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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 18th and 19th 2013, Grande Prairie AB to Fort Nelson BC

Grande Prairie to Fort Nelson – Day 1 of my 2013 Bikers United in Remembrance Conga

Gaudin's Honda in Beaverlodge AB
At Gaudin's Honda in Beaverlodge AB
Due to a variety of things, miss Rita and I did not get to hit the road until about 1:00 pm on June 18th.
The sun had been shining gloriously all morning, but the sky was starting to darken with ominous clouds.

We headed to Beaverlodge, I wanted to get a photo of Rita with the Beaverlodge Beaver and a kind tourist agreed to snap a few photos for me.  Back on the bike we stopped in at Gaudin’s Honda, I needed to borrow a screwdriver to tighten up a couple of things that had come loose during the shake down ride to Fairview on Sunday the 16th. Alan Gaudin and his guys wished me safe journey and off we went.

I had managed to miss the big downpour that had gone through, but the road spray wasn’t dealt with so easily!

We pulled into Elbow Grease Ventures in Dawson Creek at about 3:pm and had a light lunch with Mike and he got his photo taken with Rita.  After thanking him for sponsoring me with such great cleaning products, Rita and I were off
Rita meeting the Beaverlodge Beaver
Rita meeting the Beaverlodge Beaver
again. (Mike is a Bike Magik distributor.)

The rest of the ride to Fort Nelson was reasonably uneventful, except for the wet spray being kicked up by the trucks and the frigid temperatures.  It was 38F degrees out according to the air temp gauge on the bike and it felt like there was snow in the air.  I stopped at a rest area and threw some hotshots into my Olympia jacket and a couple into my new Held gloves and continued on. 

The gloves kept my hands nice and dry, and I love the built in windshield wiper on the left index finger – a handy little contraption to say the least. It does take of a few times of poking yourself with that hard bit of rubber to remember its there and not scratch or try to rub your nose, and even with grimy road spray, the wiper works fabulously.
Mike from Elbow Grease Ventures
Mike from Elbow Grease Ventures in
Dawson Creek BC
The verdict is still out on the Olympia Jacket – I find it too short in the waist for me and the sleeves are short.
I also don’t care for how easily the liner sleeves separate from the outer when taking the jacket off. 

Some of it is probably operator issue…like forgetting to undo the Velcro at the sleeve before trying to pull your hand out.

The difference in wearing a leather jacket with zippers and a textile one with Velcro is something that takes a bit getting used to.  

The jacket is not that warm at 38F with wet conditions. At one point I stopped and put my Frogg Toggs jacket on underneath. That made a huge difference in the warmth factor.

As I cruised along I saw a rider on the side of the road, I pulled over and sure enough, Nick from Florida had run out of fuel. One of the cardinal rules of riding in the north – NEVER pass up a gas station!  
Kitchen in my room at the Woodlands

We syphoned some gas out of my tank and I put some Amsoil Motorcycle Octane Boost in his tank to help  things along.  We got him to within 6 KMs of Fort Nelson when he ran out. I flagged down a pick up and the kind gent took Nick and his one gallon jerry can (that he’d forgotten to fill) into town and brought him back to the bikes.

After fueling up we parted company at 11:30 pm – he to go pitch a tent and me to check into my room at the Woodlands Inn & Suites.

What a HOTEL!  Super friendly front desk staff, Steven, the clerk who checked me in had a wicked sense of humour and made sure I knew I could either park my bike under the canopy by a window and he could keep an eye on it or there was great parking right outside the room with a door on the outside with an entrance to the hotel right handy!

The work stattion in my room
I walked into the room and was floored; a junior suite with a fireplace, full kitchen, a huge bathroom and a separate bedroom replete with glass door. Oh and a KING SIZE bed!

The room was without a doubt gorgeous. There were lots of amenities, a 24-hour convenience store, a full gym and laundry facilities and yes, in the morning a hose was available to wash poor Black Betty off.

After a fabulous sleep, I got up, got ready and headed for breakfast.  This is an oilfield town and the portions are generous. After seeing the size of the meals people were getting I opted to eat off the kid’s menu!

I met with David Moore, the general manager and he and I had a brief chat – turns out he rides and really understands the need for riders to have the kinds of services and amenities they need.  Rita had her photo taken with David and then I was off to my next stop.
 king size bed at hotel
The king size bed
At David’s recommendation I went and met Ken from the Bear 103, and he had his picture taken with Rita.

While I was there, I ran into George Crummey and his daughter Natasha. They bought some patches as had David! 

After more photos with Rita and some hugs, I went to the Fort Nelson Historical Museum. Now, here is a place one could get immersed in!  The man who founded the Museum, Marl Brown is not only the curator and founder but he has done 90% of the restorations too!

There is too much to see in a short hour and a half, especially if Marl is there to chat with you. The stories this man has to tell are utterly captivating. The seasonal staff is very knowledgeable and friendly and very willing to ensure that every visitor has a great experience.

I fell absolutely in love with Marl who is in his 80’s and more active and with it that most 16 year olds I know. The man is a human dynamo! He happily had his photo taken with Rita and I said goodbye to him with a promise to return to capture some of this man’s amazing stories on video.  
Ken from the BEAR!
Ken from the BEAR!

At about 1pm, I got on the bike and started making my way to Watson Lake YT.  About a half hour into the ride, I ran across Nick on the side of the road, this time he was lighting a smoke and not out of fuel!!!

There was so much game out. I saw Stone Mountain Sheep, goats, moose, bear and buffalo along with a couple of caribou…it was an utterly picture perfect day. 21C, blue sky and PERFECT. 

It was the kind of day that every rider dreams of.  

The roads were in good shape until about 150 KMs outside of Watson.  There were three major construction spots. Nothing horrible though and the waits were not long at all.

Marl of the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum with Rita
Marl of the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum with Rita

Woodlands Inn & Suites – a brand new member of the Rider Friendly Business Association
Box 568, 3995-50th Avenue South
Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada V0C 1R0
Mile 300 Alaska Highway
For Reservations
Toll Free: 1-866-966-3466
Local: 250-774-6669

The Fort Nelson Heritage Museum:

on the way to Watson Lake YT
At Muncho Lake BC on the way to Watson Lake YT

Monday, August 15, 2011

Days 7-11 A Wild Ride Indeed!

After I said goodbye to the Yukon I headed towards my rest stop for the night…The Mountain Shadow Lodge in Iskut. The road to here had several construction stops and the gravel sections were long as were the waits for pilot cars.

On highway 37 you do not want to ride past one fuel stop as they are few and very far between. I made the mistake of missing the fuel stop at Good Hope and thought I had lots of fuel to get to Dease Lake which I did, however, the fuel stop in Dease Lake closes at 6 pm on Sundays and 7 pm the rest of the week. So consequently there I am with not enough fuel to get to Iskut because the stops for construction made it so I didn’t get into Dease Lake until 6:30pm.

A gent heard me talking to the waitress about my dilemma and took me to the side and said he would be happy to give me a gallon or so of gas out of his tidy tank – he just didn’t want all of the other travellers thinking he could supply them as well.

After paying the man $5 for filling my tank up, I headed out to Iskut. The road had, again, a lot of construction but the scenery was stunning.  As I got to the Mountain Shadow Lodge it was approaching 8:30 at night, I had been in the saddle for 11 and a half hours and was looking forward to a hot shower and a bed. The long downhill windy gravel road into the lodge was in great shape considering it had begun raining about a half hour before I got to the lodge. The black gravel they used was well groomed and packed down.

The Mountain Shadow Lodge is GORGEOUS – the river and mountains the perfect backdrop for the log home that acts as the office for the park and campground.

This place is immaculate. So pristine clean – from the rustic cabin I stayed in to the shower house facilities you could have eaten off the floor. The turn around area was again well groomed with no ruts or pot holes. I parked and went and checked in, was given the map for the layout of the place and the key to the cabin I was in. They have two cabins on the property one with a bathroom and one without. I was in the one with out so I headed with my towels etc off to the shower house, got cleaned up and then made my way to the pay phone to call hubby and check in with him.  After a quick call I headed back to the cabin. No TV, no nothing, just a bed that was ultra comfy and a sense of peace listing to the rain come down. When I awoke in the morning I felt refreshed and ready to tackle the 500+ kilometres to Smithers.

As I headed towards Smithers I stopped for fuel and breakfast at the Tatogga Lodge.
Regular fuel is all that is available here – that’s where that can of octane boost comes in really handy!  Breakfast was expensive but huge. I had the breakfast sandwich with hash browns and for my taste it was too greasy – It was smothered in cheese which really took away from the taste, sometimes less is more!

The place is interesting as it has all kinds of stuffed wild life and interesting things to look at and the staff is helpful and friendly – just don’t order the breakfast sandwich – the pancakes and regular breakfasts looked like they were pretty awesome and everyone I talked to enjoyed their breakfasts!

From Tatogga Lodge the rest of the trip was peaceful and uneventful. I stopped for fuel at Bell II, I had heard this place was supposed to be really rider friendly – that was not my experience however. This country is so gorgeous – the scenery is stunning with little waterfalls that spring up out of now where and lots of beautiful curves and good pavement.

My next fuel stop was at Gitanyow – a small reserve where fuel was only $1.18 a litre and they had the most incredible totems. Sadly the museum was closed – I would have loved to have seen some of the artwork and history of the natives in this region.

Next and final stop for the day – Smithers!  I stopped in at Smithers Harley-Davidson and Stephen drug out the pressure washer for me so I could wash my poor dirty baby and then had him check out my brake pot that had started leaking – sure enough – water in the DOT 4 so they drained the brake system, put a new cover and gasket on for me and off to find the Capri Hotel I went. After I got checked in, Andy the tech from Smithers Harley-Davidson took me on a sight seeing tour of Smithers and Gary Adolph from Prince Rupert had planned his service to coincide with the conga so I got to hang out and spend time with him as well. We had supper at the Capri’s restaurant – the soup was phenomenal as was the Quesadilla I ate. Andy took me to Kathleen Lake and up to the airport to see the Grizzly that had been shot and stuffed and was on display there. 1012 pounds this big boy was – he had been killing cattle amongst other things and was a threat – it’s sad to see such a magnificent creature this way and yet I am glad to not meet him on the road somewhere!

After a wonderful tour of the region it was time to head to bed – I was bushed.

The Capri is an older establishment that is VERY well maintained! When I checked in, Steve at the desk made sure I knew there was private parking where I could see my bike from the room.  The room was spacious with a window looking out over the U shaped parking area and I slept like a baby. The combination of fresh air, good food and great conversation made for a wonderful day and as I said – I was tired but so satisfied.

The next morning I got up nice and early – wrote for about three hours and answered emails etc and themn met Stephen from Smithers Harley-Davidson for breakfast – then it was off to Eyecandy Customs to have my motorcycle serviced and a new back tire put on by Sam’s tech Laura. Sarah – Sam’s wife met me at the door with a big hug and took me for a different kind of tour of Smithers – off to a bakery/coffee house and a wonderful deli that had amazing elk and turkey jerky. While down town I was shown some of the little things that make Smithers a pretty and unique town.

I got the pleasure of visiting Sam and Sarah’s home on the river and then it was back to the shop to see how Laura made out with Black Betty.  When I got there the bike had already been test ridden and was good to go. Sam was already on his way to Sturgis North so I was planning on catching him there but I was so glad to have met his wife and his lady tech. The shop is small but Sam does custom builds out of it and also services any make or model of bike – old Harley’s are one of his specialities and he sees a lot of trade from the Dual Sport riders that frequent the highways up here.

I can not thank Sam, Sarah and Laura enough for sponsoring the Conga by providing a room, meals, oil change and back tire – with out the support of all of our partners and the tourism departments trips like this one to promote rider awareness just aren’t possible.

I got an email from Rhonda Rivers at Prince George Harley-Davidson asking if I was on track to come ride with some of the members of their HOG chapter and since my bike was serviced and ready to hit the road I said I would see them by 6:30pm.

The ride to Prince George was pleasant and uneventful under warm sunny skies.

When I got to the dealership I called my friends Deb and Dennis where I was staying for the night and Dennis came and rode me over to their house. I got the bike unpacked and Deb, Dennis and I went back to Prince George Harley-Davidson and met up with 6 other riders for a ride out to Hixon where we had some grub and bevies and then back in to Prince George we went.

After saying good bye we headed to Dennis and Deb’s place where we had some wonderful Pina Colada wine, great conversation and then headed off to bed but not before Dennis, a heavy duty mechanic was doing the happy dance as it started to rain which meant he wouldn’t have to work and could ride with me to Salmon Arm.

Sure enough, he got the call that he did not have to work and was a happy boy for it. We saddled up, had fantastic breakfast at the Husky Truck stop served by a waitress who had ZERO for a sense of humor.  We got bad fuel there and ended up having to head back to Dennis’s to drain our tanks – it was now 1:30 in the afternoon before we headed out and the thunderheads had started to build up. About 10 kilometres out of town we ended up pulling into a golf course owned by one of Dennis’s friends and throwing on our rain gear – the trip saw us go through 5 thunderstorms – three of them were HORRIBLE – during the one storm we had pulled of on the side of the road because we could not see and lightning struck just a few hundred feet away – you could feel the electrical charge in the air!

By the time we got to 100 Mile House the rain had stopped and the sun came out – we stopped for a hot buttered rum to warm the bones up and saddled back up to head for Salmon Arm.  We got as far as Sorrento where I called my sister in law and she said that she would love the company so after a great meal of cod and perogies – Dennis had a bed made for him on the couch and I got my nephew’s bedroom.  In the morning, Margaret Anne made us steak and eggs and sent us packing with full bellies. We decided to head for Kelowna and the Kreater Custom’s Poker Run to see what Jeff and his staff had planned for people. As Usual there was a bar b cue and a band and a hundred and fifty or so riders there.

We then set out for Merritt’s Great Canadian Bike Rally – since I sponsored both the Sturgis North event and the Great Canadian Bike rally events I wanted to see them both but as we got on the Coquihalla connector the sky was just black and we decided yah – had enough rain for a bit – so back towards Salmon Arm we headed. I figure I will head out on Saturday morning nice and early to go and see Merritt and our reporter Denise said she’d cover that event on the Friday and Saturday so we’d have it covered.

We road in to Salmon Arm and went to the venue outside of town, man – for a first time event they sure have a lot of stuff really well done. Once we got our Media Passes and Back Stage Access Passes and I went one way and Dennis (who not only sponsored me for fuel and meals – he has agreed to be a reporter for us) went the other way. I hooked up with Quentin our Vancouver Reporter and Denise our Medicine Hat area reporter and we discussed strategy on how we were going to cover these two big events and their enormous venues. I wandered around and met with some of the riding clubs, talked to the vendors and then after seeing Ray the event organizer set of for Joe Schmuck’s and my headquarters for the next three days.

When I got to Joe Schmuck’s I was so blown away to see a banner about the Saturday Night Belt Drive Betty Party and to see how many riders had filled the cabins and campground. The room I am in is similar to all of the other ground floor ones – big comfy double beds – 2 of them, table and chairs with a coffee pot – a plasma TV with satellite, internet, a bathroom you could throw a party in it’s that big and a sweet deck with chairs out front. For $130 a night it’s a great room!  The upstairs loft rooms are a wee bit smaller and run $110.

On this Friday morning I got up after a great sleep and was treated to a breakfast befitting a mountaineer – it was huge and AFFORDABLE and nummy!  As I sat in my room typing this article out with the door open so I could see the parking lot, I would periodically go out and BS with people I know and  by 2pm was pretty much ready to head out for the Burn Out Competition in down town Sicamous…until later ride safe.

Sturgis North – Days 12 - 14

 After all of the challenges that the organizers of Sturgis North faced the event finally went off – not without hiccups and challenges but fir a first time event, many things were done REALLY well.

The venues were in my humble opinion too far apart and should have all been contained to one area but I am sure that now that the coordinators were able to actually work the venues they will change many things for next year. What looks great on paper does not always translate as well in practice!

As you road up to the top venue where the main stage for the nostalgia bands was, the planning and effort was very evident. Parking areas were created in the ditches that were simply incredible. Well packed gravel with ties, created road type parking that was well used.

The main stage was incredible as well, boasting two jumbotron screens so that people in the beer gardens and VIP area were able to take in the music and see what was happening on stage.

There was a houseboat for the VIPs to use to get a higher vantage point to view the stage as well. (Some jerk however decided to wreck that for everybody by attempting to destroy the interior of the house boat and then proceeded to fall out of it – I wished I had been there later on Thursday night when that happened, I think I would have helped to push the jerk out of the house boat!)

After talking to Quentin, Denise and Dennis, our reporters for the event, I headed to Sicamous to check in to my room.  (Denise was going to head in to Merritt on Friday morning for me, to cover the Great Canadian Bike Rally – I can’t wait for her report!)

What a place Joe Schmucks is! My cabin was big enough to throw a party in, the bathroom was enormous and the hot water in the shower was plentiful.  Ken and the staff of Joe Schmucks are so wonderful. I can’t say enough good thins about this place. The food was wonderful, the service incredible and the accommodations, what can I say! The bed was the most comfortable one of the trip to date! I slept like a baby.

Friday morning, after a great feed of Eggs Benedict which was done to perfection, I headed up to the fair grounds venue in Salmon Arm to check things out and see Chica and Roger Goldammer. I got to see Bert – Roger’s Mentor and Bert’s newest protégé, Ashley who is apprenticing to be an automotive machinist.

I took in the vendors from the fair grounds, checked in with my Shuzi partners Michelle and Dee and was gratified to see how many Rider Friendly Phone Books had been handed out.  I spent a bit of time at the B Bands stage and listened to Skard.

After talking to the vendors and checking everything out I headed back to the Custom Bike Show area and Roger, Chica, Ashley, Bert and myself decided to head up to the top venue to take in the Nazareth Concert.

We decided to take the shuttles to the main venue to take in the Nazareth Concert and have supper.  We had a blast. The last time I had seen Chica and Roger was for the Canadian Championship of Custom Bike Building and it was truly wonderful to visit with these two fabulous builders who were going to be, along with myself and Travis from Denco Cycles doing the judging for the Custom Bike Show and Biker Build Off.

Nazareth was a blast; they sang songs from their newest album and some of their oldies which is the music every rider came to hear.  There had to be a good 15K people there!
The shuttles were filled to capacity and moved people back in to Salmon Arm in an amazingly efficient manner. Each bus held about 60 people and what an efficient crew of drivers they had! When we went to leave to concert we got in line and with 200 or so people ahead of us I thought it was going to take forever to get on a bus – I was wrong, in 15 minutes we were on a bus and on our way to our bikes in Salmon Arm!

Saturday morning, I spent time in my room editing pictures and writing and then took in the burn out pits and the arrival of the Veteran’s poker run in downtown Sicamous. 
The town of Sicamous was amazing, the main street was blocked off, there were bike and vendors everywhere and people smiling, laughing and sharing stories.

The beer garden was filled and the band on stage had everyone in a toe tapping mood. The legion was very creative with their bar, using a canoe for their beer tub!
It is estimated that some 3,000 bikes were in Sicamous for the event.

I headed back in to Salmon Arm and the Fair Grounds venue to go look over custom bikes and assist with the judging process.

There were some very well done bikes and after the hard job of going over them with a fine tooth comb and deciding the winners in the 4 categories, I jumped on my bike in the pouring down rain and headed off to Sicamous and the Belt Drive Betty – Minute to Win it party that Rachel from Joe Schmucks had put together.

Even in the rain 30 riders showed up to play some games, win some prizes and have a ton of laughs and folks, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time! Rachel, the manager of the restaurant/bar and Wendy (Mark’s wife & Co Owner) did an amazing job

At about midnight I headed back to my room to have a good sleep as the next morning I would be back in Salmon Arm to partake in the Celebrity Ride. I finally got to meet the one and only Kimmy Kruz.

All of the builders, Kimmy, Roger, Chica and myself along with a number of people who paid to go on this ride to raise money for Breast Cancer Research saddled up and off to Revelstoke we went. Graham, the ride captain and organizer had a video crew following us and I myself was filming with my Drift HD170 Cameras.

The morning was picture perfect as we headed out. We stopped in Sicamous for fuel and off we went.

It was wonderful for Chica to get a chance to do some riding and see the Canadian Rockies, this California builder kept commenting on the beauty.

When we arrived at the resort we were treated to a luncheon, ribs, salads and burgers along with pop and water were on had. Some of the local breweries were offering beer samples and many enjoyed them.  After lunch, we took a last opportunity for photos with the riders, shared hugs and parted company. The builders to head back in to Salmon Arm to find out who won and I to head to Calgary and begin the next leg of my odyssey across Canada to spread the word about motorcycle awareness.