Lets start at the end.
Start: 4:57am // End: 8:06pm
Map Distance: 1638km
Odo Distance: 1679km
Suggested Time: 20:45
range, time, place
00km - 04:57 - Otter Co-Op Langley
0414 - 08:34 - Super Save Gas 100 Mile House
0749 - 11:52 - Mr G Store Prince George
1131 - 15:18 - Petro Canada Blue River
1574 - 18:59 - Chevron Hope
1679 - 20:06 - Otter Co-Op Langley
Map of Route
Consumables: 2 granola bars, 2 litres of water, about 100 litres of gas, tread
- 5% thundershowers, 10% downpour, 20% wet, 65% amazing.
Aftermath: blisters on throttle hand, slight tension in the shoulders and a sweet tender ass. I expected more pain but everything worked as it should I want more.
I removed the plastic cowl between the thermometer and the motor so it reads hot if the bike is still. As a side-effect the glove-boxes are now used for storage instead of microwaving.
Toyed with the idea of doing an IBA ride in a similar fashion to any other trip. I saw pictures, I read reports, I didn't understand the allure of trading smelling the roses and taking an easy ride for doing everything possible to keep the tires rolling and dismissed it. At the end of the work-day before I looked over the weather and road reports in the province and noted low temperatures, low rain, and long daylight all favoring an IBA ride. I decided 6pm the previous day to see if I "can" take the next day off, and had someone that "could" cover for me. Aside from checking tires, fluids and lights the only bike prep was attaching a tank bag to the tail, tossing some water and granola bars in and trying to get to sleep early.
Trying to sleep early did not work. At 9pm I tried to lie in bed and relax. I pictured a calm place and a ride free of stress and worry... for a couple hours. After a little less than an hour of sleep I awoke to mind spinning with concerns and reasons to avoid the trip causing me to take a walk and do something else. To put my mind to rest I set my alarm for 4:30 and thought I would wake up earlier or not bother. I woke to the alarm, looked outside to be met with decent weather and DriveBC showed construction mostly along hwy 1 to Prince George starting after I would pass. I didn't expect enough traffic to be concerned with lane closures and alternating traffic. I must have decided at least 10-times one way or the other if I should go or not. In the end I didn't want to lose another night of sleep worrying and it seemed like as good a time as any to go as any. I woke at 4:30, my first fuel receipt was 4:57.
As I left heading out to hope I realized there was no specific route route planned, I didn't plan any fuel stops, I didn't consider log specifics, I didn't consider anywhere I might want to stop, I didn't tell anyone where I was planning to go. For a makeshift route I pointed to three points along Prince George to Hwy 5 back on the GPS. I didn't want to stop to write down logs so I took a picture at any stop with an odometer picture. Although no one knew my specific route I left a note saying I was headed to Prince George and back. I called a couple contacts from Prince George to inform them where I should be just in case. As I turned off the highway in Hope to head north I realized my GPS had been frozen for the last hour or so since it changed from night mode to day mode. I breathed a sigh of relief as the unit turned off and on without a problem; however, the log would no longer be usable for the full trip.
The temperatures ranged from 13 to 15 on the climb from Hope to the Canyon. A heated liner and fairing were great additions and everything was going along smoothly. There was a moment where the air reeked of death on the Canyon. On the next turn a deer had been left from that night before crushed and spread across the road from a commercial vehicle from the night. The deer left a vivid reminder to keep it safe near the forest and vigilantly scan for roadside moving obstacles. I kept an eye on the clock watching for the point where I could no longer turn around and make it to work. I was committed some time around Lytton.
100-mile house was the first fuel stop. The time was now 8:34 and construction was beginning along Hwy 1. Wet roads and dark clouds warn of poor weather ahead. The clouds did not lie and half of the route from 100-mile house to Prince George was wet and in some sections Pouring. There was a moment during the first downpour that I considered turning around. I was not wearing my waterproof gear and I did not have my electronics covered but with a push of the thumb the screen was lifted and everything remained dry. I hit quite a bit of construction along the route to Prince George and I was thankful to be on a motorcycle. The nice thing about a motorcycle is controlled alternating traffic stops moved me to the front of the line for safety reasons. The total delay was no more than 5 minutes for three alternating traffic stops and there was no rain at any stops. At this point of the trip I'm shifting to find comfort, humming a tune and making time to my second stop at Prince George.
It's 11:52 in Prince George and the weather has turned beautiful. The sun has been behind clouds all day so far and it's a clear shot from here to Kamloops. Heading east on Hwy 16 from Prince George there's a sign noting fuel cannot be found for over 200km heading east. The road is beautiful with no traffic and wide safe roads for great vision. On the passes looking north or south is met with endless stretches of terrain stretching as far as the eye can see. I was now on the return of my trip, the decent and everything was going along smoothly. For this stretch after 1,000km I was no longer uncomfortable and felt good. The miles rolled along with ease and my mind was blank. I was going to make it.
Around 2pm I stopped at the turn-off to Hwy 5 to take a picture of my corner-point along the route with a much-appreciated piss. The highway down to Kamloops was open with some scenery and no delays. There was a climb at one point that was met with a temperature drop to 16 degrees and light rain, that turned into heavy rain, that turned into thundershowers. The thundershowers made following any vehicle unbearable and the spray surrounding trucks thick. Crossing a painted line under acceleration results in small slides and at one point the rain was so thick vision was severely limited. Trying to pass a 82' long truck from a couple hundred feet back with limited vision and awful road conditions does not work. A drop in the windscreen height directed a heavy flow of air over the visor clearing everything up for decent visibility and a successful pass towards my next stop.
Blue River was reached at 3:18pm and I was on the home stretch on the straightest, widest, longest super slab in BC. The temperatures rose and peaked at 28 degrees somewhere around Kamloops. In the winter I appreciated my aftermarket windscreen for keeping my hands dry but it was unbearable at anything above 25 degrees in full gear. With a modified bracket tilting it downward highway speeds resulted in a chill below 22 degrees with the screen full down and comfortable at anything reached so far this year. Sometime after Prince George to Kamloops I had stopped shifting and numbness was starting to kick in. I decided it would be a good idea to stop somewhere around Merritt to loosen up a bit and try to relax. Somewhere near the snowshed coming down the coke I realized I missed Merritt making my next possible stop Hope.
7pm in Hope Hope to Langley was a relatively short distance compared to the rest of the day. I removed the glove from my throttle hand to find blisters from keeping my hand on the bar all day. Traffic funneling from all the highways to the valley slowed the ride back but I didn't mind. The ST has crash bars that can be used to hook the heels around to ride straight-legged like a chopper or to be safer one foot out at a time. I could finally relax and within the hour I was printing off my final receipt to complete the journey. From home I let everyone know I made it home alright. A call to my boss made my day as I could now ride to work to finish some left-overs from the day! Joy!
Overall the GPS put me stopped for 40 minutes over a 15-hour trip. I drank from a tank-bag and only stopped for gas and log points. I kept it tame near the forest, non-excessive where safe and kept pushing. I feel I missed out on some scenery to focus on riding but the memory should last. Up next I hope to see some national parks and next year either Alaska or Mexico.
Confirmation didn't take too long but expect a couple months before you hear anything about your submission. Iron butt association IBA saddle sore 1600 km 1000 in the books