Wednesday night I met Todd and Chantelle Powell who have travelled from Australia to BC for a grand adventure. They are on an EPIC five-year road trip on Honda CT110 Australian Postie Bikes, affectionately known as Mabel and Rosie. They shipped their bikes to BC to start their adventure and were originally going to head up to Alaska, but after emailing them and letting them know we are still in the tailend of winter in the Northern parts of the Province they decided to ride around Vancouver Island. I was lucky enough to catch up with them to interview them for Farkle Garage. Todd and Chantelle hatched this plan back in about 2008 after honeymooning in BC.
Their love of small cc bikes grew from a tour of Vietnam they did on 125cc scooters. When asked if they would rather do this on a larger cc bike they emphatically said "No" Todd replied "When I travelled on a big bike, I was just another guy travelling on a big bike." The Postie Bikes draw people to them because they are curious about this not often seen bike in Canada. Travelling on a smaller bike has its challenges for such a big journey with lots of high speed roads, hills, and mountains, it just requires a lot of meticulous route planning as they stick to slower speed roads, because they travel slower on their 125cc bikes and it takes them longer to get to places. This type of touring allows them to go through little towns, take their time to explore and meet people, and that's the romance of an adventure like this. They do stop to smell the proverbial roses and savor the moments.
Big dreams and big adventures can happen on small engine displacement bikes.
The bikes are Aussie Postie bikes which are the workhorses of the Aussie postal system. They have been modified with bigger tanks and get about a 500km range with average speed about 75km/h. The stock Honda engines have been upgraded to 125cc Lifan engines to give Rosie and Mabel the extra oomph for tackling the mountains. The bikes are well packed with side and back bags, the secret for this trip is packing light, that meant laying belongings out and then culling down to bare basics & about to two sets of clothes.
They will be winding their way through the wilds of BC heading up to Alaska, after that they're going to make their way through North America and other countries wirh the final stop home in Australia.
When asked what they liked most about BC they said it was the people and how kind we are and they discovered a love of Tim Horton's!