of just about to take the training course, then looking for a bike that I can take to Inuvik (via Dempster Highway/Alaska) in 2013. My heart says KTM 950 adv, but a little part of me is worried that it's 'too much bike'. Planning on using 2012 as prep to get in some good riding experience along gravel/roads around here. Would love your perspective on it. (how it feels, if it's scared you yet, if it's too hard to work on, if you'd buy another one!)

If you're still in Vancouver would be great to buy you a coffee and see your setup.

(also, we vacation is Osoyoos every year - part of the only desert (i think) in Canada - so it typically has 30 degree days with the warmest lake in Canada too)

Ride safe and enjoy the ride.

Matthew.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:44 AM   #43
Rockwell OP
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Originally Posted by mroddis View Post
Guys, enjoying very much reading about your trip/adventure. Truly inspiring!

Wondering how you are finding the KTM? I'm in a similar situation of just about to take the training course, then looking for a bike that I can take to Inuvik (via Dempster Highway/Alaska) in 2013. My heart says KTM 950 adv, but a little part of me is worried that it's 'too much bike'. Planning on using 2012 as prep to get in some good riding experience along gravel/roads around here. Would love your perspective on it. (how it feels, if it's scared you yet, if it's too hard to work on, if you'd buy another one!)

If you're still in Vancouver would be great to buy you a coffee and see your setup.

(also, we vacation is Osoyoos every year - part of the only desert (i think) in Canada - so it typically has 30 degree days with the warmest lake in Canada too)

Ride safe and enjoy the ride.

Matthew.
Osoyoos was awesome. I'm definitely going to vacation there after this trip.

We're so behind in blogging that we haven't even posted about Vancouver yet. We left Vancouver almost 3 weeks ago. We're currently in Salt Lake City, Utah, heading down to Provo today and then to Moab for this weekend (and my birthday).

I love my 990. Working on it hasn't been too bad so far. This is my first bike and the first bike I have ever worked on. I'm also a beginner mechanic, but I went to school for electrical engineering. So far, we've done a valve clearance check, water pump rebuild, brake and clutch fluid changes, and oil changes. John, in Calgary, taught me how to change the rear tire, and the guys at the KTM shop outside of Portland showed us how to properly adjust the chain tension. It doesn't seem too bad. After looking at some KLRs and some older BMWs, the 990 does look a lot more complicated, but, so far, it's not too bad.

Here's a link to the thread in which I was asking about this bike before I bought it: HERE

I don't think it's too much bike at all, but, then again, I have nothing to compare it to. I haven't killed my self yet. My perspective is that you are at the controls and the bike basically does what you tell it to and goes where you point it to go.

Here is a good quote from the thread I posted above:
Quote:
Rockwell...despite the best intentions of the warnings don't let "too much bike" throw you. If bikes kill people then pencils misspell words, spoons cause obesity and cars make people drive drunk.

You simply need to approach the bike with the understanding that it is unforgiving and use your noodle appropriately. Stupidity kills people, not motos.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:05 PM   #44
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I road that bike once, it was a nice bike. Smooth, even feel, it was a big bike but did not feel like it at all. It also seemed like it went around the corners nice, and was not too much to swerve and weave the bike, even when it had a load of gear on it. Still too much work involved for my taste... ;)
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:59 PM   #45
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