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June 2010 Vol 10 - No 6 - Motorcycle Diaries: Riding The Okanagan PDF Print E-mail
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June 2010 Vol 10 - No 6
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Motorcycle Diaries: Riding The Okanagan
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Riding the Okanagan

 by Barry and Gayle Herbert

 

The Okanagan is located in the interior of British Columbia. With its picturesque mountain ranges there are very few straight roads, lots of twisty turnies that make an excellent riding experience on either 2 or 3 wheels.

The area featured here is the Salmon Valley located just out side the city limits of Salmon Arm BC. On any given day you will find riders from all over BC who come to ride what I would call a mini Dragons Tail.

This road has curves that the most experienced will temp fate with. Posted speed is 60 km per hour, they can be taken comfortably at 80 km on a cruiser. Sport bikes will push the limit at 100 km. But be forewarned, if you over ride your skill level you’ll transition from bike rider to pilot flying out over a farmers freshly ploughed field 30 to 50 feet below.

Our trip starts on the Foothills Road which takes us out of Salmon Arm and winds along the bottom of a long extinct volcano, Mount Ida.

Foothills Road

 

Mount Ida from the Salmon Valley floor

 

The next section of the ride is on the flats of the Salmon Valley floor where you can open it up for a short while, then you have 90 degree corners to deal with.

 

Start of Salmon Valley Road

 

Looking south down the valley, there’s still snow on the mountain tops

 

Approaching one of those 90 degree turns, on a trike you have to drop to first gear to avoid being thrown off, on 2 wheels you have to drop speed also to make it safely.

 

 

See the sign on the right? The road is that twisty for the next 16 km.

 

Coming up is one of those areas where you can become air born if you over ride your skill level.

 

At the bottom of the Valley is this really cool butt rest that has the greatest ice cream to quench the heat and calm the nerves.

 

 

The Salmon Valley Junction General store is kept busy all summer with bikers and bike riders who were in abundance this day. They also offer excellent home cooking for the hungry traveler. 

 

Gayle cooling off by the ice machine

 

Just south of here is highway 97 which runs from Kamloops to Vernon, or you can continue along the back roads, which are plentiful, east to Armstrong BC.

 



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