The On-Going Adventures of
BC Big Trailie Ride 2
June 21-24, 2007
The BC Big Trailie Ride is an informal ride in southern British Columbia organized by a couple of the inmates (ManxMan and DR650BC) from the Adventure Rider Forum. This is the second time they've organized a trail ride for the large dual-sports (hence the "2"); and after experiencing the great riding and camaraderie among the participants, I'm really sorry I missed the first one.
June 21 - The PreRide
My ride started on Thursday, June 21 with a road ride from Edmonton, Alberta to Merritt, British Columbia where the organized ride was going to being on Friday. I decided to take the scenic route, traveling through Rocky Mountain House, Lake Louise, Golden, Revelstoke, and Kamloops on the way to Merritt. Knowing it was going to take about 12 hours to reach Merritt, I had wanted to get an early start on the day; so I was up be 5:00am and planned to hit the road by 5:30am. However, when I turned the key, all I heard was Click, Click, Click - dead battery. So it's out with the battery charger for about an hour and a half, and was finally able to leave just after 7:00am.
Wanting to make up time, I only stopped for a few pictures along the way.
Other than these few pictures, I only stopped for gas and a quick burger at the A&W in Golden. Most of the ride was at a pretty quick pace, but construction and traffic slowed me down quite a bit from just before Golden to past Revelstoke.
I arrived at the Super 8 Motel in Merritt just after 5:00pm. Factoring in the time change, I had ridden about 625 miles in about 11 hours (including stop time). There were several other bikes in the parking lot when I arrived, but their riders were conspicuously missing. Apparently I had missed the first wave that headed down to the local pub. After grabbing a quick shower, a few more bikes had pulled in and I introduced myself to PacWestGS, Sector, and Cooler; and we decided to head to the pub for food and drink (passing along the way the first group that was now heading back to the hotel).
The local pub fare wasn't bad, and we ended up with a free round of drinks because our server thought the wait for the food was a little long - hard to turn down a free round. While at the pub, another AdvRider (Dave) showed up and we had a good time getting to meet each other, and talking motorcycles.
June 22 - First Day of the BC-BTR2
ManxMan had wanted to get an early 7:30am "motors running" start on the day, but the motel's restaurant didn't open for breakfast until 7, and some of the riders were still arriving in the morning; so we probably didn't actually hit the road until between 8:30 and 9. We ended up with 21 riders on a mixture of BMW GS's, a few HP2's, several V-Stroms, a Buell, and a KLR.
The goal today was to reach Oliver on a mixture of pavement and dirt roads. We headed south out of Merritt on a local twisty paved road. With a group this large, it's easy to get spread out so we stopped often to regroup. Our first stop was just after crossing under Hwy 5, before starting to head east towards the Brookmere Water Tower.
After making sure that we still had all 21 riders, we continued east to regroup at the Brookmere water tower to regroup once more before starting some of the dirt trails.
From here, everyone had two options. A few took the Kettle Valley Railroad (KVR) trail, but most (me included) decided to take the Brookmere logging road which provided a little more variety of terrain and definitely many more turns.
From this point, we turned south onto some gravel roads that were in the midst of being re-graded. The grader had created some berms in the road, and there were many areas where the gravel was very thick and loose. Unfortunately, a few riders took some spills negotiating the slick roads - but luckily no injuries, and no serious damage to the bikes. We met up with the other group of riders at a junction with the KVR. The KVR is an abandoned railroad bed (the rails have been pulled up) traversing mainly east-west in this area.
We hopped on the KVR for a short while, passing by Otter Lake. Then we hit the pavement in Tulameen, rode through Coalmont and into Princeton for a lunch stop.
After an extended break, we headed northwest out of Princeton on a twisty paved road, that soon turned into a twisty dirt road. We followed the dirt road through the hills, and then eventually descended down into Summerland.
From Summerland, we hopped onto Hwy 97 South and took pavement to the Southwind Inn in Oliver. A few of the group went for a tour of a local winery, and a few of us relaxed by the pool and hot tub for a short time before gathering for dinner at the pub attached to the hotel.