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WA & BC Motorcycle trip - September 19 - 21, 2005

: Day 1         : Day 2         : Day 3

Read more, and see the pictures.

Here's a trip that 3 of us planned over dinner at the now-burned-down Kingston Inn in (where else?) Kingston, WA. earlier this summer. The idea was to connect most of the best-rated roads from the Destination Highways books in Washington State and British Columbia into a 4 day journey through twisty roads. Our first attempt instead resulted in a great trip to Oregon because of rain. Well, summer was getting on and I was itchin' to do this trip. Unfortunately my pals couldn't make it, so after monitoring Intellicast 10-day forecasts for a couple weeks, the weather window arrived.

As it turned out, I did the ride in 3 days rather than 4 on my Aprilia Falco. This was OK, as I'm drawn to riding rather than dawdling when on my own. Someday when the kids are grown and I buy a Honda ST1100, or whatever takes its place by then, my wife Deb and I will return and spend more time at the scenic overlooks. This brings up the issue of how you approach riding twisty roads on a sportbike. After riding a variety of roads, I've realized that linked, 25 to 35 mph rated curves on roads leading through traffic-less wilderness is what I like. Yeah, sweepers are great, but you're a lot more likely to get a speeding ticket at 100 mph than 70 mph when you're following the "times 2 plus 10" rule with speed limits on curves. Some of the roads on this trip indeed had many twisties, but after riding Forest service roads 25, 99 and 90 Wind River Highway around Mount Saint Helens, these roads were a tad dissapointing. Nevertheless, it was a great trip. Wore off plenty of rubber on the sides of my tires.

BC is great in that all the police seem to drive recognizable, white sedans. I talked my way out of a speeding ticket near Republic, WA by a police officer in a brown pickup truck. Brown pickup truck?! I noticed it was a police vehicle as I was passing it, and had a nice talk with the officer after I pulled over. He really liked the Aprilia, and thoroughly checked out the cockpit area with my radar detector. It seems the old adage of a radar detector ensuring your getting a speeding ticket isn't always true. I saw a total of 4 police people in BC. Two were escorting a bicycle peleton, and one was operating a speed trap outside of Squamish during rush hour.

Crossing the borders was interesting. They only asked for a drivers' license going in to Canada, but I had to show them my birth certificate coming back into the US. Welcome home eh? The Aprilia has a digital dash (except for analog tach) that can be set to metric/Celsius units or USA/Fahrenheit units. I switched over to metric after crossing the border, and when approaching the first corner rated in Kilometers/hr I realized that some recalculating was in order. Quick! Times .6! 40kph=24mph!!! Regardless, the old "times 2 plus 10" still applies, even in different units.

Read more, and see the pictures.