First off, happy 4th to all you fine folks south of the 49th!
I had a doc's appointment yesterday morning, so that was a good excuse to ride the 40 km from Sooke. I should add that a good portion of this road is two lane, winding through some mountains. Once clear of that, I rode back to Sooke (fun) and did some exploring of some gravel roads in the area (more fun).
Then I got a call from a friend of mine who apparently needed some two-wheel therapy. How could I say no? So, back to Victoria I go and picked up my passenger for the first real two up test for my Versys, which was showing about 700 km on the dial.
when I arrived at her place, she looked at it and said, " Its a crotch rocket!" I explained how the design of the bike was sporting, but it didn't really qualify for that category. She was a little dubious, because she's a long, lean 6' tall.
I didn't mind
So away we go out of Victoria, up the Trans Canada Hwy toward Duncan and Chemainus. There is a section of the highway that we commonly refer to as the "Hat", which is short for the Malahat Hwy. It winds it way up & over a mountain pass, with some spectacular scenery along the way.
There's a couple of points along the way for folks who want to stop and admire the view. (photos will be attached)
This section is notorious for nasty crashes as well, due to the narrow, winding roadway and many motorists inability to think & drive at the same time.
So in other words, its perfect for bikes!
The Versys was incredible. It didn't skip a beat and held the corners as if it were on rails! If I had a passenger, the Versys didn't seem to care. Its just kept telling me," Lets go Dad. Come on!"
Once over the pass, you can stay on the Trans Canada Hwy and blast northward up Vancouver Island, or scoot off onto a number of side roads.
We chose to blast up to Chemainus for a beer and a look around.
Chemainus is an old logging town that reinvented itself in the 1980's by getting a number of murals painted on the walls of commercial buildings.
The folks added a number of cool shops to visit. Its a very popular summer destination.(more pics to be included)
We arrived later in the day, so the crowds had died down.
We walked around a bit, snapped some pics, then got to the business of finding food and cold beer.
We found both at the Harbourside Cafe.
Cold beer on tap, and a very good selection on the menu. Everything comes "pub-sized" so you're getting plenty food, not an artistic display of small edibles.
I opted for the curried tiger prawns on a bed of rice. Nice bite in the curry!
As the sun began to set, we hopped back on the Versys.
Instead of hitting the Hwy, we meandered through some farmland, where the roads took all kids of interesting turns and changes in elevation and camber. It was perfect. For about 1/2 and hour we saw maybe 2 or 3 other vehicles.
Then we had to nip back onto the highway to go over the "Hat".
There were some folks in cars bunching up on the uphill side, so I asked the Versys to help us squirt through the congestion.
The bike responded quite happily and really put a smile on my face.
Once over the hump, we just happened to be in front, heh heh. The downhill side is quite narrow and twisting going south. It is where the worst of the crashes occur.
The Versys was incredible! I really gave that bike a good test with off camber corners at speed with two up. Not a twich or a wobble came out of the suspension.
All I had to do was pick my line and just roll on the throttle.
At the bottom of the pass, my passenger was sqealing with excitement.
We turned off and booted around a few more sideroads before I dropped her off at ther place.
To say she was impressed with the bike would be an understatement. She mumbled something about "better than sex" before stumbling through her doorway.
For my part, I'm so thoroughly convinced in the quality of my Versys.
At the end of the day, I logged in about 300 km. Not a bad day. Good company, good food, cold beer, beautiful scenery, & twisty roads.
Hope you don't mind me sharing!