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 don’t have time to dawdle, as hard on the butt as my old BMW seat.

I don’t have a lot of time. I’ve got three days to drive, one to spend in Prince George and three in Squamish before I will be flying back home on “Yukon’s airline”.

What is especially frustrating is that since I’ve left I have seen literally hundreds of motorcycles.

On the Alaska Highway, the bikes were all loaded up. I know that form of travel well. Camping gear, extra parts, various waterproof duffel bags and panniers stuffed to overflowing. Some are pulling those little trailers. (I am trying hard not to be judgemental. I am not succeeding.)

These riders are ready for anything: rain, snow, breakdowns and bad roads. The bike demographic is dual sports: BMWs, KLRs and the like.

As I started getting a ways south of Prince George, around Cache Creek, the look changed.

The big cruisers were becoming more common than the adventure bikes. Harleys and Gold Wings with guys (and gals) dressed more for style than adventure. Slick-looking leathers and hard-core black riding boots replaced the cordura all-weather riding clothes.

And no extra gear. This group was out for long day rides.

Envy ballooned as I started leaving North Vancouver to head up toward Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway.

We don’t have roads like this in the Yukon. It’s slick new blacktop with no frost heaves and full of curves. Judging from the lean of a few of the many sport bikes zipping by, I have no doubt that a few of those corners had been kissed by biker knees.

I did see several bicycles on the drive. Some of them are also doing the trailer thing. I can forgive it on a bicycle. I understand the geometry of force and load is actually more practical on a bike when pulling a trailer than when carrying panniers; that is, if the trailer is not in addition to big heavy panniers and just being used to take more stuff.

My reasonableness line does not, however, extend to include the guy pulling a trailer full of gear with a big black dog riding on top. I mean, this guy was grinding up a hill. Couldn’t the dog have trotted alongside?

Thankfully, the bicycles don’t make me jealous the same way the motorcycles do.

But alas, I am still on four wheels, not two. My consolation is the reason I am on four wheels: to transport both the truck and a bunch of supplies to my newest project, a 26-foot fixer-upper sailboat. But that is a story for another column.

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