5 up on two bikes or the long way to the Trans Lab
NOTE: Apologies for the images being removed. I know this was a popular ride report and when Apple canned MobileMe it killed my galleries and it's taken me a long time to get around to rehosting them and relinking to Smugmug but I'm going to be doing that over the next day or so. As a reward for your patience I'm going to be rehosting the images larger than was possible when I did the thread from the road so my apologies right now to those with small screens or slow connections. The rest of you enjoy!
Thanks - Gregor
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I wanted an adventure and I've been told too many time to be careful what you wish for because you just may get it.
Like a few months back thinking how I'd like a big change in my life. I was thinking more along the lines of career but big sweeping wishes can be met but maybe not in the way you expect. Like finding out my girlfriend Judiaann is pregnant - well that's a big change isn't it? Screw it, we're going to take the big summer road trip anyway.
The plan has been in place for months: ride up to Portland, take the ferry to Nova Scotia and then ride to Newfoundland and then up to Cartwright and do the infamous Trans Labrador Highway. It sounded far enough away and desolate enough to qualify as an adventure. We're supposed to catch our ferry tomorrow morning at 7am and yesterday my bike was still apart. Three weeks ago it looked like this:
Two weeks ago:
One week ago:
And last night:
We were supposed to leave this morning at 9am but I was still in the fairing with a mulitmeter and Gino was still tying bags to his HP2 after Holan never came through with the panniers he ordered 6 weeks ago. Of course we could have come up with another solution but a "friend" offered to let him use his soft luggage but then decided last night that he didn't want to. Nice. So this morning it was Roc Straps and dry bags and patience. We finally left at 11am and made it out of the city by 1:30 - 2.5 hours to go 10 miles. Now that's an adventure - in traffic.
Anyway here's your cast from left: Me, Judiaann, Lauren and Gino.
We're smiling because we made it to Portland tonight but we didn't know that there was only one crappy smoking room left in all of Portland for the bargain price of $180. No, didn't know that yet.
Judiaann at a rest stop:
We did manage some drama so far in one short 330 mile day: I lost my credit card at our last gas stop. Gino ran out of gas but was carrying an empty 2 gallon tank for emergencies but hadn't gotten around to filling it yet since we hadn't burned a single tank.
Oh, and his final drive is leaking.
So I'm typing this in a really expensive yet disgusting smelling room and we catch our ferry tomorrow morning at 7am - less than 5 hours from now. I booked that ferry on the card I lost.
Bonus cheesecake photo from our first night from the archives!
This is going to be an interesting ride report...
Day two was uneventful unless you happen to get really seasick:
Poor Gino was turning all shades of green not 20 minutes into the 5 hour Cat ride to Yarmouth. Rough start and we have four more ferries on this trip.
We made it on to the boat and then booked from Yarmouth to Peggy's cove. When we got to our inn it was closed not a soul was in site. No one answered the phone either. Just as we were about to leave a fellow shows up and we tell him we have a room reserved. "Oh, you're lucky I forgot my keys and came back..." Hmm, not really the response I was expecting. Anyway...
The morning was spent repacking Gino's HP2. Man, this is a not exactly the first choice as a touring bike but it's a fantastic bike and we had to make do without real luggage solutions so we just keep working on our lashing.
Peggy's Cove was a bit fogged in but beautiful nonetheless:
For some reason I seem to have anti chain stretch - my chain get's tighter. Obviously I didn't get it right the first time and all the extra weight from passenger and luggage was putting the bike well into it's stroke. This pit stop helped with that.
This was ferry 2 of 5 on this trip - the shortest of the bunch. Gino didn't get sick on this one.
After an afternoon on foggy coastal roads we set the GPS to "shortest" into Guysborough and it told us to take a left onto a really rough logging road. We almost skipped it as the thought of dropping the bikes on a rocky, muddy and steep trail while loaded with luggage and our girlfriends seemed to be perhaps a good way to ensure sleeping in separate rooms. We took a chance and at the top of the hill it opened up and became a quite nice gravel road. Everyone really enjoyed the excursion and wants to do more when we get to Newfoundland.
And tonight a bit of luxury before tomorrow nights camping out.
Looking good Gregor. I was hoping you'd write this on the fly, and here you are. I hope my suggestion on keeping the 19/17 was good one, and you, your friend, and your significant others have the time of your lives. Enjoy! :clap
Never done a ride report on the fly so it's interesting. And hard! All I want to do at the end of the day is have a bottle of wine or a good scotch and sleep - not download, edit and upload. It's fun though.
And, now we have video too!
This is from the dirt road we found and took. Not too much but about 20 miles or so. It took a little while to get a feel for the bike on dirt with the passenger and luggage but surprisingly traction was excellent. For the first time ever I could wheelie on the dirt instead of roost since I've got so much weight on that back wheel.
We have two on board cameras so I'll download from Gino's and post some of that in the next day or so. Today we're going to try to visit a distillery an then camp on the beach or possibly Meat Cove where my father famously almost rode off a cliff. We'll try to not repeat that.
are you coming to the island of newfoundland? or just labrador?
if you are coming to the island, look me up! pm me for contact information.
We're taking the ferry from North Sydney into Argentia Wednesday night arriving Thursday morning and we've heard all about the fantastic rail trails that are there but never found enough information to try to link them into our trip. We'd love to ride some of them and see more off the beaten path. I'll PM you now but I don't know when we'll have internet again. Maybe we can find a cafe with internet in North Sydney?
I'll PM you with my cell number. Thanks!
We'd love any advice or suggestions you could give. We both are pretty decent dirt riders but obviously we're being a little bit less aggressive two up on the big bikes but easy single track would be a blast. The girls both thought yesterday was fun but said, "that was too easy - we want to do something harder!"
I told them to be careful what they wish for...
Arriving at the small ferry just as it pulls away - Drat!
Post dirt road fun.
<object width="400" height="300"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5932257&server=vimeo.com &show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portr ait=0&color=&fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=5932257&server=vimeo.com &show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portr ait=0&color=&fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><p><a href="http://vimeo.com/5932257">Untitled</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user2122740">Gregor Halenda</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>
well...some advice, watch the rail system...it is good in places others are very hard.
going around Red indian lake is a good run. or ride to buchans, get a buller buger...the biggest burger in NL....and continue on dirt to burgeo highway, if you want to camp in the best spot in newfoundland, burgeo sands are amazing. then its approx 200 kms back to the highway.
just an idea...but if your travels take you through grand falls, looke me up
If you want to take the Railbed in NL, from the Argentia ferry you can head north to TCH, go to Clarenville and fill up and from there, In shoal harbour the track heads west to Gambo and is really good. You'll past through a town called Terra Nova which has some sand dunes/pits for some playing around if you like. Even give the girls some fun...From there you go to Gambo where you can do your loop around to Gander bay on the tarmac, or continue on the track to Gander.... If you go to Gander bay make sure you go to Twillinggate and make a day of it. Nice scenery and Icebergs!!! From Twillingate go to Lewisporte and then Grandfalls.
Like Kojack said you can do the Red Indian lake route. It's nice and I just finished it. If you guys haven't discovered our website www.ridetherock.com we have info and lots of us locals to help...In case you run into trouble.
I'll be home Hopefully this Friday if you need assistance with anything. My username on ride the rock is Wolverine...Pm me for anything.
I live in Eastport and if you do the track or TCH you'll be riding past me so help is close by if required...
Best of Luck!!
Man...Gino needs some real bags...I don't know how he's doing it without at least some real panniers.
Cool - I'm subscribed. :lurk
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