Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunshine Coast: Hwy 101 North

We had a few sunny days, without fog, and the cool northern air returned. Frosty mornings and today a bit of Snow in some areas of Vancouver, and nothing in others, which makes for dicey riding. Our colleague down in KW, FL often makes fun of us Northerners who have to endure these frigid temperatures to which he is not accustomed. He mocks us on nearly every post with his la-di-da T-shirt and Short pants weather. (his blog is here) As if our temperatures don't reach as high as 14C several times during the year.
As if he didn't know that Vancouver, BC is the Key West of Canada where it seldom snows and temperatures seldom go below Zero, but this year has been an exception. We have had the worst weather in nearly 40 years. And while we would be riding our Motorcycles and scooters all year round, this winter they have been parked longer than normal. Over the years we have built friendships with other riders and I remember a ride we took a year or so ago in the Fall

(scooters enroute on a BC Ferries headed for Gibsons, BC)

One brisk day in October a few of us decided to take a ride over to the Sunshine Coast. I say brisk since it was a cool, cloudy day and the temps were expected to reach around 16C later in the afternoon. We met early and took the lower level road (Marine Drive) to Horseshoe Bay. Pay our fares and hop onto a BC Ferries over to Gibsons, BC. We continued northward up Hwy 101 to Sechelt and decided to take Porpoise Bay Road (North east) until we reached a small cove.

(one of many bed and breakfasts along the Sunshine Coast)

This area is fairly secluded and your rooms look out over the ocean. There is little traffic on this stretch and there are other private cabins. It sure would be nice to own a hideaway up here.


This private road winds its way along the water and we found this peaceful cove where we stopped for some photo opps

(our five scoots lined up in formation)

We headed back to Sechelt where we found a small oceanview pub to have lunch and warm up.


Here is a group shot of the five of us waiting for our meal

(Mark, Robert, Emelia, Yvonne & Myself, not shown)

After lunch we gathered along the pier and took a few more pictures

(Government Pier, Sechelt, BC)

After lunch we headed north on Hwy 101 up to Halfmoon Bay. This is a small community approx half way between Gibsons and Earl's Cove, a short stop to stretch our legs and visit the local store for a snack

(Halfmoon Bay general store)

(some where along the coast south of Halfmoon Bay, BC)

This is an essential part of any ride

(washroom break)

Yes, it was a great day for a ride. Beautiful water views all day, sort of like KW except the roads aren't straight. Lots of twisties to challenge your abilities, and traffic was light. The Sunshine Coast is only accessible by Ferries from both directions as you cannot drive there due to the geographical locations of the mountains and the water. From the beginning of the day until we arrived home was nearly 12 hours. The Ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Gibsons is nearly 1 hour each way, plus waiting times. At this time of year the ferries leave every 2 hours and there were lots of vehicular traffic but we were lucky as scooters and motorcycles get assured loading with the BC Ferries Corporation. You get to pass all the Cagers and ride to "the front of the line" to load on the "next sailing" .
Your 2 wheeled machine is first on and first off without having to make any reservations.

(our Group, Government Pier, Sechelt, BC)

Another great day, with friends and doing what we like to do. Spring is just around the corner and a new year of riding and memories will begin. We can't wait . . .


  1. Hello My Friend...
    I see Your Blog, and I think your post was so good. I like to read your article and photos, nice scooter. I wanna exchange My Link to You, have Your Link in My Motorcycle Relevant Links in My Blog. I hope You do same My Brother. Thank You before.

    Hot Biker

  2. Dear Mr. Skoot:

    Your most recent post was so pleasant, I dawdled over it for an hour, studying each picture. First of all, it combined the best elements of a "Scooter in Turkey" and "Key West Diary," but with your own distinct style.

    I loved the pictures of the scenary... Then again, I have been to British Columbia a number of times and know how beautiful the place is. (My significant other used to own a place at Whistler.) The B&B tucked away in that little cove on the Sunshine Coast really appealed to me.

    Now I have seen ferries runnig all over the place in BC. Do you have to lash your scooter down to the deck?

    Also, it was nice to be able to put a face to the text. I didn't realize you had a beard though.

    This was a great ride report. After two days of really wam weather 49º(F) and 51º(F), the temperature is again at freezing with a light snow falling. This is getting monotonous. . I laughed that you reported 16º(C) as cool. We would regard 60º(F) as perfect riding weather here.

    Fondest regards,

  3. Rie21:

    Thank you for the compliments. I intend to check out your blog too

    Dear Mr Jack:

    Again, thank you for your comliment(s), but you are the master of words, and I intend to learn a lot from you. As you know very well, a lot of nice scenery passes by as you attempt to keep pace with others in the group, but this year I intend to stop more and "smell the roses" and there is that other Murphy's Law thing . . . the best photos are on blind corners with no room to pull over, or narrow shoulders with huge drop-offs. If I consider a stop to be unsafe, then I just continue on my way.
    As for loading onto a BC Ferries: the ferry corporation supplies "stepped" blocks. They would prefer that you "DO NOT" use your centre stand (if you have one) as it is more prone to tip over during rough wave action. They prefer you to use your side stand, and prop the stepped block on the other side of your bike to prevent it from leaning too far in the other direction. The problem is that all the bikes are parked together in close quarters, so that if the "first" bike happens to tip over onto the next, then they will all crumble like a house of falling cards. We are in the habit of staying with the bikes until we cast off, and we arrive back to the bike before docking to prevent ugly things from happening.
    And NO, I do not have a beard. You are referring to that lunch picture, that is Robert, the Reverend (yes, he is a preacher), I am the one taking the picture and thus, not able to run faster than the shutter to get myself in. On the group picture on the dock, I am the one wearing the BLUE Joe Rocket jacket (in the middle)
    Actually anything around 16C is very nice, but I was referring to the brisk temperatures during the early morning when we left home. Of course 16C (61F) is very nice up here, but as I have been reading . . . 16C down in Key West is considered Frigid and COLD. This morning it was hovering around freezing around 1C. How nice it would be to get some of that KW heat.

  4. bob,
    I spent a day looking at your post. It is publishable my good friend. A good story, perfect pictures, relaxed atmosphere, flowing friendship, etc... You should find one of these tour BC publications and send them the story. I'm dead serious.
    Congratulations and thanks for sharing this with us

  5. Man, I thought it would be a few more years before we sat around and told stories of the past!

    I'm just pretending to be Jack, here. Nice post!

    Isn't a shame that some of the best photos are in places too dangerous to pull over?

  6. Baron:
    Your words are too kind. When the warmer weather returns why don't we meet up for a photographic ride somewhere. As for yourself, I don't know how you come up with all your ideas, they are ingenious. You must have a krinked neck, from looking at everyones shoes . . .

    I know, I know , we're supposed to save these stories when we are old and grey and sitting at a coffee shop sometime in the future, and start off by saying . . . "I remember .... (sorry forgot what I was going to say)..."

    This year we are going to start "photographic rides" which are different from normal group rides. In my mind I am trying to sort out the criteria -- for riders are going to be stopping at random to take photos, then while they are stopped, others will pass (unless of course they want a photo at that same spot) and stop somewhere ahead, and also some kind of signal system so we don't confuse a photo op stop for "breakdown" stop. On a normal group ride you have a Lead and a Sweep and your duty is not only to lead the group safely to your destination but also your actions should be to protect the group by choosing the appropriate lane position and "block" aggressive vehicles. On photographic rides your positions/functions may be constantly changing. You could start as a sweeper and the others ahead may pull over to take a photo, leaving you to lead. So there are some complexities to work out. I envision a small group of 2 or 3 to start so we can develop some guidelines before we can undertake larger groups.
    As an instructor your primary goal is to train individual riders, but perhaps not the dynamics of group riding with photo priority tendancies, where your position in the group is/or may be constantly changing. Makes for an interesting BLOG subject

  7. Nothing like slapping a man when he's down. Another 53 degree night down here (12C)and we're supposed to grin an bear it. You lot can afford to get out and ride in unbearable conditions because you can get hurt and not risk hospital induced bankruptcy (or medical paperwork induced psychosis). It's not easy being American these days you know.

  8. Michael:
    At least you still have that space heater warming up your commode. With global warming it seems that no one is being spared. Look at that winter storm that hit the UK yesterday/& today. The whole country is at a standstill. At least you still are +12C (and NOT minus -12C) It may be cool to you but I still don't see any ice nor snow in your photos. We are half way through winter, only 6 weeks to go until Spring arrives. We're not picking on you, we're just envious

  9. Nah, nothing to be envious of. Our economy is floating away and President Obama is as unable to make the tough, truly tough decisions to save us ghastly pain ahead. The roads are boringly straight, Florida allows every loon and his brother to pack a gun so God knows what happens next, and we're never getting the NHS. All that for a couple of degrees of heat? Not worth it my friend.But we soldier on regardless. Ooh by the way it is a lovely bright sunny day. I wish I had the bike back with the new retro tach I ordered.

  10. Gorgeous pictures! I would love to travel to BC someday, it looks beautiful!

  11. Bobskoot, I second, third, etc. all of the previous posts. Thanks for allowing us to tour the Sunshine coast with you. Beautiful pictures of the B&B's there.

  12. BB:
    You live in a warm and desirable area yourself. It's been a few years since we have been down to CA. We tend to hang around the PNW . I was reading about your ride with bikerchickz and it looked warm and inviting, unlike our frigid winters.

    You'll have to bring your CT90 up here for a change of scenery. I'm hoping to take more scenic pictures this year. Usually when riding in a group it is difficult to stop and catch up so you tend to end up with pictures at our rest stops.