Dirt-Biking Heaven

With the exception of the birth of my daughter, nothing in life has given me more joy than dirt-biking. My Dad introduced me to dirt-biking way back in 1978 when I went out West for a visit. He was so anxious to have me go biking with him that he bought a Honda 125 before I arrived. He knew I had ridden a street Honda back after I left school, but riding the street is totally different than riding off-road.

We went up into the hills behind Westbank and he showed me the basics. He told me to take it easy until I got used to the bike, but that didn’t last one turn around the field. No sooner did I start out than I was bouncing along among the gofer hills, hooting and hollering, loving every minute. I remember him saying that I was going to fall any minute now and that I would not enjoy.

As the saying goes, I took to biking like a fish to water, and soon Dad and I were riding everywhere around Westbank, from short rides through the reserve to going up into the hills to pristine mountain lakes. Mum would make us some lunch and we would strap on a six pack of beer and head off. By the time we stopped for lunch the beer would literally explode when we opened it from being bounced all around on Dad’s bike. They were such good times and I hated to go home. Dad later told me he sold the bike for more than he bought it for, which was the first of many bikes over the years.

Although I went out again in 1986, the whole family came to visit Expo 86 and I don’t remember Dad and I getting in any riding. We also didn’t plan on it so he hadn’t bought a bike for me either.

The next trip out was with my son in 1989. I picked him up after work on Thursday and we drove straight through to Revelstoke, arriving on Saturday night after some trouble at the US border. Dad had rented two Honda 185 dirt bikes and trailored them up to Revelstoke. We did a couple of great rides up into the mountains around Revy, with one being to an old gold mine where there was gold literally lying everywhere, but you weren’t allowed to take any. The mine had been shutdown because they used cyanide to extract the gold.

To this day I have never forgotten one of the best moments of my life. We had stopped beside the river to have our lunch. Chris and I were sitting on our bikes enjoying a beer and looking around at the gorgeous scenery. He said, “Dad. It doesn’t get any better than this.” So very true and a great moment between us.