A pair of English adventure motorcyclists are living their dream as they travel across Canada in the middle of winter. They turned a lot of heads when they stopped at The Spot in Midway on their way through the Boundary last Thursday.
They are travelling on Honda C90 step-through motorbikes. But what really gets people’s attention is the way both bikes are decked out with Christmas decorations; in fact a fully- trimmed Christmas tree sits on the back of one bike – the turn signals have been wired into large bulbs attached at port and starboard on the tree.
Rachel Lasham and Ed March have been on the road since July 27. They flew their bikes from the UK to Anchorage and then rode up to Prudhoe Bay. Turning south again they entered Canada at the beginning of November on six-month visas. “We have been riding in minus 19 and sleeping in minus 25,” said Rachel. “You kind of get used to it. Instead of running away from the cold, if you just embrace it. Winter is no reason to put your bike away.”
The couple is planning to celebrate Christmas Day near Banff. Then they are heading to Nova Scotia and will return to the west coast through the US. After looping back into Canada they will head south to Argentina.
All this travel on bikes that have a top speed of 80 km per hour.
When asked how the trip was funded, Ed said, “Work a lot and don’t buy shiny new things basically.” For the last two and a half years Rachel worked three jobs for seven days a week; Ed one job seven days a week.
This isn’t his first trip. That was in 2011, riding from Malaysia to the UK. In fact, Canada is his 36th country on the same bike. Last year he led a group tour of seven guys on a motorcycle trip from Mongolia to England.
Asked why they are such small bikes Ed said cost is one bike advantage. “Shipping costs to get our bikes over here for one thing; plus if you have an engine failure you can buy a brand new engine on EBay for $150, whereas to get a service done on a big motorbike would cost you about $300. So for us it’s cheaper to not get them serviced, just buy a new engine; and when you buy a new engine it comes with new oil so you don’t even need to lubricate.” Rachel added that the smaller bikes are more stable because they are low to the ground.
“Canadians are amazing,” said Rachel. “They are so friendly and generous. Anyone who has any doubts about the humanity in the world should get out there and travel.”
She also advises that you never listen to people who say you can’t do something “Live out your dream—try it, if you fail you fail. But at least you know you tried. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”