Friday, July 25, 2008

The Overdrive Chronicles - Part 2

Day 2 - Monday. Always a key day for any trip to the Kooteneys. The commuting is done and the real riding starts.

The first day had me feeling a bit odd. We didn't get any tickets, but we sure didn't ride the way we used to either. Perhaps that's good. But I was curious how this trip was going to work out. Today should answer that.

We'd set the alarms early (6 am) and were packed, checked out and ready to ride by 7am. Well, we thought we were ready to ride. I took us on a little dead end loop of the side streets trying to navigate a 'shortcut' to a gas station and Jerry damn near dropped his bike at a red light. To the point where it hit me and he just caught it.

When we finally did get gas and took off I left the kick stand down ... and I'd checked to make sure it was up. Perhaps we should have had coffee and breakfast before we left.

Too late now, we were on to Westside road. I was particularly keen to get there early as last year we faced a whole lot of traffic when riding it at 8 am.

Well, the short story is that we still had traffic. We got a few good turns in, but soon found ourselves not only in traffic but in construction. So we pulled over to let the group of cars go ahead.

Jerry enjoying the view.

His comment: "F*ck, you sure don't want to run off the road here, that's one helluva drop!"

And a better look at the road. It really does feel like a rollercoaster at times!

We let the cars get a pretty good gap and made some fine time. But things were still quite tame by our standards. There was one small issue on a pass where Jerry felt I didn't leave him enough room to get in, but I did comment that I wasn't responsible for his room when I needed to set up for a tight 30 km/h corner. Either way, I made sure we set a steady pace after to get away from the folks who may be a bit bothered by it all ;)

I had looked up the address for the BCAA in Vernon as I wanted to pick up a BC map just in case. We had time and stopped for breakfast first... and then decided to forget about the map, we had the Destination Highways book after all.

Apparently the hot girls in Vernon like Tim Hortons as there was a steady supply that came past us to get their morning coffee. Not a bad thing really :)

Sorry, no photos of the hot girls.

Now we got a bit more serious about the riding. Out to Lumby and we gassed up and then onto Needles. Traffic was light, the twisties beckoned. Jerry had mentioned that he needed more room after the double yellow passes so room he got. Lots of it. To the point where I lost sight of him a number of times and had to slow a bit till he got around traffic. The pace was 'enthusiastic' though I still tried to ensure I rolled off again in the straight stretches. Still, not too much knee dragging.

Then a bit of good news / bad news. Good news, they are repaving 20 km of the road. Bad news, they weren't done when we got there. So we were nice and steady through the construction zone. But once it ended we got to the front of the line of cars in a real hurry.

And there it was. Mid corner. A large patch of sand, maybe 1/2 inch high. Spread across almost the entire lane. I was leaned and giving her hell and there was an RV oncoming. A quick correction and HARD turn after getting past the sand and I'd made it. Damn it pays to leave just enough in reserve. Jerry made it as well. We blitzed a guy on a Harley 2 up and all too soon the fun was over and we were stopped at the ferry. However, we were close to some forest fires and it got really thick in parts. I kept looking for fire fighters.

As we sat at the ferry waiting, the couple on the Harley pulled up.

"Holy Shit, you guys were flying!" They didn't mind, they enjoyed the show apparently. They are from Alberta and he used to ride sportbikes, though there was more talk about wheelieing than cornering.

Nice folks.

Some shots from the ferry, note the smoke from the fires both to the north and south of us.

That's not the glare from the top of Jerry's head, it really is thick smoke!

And to the south

Last year I was late getting my stuff together as the ferry docks fast and I still almost was late this year. But we got off there first. A huge line up of cars trucks and campers waited on the other side. I got worried that some highway ahead was closed due to the fires. But it was just folks leaving from the Nakusp music festival.

There are some fun twisties at close to the ferry and we ran through there pretty quick. Then we settled at about 20 over. Nice and sedate.

We thought. It turns out that as we closed on a car in the distance, you guessed it, it was an undercover! He flashed the lights for 1/2 a second when we were still a ways back. Obviously we took the hint and slowed right to the speed limit.

Not two corners later a guy on a big beemer comes around the corner and it's LIGHTS and action. The cop actually blocked the highway and for just a second Jerry and I both thought he wanted all three of us. But he let us pass and we took our time into Nakusp.

Day #2. Warning #2. And we hadn't gotten to the really good part yet. Man.

Here we are filling up.

Hey Jerry, what are you looking at?

Here was have the "Shit that was close" grins:

Part 2 to be continued...

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