And they are off...
We picked up the bikes from Kelowna Powersports on the afternoon of the 2nd August and sorted out insurance and registration with a local company.
Both are secondhand Honda CB500X, chosen for their ability to off road as well as "mile munch" in comfort ...and for their excellent fuel efficiency.
We then spent 3 -4 hours working out what to pack where in our panniers and roll bags …trust me this is MUCH harder than it sounds and will take another week or so to perfect.
We were staying with an amazing couple that Nick crossed paths with on the Horizons Unlimited FB page called Rod and Lorrie. They not only picked us up from the airport, ran us about town, and showed us the sights of Kelowna, they also fed us and gave up half of their garage so we could store our bikes while packing them.
We head off the next day with shiny bikes and full of enthusiasm, the reality as stated in the last post is that we are naïve and green (aka wet behind the ears!) and are going to realise in a few month’s time how much we DIDN’T know at this point in time! But you constantly learn; right???
We head North on the West side of Okanagan Lake to Vernon. At this point Bec is having to stop every 50kms to blow her nose …and Nick is being very patient while doing his best “Muttley” impersonation!
In Vernon we stop at the Davidson Orchard farm shop to get some snacks and check out the view over the town.
Then we head East/North through Nakusp and stop for a break at a pretty Recreation Stop at Monashee – Kettle next to a very green lake. It’s a great ride with clear and twisty roads and lots of wildlife crossing in front of us, we even saw a black bear cub (sorry no photos …it was a fast one!).
When we reach the Needles ferry, Nick did a quick check around of the bikes and found the exhaust from both bikes had burnt holes in the bottom of the soft panniers.
Disappointment turned to anger turned to problem solving as we head the 230kms back to Kelowna.
Cell phone service is pretty much non-existent (as we expected) so it was about 80kms until we had enough service to send a text to our Kelowna hosts Rod and Lorrie asking them to ring the Honda bike shop and explain what had happened and give them the heads up we were heading back. This helped fast forward a solution which in all fairness they worked hard on to get us back on the road again.
We were given a loan bike while they fixed it; a Honda Goldwing! So we win the most ridiculous riders of the day award riding around town on a Goldwing in full adventure gear in mid 30s temperatures.
Our bikes were ready by the following afternoon. A local exhaust and muffler shop had welded on an extension to the top exhaust to deflect the heat. It’s not pretty but it works and after 2000kms now of riding with the set-up it is still working.
More repacking and this time we are heading off with our own personal guides as Rod and Lorrie have decided to ride the first day or so with us.