INTO THE WILD: <b>THE REV’IT! WOMEN’S ADV TEAM TACKLES BRITISH COLUMBIA</b>

INTO THE WILD: THE REV’IT! WOMEN’S ADV TEAM TACKLES BRITISH COLUMBIA

Together with MVM Adventures, the REV’IT! Women’s ADV Team took a fleet of KTM 1090s into the wilds of the Canadian Rockies, and experienced the bounty and beauty of British Columbia. Relive the journey through the eyes of the team members themselves!
10-30-2019
Adventure

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THE REV’IT! WOMEN’S ADV TEAM#REVITWOMENSTEAM

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Since 2017, the REV’IT! Women’s ADV Team has played an integral role in product testing and brand representation in the ADV community, each through her own interpretation of “adventure riding” - whether that’s rugged, long-distance journeys, or backwoods trail rides.

For 2019, we partnered with MVM Adventures to send the team on a journey through the wilds of the Canadian Rockies. Read on to hear the story as told through their own words!

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DAY ONE BIG BIKES, BIG SMILES

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– KATELYN: It was 0500 in Vancouver, BC. Everyone was running a bit on low on sleep, but all fueled up via a shared pot of coffee and the excitement of knowing that in just a few hours, we would be riding motorcycles together and exploring beautiful British Colombia all weekend.

We were met by Matt, our trusty tour guide and owner of MVM Adventures, and headed off to Squamish, BC where Erika, Amelia, and Jenna would meet the bikes they would be riding for the weekend's adventures. Kris and I had shown up with our own bikes, but the other girls would be using motorcycles from the MVM fleet, specifically two KTM 1090s and one 790.

The size of the bikes were slightly intimidating for some, but with big smiles and incredible attitudes, the girls hopped on, took a few laps around the block to practice and familiarize themselves with the machines and, in no time, we were off.

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We pulled out of Squamish and onto to the twisty highways heading North. The golden leaves of fall rained down on us as we raced into the mountains, wound our way past glacier green lakes and through meadows surrounded by giant peaks.

Just before turning off the pavement and onto the spectacular dirt roads of BC, we stopped to soak it all in and enjoy our first of many bear sightings. We knew that if the pavement riding was this good, there was a lot to look forward to as we hopped onto the dirt at Pemberton and started climbing the gravel switchbacks for even more epic views.

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– AMELIA: After riding the dirt from Pemberton to Gold Bridge, those of us riding borrowed bikes were starting to feel slightly more confident on the MVM Adventures fleet. On a vista overlooking Carpenter Lake, our fearless tour guide Matt decided to test this newfound confidence by informing us that the next section of our route would take us up and over a mountain on two-track.

Considering that three of us had climbed (literally climbed, with astronomical seat heights that most of us weren’t used to) atop these bikes a mere few hours earlier, this was a bold choice by Matt, and one he almost lived to regret. He boldly repeated his careful instructions (maintain throttle, don’t stop, and if the bike starts to go, just let it) and sent us up the track one by one, opting to ride sweep.

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Having ridden behind Jenna the entire day, I opted to do the same up the two track; while my experience off-road is vast, I have no experience riding a bike as heavy as the 1090 off dirt roads, and I thought that I could use her lines and our paired Senas to work my way up the hill.

In theory, this was a good plan. Jenna talked me through what was ahead on the trail and we were both surprised by how easily this bike tackled looser, rocky uphills and how smoothly it turned. But just before the last push uphill, Jenna warned me of a tree that had fallen and been cut off to the side of the trail. In an abundance of caution in passing said tree, I aimed my front tire over larger, loose rocks. As the tire washed out, I contemplated more throttle as I would on a dirt bike, but chickened out…. and nearly said goodbye to the KTM down the cliff. Luckily, a lone tree caught the front tire of my bike.

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Unluckily, Jenna continued up the trail and I was quickly passed by Katelyn who, repeating Matt’s mantra of “Just don’t stop,” powered on after seeing my thumbs up sign. I was okay, but my bike needed rescuing. With no help in sight, I inched it back over the trail; front tire moves an inch, back tire moves an inch, front tire moves an inch, and so on... and finally managed to pick the beast up on my own through sheer hardheadedness.

Erika, Kris, and Matt appeared just in time to see me huffing and puffing whilst climbing back aboard the beast of a bike and I made sure to point out the drag marks I had made; it was only once Matt saw the pictures that I think he truly understood how close the bike had been to blazing a trail down the side of said cliff.

After the huffing and puffing (mine) and grins all around (theirs) subsided, we headed out of the two track and towards Tyax Lodge; our home base for the next two nights. With the reflection of the sun illuminating the peak of the closest mountain in golden tones, we were ready for a cold beer and dinner; as was the juvenile grizzly bear we saw casually snacking 100 yards away from the lodge.

Without knowing it, we’d stumbled upon the perfect mirror to BC as a whole; beautiful, serene, and deadly. We couldn’t wait to see what the next day would bring.

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DAY TWO BEAUTY & BEESTINGS

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– ERIKA: Saturday morning started with an epic sunrise that was a precursor to an epic day full of riding. After we departed Tyax, we hit a lesser traveled road that ran along a stunning aqua-colored glacial lake. My favorite moment of the trip was coming around a turn and the sun rising through the clouds and rays of light shining on us. We stopped to take a moment to enjoy the beauty of our surroundings. For me, this is what it’s all about, taking the time to stop and enjoy the adventure.

It’s not always about the destination, it’s about the journey and I’m incredibly grateful to have 4 other diverse riders to journey with. After we made our way through the twisties, we stopped for breakfast in Lillooet. This wasn’t just any breakfast, it was a quaint bakery that served delicious fresh pastries. Coffee and pastries set us up for the next section of dirt through mountainous roads. We passed by farms and streams, even spotted a few bears along the way.

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– JENNA: After we stopped to eat our bagged lunches, we loaded up onto the Big Bar Ferry one by one. Matt had warned us that the captain was a bit of a grump, so we all snickered as he barked orders at Matt about how to load the bikes, and at me about where to stand. Matt was right, this guy was not going to tolerate any fun being had on his boat! Once we were all aboard and Aaron had driven the support truck onto the deck behind us, we started the float across the Fraser River. Once we got to the other side and were all successfully off the ferry and up the ramp, I took the lead as we started the climb up the mountainside. The road was covered in silt, so I proceeded up the switchbacks with caution until we were onto a more solid surface.

Once we were on top of the mountain, the views we were rewarded with were breathtaking. We stopped at a particularly stellar viewpoint to take a couple of quick photos before continuing on. To be honest, if we had done this every time we saw something worth photographing, we would still be riding now!

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I let Amelia hop in front of me to take the lead and we continued on for quite a ways, stopping every so often at intersections to regroup. At one point, we came upon some cattle on the road, much to Amelia's mixture of delight and terror. I told her through our intercoms to proceed with caution and pass slowly, but not to stop, and so she did, spooking a yearling in the process, and scaring them both! I couldn't help but laugh out loud as I saw it happen from behind her. Luckily the calf just did a few front hoof hops and scurried away from the road, allowing us to continue on our way without incident.

Along the way at one of our stops, we had allowed the support truck to go on ahead of us; when we caught up to them, we saw Aaron pushing a boulder off the road, over the side of the mountain. We thought that he was being nice and clearing the road from a rock slide for us, but we quickly learned that he was just being a big kid and watching the boulder plummet down the side of the mountain, gaining speed the entire way. Once the whole team was there, Matt and Aaron rolled another boulder across the road so that everyone could watch. It was a fun little addition to our tour, and we were all delighted in watching the boulder go flying down the mountain, split into two pieces, and then explode at the bottom.

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We took a short break before continuing on our way. We were all starting to feel the effects of a long and exciting day of riding, but we still had quite a way to go to get back to the Tyax Lodge, so we resolved to stop less, and concentrate on getting back before dark. At some point, my intercom battery died and I lost contact with Amelia, so it was a surprise even to her when I suddenly hit the brakes and came to a stop on the side of the road. Something had stung me on the right side of my neck, and I was immediately in hot, burning pain. Amelia saw the culprit, still stuck in my collar, and she pulled it out to reveal a dead wasp. I would have given it a good stomp had it not required getting off my bike to do so, but I was satisfied with the fact that it had died during its attack.

Ultimately we made it back to Lillooet to take the Lillooet Pioneer road back to Carpenter Lake road, which follows alongside the picturesque lake it is named for. Other than a quick stop on some switchbacks for photographs, we all rode hard to get back to the Tyax before complete darkness could set in. Three or four times we had to slow down or stop to allow deer to cross the road ahead of us.

Once we made it back, some of the girls went upstairs to get showered, but the rest of us, along with Matt and Aaron, opted to go straight to the bar for some much deserved beer and appetizers. We hadn't intended to be out so late, but sometimes that happens, and we were all tired and hungry! Once everyone had joined us, we moved the party to the dining room and shared a meal and swapped stories until we all decided it was time to get cleaned up and call it a night.

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DAY THREEGUESS WHAT? MOTORCYCLES!

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– KRIS: Sunday morning, I woke to my new favorite phrase… Amelia whispered from across the room “Kris, guess what? Motorcycles!” Five girls never packed so quickly, excited for one more day on the road.

A surprise turn of events took place over breakfast when Amelia met a pilot from Blackcomb Helicopters interested in our visit. 

Turns out he also rides adventure motorcycles, and offered our whole team a ride in his helicopter. Our excitement was palpable as we rode our motorcycles up to the landing, attended a safety briefing, donned our hearing protection, and climbed aboard. As the helicopter lifted, squeals of excitement rivaled the engine noise, and we peered down at the very same roads we’d ridden on the day before. Could this trip get any better?

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When we landed, Matt had worked out a plan to gas up at Aaron’s cabin nearby, instead of backtracking to gas. Waving goodbye to Jenna who had other plans for the day, we took off down the curvy gravel roads where the leaves had started displaying brilliant shades of yellow and orange, as if fall had arrived overnight. We had a bit of adventure as my 690 ran out of gas, and I got to test out my tow rope. Flying along forest roads with no engine was exhilarating, and Aaron’s cabin was heavenly retreat, where he made us tea and we warmed up from our chilly morning ride.

Our group divided for a bit, because Amelia and I were dying to check out the double track that climbed into the clouds and dropped quickly down to Carpenter Lake. Up, up, up our motorcycles carried us into the sky, and then quickly, we descended over rocks and deep gravel down toward the brilliant blue green of Carpenter Lake. The dense fog turned to wispy artful clouds, and the beauty stole our breath away.

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We rode our favorite road along Carpenter Lake, and it glimmered with extra beauty as we said our goodbyes. We returned to Lillooet to rejoin the rest of the team and were ready to fill our bellies with pastries from Abundance Artisan Bakery. Sadly, we saw a sign that said they were closed due to staffing issues. You must have been able to see our disappointment through our helmets, because the owner brought us a bag of baked goods, on the house. We thanked him profusely, and rode to the next warm spot we saw. The baked goods were lovely hors d’oeuvres for our hearty lunch at the Lillooet Inn Restaurant.

This was the beginning of the end of our trip; we still had a lovely highway ride through spectacular scenery to return to Vancouver, BC, but sadness tinged our last shared meal on this adventure. Sadness that was slightly alleviated by hot chocolate with whipped cream. Our team knows how to enjoy every last moment to the fullest.

The weather matched the wistful ending of this amazing trip, with a mixture of fog and rain. In one final display of beauty, Canada showed us all of her splendor, parting the clouds and waving a brief but sunny goodbye to our weary but fulfilled band of adventurers. We said our goodbyes to our delightful tour guides, sad to be leaving, but excited to return to family and friends to share our tales.

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