Friday, February 14, 2014

Grindrod, Sicamous, Golden & Radium Hotsprings

After leaving Revelstoke, I rode as steady as I could to make the best time I could and pulled into Joe Schmucks in Sicamous just as everyone was getting ready to head out. Mark Pearson and his wife Wendy lead us off to Grindrod and the Riverfront Pub where we sat out on the deck and watched the Shuswap River drift by. Many of us ordered snacks, I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and I was famished!

Sass and Robert of the BC Lone Wolves
Chance, the pub’s owner wasn’t in, but we made due with his wonderful staff. Sass from the BC Lone Wolves had taken care of the registrations and handed me a bag with the money and the forms, and Al Bijeau the founding president of the BC Lone Wolves, and Sass gave me a $50 cheque from their riding group. They had won 25% of the days take by brining the most people out to meet me and donated it back to the cause!

We took a group photo after everyone was done with his or her munchies and we headed off with Mark and Wendy in the lead to Enderby and a fuel stop. Then we took the back Armstrong highway into Armstrong. I hadn’t ridden that road in over 20 years and had forgotten how much fun it was.

We travelled over the twisty roads with pastoral farm scenery – yes, this is the kind of riding that BC is famous for…no matter which part of the province you visit, it seems the riding is utterly fabulous.

Bikes Lined Up - Armstrong
Bikes Lined Up - Armstrong
Chatting by the bikes in Grindrod
Chatting by the bikes in Grindrod
Getting off the bikes in Grindrod
Getting off the bikes in Grindrod
Group shot in Grindrod
Group shot in Grindrod

Walter Simon with Rita

We arrived at the Armstrong Hotel

We stopped into the Armstrong Hotel where I was introduced to the owner, Dave who ended up donating $500 to the cause! I was blown away, not only that but he has offered to host a run for the cause next summer and that will allow us to incorporate a ton of our other Rider Friendly Business Association Members!

By this time we were pushing 9pm and I had to turn around and head to Golden, I could not complete the ride to Falkland and Salmon Arm.

I had a long evening of riding ahead of me….

When I got back to Sicamous, it was too late to hit Joe Schmucks for supper so I went to the Husky Truck stop. After a bowl of soup I was once again on my way. I rode through Revelstoke thinking to myself that I need to spend some time there next summer when our Conga will involve BC, AB and Saskatchewan primarily.

By the time I hit the Albert Canyon summit in the Roger’s Pass, it was dark and cold. The riding was treacherous, as the road is not well maintained in this area. I pulled over at the old rest stop and got on my electric gear, I discovered that there is no longer fuel or coffee available, nor rooms, as the lodge was closed last year.

I took my time riding this stretch into Golden, one - I was getting tired, two - it’s night time, in the mountains on a road that you can’t see the potholes easily and three - the game.

It was about 12:30 am by the time I arrived at the Best Western, part of the Prestige Inns family. The night attendant was super friendly and made sure I was aware of where I could park under the canopy to keep my bike safe, and directed me to my room.

I hardly noticed anything as I got out of my gear and ready for bed.

The room had 2 queen beds, and had I opted for it, I could have parked the bike right by my room’s window. The bed I had chosen was comfortable and when I woke up the next morning I wasn’t stiff. BONUS! It was well appointed with a coffee/tea maker & fridge. Although I arrived too late to take advantage or really check it out, there is also a pool. I was surprised to find out that breakfast was an extra cost. After watching the young man making breakfast, I decided to try an outside restaurant.

I spoke with a friend of mine – Walter Simon, first thing in the morning and he came down to the hotel, his plan was to ride with me to Invermere, where I was planning on stopping in at Horse Thief Hide Out. We had breakfast with a couple of other riders who were staying at the same hotel. We shared a few road stories, swapped a few tidbits of information, admired each other’s bikes and soon parted ways.

I went back to my room and grabbed my gear, repacked the bike and soon Walter and I were off to Invermere. What started out as a sunny day turned overcast as the afternoon wore on. We never got wet, but it was gloomy.


LobbyThe Pool AreaWe stopped for a coffee in Radium Hot Springs, and when we went to leave I noticed that I had a broken filter coming from my air breather. It was rubbing on my brake line – YIKES. I removed it and stashed it in my saddlebag. With no parts available in Radium, we headed to Invermere where we tried the Canadian Tire with no luck, the only other place to try was LordCo so off we went.

Luckily, although it was a size bigger than the one I originally had on the bike, they did have one. I need to tell you just how wonderful their people at this LordCo location were – they helped with everything I needed and really went out of their way to take care of me.

Walter and I were out in the front working on taking the old hoses off, trying desperately to get the hose I had to work, no luck so I went back inside the store to get a step down coupler and different sized hose and hose clamps. After about 45 minutes, I was back in business and we went to grab a bite to eat. The skies were looking hideous and I needed to get on my way to Jasper and so, I had to forego stopping in to the Hide Out, but there were hundreds and hundreds of bikes that were heading that way.

I took Highway 93 from Radium – The Kootenay Highway to the Icefield Parkway into Jasper National Park. I love that feeling of communing with Mother Nature from my bike, it’s so…so…spiritual. The mountains, rivers, trees, the glaciers, they envelope you and then there is the game, magnificent, proud and abundant.

Although overcast, the riding was pleasant with no hint of rain, however some of the car drivers on the road drove me nuts the way they stop with no warning when they see game. You have to be more aware of that type of driver and their unpredictability than you do of that of the game here.

LordCo Parts
1002 7th Ave
Invermere, BC V0A 1K0
(250) 342-9210

Joe Schmucks - Sicamous
734 Trans-Canada Highway
Sicamous, BC VOE 2V0
Phone: 250-836-2290

Riverfront Pub – Grindrod
133 2nd Ave Grindrod, BC V0E 1Y0
(250) 838-7261

Armstrong Hotel – Armstrong
3495 Okanagan St,
Armstrong, BC, V0E 1B0

Mountainview Best Western – Golden
1024 11th Street N, Golden, BC, V0A 1H2,
Phone: 250/344-2333

Next, I will share my Jasper and Northeastern Alberta experience with you.

Belt Drive Betty