Had an 8 a.m. meet-up this Sunday at Taylor Way and the Upper Levels, and we were sitting down for breakfast in downtown Squamish before 9. My two fellow riders were my frisky work buddy, who has a knack for triple-digit sweepers on his Speed Triple, and his friend, whose day job is as a movie stuntman and thus wasn't overwhelmed as he stretched out on his newly-bought 2012 BMW s1000rr.
Both are two decades younger than me, so I was the dull corner in this triangle.
We thought we'd head to Pemberton and then see how we felt about continuing to Lillooet. Weather and light traffic helped our decision to press on. Some of the Duffey highway has been repaved and realigned; a stretch of gravel road before and after a bridge replacement project was a minor hiccup. And despite some snow on the side of the road at higher elevations, the weather was warm, turning to hot by the time we reached Lillooet.
The pavement on that last descending stretch to Lillooet could use some work; tar snakes, bumps, dips and jiggles keep you alert.
I've always loved the stretch from Lillooet to Lytton, little traffic, friendly corners, good sightlines, with the only downside at this time of year being the bugs and bees that do a Jackson Pollock on your visor within a few kilometres. My pal on the Speed Triple managed to get stung on the chest by a bee that somehow got inside his jacket. I was wearing summer-weight mesh, and I felt some bugs bouncing off like bullets from Superman's chest. My jacket was zipped and buttoned all the way up to the tight collar, something I can recommend during heavy bug season.
Lunch at the Lytton deli, then down highway one through the Fraser Canyon, where one of our group took one for the team when RCMP radar caught him coming out of a tunnel in an uncharacteristic burst of speed. The other two waited just down the road at the Hell's Gate parking lot, wondering if he'd be walking. But the agreeable officer just gave him the minimum fine and three points, so onward to Hope and the dreary stop-and-go traffic jam that is the Fraser Valley slab on a late Sunday afternoon. In Lillooet, we crossed paths with groups of riders heading the opposite direction up Duffey, having done the slab in the light-traffic early hours, clearly the smarter way to go.