We decided to take a few well-earned days off and head to the north end of Vancouver Island to explore the remote roads. Cognizant of the risks, we intended to take social distancing to another level, bypassing small communities to avoid jeopardizing anyone.
Bike prep complete, camera batteries charged, emergency gear packed, I threw a couple of days of clothes into my Mosko Moto Reckless 40L system and we were off. After three hours we landed in Campbell River, our temporary home base, and checked into one of the few hotels still operating. I had mixed feelings about the “stay home” direction relentlessly hammered into us and the public’s perception of what that meant. With no clear order to stay home, we were not quarantined, nor were we shut in. Everyone was expected to show up for work where required, purchase groceries, and attend to personal matters, so why was there so much rancor among people when it came to getting out to exercise and taking care of one’s well-being? The risk of injury and need for emergency workers is no higher riding a bike on logging roads than driving to a store in heavy traffic. I knew there might be some backlash from those who took the meaning of “stay home” literally, but being medically versed, I knew that recharging mentally and physically could be done safely.
It was a surreal time to travel, as the Provincial Government had just ordered the closure of all provincial parks, which would influence some of the sights we wished to see. Everywhere we went, we found red-tape barriers and large “CLOSED” signs. As much as it was a source of frustration, it was not surprising given the knee-jerk reactions happening globally; it was all new, and it was all very frightening.
However, I did find it strange that although we were in an isolated area of the island, we did not pass a soul as we ventured along some backroads, yet there were roped-off trails and closed boat launches. At the time, it made little sense to restrict outdoor recreation and similar activities that could be done with minimal-to-no interaction with others.
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THE YOUNGEST TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD? JACK GROVES
In the age of electronics, hyper-communications, and convenience, it’s untrue that the world’s youth have lost the taste for adventure. There will always be an element within the human spirit that demands and grows from new life experiences—an instinct as old as Mankind. And you don’t have to look far to find it.
Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Drystar
Motocross boots have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, but that hasn’t been the case in the ADV segment, and we often have to sacrifice proper protection for dry feet. Meet the new Alpinestars Tech 7 Drystar enduro boot. We’ve been waiting for a boot like this for quite some time and, to this day, it still boggles my mind that it took so long.
SLIDING FOR ADVENTURE
For the last 25 years I’ve been riding off road on everything from a 450cc lightweight to a heavily laden 1200cc adventure motorcycle. Although I was usually able to handle anything through rough terrain at slower speeds, I struggled at higher speeds on loose surfaces. And the biggest pucker moments occurred while approaching tight turns on gravel roads at high speed—barely navigating them safely.
National Cycle VStream Sport Windscreen for Honda Africa Twin
There are many ways to improve motorcycle rider comfort, covering everything from bar risers to footpegs. Having done almost all of them, I decided to switch out my stock windscreen to see if it made a difference, especially on long trips.
TIN CAN TO TIN CUP A LONG OVERDUE TRIP
Long before the modern U.S. highway system was built, with rest stops, 24-hour fuel, and every imaginable packaged food choice on hand, there were the “Tin Can Tourists,” the original American motorized overlanders. As early as the 1900s, these wanderers faced many of the same challenges we live with today. But life was far simpler for the Tin Can Tourist traveling dusty, rutted tracks in meagerly powered vehicles, camping off roadsides in canvas tents, and eating cans of beans over Sterno stoves. Fifteen months ago, we sold our house to join this rambling lifestyle.
R&R for an RN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
A mid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, I needed to find the quiet serenity that comes on two wheels. As a nurse educator in a trauma-based tertiary hospital, I’m deep in the trenches, responsible for disseminating information and implementing health regulations to frontline workers. Inundated with fear from global news, increasing numbers of the infected, lack of resources, and a palpable universal panic as the world began to shut down, I needed to be away from it all for a while.
RAM Tough-Charge X-Grip Waterproof Wireless Charging Motorcycle Mount
RAM Mounts were first introduced in 1995, and over the last 25 years their ball and socket system has become the most ubiquitous way to mount devices wherever you need them. Recently they increased functionality to include Qi wireless charging with the Tough-Charge line of mounts.
HOW TO SURVIVE an Adventure Ride
I’m no expert endurance rider or a professional fitness instructor, but what I can do is ride my motorcycle continuously for five long days and feel physically content at the end of the trip. Okay, maybe after the celebratory beers, I might not feel as good on the morning of the sixth day, but at least my muscles will be relaxed. So, what can you do to prepare for an upcoming off-road adventure to stay strong, enjoy the ride and be able to dismount at the end of the day without calling friends over to pry you off your bike? Here are a few tips from personal experiences that will help you succeed.
Touratech Aventuro Traveller Carbon Helmet
Touratech has a long history of taking great helmets and adding their own features to make them stand apart. Their newest offering, the Aventuro Traveller Carbon, is no different. It’s built upon the Nexx X.Vilijord, a helmet not sold in North America but one that sits at the pinnacle of the Portuguese brand’s line-up. The Aventuro Traveller becomes its own with a full carbon shell, signature Touratech look, and easy accommodation for just about any communication system available.
2Up and Overloaded
Chicago to Panama
The Emotional Toll of 2020
Though 2020 has become the scapegoat—or even punchline— at seemingly every misfortune that has occurred this year, the weight of the emotional, mental, and physical toll has been heavy for people throughout the world.
Reliving the Sh!%box Derby: You would only do this in an old, beat-up 4x4
Let me take this opportunity to give you my take on the ’21 Ford Bronco because 4,530,229 online stories have probably failed to satiate your appetite for unsolicited opinions of Ford’s new would-be Wrangler killer.
FLAT-TOWING CJ-5Q I am buying a ’74 Jeep CJ-5 from a buddy of mine. It’s in pretty good shape, but I’m going to be flat-towing it about 500 miles to my home. What gear should I put it in to flat-tow it safely? Transmission in neutral? Transfer case? Is there anything else I should be concerned about?C. ROY VIA EMAIL
Tim Nichols and his ’99 Ford Ranger aren’t scared of hard knocks
THE IMPOSSIBLE JEEP TOUR
Jeeping the USA, Norwegian style
Aaron Meyer’s ’06 Jeep Wrangler works well at both four-wheeling and Overlanding. You might be surprised to learn it also tows
Intake 2021 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0
Like GTS versions of other Porsche models, the Cayman GTS is a cleverly concocted mix of performance enhancing hardware and value-added standard equipment wrapped in signature black-themed visuals.
GETTING REACQUAINTED WITH THE TOYOTA TACOMA AND 4RUNNER TRD PRO ON THE ROAD TO OURAY
JONJO'S GREY CAN PAINT THE TOWN RED
Jeremy Grayson watches the action at smaller courses