From shore to shore with a message in a bottle

Alberta motorcyclist Wayne Hamm is riding across Canada to deliver his message in a bottle

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A grey haired man holding a message in a bottle and standing by a purple Honda Goldwing.

Wayne Hamm stopped in at RidersWest headquarters in Cranbrook, B.C., on the second day of his trip to share his story with us. — Kirsten Armleder photo

Wayne Hamm is a bit of a traditionalist. He believes family should come first, friends are important and that technology is taking up too much of our time.

Who could argue with that? We see it every day—a person walking down the street texting or a coffee shop full of people glued to their laptops. It’s true the world today is more connected than it has ever been, but with smartphones and tablets in the hands of even the youngest of children, real communication is often being replaced with texting, voicemail and instant status updates.

Don’t be mistaken, though. Hamm thinks technology is great, and he’s no stranger to the iPhone, but his message is simple: “Give those text messages a rest, perhaps put those phones and gadgets down and go visit and chat face-to-face with those important to you.”

And so Hamm—who is a retired police officer and a seasoned motorcyclist—has committed to doing just that. Giving his smartphone a rest, he has embarked on a 15,000-kilometre journey across Canada and back.

This won’t be Hamm’s first motorcycle journey across Canada. He’s done it at least half a dozen times, but this time, it’s different. He will be taking the roads less travelled, and with him in the saddlebags of his Honda Goldwing is the rest of his message, which he has placed in two bottles—one he plans to toss into the Pacific Ocean and the other into the cool waters of the Atlantic.

The journey, which actually began on June 11, will take Hamm from his home in St. Albert, Alberta, to Vancouver Island. After visiting with his daughter, surfing with his son-in-law and tossing his first bottle into the Pacific, he will then head east and hopefully end up in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in time for his family’s reunion in July.

There, he will meet his 80-year-old stepfather and together the duo will cross over with the bike to the island of Newfoundland. Cape Spear is where Hamm will toss his second message in a bottle into the ocean. Then, after touring the outskirts of the island, it's back home to St. Albert.

Riding solo for most of the trip, Hamm will have plenty of time to reflect on life, smell the roses, so to speak, and get to know parts of Canada that he has yet to see. RidersWest will receive updates from Hamm, as well as a recap of his ride when he returns.

If you happen to see him along the way, be sure to stop and talk. You can also contact Hamm and share your own story if you wish by email

Comments from readers:

"I met Wayne at a gas station at West Hawk Lake, Manitoba, and rode with him until Kenora, Ontario, (my destination that day). I was jealous of his ride as I was suppose to ride to Newfoundland this summer also but the trip had to be cancelled. I hope to make it there one day by bike so I can say I have made it from coast to coast. So far I have ridden from Winnipeg to Victoria and back and multiple trips to P.E.I and back.

Just wanted to tell him good luck and hope he has a great time." —Dean Toth

Map of Hamm's trip

View Wayne's Bike Trip Route in a larger map

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