riding the Kettle Valley Rail-line in BC - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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riding the Kettle Valley Rail-line in BC

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.
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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 07-30-2011 at 10:37 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 09:51 PM
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nice shots! glad you finally had some good weather, this has been one of the craziest "summers" we've had in a long time...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 11:58 PM
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That looks like a really fun place to ride, great views, nice pics
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 01:32 AM
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Thanks for the photos and refreshing the memories.

I rode the KVR down past that tunnel to Penticton in 2008 on a rented bicycle.

Unfortunately I locked the front wheel early in the decent, put the handle bar into my ribs as I did a summersault, resulting in 3 cracked ribs.

A three hour ride ended about 6 hours later.

As many of you will know, broken ribs are no laughing matter (nor can you sneeze or cough for many weeks).
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 09:51 AM
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Beautiful pics! Did you have any trouble with the stock tires on gravel?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2011, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUREFIRE View Post
nice shots! glad you finally had some good weather, this has been one of the craziest "summers" we've had in a long time...
You know - it's funny: everyone here says what you did, but I moved here from north of Calgary at the start of June, and IN THE FIRST TWO WEEKS here, had nicer weather and HIGHER temps than we experienced in ALL LAST "SUMMER" in the Calgary area!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dct73 View Post
Beautiful pics! Did you have any trouble with the stock tires on gravel?
No. I've ridden a LOT of dirt on my 2 Versys on stock or similar tires, some at pretty high speeds, and no problems, BUT I am standing on my 'pegs a lot, and I'm cautious in corners (standing!). A few areas had a bit deeper loose sandy soil which tended to 'pull' the front tire off-line, but the solution again was standing.

I have a set of Metzler Tourance tires in AZ for the next change, so I'll see how they work and maybe do something similar for here in BC.

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