Rider Series: Julianne, Vancouver Island
My mom used to ask me why I couldn’t be more interested in dolls or dance lessons, back then I was rocking a peddle motorbike in pigtails and fashioning a ramp to echo Evil Knievel’s motorcycle stunts. Now she wonders why I can’t be more interested in cars with airbags and seatbelts, but life behind bars (handlebars that is) has helped save my life from being ordinary. In a couple of weeks I will mount my steel stallion, point it east towards Penobsquis, NB and set-off on a coast-to-coast adventure to meet a tribe of other women equally dedicated to living life outside of ordinary. This will be my first trip to the Backroad Ball, it’ll be on a Harley and there won’t be pigtails.
With just over two weeks before heading out knuckles and knees to the wind on a cross-country, two-wheeled solo trek from Vancouver Island to the Backroad Ball, it’s time to consider what goes into the stuff sack. For this trip I am bringing “Big Bertha” – the Harley bagger – that provides better creature comforts and storage than the softail stallion that will stay at home in the stable this trip. I’ve ridden for 20 years and on plenty of long distance hauls, but this will be my first coast-to-coast Canada ride, with a focus on camping and it’ll be the longest trip I’ve done solo. Click here to see what I’m packing on this 2-month camping trip: 2Wheels2Wander.com.
I have travelled most of the Midwest and south, even as far as Texas for a weekend motorcycle rally once. I’ve narrowly escaped some pretty hair raising conditions, including torrential rains and road washouts, snow and sleet, wildfires, a tornado and an up-close-and-personal encounter with a quarrelsome bear. But one of my first road trip scares was back in 2007 on the way back from a women’s rally in the prairies. I was doing 110 km down the highway (posted speed) when one of the saddlebags came loose and got pulled into the rear wheel well, effectively bringing me to a screeching halt, all the while laying down a smoke screen behind me from halting rubber. The tent was melted and the chain pulled it through into the crankcase. All I had on me was a swiss-army knife and duct tape, but I fashioned a fix that got me home to Victoria, BC. What am I packing for tools on my trip to the east coast for the Backroad Ball? Since space economy is paramount on a bike packed with camp gear, I’ve still opted for only a couple of essential tools in favour of a third pair of underpants. Here’s my list: 2wheels2wander.com/what-to-pack
Two weeks and counting… it’s been a bucket list item for years. So in a couple of weeks, even though the steel stallion hasn’t been out of the stable yet, and even though I’ll be feverishly wrenching on her the next two weekends to ensure she’s ready to face the 7,000 km ribbon of tarmac ahead of us, I will fulfill my dream and set off on a cross Canada trip. The coast-to-coast adventure begins in Victoria, BC and lands me in Penobsquis, NB. Quite honestly, I didn’t know where to find the destination on my map, and I still can’t pronounce “Penobsquis”, but as soon as I heard there was a Canadian equivalent to the Babes Ride Out rallies I’ve attended in the U.S., I knew I had to make the trip. So in two weeks it’s “Backroad Ball or BUST”… but I’m praying there will be plenty of biking without any busting.