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Old 08-29-2009, 11:54 AM   #12
Bikebits OP
Scramblin' man
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Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Oddometer: 241
Day 5

No effect on handling from the gas can, Rhodie. It probably just balances out the weight of those Scrambler pipes on the other side. It was low as well, so worked out just fine.

We had been watching the weather channel each night, what had been unseasonably warm now turned downright cold. We woke up to 8 degrees and light rain. I had on a t-shirt, long sleeved shirt, fleece sweater, BMW jacket with thermal liner and nylon rainsuit over top. That was just enough for comfort.

We picked up a complimentary satellite phone at the Wabush hotel (Labrador City's twin). These are provided free for 24 hrs, with a refundable credit card deposit by the Newfoundland and Labrador dept. of transport. Nice peace of mind, even if it's not needed.

We arrived at Churchill Falls, 248 km later for a snack and gas. The rain had let up shortly after Lab city, and we were into choking dust again. The road varied from washboard to smooth and straight with speeds in the 65-90 km/h range. There were lots of maintenance parties out with graders so the soft spots required extra care.

The next section was the one I was most concerned about in terms of fuel. Heading east out of Churchill Falls it's about 290km of gravel, spruce trees and black flies, with nothing else until Goose Bay. My gas can fabrication was designed with this stretch in mind.

Part way along a sign said "rough road ahead". It turned out to be a 20 km stretch of pure washboard. The longer travel suspension on Bruce's KLR handled it OK, but it gave grief to the Ikons on the Scrambler. The relentless hammering had emulsified the oil in the shocks, so they had zero damping. I reduced speed to about 45 km/h and rode standing up. It got so bad I stopped the bike to see if the seals had blown.

A long, smooth section followed and the shocks recovered damping in about an hour. As we approached Goose Bay, with 37 km to go showing on the GPS, a lovely ribbon of fresh asphalt appeared. They hadn't even painted the pavement markings yet.

A few minutes along when this sign appeared it occurred that we had reached the farthest point the road would take us from home. And, we had officially survived the Trans-Lab with no mishaps.

Distance was 544 km for the day, now a total of 2803 for me.

As the picture shows, the dust had been fierce. The nice folks at the hotel got a hose out to rinse the worst of it off. Due to the low speeds I got the best mileage of the entire trip with 252 km to reserve. I rode into town without touching the supply in the can.

It was Monday afternoon at 4:30 pm and the ferry was Tuesday at 5 pm, so we had a bit of R&R.

A ride around town and we located the dock for tomorrow's departure and had a look around the air base. It was a huge base before the end of the cold war, with several of the European NATO countries maintaining a presence to practice low flying over the expansive wilderness of Labrador.

Looking back from whence we came.

'06 Triumph Scrambler Trans-Labrador veteran
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