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British Columbia Motorcycle Trip - September 2012

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

This is an account of a 3-day trip I made in September of 2012 up through British Columbia from my home in Poulsbo, WA. The map below shows the route, which I did in a clock-wise direction. Total mileage for the trip was about 1080 miles. I occasionally like to do solo rides like this one. This was my first tour on a cruiser-style motorcycle. I'm normally a sport touring kind of guy who's done tours on a Suzuki VX800, Aprilia Falco, Honda ST1100, Kawasaki Concours 1000 and a Ducati Multistrada 1000DS. So this was pretty different. I rode a 2004 Kawaski Vulcan 1500 Classic that I'd bought earlier in the year. I wore a half helmet and prescription motorcycle googles. My thoughts on this setup vs. a sport touring bike with a full face helmet:

-It's relaxing. You don't feel like you need to be getting on it and risking your life in the corners to have fun and do justice to your sporty bike.
-It's fun. There's something about swinging your leg over a cruiser and stomping down on that heel shifter to head out.
-It's easier to take in the views. The riding position is better for it and you're typically going slower so you can take the time to look around.

-Half helmets are fine for around town, but they don't cut it for "real" riding. Getting hit with a grasshopper in your face at 70mph hurts, and is scary. Plus you get sunburned and your lips get chapped.
-The relaxing aspect is great, but it's just not as fun in the twisties. Many a time I wished I was on my Multistrada.
-My back hurt after 3 days. This was probably mostly due to my tendancy to slouch after so many hours in the saddle.
-You can't stand up while moving. You have to brace yourself in funny ways when a big bump comes.

Regardless, it was an interesting experiment and a fun time. I'd never been this far north in Canada, and the scenery and terrain were very different than the Douglas fir forests and farm fields of areas further south.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3