Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Grand 2007 Bike Trip

Sunday July 1, the kid and I start out with our bikes on a truly scenic ride. Across the Trans Canadian Highway to Vancouver, then down to Eugene Or.

I will be taking pictures, and update my blog as I go along and have internet access.

Click here to see the photo map


We plan to be gone for 3 weeks, so this gives us a lazy 350 mile per day average ride, along with 3 days in Eugene OR so the kid can go to the Oregon Country Fair.

Sunday July 1:

Off we go, out I-80 to I-39 and North. Beautiful weather, and good riding till we hit the Wisconsin border where I-90 gets clogged with the Epsilon Minus's of the world headed to the Dells in SUV's packed with more junk than I would take on a "round the world" trip.

After the Dells it was fine and we rode to Hudson Wi where we stayed.

Monday July 2:

Another day of super slab to get to "The Great White North" as fast as possible. I-94 to Fargo, the I-29 up to Winnipeg.

Just past 'The Cities' it started raining, and by the time we got near Fargo, it had cleared, but was horribly hot and humid. The usually perfunctory Canadian customs was having some kind of a fit and giving everyone the 3rd degree, and both the kid and I were at the point of heat exhaustion by the time we got through.

We rode up to Winnipeg and got the 1st motel we came to. Oh, the Dollar is PAR. UGH.

Just in from of the motel the heat, exhaustion, stress of the day caused the kid to run into the back of my bike. No one hurt, but my top box, left side box got knocked off and she dumped her bike breaking the usual left turn signal and front fender.

Has any other biker out there ever find that Citi Bank Master Card equates a motorcycle trip with fraud? I have before, but on this trip mistakenly decided to use my Citi card for my main method of payment. Just as I got to the motel I found 4 calls to this 866 number, I called it back and it was Citibank saying there were 'suspicious' charges on my card, like gas and motel charges. I had this happen with Citibank before and basically quit using that card, but after giving the usual card number and secret question, I was not just asked if it was really me using my credit card but questioned about every charge, AND they wanted to know my route, and what dates I would be in different Provences and States. They kept asking about all kinds of things far beyond what "fraud detection" should. Then after all that they said I was still on fraud watch and if my charges were denied, I should call the number on the back. American Express doesn't treat me this way, but this is personal not business so I sould not be using my biz card. As soon as I get home, there will be no more Citi card.

Tuesday July 3:

The good news about the little accident is, no one hurt, and there is a BMW dealer right up the street. The bad news.... It is July 3, Canada Day so they are closed, and it is overcast and raining. So it's off to Canadian Tire for duct tape, and on with the trip.

A side note, change of route. While waiting for Canadian customs to be ever so thorough we were talking to a Canadian couple on a new R1200GS that suggested we take Canada 1 instead of the Yellow Head route. They said it was much prettier after Calgary.

So it is off across the Trans Canadian Highway.

Well, we made it to Regina, and the view from the East on Hwy 1 at about 10:00 PM ( sunset ) with Regina in the background was like looking at the 'Emerald City' from afar in the Wizard of Oz. You could see the outline of the City buildings for 30 Km.

I have started taking a few pictures, there will be more, and Google now lets you geocode them. This link will take you to a photo map. Just click on the picture thumb nails to see the pics.


Wednesday, July 4:

Regina SK to Medicine Hat AB.

Miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles. Canada is big. We met 2 couples from Robinson Illinois riding BMW's going the other direction, and had dinner. An interesting side note, Alberta has a rule that no minors are allowed in establishments that serve alcohol. The kid as it turns out is legal drinking age in Alberta, 18. So , what does she do? Have a glass of wine, after being carded and OK'd? .... she has Ice Tea. Go figure.


Thursday July 5:

Medicine Hat to Cranbrook BC.

The prairie ends at Crowsnest Pass AB and becomes the full fledged Canadian Rockies. After so many miles of prairie, it is had to believe. We thought that we would escape the heat as we gained elevation. Wrong, the temperature kept climbing as the day wore on, and by 3:00 PM it was 37C ( 98.6 F ). Both of us were just done in and starting to make riding mistakes. We quit and got a motel.

More to come.......

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link, I enjoyed the pictures. Waiting for the shots of the mountains of Canada. The summer my wife's MS was confirmed we planned a bike trip to the Candian Rockies via Glacier National Park, but it never happened. Good luck and keep the rubber side down.

    Mike

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  2. flame1956@yahoo.comJuly 7, 2007 at 12:52 PM

    Thanks for the link ! Great to hear you and the "kid" are taking this trip! I'll keep checking back. My son is UK and my daughter is doing a West Texas Roadtrip with her dad! I'm heading to Cancun July 19-23! Escaping the torrential downpours of Houston!Be safe!
    Phyllis aka flam1956

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  3. What a riot about Citibank charge card! The sad irony is that they used to be Travelers Insurance Company - and now they think travel in itself is "suspicious"!

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