Monday, October 17, 2011

Probably the Last Ride of the Year

How many times have I said this already. The weather guessers were wrong again! Saturday was warm though not very sunny. I had a bunch of errands to run and ended up riding just over a hundred miles including some of my favorite "scenic routes". I didn't venture very far from home as it still looked like it was raining/snowing in the distance. Plus reports for the Parks and Elliot highways didn't sound too good. The lakes are now completely covered by a thin layer of ice. Here you can see that people have thrown rocks onto the ice to see how thick it was. Some of the rocks were pretty large and they didn't break through. This little pond is on the backside of the west ridge ski trails that I enjoy walking on and there is a nice trail along this road for a couple of miles. This is on the way out to the Goldstream Valley which received their first significant snowfall this past week. Today, most of it has melted and the roads were nice and dry. Since the leaves are off the trees, it looks pretty drab around here. Many are looking forward to the snow since it makes things look a lot less grey.

I suspect that this really was the last ride of the year. The forecast is for snow for most of the week and highs just below freezing. Actually, few are complaining about the snow as we really need the snow to insulate the ground. Very little snow allows the cold to penetrate deeper into the ground potentially freezing water and septic lines.

In case you are interested, I ran across a link to this video on ADVrider in the Alaska section. It is a video of a trip from Fairbanks down to B.C. put together by the university. This is pre-Alaska Highway and the pair rode lightweight British bikes (since they knew that they would have to carry and push them), had to build rafts to cross rivers and hunt for their food along the way. Makes modern travel seem pretty cushy...

Near the end of the video, take note of the two bikes lashed together with a platform for the dog in between the bikes.


  1. Yep. I am afraid that you might be right. But I am glad that you were able to get another ride in. Unless, of course, you look into a ski and studded tire on some hybrid bike. ;)

    Wonderful video! Very informative. I flinched at the quill removal though.

  2. Well, you have gotten the most out of it this year or so it seems. Time to pack in? Maybe just wait another week, there might be another last ride of the year.

  3. Snow - I dread it. When it happens here in Victoria chaos reigns supreme, no one knows how to drive in it. I drove in it for 17 years and certainly don't miss it.

    I certainly hope you get another last ride in!

  4. Winter is a form of torture to some. I grew up in Florida and dream of moving back one day. Until then, I'll try to appreciate all four seasons.

  5. You really are a man of iron Richard! Even slight sub-zero temperatures are something which I avoid like the plague on 2 wheels these days!

    A bit different to growing up in the UK when I used to ride to university in all weathers when I was young and stupid :-)

  6. RichardM:

    I also dread the oncoming of Winter but wouldn't a snowmobile be sort of a surrogate for you up there ? You could trailblaze your own road . . .

    Riding the Wet Coast

  7. Richard....time to get serious re that sidecar...then you can: "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow". Brisk ride into work this morning with 33°F temperatures....not as "brisk" as your stuff. : )


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  8. BeemerGirl:
    Some thought is being put into studded tires but I think I would want a lighter bike. I think that I would like a sidecar rig but that's more money...

    Maybe another ride. The roads right now are pretty treacherous as the temperatures are right at freezing. All of the newcomers to snow are having a lot of trouble but I haven't seen any cars on their roofs yet.

    Chaos reigns around here with the first snow. Many drivers behave like they've never seen such a thing before. Others are crawling down the road with a dozen vehicles behind them. Observation, the vehicles most often tearing down the road like they are in a rally and the ones crawling down the road are almost always Subaru's. What's with that?

    Utah Motorcyclist:
    I am one of the crazy ones that moved up here because of the weather.

    Geoff James:
    I may fit into the "stupid" category but the cold has never really bothered me when dressed appropriately. I think I spend much more time scanning the road for evidence of ice and water than normal.

    No, a snow machine would allow you to go into the back country or along other trails but you couldn't use it for transportation. For example, they are specifically prohibited on many trails that are used by skiers or dog teams.

    I think you are right on the mark. A fellow rider knows of someone with a side car in their shed. He was going to ask if they would be willing to part with it.

    Thank you everyone for stopping by and taking the time to add a comment.

  9. Nooooo...... not the last ride of the year. Just think of all the walking you'll get in without the bike.

  10. Trobairitz:
    Yep, without that pesky bike calling me to be ridden, I should get a lot more miles in on foot. I've gotten in 14 miles so far this week already and the conditions are horrible for walking.

  11. Richard,

    Time to buy that tug!

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  12. Brady:
    I second that thought. I would like to get a side car. Dauntless has a subframe that would fit my airhead but I'm looking around locally, at least initially, for the sidecar. Freight to AK is horrendous.

  13. Dear Richard M.

    There is a certain sadness that comes with the arrival of winter for me now. There is a finality of falling snow — at least for me — that cannot be denied. I used to love it, for the cross country skiing, and for the enhanced hunting... But I no longer do either, and the snow has come to signify a season of reflection now.

    The leaves are about half-turned on the trees now, and it was only a week ago they were still bright green. I have learned that wishing as hard as I can never holds the changing of the seasons a second.

    Still, I bet you get one more short ride in.

    That video was amazing.

    Fondest regards,

  14. Jack:
    Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

    This morning it was 10°F so I suspect I won't be getting in any more rides this year. Mid morning, I happened to glance outside and the existence of the snow felt "normal". Weird...

  15. RichardM:

    You're going down to 10°F and we are down to 10°c. You get snow and I have to start thinking about putting my shorts away & switching to blue jeans.

    I hope you get just one more ride in this year, you just never know . . .

    Riding the Wet Coast