“Lite” ride with Bob, 2016/04/11

A short / “lite” ride with Bob. I had hoped we could find some “easy” gravel roads in the Shawnigan hills area that we could get a big bike on…

… we did not totally strike out, but between the constraints of “easy”, and “accessible”, we did not fair all that well. Then again, we didn’t explore the area much either… that would be easier to do from “inside” without the constraint of easy… So I guess I’ll go back in the not too distant future and ride the perimeter of the area looking for access points that are big bike friendly… and try to find easy roads near and/or connecting those.

In the mean-time, the gate at 48.583,-123.613 was “not trivial” on Bob’s big bike with panniers. I thought the space to the left of the gate was wider when I rode by it on the KLR. Still, it is not very steep and you can take it as slow as you want. Behind the gate is aproximately 1.5km of gravel that is also “not trivial”. It is not very smooth, there is some sideways slope (camber), and it it does go up and down some. Immediately before the railway tracks, there is a fairly steep hill. If you stop before that hill, or on the left fork at its base, then you constrain yourself to track that you can ride at any speed and you can stop at any point. And if you can ride this well, then AFAIK, you should be able to ride most of the TCAT (which is designed to be fairly easy, so the big adventure bikes can ride it).

If you go up that hill before the railway tracks… the game changes, the hill is steep enough that stopping and starting can be quite difficult…

We did spend some time exploring on-road… and Bob clearly had more familiarity with the area than I did. I hadn’t been down the Shawnigan FSR, which was gated (and locked) despite signage suggesting it was supposed to be open at 1 or 2 pm on a Monday.

We went up Goldstream Heights Drive… and it looked like the DRZ was small enough to slip past the gate at the end of Trail Way. There also appeared to be power-line ROW access at the end of Goldstream Heights … not sure that would be KLR friendly.

And the gate for the road/trail to the S at the end of Goldstream Heights was open, so we rode in for a look. Seemed to be more logging company property that has been subdivided for sale. I probably should add the track we rode in there to OSM, but I’d have to remove and edit some existing tracks. They have built a number of BIG WIDE roads… not paved yet, but they will be nice roads.

Sorry, no pix today.