Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Since I will be camping most of the way, I will essentially be living in a tent for 2 months. So - I went to MEC (Mountain Equipment Coop) here in Vancouver for some new camping equipment.

First, I got a new sleepy-bag that will fit in the little cylinder that attaches to the top of my sissy-bar pack. It's about 10 litres, so I had to get a down bag. But it fits pretty well.
MEC - Nomad Sleeping Bag
Next, a tent. I need something roomy, especially with some height, because I may end up spending a day inside if it's pouring rain. I chose a "4-person" that's 1.5 meters high inside which, although I can't stand up in it, at least it's not claustrophobic. The best thing about it is you don't have to thread the poles through anything - just pull them up and snap on the tent.
MEC - Camper 4 Tent

I also got a pillow and a very collapsible water-jug: the cheap transparent plastic ones leak after 2 or 3 foldings.

One thing I notice when I go motorbike-camping: there's no place to sit down! So, I splurged and got an expensive but small and surprisingly-comfortable chair. It fits nicely inside the tent, so if it's raining I can sit down, read my Kindle, watch a movie on the netbook, or play my ukulele :)
  MEC - Alite Mantis Chair

One thing I did not get and I'm still searching for: a mattress. I thought of a cot, but they do not pack up small enough to fit on the bike. So: air mattress. But they're either a kid's toy or a "full" bed - usually at least 39 inches wide. I'm looking for something that would be just bigger than the sleeping bag - maybe 30 inches wide. And DURABLE - it can't spring a leak after half a dozen uses!

Weather's starting to get warmer - won't be too long before I get the bike on the road! I'm looking forward to a "dry run" up to Tunkwa Lake with my new toys.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Quest: Across Canada by Motorbike

About 30 years ago, I drove my Nissan 280ZX across Canada from my home in Vancouver to Halifax, NB. I feel that the only way to REALLY see a country is to drive across it – see all the majesty, mountains, streams, wheatfields, city towers and in the case of Northern Ontario, boring rocks.

But I didn’t get to Newfoundland.

I’ve always regretted my omission, and have always been fascinated by the Newfoundland society (talk about a “distinct society”!). So – since I’m retiring soon and will have a lot of time on my hands, I decided it was time to drive across again, this time correcting my omission and exploring the most unique of Canadian Provinces.

Now, originally I thought of driving the truck across, towing the travel trailer and driving in style, but then I thought it would be more interesting to take the motorbike. So… I now have a 1984 Virago 750 with side bags, sissy bar and rear rack, getting ready for a cross-country tour.

So, in this blog I plan to document why I’m doing this, the preparations and of course the trip itself next summer. Hope you enjoy taking this trip with me!