Adventure On Two Wheels

Cycling to Inspire

British Columbia teen Saskia Vaisey writes in her blog, “A human connection is the most powerful way to affect people.” She is one of four young people finding their way to the Yukon to do just that. Vaisey, along with Gavin Rea (California), Jessica Magonet (Quebec) and Graham May (British Columbia) will be teaming up …

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Family on Wheels

I have always been impressed by cyclists on the Alaska Highway. You know the ones I mean — bikes loaded down, their grimaced, sweating faces telling me how tough they are, and intimidating me into thinking, “I can’t imagine I could ever do that.” Those guys have nothing on my new heroes, the Skarstedt/Roberts/Stapley/Kingsley family …

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Sleeping Babies

The babies sat in the driveway, tarped over, covered in snow half-melted in the April sun. I brushed them off, to let the sun begin to warm the silver shrouds, to soak some life back into the batteries. It’s my motorcycles that make me hate early spring days. The melting snow turns my dirt laneway …

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Social Riding; Klondike Style

Motorcycle riders are often solitary sorts. We like the time we spend with ourselves on the road. It is a sort of meditation: no radio, no chit-chat with a passenger, no getting bored like you do driving a car. That doesn’t mean we are all anti-social, obvious from the small gatherings of motorcycles you see …

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Bringing Up the Rear

Riding has a tendency to push your personal limits. Whether it is the distance you cover in a day … or your speed … or the cold weather … or how bad a road you can navigate successfully. The problem is I seem to get a lot of help from my companions in that whole …

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Yukon’s Big Bike Race

Ok, so we share it with Alaska, but it starts in the Yukon. And I hope you’ve already submitted your registration for this year’s June 15 race. There was a lot of pouting today in my workplace when I mentioned that registration for the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay (KCIBR) was already closed because they’d …

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Desperate Northern Riders

How far am I willing to go to ride? Pretty far, apparently. This past winter, my favourite riding buddy and I travelled by truck and ferry and truck again, over 7,000 kilometres there and back, to ride around 4,375 kilometres. We took longer travelling there and back than we spent touring on the bikes. Earlier …

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The Other Two Wheels

You should always start planning the next adventure before the current one is complete. Even better, before the current one even gets started. I have quite eclectic interests. Some might say it is the result of a restless nature. Maybe it is just a short attention span. I consider it one of my best attributes. …

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Hypothermia in Mexico

Picture desert backcountry … There are cacti and scrub brush and even a couple of cowboys herding reluctant stray cattle along a sandy road. Each time we stop to rest, or to try and get our directions at a fork in the road, it is so hot that our helmets and jackets come off to …

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Rituals of the Ride

My best rides are framed by the rituals I have adopted. When we jump in our cars or trucks to drive somewhere, unless it is for some great road trip, we are not thinking about the ride – just about our destination. For riders, the destination is almost irrelevant. It is all about the ride. …

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Respite on the Road

It is amazing how a day can change. It was Friday night of a Discovery Day weekend and I was pretty upset … relationship issues. I’d spent from about 10 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon telling my troubles to a good friend and now was home cleaning the refrigerator. A half-hour into …

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Learning to Ride

I had to get my friend to ride my new motorcycle home from the dealership because I didn’t know how to ride. OK, it wasn’t exactly new. My first bike was a sturdy, somewhat scuffed-up Suzuki 360-DR with an oversized aftermarket fuel tank. It was yellow and white, the fuel tank that opaque whitish plastic. …

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The ‘Twisties’

Most of me loves the twisties. There is a small part of me that is disappointed with the fact that I don’t always do them justice. I get the feeling I am just going too slow. We are talking about curves, corners, bends … you know, “twisties”. Leaving Monterey, just south of San Francisco on …

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Another Take on Commuting

I am in awe of bicycle commuters. I feel one-upped by them. So I decided, way back in February, that as soon as the weather was reasonable I would start cycling to work at least three days per week. I spent serious coin on some very-high-tech, all-weather cycling clothes and waited for May and reasonable …

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It’s About the Hail !?!

Fall is an absolutely stellar time to go mountain biking in the Yukon. It was a Sunday slated for chores when my guy gives me a call from his shop and says, “Get geared up, we’re going for a mountain bike ride.” I had felt the heat of the sun on my shoulders when I …

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Baja – the Road to Gonzaga

What happened to the road? It was the second challenge of our trip. The first was the sand of the central mountains. This second one had a reputation for destroying all but the most solid of vehicles, by rattling them to pieces. We had spent a couple of nights in our first Baja beach town. …

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Road Trip of Envy

It is really annoying being on a road trip, not on a motorcycle. I am on a multipurpose trip; however, none of those purposes are compatible with motorcycling … 2,500 kilometres and no motorcycle. I may sound like a whiner, but it’s a long, boring drive on four wheels and, given the fact that I …

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Realization of a Dream

Over 30 years ago, in a moment of impulsive insanity, my partner and his best friend walked off into the Vizcaino Desert in Baja, California. For three days they walked without map or compass. They had only the water they could carry and two blankets, boiling in the sun during the day and freezing at …

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Another Coldest Night Ever

Our plans had changed of necessity, dictated by the weather. The light rain was turning into a torrent. We stopped at a nondescript roadside café to warm up. We dismounted and with futile efficiency pulled some green plastic garbage bags over our now not-so-new leather seats and retreated into shelter. That’s really all it was; …

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A Tribute to Marcella

“Hey,” Marcella says, “do you want to be on our team for a bike race?” I was visiting Marcella in her store above Shoppers on Main Street. My answer was ” … uh, I don’t have a bike.” “Oh, that’s OK, I can lend you one.” We’d met the previous spring, training for a Mothers’ …

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Pelican Alarm Clock

The daybreak cacophony of squawks and splashes sounded like it was inches away from our tent. We had just spent our first night on the beach in Playa El Burro, Bahia Conception on the Sea of Cortez, about two thirds down the eastern coast of the Baja Peninsula. It was the southern-most point of our …

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Food = Culture?

If food defines a culture, I shudder to think about the people defined by Guerrero Negro’s demon street food from hell. We’d pulled into town late, just as it was getting dark. Having read in the Lonely Planet Guide to Baja California that the street food in Guerrero Negro was outstanding and inexpensive, we checked …

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Give Away Your Bike

You should give away your bike … I’m talking about your old one – the one that is sitting unused in your shed or garage because you have taken advantage of the new technology and upgraded to lighter and faster. I’ve spent the entire past weekend, not riding trails but buried in the task of …

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An Unwelcome Adventure; Motorcycle Ride For Dad

Late last summer, we began one of the biggest adventures of our lives: Dainius was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Last month, he completed his treatment, aside from a few drugs that he will keep taking until the end of the year. We are confident that the treatment was successful. We are celebrating by becoming involved …

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Alone on the Road

Neil Pert, in his book Ghost Rider, said that for “the ‘armchair traveller’, it’s only the vicarious, pristine experiences they want to share … not the unhygienic, exhausting reality … the solitary traveller is frequently invested by others with an aura of romance, myth and desire.” I read this in a $30 a night hotel …

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All Time is Not Equal

How much time do you have, I mean to think, right now? If you are like me, the answer is probably, “Not much.” Keeping track of and organizing all the things that I have to DO seems to take up all my mental energy when it comes to everyday life. That’s not what it’s like …

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Revelation in Joshua Tree

Once I decided that not to ride was just plain wrong, I had to decide what kind of motorcycle to get. Not even knowing how to ride meant my criteria was practical rather than heart-driven. I wanted a deal, a second-hand bike that I wouldn’t cry over if it hit the dirt while I was …

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Time to Check In, Ladies

Why do you ride? I’m serious. I want to know. I want to hear from every woman who reads this column. I want to know why you ride. And if you are still riding on the back (or if you don’t ride at all), I want to know why you are still NOT riding. Don’t …

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Destruction Bay; Season Opener

The warm weather a few weeks ago had us itching to plan a little motorcycle trip for our first free weekend in months. As it happened, that same weekend was the season opening for the Destruction Bay Lodge. The owner, ever a busy host, brought in a band, fired up his barbeque and invited everyone …

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“I Miss Riding in Traffic”

So what’s Dean Eyre doing here? He’s taking the job of finding the right bikes for people really seriously – and having fun doing it. Eyre is the owner of Cadence Cycle at 508 Wood Street, in the centre of downtown Whitehorse. Yes, it used to be Phillipe’s Bicycle Repair but since January 2010 Eyre …

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Superbike School

I am so jealous. I just picked my guy up from the airport, back from a two-day Superbike school in California. And he was just one of four Yukon guys who got off the plane with racing track prints on their retinas. To rub it in, he brought back two videos of himself lapping the …

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Lifetime Love of Vintage Bikes

I’ve always had trouble when it came to focusing on a particular passion in my life. Anyone who knows me would likely say that I am constantly pursuing my passions. That’s the point: it is passions, plural, and they are changing all the time. I never stick with anything beyond intermediate knowledge or competence. Jörg …

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Desert to Oasis to Desert

We stayed four nights in Bahia de Tortugas. We’d ridden across the Viscaino Desert to the very tip of the Viscaino Peninsula, and now it was time to change directions and go east for a bit. It was our second week in Baja California, México. As we left Tortuga, the wind was wild and the …

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A Moment in Time

A wise person in my life recently told me, “In order to get to that place or circumstance where you want to be in your life, you have to already be there.” I can see your eyebrows pinching together and your mind doing the “What?” thing as you read this. Playa El Burro is one …

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Manifesting an Adventure

Anybody ever read the book The Secret? If you have, you know it is about manifesting your best life ever. I spent the last hour manifesting my next motorcycle adventure. Physically, I’ve been sitting on an airplane travelling between Whitehorse and Vancouver. That means my motorcycle is not my best buddy on this trip. It …

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