I’m sorry for the radio silence this summer, but unfortunately there has been more work and less riding, and really just nothing interesting for me to write about. We’ve ridden when we could, but haven’t taken any moto trips since Red River Scramble. However, I’ve just returned from spending a week in British Columbia, Canada, partially with my REV’IT! Women’s ADV teammates and our tour guides from Mountain View Motorcycle Adventures, partially with a film crew shooting a product video for REV’IT!, and then to top it all off, I flew from BC to Las Vegas for a party… but before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s start closer to the beginning.
I flew to Vancouver last Wednesday morning, hopped in a rental car, and did some exploring on my own. On Thursday afternoon my teammates started arriving, so I played “Team Mom” and used the rental car to pick up everyone who flew in from the airport and get them all safely to our AirBNB for the night…
At least, I thought we were all safe, but the next morning I woke up to find out that one of my new teammates, Kris, had tripped in the dark and busted her bottom lip on a bar top after we had all went to bed. She had driven her truck up to Vancouver with her KTM 690 in the back from Oregon, so she quietly drove herself to the ER alone at 1am to get stitches before coming back to the house to get about 2-3 hours of sleep before we all had to get up to get ready to leave. You want to know the best part? She was all smiles, laughing and joking, and just genuinely brightening everyone’s day, even though she had every reason to be upset or negative. This girl is special, you guys, the world needs more women like Kris! I just can’t stress enough how much of a joy she is to be around.
Once we were all up and ready to go, Matt Sutherland from Mountain View Motorcycle Adventures and his friend and unofficial business partner Aaron Richardson of Marshall Lake MC came to pick us up and take us to Squamish to get our bikes for the weekend from Aaron’s house. Kris had brought her 690 and Katelyn had ridden her GS from Colorado, so that left Matt’s rental fleet of two KTM 1090 Adventure R’s for Amelia and I, and a KTM 790 Adventure R for Erika.
We put Katelyn’s GS in the back of Aaron’s Ford Raptor support truck for the drive to Squamish so she wouldn’t have to battle the gauntlet that is morning rush hour traffic in Vancouver, and the 5 of us and our photographer for a 2nd year in a row, Julia LaPalme, split up amongst Matt, Aaron, and Kris’ trucks so no one had to make the drive alone.
We made a quick stop for breakfast at a cafe in Squamish, and then arrived at Aaron’s to unload our gear and get acquainted with our trusty steeds for the weekend. I ended up with a 2019 1090 with under 3,000km that still had the original TKC80’s on it. Matt remarked how it still looked shiny and new, and I laughed as I made a hopeful promise to return it to him in the same condition in 5 days.
It took us a bit to get everything settled, but once we did, we were on our way, with Julia and Aaron following us in the Raptor. I immediately knew that I was going to enjoy the 1090. Athough it is quite tall and I can only just get a toe down, once you get it moving it doesn’t feel heavy, and it is quite nimble and easy to maneuver.
The first part of our day was pavement from Squamish to Pemberton to meet up with the film crew who would be joining us for the weekend. Camp Trend has done quite a few product videos for REV’IT! and they were hired by REV’IT! Corporate to shoot a product video with me after the tour, so REV’IT! North America had them come up early and also do a video of our tour with MVMA. This proved not to be an easy task for them, as they are used to controlling their shoots and scouting their own locations, and for this they had to essentially try to keep up with a group on motorcycles, doing long days, riding hard off road. It took all of us some getting used to having cameras following us around as well.
Once we left Pemberton, we hit the Hurley, which is a really fun dirt/gravel road that takes you from Pemberton to Gold Bridge. At this point, we stopped to air down our tires a bit, Matt gave us some pointers and explained what to expect, and then we were off. Amelia and I took the lead on our 1090’s, working our way up the switchbacks as we climbed the mountain road. She and I were hooked up via our Sena headsets, and we were both giggling loudly as we slid our back tires around as we hit the throttle coming out of each switchback. At one point we passed Matt who was pulled over to make sure everyone made it up okay, and Amelia was laughing so hard that he could hear her over the bikes as we passed. I guess that was a pretty good indication to him that we were enjoying ourselves so far!
Every so often we would stop and regroup as everyone rode at their own pace. I quickly fell in love with the 1090. The suspension feels so capable, it soaked up all of the many potholes, no matter how fast I was going when I hit them. When the back wheel would slide, rather it be from hard acceleration or braking, it would always feel controlled and predictable, not like it was going to slide out from beneath me. All of a sudden it made sense to me why there are so many “KTM Fanboys” out there. They aren’t wrong, those bikes are pretty dang good!
Eventually we made it to Gold Bridge, which meant we could gas up our bikes and head to the Tyax Lodge, but Matt had promised us some double track if we were up for the challenge, which of course we were, so while Aaron and Julia waited in the Raptor for the film crew to catch up, Matt took us to have some fun.
I was the first to start the climb on the double track. It was fairly narrow on the switchbacks, you would have a hard time passing two ADV bikes going in opposite directions, and there were some embedded rocks and downed trees on the sides of the trail as well, and a drop off on the downhill side. I was shocked at how easy it was to manuever the big 1090 on this more technical terrain, in the back of my mind I was afraid I wasn’t going to be able to handle it, but I was happy to find that I was wrong.
About 3/4 of the way through the climb, I heard Amelia in my headset as she went down. I had warned her of a downed tree on the right side of the trail, and in trying to avoid it, she had hit some large rocks that put her front wheel off course. She was okay, and I couldn’t stop on the incline, so I told her I would have to keep going. I lost our connection as I got too far away from her, so I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I stopped once I made it to the top. Katelyn pulled up behind me and said Amelia had nearly ran off the trail on the downhill side, and she was somehow able to just get by her to continue up the hill. A short while later Amelia and the rest of the group arrived at the top of the hill and she showed me pictures of how her bike was hanging over the edge and she had to drag it back onto the trail so she could pick it up. Luckily she was okay and the bike was unharmed, so we continued on our way.
Once we were on top the trail was more flowy, but at one point I hit a rock that kicked me sideways and I went from one side of the trail to the other about 3 times before I managed to get it under control. I thought for a moment that I was going to end up with a KTM in a tree for a second year in a row!
When we got back to the main road, we rode back to Gold Bridge to get fuel before heading on up to the Tyax Lodge where we would be staying for the next two nights. As I entered the drive heading back to the lodge, I had a surprise encounter with a small Grizzly bear that was standing in the road as I came around the corner. We surprised eachother and it scrambled off the road and into the trees and I kept going in case it changed its mind.
Once we were checked into the lodge, we all ran up to our rooms to take a quick shower and get ready for dinner. They set us up in the dining area with a big family style table, and we ordered a bunch of appetizers and drinks to enjoy while we waited for our meals. I got a message from our friend Spencer who had taken a tour with Matt and Aaron a few weeks prior telling me to ask Matt about his throttle glove, which led to a really hilarious, albeit embarrassing for Matt, story that left us all in tears from laughing so hard as he shamelessly explained the story. I won’t go into detail, but if you ever take an MVMA tour, be sure to ask about it (sorry Matt!).
We sat and ate and told stories until we all agreed it was time for bed, and then we made our way up to our rooms for the night.
I’m going to cut this into multiple posts due to length, so check back for Day 2 in a couple of days, and then I’ll also make a post about filming with Camp Trend and my 24 hours in Las Vegas after that.