Thursday, 20 August 2009

Sunshine Coast and Island Scooter Ride (Part 1)

Finally, a scooter trip!

The plan was to go to Horseshoe Bay, and up the Sunshine Coast to stay in Powell River for a night. The next day I planned to go to Comox on Vancouver Island and then to either Nanaimo or Victoria to take a ferry back to the mainland.

Because of the length of each entry (and all the pretty pictures) I've split up the trip into three parts. Here's part 1.

Maple Ridge - Horseshoe Bay
Distance: 77km
Time: 2 hours

Although I have made through a number of renos this summer relatively unscathed, I've managed to injure myself while holidaying - my knee when attempting a cannonball in 4 and a half feet of water ("Don't jump, Dad, don't jump!") and slicing off the top half of my nail and a bit of nail bed with a utility knife while attempting to jury rig a pannier to my scooter. Despite these minor injuries, I headed off today for my circle tour of the coast and island.

The first leg on my route was to go to Vancouver and continue on to Horseshoe Bay where I would catch the ferry for the Sunshine Coast - Langdale. I wanted to get to get the 9:40 ferry so I left around 7 AM thinking that I would have lots of time.

The ride to Vancouver was uneventful except for the numerous construction projects on the way. I figured I was OK as I crossed the Lions Gate Bridge at 8:40.

I love going over the bridge - it's so high up and the view from the scooter is truly spectacular.

I had decided to take Marine Drive all the way to Horseshoe Bay to avoid going on the freeway. As the name suggests, the route goes along the water, snaking around houses, stone fences, trees, and shoreline. It was a very scenic ride but it took a bit longer than I thought, so there was no time for photos.

I arrived in the village of Horseshoe Bay at 9:15 but I couldn't get to the ferries - I was supposed to double back on the freeway four kilometres and then turn around. I really didn't want to go on the freeway and it's also all uphill out of Horseshoe Bay so I started on the freeway but luckily spied a place where the cement barriers separating the freeway lanes had a break. I hopped this break and then a curb and found myself zooming towards the ferries - but without a ticket!

I flagged down a ferry flag person and he radioed his boss:

Flagperson: I've got a scooter here who needs a ticket but doesn't want to go on the freeway.
Boss: How'd he get there?
Flagperson: He hopped the curbs down by the chute.
Boss: He can hop a curb but he can't go on the freeway?

I then went down to the terminal and bought a ticket there. But then I had to do the exact same thing and hop the barrier again to get back in the line up!

By this time it was 9:30 and I lined up with the other motorcyclists until the ferry left a few minutes later.

Langdale - Earl's Cove
Distance: 88 km
Time: 2 hours

From Langdale, I took the Sunshine Coast Highway 101 north.

It's a fairly nice highway but would have been better if it spent more time right near the water. It's also only two lanes so I had to pull off fairly often, particularly until I figured out to let all the ferry traffic leave first.

At Red Roofs, about half way, I stopped in to visit my nephew and nieces. My niece, Charlotte, had her birthday the following day so I wanted to surprise her with my visit and a little something. I also had a quick lunch and a wonderful view of the ocean.

My sister-in-law takes her kids there every summer to their family cabin and they spend most of the summer holidays up there. Nice!

After lunch I sped north to Earl's Cove, about another hour, on the highway. It was better as there was little traffic. I fuelled up about 20 km from the ferry, not wanting a repeat of the White Rock fiasco!

I got to the terminal in good time and had a chance to sit in the sun before I made the 50 minute voyage to Saltery Bay.

Saltery Bay - Powell River
Distance 50 km
Time: 40 minutes

Upon arriving at Saltery Bay, I headed off, jacketless, pulling off the road until the ferry traffic passed.

After that, it was a delgihtful ride on the 101. I stopped a few times for photos as the weather was fine and I wasn't on a strict schedule. It was a lot less stressful as, when there were cars behind me, the breakdown lane was a good width.

It wasn't far and I was in Powell River.

More about Powell River next blog entry.


Unknown said...


Sorry to hear that you had so many "accidents", but great that you have healed enough to make the trip. Nice scenery and good weather is a bonus.

In Horseshoe Bay, they used to let you use the gate directly behind the ticket booth to access the parking lot as long as you pushed your scoot through the passenger area.

Ride safe

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Baron's Life said...

So far a great post and pictures...but am I missing something could you ride on the freeway with a 50cc scoot?

MacLobster said...

Way to get out there and have an adventure on your own.

Dave Dixon said...

Despite the self-inflicted accidents, the trip was great - and the scenery and weather sure added to it!
I didn't see how to go through the passenger area but I'll keep that in mind for next time.

That's the point, I don't want to go on the freeway on a 50cc scooter - that's what was driving me crazy!

Thanks, travel alone is a different way to go - maybe not as fun as when we cycle in a group but you do get to meet a fair number of people. I like both ways....

Baron's Life said...

So it was illegal...what if the cops stopped...hey I remember you got your learner's last year...did you not carry it through?

Dave Dixon said...

I've never been stopped by the cops for going on a highway - but I've never gone on a freeway - where the speed limit is higher.

Unfortunately I did not follow through with my learner's. Instead of a new scooter, we ended up with a new roof. Such is life....