2020 : Our Rides in Words, Photos & Videos

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If there is a road going through, there is a border crossing. There is a small one called Nighthawk, and it is not open all the time. The main one is about 40 or 50 miles north near Oroville, WA and it is pretty good sized and open all hours. Except now, the border is closed to everybody except trucks hauling stuff because of....the virus. There are several more small crossings that are not open at night.

I finally went across in January. I hadn't been up since 1990 something and was amazed at how the border crossing was now a big maze going back into the U.S. You have to concentrate hard to follow it. Going into Canada is pretty straight forward. Nope, we have no guns with us. I should ride across at Nighthawk, but then I don't know where I would go. There is no town and it looks to be a ride on a busy highway to get anywhere once in Canada. Nighthawk is another place that used to be a real town but is not now.
When the border is open again you could do a circular loop to Osoyoos and then south across the border. There is quite a substantial hill up and then down again before getting to Osoyoos.
 
When the border is open again you could do a circular loop to Osoyoos and then south across the border. There is quite a substantial hill up and then down again before getting to Osoyoos.

You basically do the same climb if you ride in the opposite direction. And the climb out of Oroville is quite scenic and the traffic is light. Here is a picture (from happier times) along that very section of road:

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When the border is open again you could do a circular loop to Osoyoos and then south across the border. There is quite a substantial hill up and then down again before getting to Osoyoos.

Is there a way to go into Osoyoos from Nighthawk that is not a main highway? Also a way to avoid hwy 97? I haven't been able to figure that one out. I don't enjoy riding along busy highways. I do plan to ride up the Similkameen on the U.S. side. It's a pretty route.

Last year I rode part way up the Sinlahekin Valley, which could be a through ride to NIghthawk, 'cept I think a battery charge along the way might be needed. I'm not sure because I rode that on my Radmini and had the rear brake pad totally fail. I rode very slowly back.

I am thinking that the border crossings at Laurier and Northport recently changed their hours. I know there was an outcry from the Republic community about it, so maybe they didn't?

I've researched a bit, and it looks like one could ride the Curlew Rail to Trail to the border, go a short distance and hit the Kettle Valley rail trail. Or maybe I'm thinking about the wrong place. Better check that.
 
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Is there a way to go into Osoyoos from Nighthawk that is not a main highway? Also a way to avoid hwy 97? I haven't been able to figure that one out. I don't enjoy riding along busy highways. I do plan to ride up the Similkameen on the U.S. side. It's a pretty route.

Last year I rode part way up the Sinlahekin Valley, which could be a through ride to NIghthawk, 'cept I think a battery charge along the way might be needed. I'm not sure because I rode that on my Radmini and had the rear brake pad totally fail. I rode very slowly back.

There is a lot of private land south of Highway 3 and I think you'd be pretty much committed to the highway shoulder on that route.

The Sinlahekin is great and quite scenic. The road is generally wide and easy going with great sight lines until you start climbing in the forest up to Conconully. You could probably charge at the Qwik Stop in Loomis while you eat some chicken strips.

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I drove the Oroville to Loomis loop last fall to check it out. I decided it had to be biked on that trip and was kind of thinking that Spring would be the time to ride it, but alas!

Oh, there is also a border crossing that would get you to Midway, where I think one of the more popular spots of the KVR takes off.
 
Is there a way to go into Osoyoos from Nighthawk that is not a main highway? Also a way to avoid hwy 97? I haven't been able to figure that one out. I don't enjoy riding along busy highways. I do plan to ride up the Similkameen on the U.S. side. It's a pretty route.

Last year I rode part way up the Sinlahekin Valley, which could be a through ride to NIghthawk, 'cept I think a battery charge along the way might be needed. I'm not sure because I rode that on my Radmini and had the rear brake pad totally fail. I rode very slowly back.

I am thinking that the border crossings at Laurier and Northport recently changed their hours. I know there was an outcry from the Republic community about it, so maybe they didn't?

I've researched a bit, and it looks like one could ride the Curlew Rail to Trail to the border, go a short distance and hit the Kettle Valley rail trail. Or maybe I'm thinking about the wrong place. Better check that.
To get to Osoyoos you are stuck to using Hwy 97.
 
Those coordinates take you to approximately 2 km from my place. The KVR starts in Midway BC and ends in Hope, BC Much of it is now part of the Transcanada Trail . A few sections allow vehicle Traffic, but it is mostly used by walkers, horseback riders or cyclists. I cycle parts of the trail weekly.

One section here in Summerland still has tracks and is the basis of the current Kettle Valley Railway, a non profit society, which operates a steam train for much of the year.
 
I drove the Oroville to Loomis loop last fall to check it out. I decided it had to be biked on that trip and was kind of thinking that Spring would be the time to ride it, but alas!

Oh, there is also a border crossing that would get you to Midway, where I think one of the more popular spots of the KVR takes off.
Midway BC is the eastern terminus of the Kettle Valley Railway.
 
The two lane road by my place to town is narrow and winding and quite frankly I’m scared to ride my bike in that direction.

However the closest market lies in that direction and using logging roads to get there is way safer.

Pic and track from today’s milk run, literally. They have local supply whole milk in a bottle with cream on top just like we used to get when I was a kid. Well except that got home delivered by the farmer.,,,

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I've planned the Easter route:
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The objective has been to avoid principal roads (less chances to be interrogated by the police about good reasons for riding). The forecast temperature would be 9 - 19 C, so the clothes have to be changed en route. The ride would be into 4 m/s wind until the point #5. I have prepared a lot of beverages and snacks as @Readytoride had taught me. Riding out the Vado with two batteries and the Eco level set to 40%.

Contingency plans:
Plan B: In case of range anxiety, shorten the loop.
Plan C: In case of bonking, come back by train from Skierniewice.

Wish me luck!

P.S. Some cartoon about riding in the covid times:
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1. Son to his Mum: "I've a toothache, Mom!" Mom: O, Saint Boniface of Acadria!
2. Mom: "Go to the countryside; dentists still work there. Wear dustcoats. Go by scooter, not by coach. Take a shopping bag. (And a dog!)
3. (Police siren) - Pull over! (A curse)
4. -- We're going for grocery shopping! We've got a shopping bag! And a dog to be walked! -- You rode with no lights on. You're fined 200 PLN and get 3 penalty points!
 
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1. Son to his Mum: "I've a toothache, Mom!" Mom: O, Saint Boniface of Acadria!
2. Mom: "Go to the countryside; dentists still work there. Wear dustcoats. Go by scooter, not by coach. Take a shopping bag. (And a dog!)
3. (Police siren) - Pull over! (A curse)
4. -- We're going for grocery shopping! We've got a shopping bag! And a dog to be walked! -- You rode with no lights on. You're fined 200 PLN and get 3 penalty points!
Love it. We haven't made it this far in the states (yet).
 
Great day to run a few errands. More fun to ride the bike these days than take the car.

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Ducati cheater

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Corona Trader

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Shuttered

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Masked ebiker

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Gravel mine

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Fossils

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Color coordination

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Views

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Loungers

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Makeshift rack

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Nice ride... I noticed you are doing the mix and match battery swap between BH bikes. I'm doing the same thing. ;)

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When I purchased my Giant Phantom in early March I was looking to use it to cycle some of my regular routes but also use it in lieu of my vehicle for running errands, heading to the tennis courts and birding. Well there is no tennis until further notice but I have been running simple errands and have started visiting some of my birding spots on the ebike. In this part of North America the snow is disappearing at lower elevations, lawns are greening up and buds are starting to flush.

That means the birds are starting to return and pair up. Species that we see now are usually passing through from wintering in Mexico and south, on their way to breeding grounds in the arctic. This last week I spotted 3 flocks of sandhill cranes about 200m overhead as they slowly make their way northward. Warblers and hummingbirds should be starting to arrive any day now. Some of these stay year round while others are just here for lunch and a nap before heading north.

On Wednesday I made my third attempt to cycle to Ritchie Lake just north of here. Both previous attempts I aborted due to ice on an isolated, and infrequently travelled road. This time success.

Ritchie Lake is really just a duck pond that was rehabilitated approximately 5 years. First step was to fence out the cattle who had used it as a watering spot. We have free range cattle in this part of the country on both private and Crown lands. Ranchers let them out in the spring and collect them in the fall when frost starts to appear. But the cattle, an invasive species, can really make a mess of things both through trampling and "recycling" of their food.

The "lake" has recovered very nicely. As soon as the ice starts to leave the waterfowl arrives. Then there are the other woodland birds that live in the area including warblers, swallows, hawks, woodpeckers, chickadees, robins etc.

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Garnett Lake is a local reservoir that serves part of our community both for domestic and agriculatural use. Two weeks ago it was still very much frozen over, this week the ice is all gone.




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British Columbia is still a very young province. The interior of the province was settled by Europeans in the early 1900's although First Nations have been here for thousands of years. The route I was following was originally a First Nations trail and then was used by traders and trappers and became one of the routes to the BC gold fields in the 1880's.

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For those of you in Europe this photo is not a big deal; concrete fence post. So what? In this part of the world, where timber is the primary building material, a concrete fencepost is very rare. Sort of like finding a wooden fencepost is some parts of Europe.

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A few images of the trees at this elevation. These are ponderosa pine. As you increase in elevation you move into Douglas-fir forests, then pine, then spruce, then balsam (Abies) then into alpine.
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And finally, mighty Ritchie Lake. There was still ice on 25% of the lake, and standing water in puddles outside of the lake. This water is all from snow melt. The first waterfowl were staking their places on the lake. A small group of mallards and a solitary American coot. My bonus for the day was watching a male red-naped sapsucker drumming on a dead aspen for 10 minutes. His mate visited very briefly to inspect his prowess. A new species for my life list.
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Happy Easter! Saw this fellow on my ride this afternoon -

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His owner apparently really likes his metal working hobby, there were metal creatures everywhere.

I got set for this pic and of course the only car on this back road all afternoon drove by;

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This road gently rolls on for some miles just outside our little town following a rushing creek a few hundred feet down on the left. Very spring like today, a nice change from the rain and cold we had all week.
 
Just keep going?
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Lowood Station, looking NW.
Lowood is the first village on the old Brisbane Valley branch line and also the first of only a few places where a section of track has been left abandoned. It's over three decades since the last service ran and the hardwood sleepers are well rotted.

From our home to here (24 km) takes just over an hour. Sections of the rail trail are dreadfully rough and each time I make the trip I wonder why I didn't just go ride a combination of sealed and gravel backroads!

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Lowood Station 1969, looking SE.
The 1969 photo was taken in the opposite direction. The local diesel 'rail motor', on the centre line of my photo, is taking passengers to Ipswich 35 km away whilst the steam loco is headed toward Yarraman 130 km further on. (The third line in my photo led to the goods sheds.)

The entire line is now a rail trail.

Location : Click for map.
 
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