Small bikes-Big Adventure Part 2

This was a long day. You know it was slow when it takes almost 7 hours of moving time to go 100 miles. I’ll try to explain what happened.

We left Princeton at 9:30 AM after a nice breakfast with John C. and friends. I didn’t think we needed to leave early since it was only a 100 mile day.

We started off with overcast skies and 68 degrees, nice riding weather. Here is Roberto riding the first part of the day with us on his Grom.

We were taking our time enjoying the ride. Just past noon we stopped for a break along Darke Lake in the Provincial park of the same name.

The time stamp on my phone said 12:32, elevation 2,898 feet.

That’s where the fun began. We heard a couple other small bikes go by and then it seemed they came back and went the opposite direction. I remember thinking they must have something mixed up in their navigation because they were going the wrong way. I didn’t think much about it until too much later. We came to this first loose uphill section.12:38PM.2,974feet.

Pictures never really show how steep it was but it was really steep. The little 125cc motors barely carried us and all our gear up the hill. It was loose and rocky and a chore to continue to the top. I thought we would get to the top and then it would be back to good roads, I should have checked the topo map. Mistake one.

It looked like we just needed to get around this corner.

Yes, that was true so we continued on for almost two hours on reasonable roads then it got worse. This picture is from 2:15PM and 3,904 feet. We’ve been climbing.

Loose and steep. The mighty 125s were struggling with lack of power, too much weight (mostly me) and sub optimal street tires. were we there yet? An hour later we gained 238 feet and went 0.3 miles. The GPS track said the slope was 13.6%. That is steep. I stopped to take this picture. At 3:15PM, 4,143 feet. Steep and rocky.

This next picture was 20 minutes later at 3:35PM and 4,327 feet we moved 0.2 miles.

Deby was a trooper. It had gotten to the point were we had to give up riding the bikes because they didn’t have enough power. At this point we could still get up the hill by walking along side them and using the engine. Then it got worse. The rocks were getting bigger and the little tires couldn’t get over them without me actually lifting the motorcycle over them. By this point we started literally dragging the bikes up the slope.

At 4:00PM and 4,432 feet, things were really getting tough. Steeper and rockier. The bikes didn’t have enough power or momentum to stay up on the smoother side of the ditch. we were forced to push he motorcycles in the rocky middle.

We must be almost there right? I wish I would have checked the topo map on my phone which would have clearly indicated that we still had over 1,000 feet to climb and about 3 more miles. Honestly, I would have turned around then and there. Mistake two.

5:09PM 5,493 feet.. Almost to the top but I wasn’t sure. We had been pushing, dragging and trying to ride our bikes up this &*%$@ hill for almost two hours. Where was everyone else? Was I going the right way? Should we turn around? Deby pushed, tugged and tried to ride her bike the best she could and finally needed a rest. I still had a bit of energy so I took turns pushing my bike 100 feet and then walking back down to drag hers 100 feet. I thought I would start making survival videos on my phone so if we both had heart attacks someone would find our phones and have a record of our ordeal.

We settled into a routine for a while. Because it was hot and I was tired I would take off my helmet and jacket and drag my bike up 100 feet or so and then go back for Deby’s. Deby climbed the hill carrying the helmets and jackets. I took this video of the process, you can sort of tell how steep it is watching Deby struggle up the hill. Her expression as we pass sort of tells you how we both felt.

I mean I was just done. We were both out of water, we didn’t eat all day and we were tired, dirty and crabby. Was this the fun part?

We finally reached the 5,536 foot peak at 5:11PM. Over four and a half hours to go about 6 miles and climb 2,000 feet but we finally made it.

We still had 40 miles to go and it was even steeper going downhill on a not much better road but we at least had gravity in our favor. 30 miles later at 6:34PM we intersected with Highway 97 in Westbank. We rode to a small tourist town along Okanagan Lake and stopped at the first eating/drinking place we could find, The Blind Angler Grill.

Without waiting to be seated, we dragged our dirty smelly bodies to claim an outdoor table. Soon a young woman came over to see if we wanted anything to drink… Water! and two beers. She came right back with a pitcher of water which we had finished off in 5 minutes. I was starting to come to life but was especially thinking about those cold beers. Deby and I were too tired to even talk to each other much less anyone else. A couple of times some other patrons looked like they wanted to ask us about our motorcycles or where we were coming from. Anybody that came near got double stink eyes and they changed their minds. All we wanted was beer, just one each. Two big, tall, cold IPAs. That is all we wanted. We waited, waited and waited. The woman never returned. I have proof on my GPS time stamp that we were there for a half hour and no beer. This didn’t help our mood any and we finally got up and left.

We had 20 more miles of mostly highway riding to get to the hotel in the big city of Kelowna. We arrived dead tired and hungry at 7:08PM to all the motorcycles parked in the parking lot and a large group of riders sitting around in chairs drinking beer. Really? How did everyone get there?

We were glad to find out that a few of the riders including Kevin himself were actually starting to wonder where we were, although not necessarily very concerned. Right away they asked, “you didn’t go over that mountain did you??” Umm, well, yea, that’s what the GPS track said. (Mistake three) “You weren’t supposed to go that way!” “Everyone else turned around and took the road because their bikes didn’t have enough power to get up the first hill.”

My smart ass response was that I didn’t think the ride would include an intelligence test. When in actuality it did. I totally should have paid better attention to where the track was taking us and found a different route. You think that me, of all people, would know this by now. With relived smiles all around they handed us two beers and soon the day was behind us except for a few sore muscles.  We slept great that night.

The last day was an uneventful 147 miles back to Christina Lake where our truck and camper was parked. We had a perfect breakfast on outdoor picnic tables at a place called, “It’s Mom’s”, in Beverdell along highway 33.

“Mom” who looked to be a spry 80 years old, cooked all the food in the tiny white shack on a one burner gas stove. Good thing we weren’t in a hurry.   The rest of the ride was more nice trails and a mix of highways.

We arrived back at the truck and camper around 2:30 in the afternoon. It was a warm day and we were cooking hot as we casually loaded the mighty 125s into the truck and connected the camper. We hung around for a while saying goodbye to our fellow riders. We were glad that in about four week’s time we would be reunited with about six of them on the Spain ride.

We drove away looking forward to a peaceful week of camping and kayaking in British Columbia before heading home. Ahhhhh…..

Thanks for following this crazy ride. We hope to have more CT125 adventures in the future. I wonder how they would survive Mexico? Now that’s a DUMB idea……

Donn and Deby





5 thoughts on “Small bikes-Big Adventure Part 2

  1. Whoa! That was one epic endurance test! May your small bikes carry you on nothing but smooth, scenic rides from now on!!!

  2. Donn and Deby,
    Thanks again for putting another great smile on my face. Not only do you have the magic of turning adventures into fun, but sharing it with us all helps us all live our own dreams. Too fun! Careful for what you ask for because you’re strongly motivating me to create more strange adventures. Thanks for your support. You are both awesome.

  3. We are exhausted after reading this! Bo said he would go on a Honda 90 ride! Glad you two made it out safely!

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