Monday, July 18, 2011

Motorcycle Madness

With all my paddling buddies occupied I took off for a little ride on the new bike.  There's this route on southern Vancouver Island called the Circle Drive.

It's essentially the brain child of the tourism office.  Their thinking was that if the government could find the money to pave 53 kilometers of logging road tourists in motor homes would travel this great circle dropping buckets of cash as they went.

So the government paved the road from Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan thus creating a 265 kilometer paved circle linking Port Renfrew, Duncan, and Victoria our provincial capital.  Guess what! The tourist didn't come.  The worst section of the road is only chip sealed, twisty and narrow.  The type of road that sends the RV crowd to the commode.

What's left is a pretty little road just fine for motorcyclists.

On this day I road up the Malahat to the Shawnigan Lake turn off and swung left to ride the back road and escape the up island traffic.  If you take this route stay to the left or west side of the lake.  Part of the road has been resurfaced and the traffic volume is even lower.

When you reach the end of the lake don't go back to the island highway but follow anyone of a number of back roads.  I travelled through Cobble Hill and Cowichan Bay before slipping into Duncan.

From Duncan I road straight west to Cowichan Lake, gassed up and headed for Port Renfrew.  Watch out for logging trucks and dodgy pavement.  Some of the corners are deceptive.  I squared a few and left my braking too late on a few others.  I'm still trying to sharpen skills that sat on the shelf for 23 years.

The last straight section before Port Renfrew is a sort of paved corrugated speed bump.  You'll see the straight out ahead of you but you will soon out drive your suspension if you open it up too much.

There's new pavement between Port Renfrew and Sombio Beach.  However the section immediately west of Jordan River is rough.  Watch out for the hair pin turn at the top of the big hill leading down into Jordan River.  I felt the rear wheel slide going through the corner as I had carried too much speed into the turn.  A religious moment for sure.

After the climb up out of Jordan River the road leads back to Sooke and is mostly uneventful.  If time permits take the Otter Point alternative for a more interesting ride.  Once you reach Sooke you're back in urban madness.  To escape take Gillespie Road to East Sooke Road and follow it back into Victoria. More photos

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the detailed information and photos