Four years ago my family set out on an epic motorcycle trip to Tuktoyaktuk – the only community in Canada on the Arctic Ocean that is accessible by public road.
The Inuvialuit hamlet in the Northwest Territories is the most northerly anyone can drive in Canada via the all-season Dempster highway – which is not so much a highway but rather a well-kept large gravel road.
Unfortunately, we didn’t make it all the way to the Arctic Ocean. But before I tell you why and for those of you that know bikes – I took a KTM 390 Duke all the way north, which was both funny and definitely not recommended. The rest of my family had big, much more suitable adventure bikes.
Along the Dempster Highway, we enjoyed beautiful scenery, admired wildlife, camped in the arctic circle, and acquired a layer of mud from the recent rain.
Those rains, unfortunately, caused logs to float down the river, making it impossible for the ferry to take us across. With that road being the only way to the northern community, we had no choice but to turn around.
At the same time, my mom lost control of her bike in the mud, taking her and her bike down. She initially didn’t think the fall was too bad, but after riding 100 kilometres back south to the only motel along the highway, she took off her boots to find out she had broken her leg.
Once back in civilization, she got patched up at a hospital in Dawson City while we enjoyed exploring the area further.
Biking always comes with some risk and fortunately we all made it home relatively safely. My family loves planning different bike trips every year and it’s always fun to get out.
With the warmer weather and biking season finally here, everyone needs to remember to be extra aware on the roads.
A motorcycle accident near Redwood Meadows resulted in the death of a Calgary man on May 1, and the tragic incident had me thinking about the risks associated with getting on the bike again every season.
I’ve noticed I’m always more alert during the first couple of warmer weeks when people aren’t quite used to sharing the road with those on two wheels. And honestly, I sometimes need a second to get the hang of being so vulnerable on the road again. It’s easy for people in bigger vehicles not to fully shoulder check and miss a biker riding in another lane beside them.
Most cyclists and motorcyclists have their share of sketchy moments and close encounters on the road, whether it be from sharing the road with other vehicles, animals, or just making careless mistakes.
Reports of motorcycle accidents always have me reflecting on my own experiences and my family’s biking traditions. I really feel for the family who lost a loved one on May 1 and hope everyone on two wheels stays safe out there.
It’s a good time for everyone to remember to pay extra attention on the road.