Friday night I just happened by chance to check into the twittersphere where I saw a picture of our Inner Harbour during full Swiftsure festivities. (Swiftsure is an annual sailing event in Victoria) I recognized the picture and the tweeter was none other than Sturgis Chick. I have been following her on twitter and her blog since about 2013. I seized the moment and tweeted her and asked if she was in Victoria, she was and we chatted a bit.
She was staying with friends and on Saturday going to ride the scenic Pacific Circle Loop which takes you from Sooke - Port Renfrew - Lake Cowichan, and finally back through to Victoria. It is beautiful route that winds it way along the coast and has lots of twisties that make a motorcyclist's heart sing. We chatted a bit via twitter, I had some recent intel to share on the shape of the road on the route, in particular there was lots of gravel on the road which isn't unusual this early in the riding season. A few tips about weather, climate, and layering because it can be quite chilly on this ride even in the dead of summer. I was hoping that we could meet up for a cup of the demon bean, but wasn't sure if I could swing it because I was teaching a novice motorcycle course in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday. Luckily Sturgis Chick and her significant other Mad Biker Brian decided to hang out on the Island one more day! Yay! We arranged to get together on Sunday afternoon. It was one of those rare moments when the universe decides that you need to meet someone and you are glad you took the opportunity.
Michelle aka @SturgisChick on twitter and her blog https://sturgischick.wordpress.com hales from the legendary town of Sturgis, South Dakota. Her blog tag is "South Dakota girl travelling by motorcycle"
When asked about going to Sturgis this year she figures it is going to be insane due to it being the 75th anniversary, the town will see approximately 1.1 million visitors over the 10 day span of the event. Brian is from the UK and his blog is www.onepistononeworld.com.
Both love adventure and have done extensive travelling on their motorcycles and have travelled the world on two wheels. Some of the amazing places they have visited are; Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. Brian has travelled through 17 different countries. Together they are the dynamic duo of motorcycle adventure. I spent a lovely afternoon chatting with them and hearing of their tales . Their motorcycles tell the story of their travels when you look at their panniers covered in stickers from all the amazing places they have gone. Michelle rides a Kawasaki KLR650 and Brian a Yamaha Super Tenere. Hearing their stories strikes up the vagabond chord in my heart and makes me yearn to do a little travelling and see the world on two wheels.
Life on the road is not without adventure according to Michelle, from flat tires on desolate roads to seeing black bears and a not so wonderful adventure on the Canadian Trans Labrador highway back in 2013, where she unfortunately had a crash which resulted in a badly fractured leg on a very remote highway out in the Maritimes wilderness. Luckily one of our Royal Canadian Mounted Police highway patrol officers happened by and saw to her safety. The road is so remote that it took 2 hours for the ambulance to arrive and another two hours to be transported down a jarring gravel road to hospital in Goosebay. Michelle was medivacked to St. John's Newfoundland for extensive surgery to repair the broken leg. The good thing that came out of her accident was the motorcycle community in Newfoundland rallied together, a generous moto soul transported her bike 1000km to rest in a garage and wait for her to heal and venture forth. Other wonderful Canadians opened their doors to her so she could recuperate and heal. I am so glad that kind hearts still exist in this world and offer up their hospitality to someone in need.
That was quite the tale and I am glad she is here to talk about it. She attributes her survival to the good gear she was wearing. When the paramedics cut her boot off to assess the fracture, they said it would have been much worse had she not been wearing gear.
Hopefully one day I will make it down to her neck of the woods and go riding in beautiful South Dakota, but the offer is always open to her and Brian to come back and ride some more of beautiful Vancouver Island, I happen to know some lovely twisties that are pretty spectacular rides.
Michelle and Brian have left our fair city and are making their way back to their home base of Sturgis, South Dakota. I am sure there will be many more adventures in their future and lots of great stories on their blogs. Do check out their blogs, Sturgis Chick and Brian's Blog One Piston One World and follow Michelle on Twitter @Sturgischick.
Here's wishing you both a happy safe adventure home and it was so lovely to spend a few hours chatting with you both about bikes and adventures! Ride safe and keep the shiny side up.