Motorbike Shuttle: Rivers Await

-- Last Updated: May-21-06 12:34 AM EST --

I just read an article from Illinois Canoeing Northwest Rivers book (linked below) by Bob C. Tyler where the author describes shuttling self-supported with a scooter/small roadworthy registered motorbike that he can put in his van or pick-up truck.

Unloads the kayak and gear and locks/secures it at the put-in. Drives van/truck with scooter inside to the take-out. Scooters back to the put-in, and uses same lock to lock the scooter. Paddles to take-out, then drives truck/van back for the scooter, load scooter (espcially easy if you have a pickup truck, but the author has a van) and then home.

Could use a moped and a sturdy bike carrier rack on a car too, I suppose.

Although I have heard of bicycle shuttles, this method sure would allow someone to get waaay upriver--like 20 plus miles--for a long and great day of paddling and not be dependent on a paddling partner for a shuttle (you know, often flubdubbing around with their rack system that doesn't fit your boat, etc).

Thoughts? Anyone else do this method or have other novel shuttle ideas?

Book link for interested Illinoisians:

ADDENDUM: The only issue with this sytem, and it would be hard even with a paddling buddy, is to shuttle upstream 20 miles on the scooter--a river that is hard to get back up because of current flow--and then get about 10 miles down the river paddling only to hit an insurmountable logjam! Ouch. Talk about stranded.

I’m going to do it.
I will have to trailer the motorcycle though because it’s too big to throw in the back of the truck (with a camper shell). My concerns will be security for the motorcycle while paddling and overniting and for the canoe and gear while shuttleing. I have some places in mind and all are busy, campground/ river access places. For a remote site I guess I’d be better off hiding the stuff. Happy paddling/ Motorcycling!

I know someone…
…who did that for years. He had a small moped that he crammed in the back of his old S-10 & did his own shuttle. The is a risk in leaving gear unattended, but he usually stashed his boat & gear under brush somewhere until he got back. I’ve considered buying a very small car (like a Metro) to tow behind my truck. The advantage of that is I can put racks on both vehicles & never need to leave gear behind. Of course, even an el-cheapo car like a Metro costs a lot more than a moped.

By the way, I relocated to NW Indiana and joined the Prairie State Canoeists. I recently paddled my first Illinois river…the Mazon. It’s a great float with clear water & some nice riffles.

I’t a good idea
I picked up a scooter last year and used it several times as a shuttle. I picked up one of those platforms you put in hitch receptacle and put the scooter on that so I don’t have to lift it all the way in the back of the truck, which I wouldn’t be able to do. I use a bicycle lock to secure it to a tree. It is way better than taking two vehicles.