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Trip Planning with a Riding Partner

It has been too long since I’ve seen my RRP – since just before Christmas, in fact. We’ve stayed in touch, but it was high time we had a beer. So, last week, we met one night after work with a goal of catching up in person, and putting together some plans for riding this year.

This winter has been very mild and rainy here in the Pacific Southwest, so much so that I had high hopes that it would be a no-brainer to ride all year ’round. Then January came, with a large and somewhat unseasonable dump of snow, and cold temperatures that haven’t left yet. I have a rule that the temperature must be +4C before I get on the bike, as below that you’re quite likely to get black ice on side streets, which isn’t fun on four wheels let alone two. So I’ve been feeling cooped up because I haven’t had any time to get out on my motorbike.

The one thing I can do during this time is daydream about riding. But a daydream is not as good as planning, which in itself is a form of daydreaming I guess. My RRP was headed overseas for a few months, so we made a plan to get together and have a drink, and do some planning, and generally just enjoy each others’ company, as it had been too long.

We have decided that this year we will go to Vancouver Island, rather than attend the Touratech Rally. We’ve been several years, and it’s perhaps time for a break. A five or so day trip to the Island (as it’s always referred to here) will be a good replacement for that rally in June. The question is what, exactly, would be the ride. Last summer, we were both watching Sterling Noren and his “Riding AZ to BC” on the Motorcycle Travel Channel on Youtube. RRP and I saw a talk he gave at Touratech last year, but didn’t get a chance to meet him. If we did, I would have told him that the title wasn’t as clever as he thought outside the US – because we read it as Riding AAY ZED to BEE CEE, which doesn’t rhyme the way he thinks it should.

Part of Sterling’s trip took him on the North Island 1000, something I hadn’t heard of before. This is a 1000 km journey through 11 communities on the island, and sounds like a perfect spot for exploration. Another option, and a longer journey, would be the Vancouver Island Grand Loop, which might be a longer trip, but might have more pavement. I will figure that out over the next bit, but one thing is for sure – one of our destinations will be The Scarlet Ibis. It’s got a great backstory.

The planning isn’t done yet. But over the next few weeks, we will have the shape of a plan. And that will give me the chance to daydream.

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