What is a CBDR?
CBDR is an acronym for Canada Backroad DualSport Route. A CBDR is a multi-day ride along dirt and gravel back roads and forest service roads. Some paved roads are used where needed to join the route together.
Where in Canada are the Canada Backroad DualSport Routes located?
The Okanagan CBDR is in the interior of the province of British Columbia.
The Kootenay CBDR is in the eastern side of interior BC.
The two routes can be connected to make an 11 day 2800 km ride!
What kind of bike do I need to ride a CBDR?
Any road legal bike that has a reasonable amount of ground clearance and can fit DOT knobby tires will do. So pretty much any Dual Sport or Adventure bike will work. If you ride the CBDR and stay in motels, you do not need to carry camping gear. You do want a reliable bike, you are going into the backcountry!
If I motel it, how long and hard are the days?
At a moderate pace you will be on the move for 6 - 8 hours each day. That time includes a short stop for lunch and a few photo ops.
How much fuel range do I need?
Generally 200 km fuel range will be enough. Each Route will have a fuel legs map included in the package (download or mailed out). With that map you can plan your fuel stops. Just to be safe, when you go through a town during the day ride, fill up!
What level of rider and bike are the routes designed for?
The routes are selected to be doable by an intermediate rider on a big adventure bike. There is no single-track on the route. The main route is shown in Dark Blue, some harder sections are shown in Red. The Okanagan CBDR has a short 1 km section of quad trail on Day 4. See the "Technical Section" video to decide if you want to try that section. Conditions can and will change with weather and logging activity. So every rider must make their own go no-go decisions. All day sections can easily be bypassed on paved highways. You are solely responsible for your own safety and must make your own decisions to ride or not ride every inch of a CBDR.
What about accommodation and food?
If you are staying in motels the ride works out great as 5 days for the Okanagan CBDR and 6 days for the Kootenay CBDR. Some motels and restaurants are shown as waypoints in the route maps. Often the day route will pass through a town during the ride, so you can stock up on food and gas during the day.
Book your motels in advance, summers can be very busy!
Can we camp along the route?
Absolutely! The navigation package also comes with "Planning Maps" that give you an overview of the entire route. The route navigation is setup in Days based on fuel/food stops to make it easy for you to plan your days. Each Day has a overview map and information about route options on the leg. The route nav also shows 40 to 50 campsites along the route. Most of these are free BC Forest Service Campgrounds. I have tried to mark all the "pay or commercial" campsites with a $ sign after the name. No guarantees that is perfect or complete!
Are any other routes in the works?
Yes. With any luck and minimal forest fires, floods, covid closures and heat waves, there will be another new route coming in 2023
Why are the Canadian CBDRs not free like the USA BDRs
The USA BDRs are funded by Touratech, BMW, and other major sponsors. Also the US RideBdr organization is a registered non-profit that holds regular fundraisers. I hope it will be possible to move ownership of the CBDRs over to a Canadian club organization. Although I suspect that any club that takes it on will need to continue to charge something for the routes. It will be very difficult to get enough sponsor money to make and distribute Canadian BDRs for free.
In the meantime, I don't have the deep pockets of KTM or Touratech, so you riders are going to have to help with some cost recovery. I am donating my labour and all revenue from sales of the Cbdr rides will go to paying down the hard costs of developing the Cbdr rides. That will make it easier for a Canadian organization to assume ownership of the routes. Thank you for your support!!
Can I get a file that works in Gaia?
If you want to navigate the CanadaBDR routes by phone you need to use the Avenza app. You get the “Pro” version of the app free with your CBDR purchase. Just follow the links for phone navigation on canadbdr.com. Or go directly to Avenza https://store.avenza.com/collections/home-port-graphics-ltd
Why can’t I get a file that works in Gaia?
I would rather use gpx tracks for the simplicity and compatibility and Gaia is a popular app that I like. BUT, (always a but) unless there is a way to pay some of the costs, so I can give away the files, sending out gpx files is going to cause a problem.
If I sold the routes in gpx format, the original buyer might not post the files to the web. But he will likely give a copy to someone riding with him. Then that guy gives them to another rider, who has no idea there ever was a cost and he posts them to Facebook and Gaia and the CBDR becomes free to everyone. At that point I stop making, maintaining, and distributing routes, the canadabdr.com website dies and that’s the end of BDR rides in Canada.
So, for me it is a choice of using formats that are likely to generate some revenue or go into the advertising / sponsorship business and give away the route. I am a one-man-band and if I spend my days chasing advertising, I wouldn't get the next BDR out.
Plus, I am volunteering my labour and doing something I mostly enjoy. But, I wouldn't enjoy chasing advertisers or sponsors.
And even if some keener volunteered to look for sponsors, the sponsor would want to see a finished product before pulling out the cheque book. The rides and routes need to come first, then other options might work.
My long-term plan is to pass this project along to a non-profit organization, like maybe Dual Sport BC? Who will hopefully keep it going for decades. Maybe they can find a way to give away the routes? I am now 70 and don't expect to be making and distributing CBDR routes for too much longer.
And while I don't mind donating my labour, I am not willing to spend $ 20K, so that a rider can save $35 on a week-long ride.