From Canyons to Coffee Shops

August 1 2009

As you flip through the pages of our August/September issue, you’ll notice a bit of a trend. Apart from our review on the fantastic new-for-2009 Suzuki Gladius, aka SFV650, you’ll notice the pages are brimming with travel features.

Bob and Brenda Timbers, began a journey from their home on Vancouver Island, down the western seaboard and across the southern United States to the country’s southern most point, Key West, Florida. An 18,000-kilometre winter interlude of sorts, on what could be considered an entry-level bike no less.

We fully understand that not everyone can take a month off work, and life, to make such a commitment so we also have included a couple of articles for the day-trippers. We hope they will tweak your imagination to look in your own area for those elusive roads that take only a few hours to ride. Quite often we look past our own backyard and are blind to the amazing roads that are laid out so close to us, much like the local who never visits their own area’s tourist attractions. Take a look around and develop a few of your favourite routes when your riding time is limited and enjoy them with your friends, or simply ride them alone when you need to clear your head.

One of these simple excursions is a quick three-hour roundtrip for those days when you just can’t get away for more than an afternoon. I bet if you looked in a 100-kilometre radius of your home, you too could find an easy-to-get-to ride like the one described in ‘Close to Home’.

Or how about a scenic ride through dinosaur country in southern Alberta while on a mission to search out ghost towns from a bygone coal mining era. This article takes the reader through Horsethief Canyon on the way to Drumheller and continues on through part of the Canadian Badlands.

Since our meeting with Paddy Tyson, the Irishman we met at Atlanticade 2008, we have had a few updates published in Motorcycle Mojo of his travels across Canada, through the United States and into Central America. These sparse updates received a lot of comments from our readers wanting to know more about the wandering Irishman. The July issue featured a story submitted by Paddy himself about his trials and tribulations of arriving in Canada from Ireland and reuniting with his Aprilia Pegaso 650, fondly named ‘Peggy’.

We have received many requests for more of Paddy’s writing and it seems we have convinced Paddy to release his colourful travel revelations for everyone to enjoy. Paddy takes a humorous approach to his time spent travelling and his articles reflect his amusing view of the people he met, the land he rode across and the curveballs that life on the road can toss your way. In this issue Paddy leaves the east coast and begins his trek inland to Quebec.

While Paddy has travelled most of the world over by motorcycle, he would easily be the highest miler I have ever met. Richard Szpin, however, is no stranger to long road trips and he offers his advice in an article on how to prepare for the long haul road trip. Richard touches on how to prepare mentally and physically, and how to decide what to pack and what not to pack in the limited confines of a pair of saddlebags and a top box.

We also have a family vacation that turns into a father and son bonding as they ride hairpins and mountain passes through southern British Columbia.

Where are your travels taking you this summer? Do your plans have you close to home for a few day trips or maybe some weekend rides? I know some will be taking on a long haul ride with or without a specific destination in mind and that again is what riding is about.

Be sure to let us know how your summer is going. Remember to send in photos for our “Give Us Your Best Shot” section, and if you happen to see a town, city, street or what-have-you with your name on it, get a photo of yourself and the sign and send it in to us.

Wherever your travels take you, it is about the ride and perhaps the road less travelled that can leave a lasting impression on any venture whether you rode it solo or with friends.

Remember, there are so many roads and so little time so take advantage of your riding time this summer, and lastly ride safe.

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