Monday, July 6, 2009

Motorcycling home: Princeton-Vancouver

I slept poorly. I was working in my sleep again. Bad enough I do it awake. I got out of the tent and the sky was dark. Made my way to the washroom and shower and returned to Laura heading that way herself. Looking at the sky I began tearing down the tent and packing. When Laura got back all the bags were done and the skies had begun to spit. I was just loading the bike when the pissing rain began. Laura got into her jacket before me. I had the last of the bags to bungee down. I put my Harley rain gear over everything else that was soaked.

We headed out. My glasses were fogged. I got Laura to reach round, lift my visor and take my glasses. I was trying to hold upright on the hill that entered onto the highway. With the fogged glasses off I could see. Helps when riding a motorcycle. I drove us into town where we had breakfast at the Country Living restaurant. The rain continued.

After breakfast, we geared up and climbed on the Harley. I was about to head out on the highway thinking miserably about Sunday Summit in the rain when Laura said, “Do we have to do this now.”

“No, “ I said. “Want to go for coffee.” There’s a great coffee shop on the main drag across from the A&W. We dripped in and had two chai lattes. That’s when Alan and Claire pulled up on their BMW Cruiser.

They sat in the table next to us. “Waterproof,” Alan said, looking at the leather seat cover. “Where’d you come from?” he asked.

“The campground, about 10 minutes over there.” I said proud of my morning’s accomplishment. “What about yourself? “

“Penticton”. English accent.

Rain pouring outside. Biker’s in a coffee shop.. We just kept talking.

Alan was a retired fire fighter from England. He also did children’s magic shows as a giant. “I dress as a pirate a lot. ….We’ve been driving across Canada the last 55 days and are about to return to England .”

“Did you rent the bike.” I asked.

“No shipped it over.”

They’d had some bad weather but saw a lot of country. Started by going down to New England and visiting Boston before driving west. Had heard the prairie’s would be boring but “loved watching the weather moving all around us. The skies were amazing.”

It was fun talking with them. Almost as if the comraderie had it’s effect on the weather, the sky cleared and the rain stopped. We donned our gear. It was a slog getting back into all the wetstuff.

Then we were off. We made it to the top of Sunday Summit when the downpour started again. Probably because I come from the prairies I hate the downhill biking in the rain. I don’t trust the brakes though I know I can gear down but I’m sure the bike will cartwheel or slip sideways especially when some idiot is tailgating and I begin to imagine myself under his tires. It was 60 km downhill a lot of the way. I picked up a tail a couple of times and pulled over to let them pass.

Manning Park. Finally. Alan and Claire passed us waving happily. They looked like they’d had more practice swimming on motorcycles.

Then it was Hope, thankfully. Still rain and more rain.

I chose to go back on 7 enjoying the highway through Mission and coming into Vancouver by Hastings.

Home. Hello Cat. Hot shower. Ahhhhhh! Laura’s in the bath.

I’m waiting for delivery.

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