Sunday, April 15, 2012

Victoria to Port Renfrew - The loop


Saturday was a day of adventure!  I got up early, had breaky and got all of my riding gear together.  I was meeting my friend Kiwi Deb and our friend Kristen for a ride to Port Renfew to ride the loop.  Deb also invited her experienced rider friends Brian and Stephen.  They were awesome and patient with us newbs!  The Loop is an amazing scenic ride twisting up Vancouver Island's West Coast.  It is very rural and in places desolate.  After Sooke there is very little cellular connection and its spotty at best.  I would highly recommend that you let folks know where you are going because it is pretty isolated.  It was hard trying to decide what to do about what type of gear to wear.  I opted to leave the quilted liner in my jacket (very glad I did that) I only went with the single liner in my pants.  I had a vest and my wind/water proof gloves with liner.  It started out to be warm, but then quickly cooled off.  

Brian was our lead rider and he was excellent!  He was very thoughtful of all of us in the group and pulled over to keep us together and to let the antsy sports car drivers past and other motorcyclists who decided they need to drive fast.  This road is NOT about fast.  It is very twisty has lots of sharp turns.  LOVED IT.  Our sweep rider Stephen was very experienced and it was great know he was back there watching out for us.  We wound our way up the coast, stopped at French Beach and then had lunch in Port Renfrew and made our way back the loop through Lake Cowichan, Duncan and finally home.  It was a great day.  Only thing that would have made it perfect would have been if Motorcycle Man could have come, unfortunately he was under the weather.  












16 comments:

SonjaM said...

I find the loop quite challenging in a car already especially with some people not knowing how to negotiate the twisties but we hope we can do it some time this year.

Well done. There should be a sticker, something like: I did the loop.

The piece after Port Renfrew indeed gets very lonely. These days it is hard to hold your breath and think of three areas that hasn't cell phone coverage, but this is definitely one spot.

Circle Blue said...

Again, your photos are beautiful. I'm not much for riding in groups but this sounds like a perfect group.

Thanks for the share,
~k

BeemerGirl said...

Wonderful looking ride! I love the idea of that much desolation. Love getting away from the crowds.

Isn't it wonderful having a good sweep? Takes any pressure away and gives you the chance to be calm and look around and not have to worry about sports cars coming up from behind.

Raftnn said...

Well everone has said everything really. Great pics and looks like a great ride.

Dar said...

Everyone - thanks for the great comments. A good sweep & leader are the best part of the ride, it was awesome that they both knew the ride and old tell us what to expect. Both ends we're covered and our leader would point his toe at gravel on the roadway. It was a perfect size group. I am usually a solitary rider, but would definitely ride with Deb, Kristen, Steven and Brian, they got it going on.

What I noticed as a result of yesterday's riding things that were giving me a little grief aren't NW. It's amazing what 8 hours of seat time will do for you. Turns are smoother and I am looking up and ahead more through turns. I even did several successful on purpose u-turns today.

BeemerGirl - I liked the ride, but honestly not sure I would do it alone, too isolated. Despite it being isolated you are far from alone, the bike traffic is heavy and I think everyone had the same idea because it was beautifully sunny. Oh I can hardly wait to ride to Tofino!

Trobairitz said...

What a great day Dar. Beautiful roads and great riding friends. Thanks for sharing the pics.

Was this the longest ride for you in one day?

Dar said...

Trobairitz - it definitely was the longest so far, I could have gone forever! I do need to resolve the noisy helmet issue. When I finally got home my ears were ringing and I had an earache starting. I am going to get some ear plugs made I think. It was a wonderful day!

bobskoot said...

Dar:

what ! you didn't wait for the May weekend ! I did the Port Renfrew loop the year it was paved (Sept 2009). My V-strom was only 1 month old and I just did the first service. There were 3 of us if you go back to my archives.

I've ridden solo to Oregon back in 2008 (I think) and I travelled on a challenging road in worse condition than the PRloop. It makes you think that if something went wrong you would only have yourself to rely on. Lucky you have a nice group of riders to rely on

bob
Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Dar said...

They paved it only 3 years ago, it's a bloody goat trail!

Deb said...

Dar-
These are the days we live for, eh?
See, I speak Canadian! LOL

What a fantastic ride and delightful photos!

These isolated and beautiful places are so special-wouldn't ya like to just ride forever?

Enjoyable post!

Deb

Richard Machida said...

Looks like it was a beautiful day for a ride. Is this a loop up and around the island?

Dar said...

Deb - it was great riding with you, Kristen, Brian and Steven! I had a whole lot of fun and totally enjoyed it. I could have ridden forever! It was such a gorgeous day and the temperature was perfect. BTW lol eh!

Richard - This is on the West side of the island. (I could be wrong because I am directionally impaired - I landmark by shopping centres and there aren't any out there!) You leave Victoria and head out to Sooke and keep going, it is the area of the West Coast Trail, you pass through Jordan River, Sombrio Beach area and then Port Renfrew on the way back you go through the logging roads into Lake Cowichan, then it is to Duncan and off to Victoria. 'The Loop'

Pam said...

Looks like an awesome ride and beautiful day!

Dar said...

Pam - it was fabulous! Sunshine, great scenery, twisties, what more could a moto diva ask for :)

VStar Lady said...

Awesome - thanks for sharing your ride.

Dar said...

Hey VStar Lady are you getting any sunny weather out your way yet?