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Jason Wheeler and I just got back from a quick mid-week trip to the Kootenays and back. The weather was impeccable, but too hot by mid-afternoon. First day we got away at 7:30, rode the Duffey in pleasantly cool conditions, and continued thru Marble Canyon to lunch at Horstings Farms in Cache Creek. We took the 'high' (cooler) route from Ashcroft across to Logan Lake, which has some decent sweepers, but which is nowhere near as exciting as Hwy 8 east from Spences Bridge. The oppressive heat caused us to abandon thoughts of riding Mamit Lk Rd south to Merritt and then 5A to Kamloops, and we just went direct. The old Lac Le Jeune Rd provided some entertainment down into town ( rough in the lower section), and likewise Barnhartvale Rd to the east ( very good). We spent the nite in Vernon. 590kms 7:30 to 4pm.


Day 2 started with the superb Hwy 6 thru Monashee Pass east of Vernon, which is right up there with the Duffey for riding quality. Early morning sun and sun/shade striping on the road made judging corners tough, and I found myself 'steering' a lot in bends. In luck, we arrived about 5 minutes before the ferry departure to Faquier. We fuelled in Kaslo, then cruised on down to New Denver. There was one construction delay early on 31A towards Kaslo, then it was just 40kms or so of the typical magnificent curving mountain road we all know and love. The eastern end is better ( and smoother) than the west, so we lapped from Kaslo back up to Retallack and down again. Just awesome! We had a great lunch in the Kaslo Hotel Pub, then just rode straight thru to our hotel in Nelson, rather than farting around in the super-hot afternoon trying to find anything else exciting to ride. 405 kms 9:30 to 2:30pm. We had an excellent dinner at the LOKA restaurant; highly recommended if you are into eastern Mediterranean food, then rounded out the day by sipping down a nice bottle of red as we watched the sky darken from our hotel balcony. Life is tough...


The heat was so daunting in the afternoons that we got up at 5:30 to be on the road early. We had a breakfast muffin at the A&W in Cranbrook, and we riding again at 7am. It was chilly across the top to Christina Lake (8 am), but perfect riding with extremely sparse traffic. We fuelled again in Rock Creek, and I was surprised by how good the section from there to Osoyoos is - my memories of this section had faded... We were into Princeton for more fuel by 11, and just had a quick snack and carried on, to beat both the heat and the traffic. Eventually, of course, we submerging into heavy volume from Chilliwack on home, but even that was moving OK, and we'd had sooo much fine travelling at a buck-and-a-quarter to one-forty, not even this could spoil the day. 670 kms 6:15 am to 2:45 pm.



Great trip! Varied and excellent roads; precisely zero encounters with enforcement; good food, good wine, good company; pristine weather (albeit too hot after about 2pm); funky towns; and many, many hours of absolutely superb riding! Covid may be keeping us away from Nor Cal and John Day and Republic, but there's a hell of a lot to enjoy nearer to home, if you can manage 3 or 4 or 5 days mid-week.
 

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Here are a couple photos from New Denver to Kaslo. The riding alongside the river down into Kalso is absolutely the finest!

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...and a couple more, one from near Grand Forks ( wonderful valley, that), and then over towards Keremeos.


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A final comment: I needed to change my rear tire before the trip, and I've been running Michelin Road 5s the past couple years. Wonderful tires: great life, plenty of grip, decent 'feel'... But I had an older, partly used set of Pirelli Rosso Corsas in the basement, and I thought this would be the right opportunity to 'use 'em up'! WOW! It's been quite a while since I rode 'performance' tires, and while they sure don't give you huge miles, they make up for that with huge SMILES! They are just soooo much more confidence-inspiring when riding hard on twisty roads! I won't abandon the Road 5s as my 'normal' tire, but for the 'hotter' trips, I'm for sure back to 'hotter' tires...
 

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Looks like a good time, Don. Give me a shout the next time you're planning to be in Vernon and stop by for a beer!
 

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Looks like a good time, Don. Give me a shout the next time you're planning to be in Vernon and stop by for a beer!
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Great ride report as always, sounds like a great trip. I'm heading over hwy6 Lumby to edgewood twice(today/tomorrow) this weeekend. We go over, sit/lunch on the beach in edgewood and then back. Kerunt that is a great little day trip for Vernon locale people like ourselves.

If you are ever meeting up near Vernon, would be cool to meet some of you guys.

Ive got a trip over to kaslo lined up in two weeks and just reading and seeing those couple of photos of the new Denver to kaslo section has sure got me excited about getting over there!
 
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