Yesterday just past noon, a buddy on his '09 KLR and I (on "the Green Hornet") left to explore the Kettle Valley Rail right-of-way from Kelowna to Penticton in BC's Okanagan Valley, a ride new to me as we just moved to the Okanagan at the start of June.
I can't say for sure when it was laid down, but a sign indicated work done in 1912, so call it 100 years old, then all the ties were removed, along with the rails, a few years ago and it became a hiking, biking and motorized trail, with motorized access limited to the parts away from the trestles (replaced after a major forest fire burned the area awhile back) with the exception of a steel one just above Kelowna.
The ride to our start point was great with the REALLY twisty roads
the area's known for (I hope I can find them all again!), then onto a pretty nice dirt road (what remains of the right-of-way). Ray in the lead, but within the first km his KLR got 'squirrely' - his rear had picked up a nail and gone flat.
I figured the next hour would be taken up with repairing his tube, asked if he had a puncture kit. "Nope" was his reply
, then he told me to continue riding, that he would ride into Kelowna on the flat
and get it repaired. After some back-and-forth he insisted I continue on my own, that he'd take care of his problem and see me another time.
Off I went and was treated to some magnificent views of Lake Okanagan on the ride south which ultimately included 55 kms (34 miles) on the dirt. Shortly after parting ways I rode over a steel trestle that I believe is the ONLY one for motorized travel, tho' it has barriers precluding 4 wheelers from entering. I saw several dirt bikes, a few quads, several pickups and MANY bicycling groups as I rode. It surprised me to see many people and cars at a 'resort' on a large lake near the half-way point, then pretty much solo riding from there
Around 3/4 of the way down, the trail comes to a tunnel that's closed to traffic (including foot traffic) but I was able to get some pictures then continue. A paved road connects (really twisty as on the Kelowna end) to it, and took me to Penticton, then, an hour later, home.
The whole ride was 160 kms (100 miles) more-or-less, and took me from 1PM till 6:15.
I phoned Ray to check how HIS day had turned out, and his wife told me he was picking up his KLR with his trailer - he'd abandoned it in Kelowna and took a bus home to get his car and trailer. I mentioned I would show him how to fix flats to help make sure this MIGHT not happen again.
Sorry about the sideways image.