Luck of the Irish

Along the Alaska Highway - Stone Mountain Provincial Park

Along the Alaska Highway – Stone Mountain Provincial Park

28 July – Day 6

Liard Hot Springs, British Columbia to Fort Nelson, British Columbia

Distance: 320kms

Today was a lovely day spent riding with our new Irish friends. I love the Irish. They’re my people, so I guess that makes sense. And it was nice riding in a bit of a BMW R1200 GSA convoy for the day! We had a late start, and lots of stops along the way for pictures – the scenery really is getting better and better… as is the native wildlife! I think today we tallied up a caribou, mountain goats and a bison herd. There was also lots of roadwork. Given that there is such a limited number of snow-free months in this part of town, over summer the place goes CRAZY with road works. And they have a strange system when it comes to traffic management at roadwork sites…

A bison crossing a road in front of a BMWR1200 GSA

A bison crossing the road in front of Lesley, one of the Irish riders we were with.

Imagine you’re an F1 driver. You’re racing in Monaco. It’s the grand prix (I’m not sure if the grand prix is an F1 race… but we’re playing make believe, so just go with me on this…). It’s been raining. Another car crashed. So the pace car is out. You’re following it, single file, with all the other cars still in the race lined up behind you. You’re doing 40km/hour. On the corners, it’s  20km/h….

That’s pretty much what happens at road work sites here. There’s a “pilot car” which goes back and forth to either end of the road works – sometimes up to 10kms – and then escorts one direction through, before turning around and letting the other direction through. And so on. Which means that if you just miss the pilot car, you can wait up to 20 minutes for it to return to escort you through. All pretty funny really, given that the road condition through some of the ‘roadworks’ sites is actually better than the road more generally! It also makes for a slow trip. It meant lots of man biker time for Adrian and the Irish lads though, while Eileen and I did our own thing!

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