In May 2012, Alberta motorcyclist Wayne Hamm informed RidersWest about his plans for a cross-Canada motorcycle ride with his 77-year-old stepfather in July 2012. Since then, the pair have departed from Victoria, and they are currently on their way to Newfoundland. RidersWest will be publishing recaps of the adventure when Wayne returns home in August.
Here is a prologue to the story:
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was to light a fire under my stepfather, Bruce Wheeler, during the spring of 2010 while I was in the planning stages of my solo motorcycle ride from Alberta to Prince Edward Island. Upon hearing of my plans, Bruce expressed regret for never having done anything like that when he was younger.
I immediately knew what I had to do. I have ridden to the Atlantic provinces several times over the years, but have never ridden the "Rock" on my bike. Bruce grew up on the Island of Newfoundland and to me this was so simple, a no-brainer. I told Bruce to pack light—I would pick him up on P.E.I., he would ride shotgun on the back seat, we would tour Newfoundland and we would sleep in a tent. I wouldn't take no for an answer.
Well, in July 2010 we did just that. It was a wonderful experience and our adventures were published online with RidersWest. Interestingly enough, while drinking in the scenery at St. Anthony, Newfoundland, where the road dead-ends facing the North Atlantic, I said that we should ride from coast to coast. We would collect water from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as our trophy. This idea has forever been on my mind.
In the summer of 2011, Bruce flew to Alberta with the promise of another scenic motorcycle tour—this time into Glacier National Park along the Going to the Sun road in Montana. We did in fact tour the Sun Road, which is a mountain pass closed all winter long due to the never-ending snowfall. The Sun road opened in late June 2011, and it had only been open for a short time before we arrived in mid-July. It was intimidating with the mountains of melting snow and the resultant waterfalls. It was July and it was seasonably hot. At one point along the road, we were stopped and looking in awe at a large wall of snow towering over us. I casually commented again that for our next adventure we should ride from coast to coast.
The plan: one sided at its inception
To his surprise, I contacted Bruce in the spring of 2012 with the plan for our next adventure. He was casually warned, or perhaps blindsided, and now advised that I had acquired the necessary containers to collect the ocean waters and my daughter and son-in-law had moved to Victoria, providing us with a starting point for our coast-to-coast adventure. After all the plans were in place, Bruce, who is now 77 years young, flew to Victoria, B.C., and we departed Victoria on July 6, 2012, via Nanaimo.
We will be travelling along as many eastbound backroads as we can find. We will be riding to Cape Spear, Newfoundland, which is reportedly the most easterly tract of land in North America. The entire adventure will necessitate sailing on five different car ferries, the end result being that Bruce will be dropped off at his home on P.E.I. and I will meet up with my wife, Judy, on P.E.I., where she will join me for the return trip to Alberta. I will be photographing and documenting the trip along the way and then sharing it with RidersWest upon my return in early August.
I am fortunate enough to have a first-class Honda dealer within walking distance of our home. Thank you so much to Riverside Honda and Ski-Doo in St. Albert, Alberta, for your expertise, your tips and, of course, ensuring my world-class motorcycle, a Honda Goldwing, is up to the challenge.