Canadian Goldwing Adventure

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 Kirsten Armleder photo

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

Jun 16, 2014

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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Wayne Hamm

Hit the open road with Wayne Hamm

Have you ever wondered why we remember the things we do? Once upon a time there was a young boy who had a boyhood hero, a decorated police officer: my grandfather Webster. He orchestrated a ride for that young boy on a Harley Davidson police motorcycle. To this day, I recall sitting on the saddle in front of a larger-than-life motor officer with the rumble of that Harley between my legs and the excitement of it all. I have been smitten ever since.

Time marches on, there is a lot of water under the bridge and gray hair to go with it. I have been fortunate enough to have been riding motorcycles for more than 40 years now, starting as a young teen when my grandfather rented a Yamaha 100 twin jet for me in the Stanhope Beach area on Prince Edward Island in Canada.

Strangely enough, my first motorcycle at 15 years old was the same model of Yamaha as that one my grandfather had rented. During several of my working years, I had the opportunity to operate Kawasaki KZ1000 Police Specials as well as Harley Davidson Police Specials. During this special time, I was lucky to be able to hone my skills and, at the same time, instruct many new motor officers. For several years, I rode a motorcycle to get to and from work, often shaking my head in amazement that I was getting paid for that.

Originating in Alberta, I have made numerous return motorcycle trips across Canada and the United States over the years. I have been to the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. into the Smoky Mountains between North Carolina and Tennessee to experience a world-renowned motorcycle road called Deals Gap/Tail of the Dragon. More recently, my 80-year-young stepfather, Bruce Wheeler, and I boarded my Goldwing and travelled from Victoria, B.C., to St. John's, Newfoundland, and collected seawater from both oceans as our trophy. That trip alone garnered 16,300 kilometres.

Motorcycling is a passion, and I would encourage anybody who has this on your bucket list—if you can do it, then do it. Make a plan, be prepared, take the training and be patient as you travel. You will love the adventure, love your country and perhaps even love yourself for doing it.