Published on June 2nd, 2013 | by The Powerhouse
Revelstoke To Santa Barbara – Day 1
MOTORCYCLE: 1998 Harley Davidson FXDWG
DEPART: Revelstoke, odometer miles on the bike, 4900km
DEPART TIME: 10:00 AM
ROUTE: Trans Canada Highway #1 from Revelstoke to Victoria, via the Fraser Valley and BC Ferry from Tswassen to Sidney
WEATHER: Sunny but a cool Fall day
FUEL STOPS: Kamloops 5107 kms, 12.3 litres, Cache Creek Husky 5184 kms, 4.3 litres, Chilliwack 5430 kms, 12.45 litres
This trip was a long time in coming, I hadn’t done a long highway Motorcycle trip in over 30 years. On my last long bike trip I had traveled up the West Coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver. On this trip I intended to go the other direction. My plan was to ride out to Victoria to visit with our youngest son Logan, who lives in Victoria. From Victoria I planned to ride the coastal highways all the way to Santa Barbara, where I was to meet my wife, (she flew down). We were going to stay at Greg’s, my brother-in-laws’ place in Santa Barbara for a week to visit and enjoy the restaurants and beaches.
With the bike all loaded up, and it was well loaded as I wasn’t certain if I would do any camping or just stay in motels every night. As such I had included a small tent, a thin pad and a sleeping bag, along with clothes for two weeks, my small helmet, toiletries, a small tool kit and a rain suit. So I had a full load. When highway riding I usually use a full face helmet, but prefer my half helmet for around town or local cruising.
So once again, with the bike all loaded up and ready, I kissed my sweetheart goodbye and pulled out from the house at 10:00 am. Again, she was going to catch a flight to LA and arrive a day or two after I got there. As the summer was over, the heavy traffic volumes were reduced to a safe level. The ride from Revy to Kamloops was cool as the Fall sun is at low angle which kept it mostly behind the mountains all the way to Kamloops. I stopped for gas at the Petro Canada and kept rolling West. I wanted to take the Fraser Canyon as it is a lot more scenic and definitely has a lot more curves to the road than the Coquihalla.
The ride warmed up as soon as I turned West off the #5 heading to Cache Creek. The ride along Kamloops Lake was nice and brought back memories of the last time I traveled this road on a bike 33 years previous. I clearly recall the Highway Lookout that I coasted into with a broken drive chain on my 1974 Suzuki 750 Water Buffalo. I was passing a motorhome coming up a steep grade when the drive chain broke. The chain got caught up some how and caused the rear wheel to lock momentarily before it spit out the back, I coasted to the Lookout Viewpoint. On this day I stopped at the Lookout and took some pictures, remembering the incident and the subsequent tow into Kamloops to the Suzuki Dealer for parts.
Back on the road, the ride down through the Fraser Canyon was awesome, the trees were all dressed in Fall colors of yellow, orange and red. I was glad that I had chosen this route. I pulled in for gas again at Chilliwack. The traffic through Langley was heavy as usual, but the rush hour was going East at this time of day so it wasn’t bad. I pulled up to the Tswassen Ferry Terminal at 5:40 pm, just in time for the 6:00pm sailing. The Ferry was a little late but with priority loading for Motorcycles, I was soon on board with the bike strapped down for the trip across to Sidney.
I enjoy the BC Ferries, and usually always stay outside to see the sights. I used to ride my Suzuki DL1000 over to Nanaimo frequently when I was working out of Chilliwack, we kept our Sailboat in Nanaimo so I would go over every weekend that I could get away. I usually stayed with the bikes on the ferry and chatted with the other bikers. Oddly enough, fellow bikers will chat with a relative stranger, providing he is also riding a motorcycle, whereas motorists don’t talk to anyone, they just go about their business and ignore fellow motorists, unless they cut them off or something, haha. Bikers of all varieties are a friendly lot. I recall one occasion when I pulled on the ferry coming back from Departure Bay, there were three HA riders that pulled on directly behind me. We all parked our bikes in the designated area, beside each other, my helmet wasn’t even all the way off when they started chatting with me. Now one would think that the HA guys would not have much to say to a guy riding a V-Strom, but that wasn’t the case. They mentioned that I should stick around and watch as they had friends that were coming to see them off. I was curious and interested so I definitely stayed to see what was going to happen. As the Ferry was pulling out past Protection Island, a large Cigar boat came zooming up along side with a bunch of enthusiastic young women on board, all the occupants in the boat were waving, then the gals all removed their T-shirts and proceeded to jump around while yelling at the HA guy beside me. I was impressed, …the boat soon pulled away and we enjoyed some good conversation during the sailing across to Vancouver.
This voyage was uneventful. I enjoyed a dinner on-board then went back down to the bike area to see if there was anyone around to chat with. It was cold with the fresh fall air flowing in, no one was there, so I curled up by a large winch drum and read a book for a bit. I took in the scenery as we sailed through Active Pass, remembering times past when we used to salmon fish here in my grandfather’s boat. The Gulf Islands are so populated now, houses dotting the shoreline as if they were along a city street.
I had thought to book some hotel rooms for my trip down the coast. I needed to use up some Aeroplan Miles so I booked accommodations along the way. This meant staying at Best Western Hotels, which turned out to be an excellent deal. I pulled up in front of the Best Western Carlton in downtown Victoria at 8:00pm. Upon checking in, the hotel front desk clerk upgraded my room to a suite, and it was a deluxe suite, very nice. There was valet parking but not for Motorcycles, haha. I had to follow the Valet guy down the street to a parkade where we parked my bike. I chatted with Logan on the phone, but as it was already late and I was exhausted from the days ride, so we agreed to meet for breakfast at my hotel in the morning.
End of day one.
MILES TRAVELED: 680 km’s
FUEL CONSUMED: 29.05 litres
TRAVELING TIME: 8 hours, plus 2 on the boat
The bike ran perfect. It was a good first day!
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