CANADA

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Escapes - BY ANDY DAVID­SON

The Cana­dian Rock­ies of­fer un­spoilt beauty… oh, and bears. Lots of them!

Canada of­fers fresh beauty; this is where you need to be for the greatest rid­ing week of your life and have a real ad­ven­ture in the Rock­ies, on open roads, with epic back­drops and more wildlife than you can shake a bro­ken twig at.

Its raw, un­tainted na­ture is one of Canada’s most mes­meris­ing fea­tures. And there is no bet­ter way to ex­pe­ri­ence it than on a mo­tor­cy­cle.

I swapped some money for a 2010 BMW R1200GS in Van­cou­ver, stashed a map in my pocket, wa­ter­proof throwovers, shorts, T-shirt, towel and a tooth­brush in a pan­nier and set-off for Mount Rob­son, the high­est moun­tain in the Rock­ies. Easy as that. Now here I am, at a truck stop in the mid­dle of nowhere, 500 miles from Van­cou­ver, talk­ing to a trucker about bears and cafés.

The track carves through the for­est and runs par­al­lel with an end­less river. I start to race along­side the water as it slaps the rocks and weaves its way through the wood­land. I stand tall on the pegs, flick the GS to En­duro mode and pick up the pace. The big BMW makes light work of the trail as it purrs along­side the frosty blue water. Frothy white foam bub­bles over rocks and the sur­face sparkles like a thou­sand cam­era flashes. It’s cap­ti­vat­ing and I ride along­side it for hours, chas­ing the rapids, glanc­ing at the ea­gles.

It doesn’t feel real. The road net­work cuts through places I shouldn’t re­ally be. It’s too nat­u­ral, too idyl­lic.

I keep a steady throt­tle and raise my left hand, the clouds are so close it feels like I can tickle their bel­lies. It’s now day five and I’m at the start of the Ice­fields Park­way, one of Canada’s greatest na­tional trea­sures. The 144mile stretch of road links Banff to Jasper and cuts straight through the Rock­ies, tak­ing in some of the most spec­tac­u­lar scenery in North Amer­ica.

The Ice­fields Park­way is where ev­ery­one says I’ll see the bears, I’ve been look­ing for­ward to it since Gatwick and I’m only 19 miles in.

I thought the bears would be hard to spot, but ca­su­ally strolling just four me­tres from the high­way is a black bear with two cubs in tow.

As I be­gin the ride back to Van­cou­ver, the ter­rain changes ev­ery 100 miles as the road wrig­gles through the Rock­ies into mon­u­men­tal na­tional parks, up and over snow-capped passes, into ranch towns, through 42°C deserts and through canyons and gorges. The Sea to Sky High­way from Whistler to Van­cou­ver is a crafted rib­bon of tar­mac that flows along the coast, wrap­ping around the moun­tains. Ev­ery sec­tion seems to be shaped espe­cially for bikes as they run ad­ja­cent to crys­tal wa­ter­falls, turquoise lakes and more nat­u­ral beauty than you can imag­ine.

‘I’ve been look­ing for­ward to see­ing bears since we left Gatwick’

Canada is one place you need to ride Ev­ery mile seems crafted with rid­ing ad­ven­tures in mind

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