Sunday, August 5, 2012

vancouver-hope-princeton-merritt loop

The guys found out that I was back from Oregon so Mark phoned me and asked if I would like to join them on the "LOOP", and have lunch in Merritt, BC

View Larger Map

The weekend was forecast to be the hottest weekend of the year, so instead of walking around in my summer clothes, I geared up and met them early at the gas station in Surrey, BC


Mark is riding his Kymco X500ri, Doug is on is Suzuki Burgmann and I am on my V-strom. The day starts out cool enough and I have my panels on and an extra T-shirt. I am not in the lead but they are doing construction on the on/exit freeway ramps so we end up going the wrong way heading West back towards Vancouver, instead of East towards Mission, due to closed ramps. Soon enough we get sorted out and we find our way to the Lougheed highway just past Hatzic lake to our breakfast stop


We do make allowances for rest and beverage breaks but these are usually just convenient pullouts that are not photo worthy, so not many photos today. To compensate I relied more on video from my GoProHD hero1

We had a great waitress


she was friendly and efficient, not like that Waitress from Hell in Baker City which read my mind and counteracted everything I said. Today I was friendly, didn't say much and generally kept my mouth shut

Keep in mind that I left home around 7am and it took an hour for me to get to our meetup location, and then another hour to get to our breakfast spot which was the Firehouse Grill just past Hatzic Lake, so I was famished and forgot to snap a photo until my most excellent breakfast was half eaten


Not quite Vegan. It has a trio of vegan meats; bacon, ham and sausage with 2 eggs, Russian rye toast with a cup of vegan coffee.

We have time to relax, discuss our route and our riding pace. We decide to take it easy and ride a scenic speed, not more than 5 kmph over the limit and let the cars pass. And this is what we did all day. There was very heavy police presence all day and we noticed lots of cars pulled over to receive their tickets.


It was my suggestion to change the route to anti-clockwise to have an easier time returning home after we are hot and tired. Once over the mountains heading into Princeton the temperatures are much higher, sort of like Eastern Oregon with a very dry, arrid desert like appearance

stopping for a washroom break in Hope, BC

The gas station was very busy with long line ups for the washroom so we found another one at a local park

Most often we were lucky to find one of these . . .


and sometimes when we were in the middle of nowhere, we had to find a tree


It was so warm in Hope, that all of us stripped down to mesh and tank tops. The air was very warm and when we reached Princeton it was time to top up our fuel and go to Dairy Queen for a treat


When we reached Merritt around 2:30pm it was like a furnace. Mark and myself stripped out of our riding gear as it was time for our lunch break. It was great to be able to enjoy a good home-made meal in air conditioned comfort


I didn't know what to order, but the hamburger was most excellent with carmelized onions and home-made soup. The thing about these local diners is that they make their own beef patties rather than use those frozen things


As we were getting geared up to leave another couple arrived on their Ninja. They said they had ridden there (to Merritt) from Whistler, BC that morning and after a quick lunch were returning home back to Chilliwack


For some reason my eyes were fixated on the Pillion Candy and I was unable to move, so I did the only thing I know and pulled out my camera


It was my turn to lead so when we arrived back in Hope I decided to head for a place with WiFi so we could all get caught up, email home and have an iced beverage. It was now 5pm and I was still 3 hours from home


We decided on one more gas stop somewhere in Chilliwack as gas is cheaper out there as compared to Vancouver prices. We fueled up for 120.9, in Vancouver it was 136.9 per litre. We decided where we would part and both Mark and Doug were going to exit at 200th. As they were on the Exit at 200th Street, I continued on the main highway and we gave our last farewall waves. We had a great, relaxing day at scenic speeds. From that point I still had another hour of riding to get home


418 miles today on the hottest weekend of the year. Just over 8 hours of actual riding time. Just riding the twisties, not many photos but here is a summary video of our day . . .


  1. I've been on part of that ride, from Princeton to Merritt. I remember passing Allison Lake though I don't remember exactly where it was. Nice job on the video. I really enjoyed it.

    1. Richard:

      Hwy 5A north from Princeton is a melodic, gentle swaying road twisting back and forth. No surprises with terrain changing from tree lined forest ending in browned out desert-like appearance, sort of like eastern Oregon

  2. Bob

    Waitress = server? I'm not fso amiliar with proper English anymore.

    So now you are confusing me with Napoleons's units of distance - I guess that you acheived 85.625 MPH whilst going down the hill with a following wind?

    Anyhow very good effort with the Kawasiki girl!

    Best wishes from out East, N

    1. Nikos:

      we are not familiar with English nomenclature but you are right, she was a "server". We are in Canada so we use kilometers instead of imperial units. The Coquihalla mountain highway has the highest posted speed limit of any road in British Columbia and it is uphill both ways

      As with the Kawasaki girl, I stood in awe. It was the hottest day of the year and that is what I saw when she removed her riding jacket. I was fumbling for my camera

    2. I remain in awe.
      With a green top on like that I bet she was a not a meat eater?

      Do you use one of those trick right angle lenses that makes you appear to be photographing a telegraph pole or did her boyfriend come over and thump you later?

      Intrigued from England (only some drizzle today)

    3. Nikos:

      It was a very tricky & awkward situation with the boyfriend looking directly at me while I was fumbling with my camera, but I quickly went into stealth mode and grabbed the shot.

      If you really want, I could try to snap a photo of a telephone pole for you if it pleases you

  3. lol - I always forget to photo the food before digging in. Nice to catch the "pro" doing the same thing! Hunger will do that to you :)

    We considered a ride this weekend, a ride to the ocean and cooler weather, but we'd either be coming back late or if early then riding in the worst heat. Neither option appealed, so we drove over instead.

    We also stopped for a Dairy Queen treat! No pics though. It was a mint-oreo frostie - yum!

    1. BlueKat:

      I was starving for food and I had already been on the road for 2 hours without much substanence. Not even a hot coffee.

      I wasn't considering a ride either, esp when it was forecast to be the hottest weekend of the year and Merritt is like going to Eastern Oregon, could be 20°F warmer than the coast. With full mesh and not much under, it wasn't too bad, but a cool shower when I got home felt great.

      The guys always stop for beverage breaks and the DQ was across the street from the gas station.

  4. Although I had an invite from a friend for a Sunday outing, I did a raincheck, and decided to spend the day at/on/in the water in front of my doorsteps. TOO HOT for ATGATT, hence not riding...

    Nice vid, doesn't look like you had a lot of traffic.

    1. Sonja:

      We knew it was going to be hot all weekend and Sundays & Holidays are non-riding days anyways so I decided to go with the guys. After 100°F heat of Hell's Canyon I thought that 32°C didn's seem too bad. There were lots of bikes, and also lots of police on the highways with "people" pulled over for tickets. We decided up front to just go the speed limit and let everyone pass. It was relaxing and we pulled over often so we could just ride at scenic speeds. Coldwater Road is a short alternative to the Coquihalla with gentle curves. There were groups of traffic on the Hope-Princeton but I didn't record those sections and I don't recall passing anyone. When we caught up to congestion, we just stopped for a rest break. It was a relaxing, non-hurried day

  5. Great video, Bob. A great day of riding!

    1. Maggie:

      I often "lurk" the maxiscoot forum but I don't think many would recognize me so I don't comment. I noticed my buddy Norm has moved to Florida ? I do appreciate keeping in touch and I have visited Dick over in Lake Cowichan but another visit is long overdue. I'm hoping to ride to St Louis in the near future and hope to finally meet you. Thank you for visiting

  6. I did the same ride except instead of heading down Coldwater Road and the COKE I rode to Spences Bridge through the Nicola valley. That's my personal favourite.

    1. David:

      we were taking so many breaks that we were running out of day. We did consider riding to Spences Bridge, but then we would have to take Hwy 12 to Lillooet, then the Duffey back to Vancouver via Whistler, and that would have made for a tiring day, so we just decided to take the easy route back to town. I didn't get home until just after 8pm, if we had gone the longer route it would have been midnight and I was expected home for dinner

    2. David:

      PS: have you ridden Hwy 6 east from Vernon ? It goes to Nakusp then Hwy 31A, 31 to Kaslo to Nelson. That is considered to be one of the great motorcycle roads in BC. Also stop in Sandon along the way. You can also take the free ferry to Crawford Bay then down to Creston

  7. Loved riding along with you (aka the video) and except for the mountains a lot of that road looked like flatistan ... I am certain I saw pasture lands. The weather here was perfect for a ride today - but I didn't (am suffering post trip partum depression again this year), besides, my (almost, in 6 more days) 95 year old Mom needed a ride to the grocery store and there just isn't room for her on the VStar and she doesn't have any gear anyway.

    1. Karen:

      You would have liked the roads we were on, gentle curves and rolling hills. I think I also saw a few pastures, some with cows but we didn't stop for any photos. We just kept rolling . . .

      I had a moment of nostaglia. A Vstar came into the parking lot and when I looked up to glance at the rider, it wasn't you, and I went all teary eyed

  8. Bob: I just hung a left at Spences Bridge . I wouldn't dream of riding the Duffy Lake road past 530 or so. Too many forest rats to run into. In the old days No1 used to be a pain, low limits and heavy traffic through the Canyon but it's a much better ride now for heading home in the evenings.

    I have camped at Toad Rock motorcycle campground which is not far from 31A. The last time I was there I spent a day just riding my V-Strom up and down that road. It would be even more fun to ride on my Citycom.

    1. David:

      of course you are right about the "Duffey" at night. Sometimes the low sun angle and shadows makes riding difficult. I have a friend up in Green Lake so the loop would be more manageable split into two days. The last time I was up in the Kelowna area I was riding my Suzuki SV650n and rode Westside Road.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting

  9. A high-vis bikini....... Is that so you don't accidentally bump into anything vital? Good thing it was high vis or you might have missed it.

    It looks like a great day of riding, even if it was a little long.

    We saw a lot of police with people pulled over on our way to Seattle and back this weekend. They were all over Washington but barely any in Oregon.

    1. Trobairitz:

      If those two little triangles of material were NOT Hi-Viz, I may not have noticed her, but as it was, it was like neon signs flashing in stereo. It was a long day as these were backroads and slower to navigate. It didn't seem as hot as the heat in Eastern Oregon. It also felt funny to lead when it was my turn as I am usually in the rear

    2. I'm completely behind you Bob, in fact hi-viz boobs like that will become mandatory in France later this year on machines over 125cc.

      N again

  10. Great video. I love the scenery.

    1. Lori:

      Ride your GS up here and I'll show you around. You can see it in person

  11. Nice ride report Bob. And yes that's a great road up 5A.

    1. Scootard:

      I've ridden up there before. There is another video from last year posted on YouTube where the clouds were more angry.

      Also I used to have a Kymco BW250, just like the one ScooterChick has and I rode it to Kelowna, Up hwy 5a, then the connector to Kelowna. Check my blog archives. we took Hope Princeton instead of the Coquihalla for the first section