I've been sorely lacking in getting my act together to finish writing my RR about my Mongolian Rally experience; I'm not sure why my mind just quit working on the topic. I had an offer to write an article for a print magazine too for a few $$ and I haven't managed to complete a first draft and it's only 1500 words! That's after writing a draft of an introduction article similar in concept to what I've written here. I've even been dragging the paperwork, roadbooks, and videos around the world with me to try to do it while I'm off working. Sigh.
So here's my thought: how about I throw out my ride report from 2 weeks on the road this past September to check out a rally that I first went to 3 years ago? Are you interested? If so read on...
Ok, here goes... all packed up the night before
she looks impressed
I left Suzie's house in Freshwater next to Carbonear, Newfoundland on Wednesday, September 16 in the start of Maria, the latest hurricane to blow through. With my raingear on it wasn't actually bad riding but I made a quick lap back to get the chin bar liner for my helmet and was awfully glad I did. What a difference it makes, I wasn't feeling any rain hit my face at all.
I was just pulling off of Veteran's Memorial route 75 onto the Trans Canada trying to make it to Whitbourne on my low fuel light when I felt the duffel behind me shift and reached around to discover my hydration pack was gone. Dammit! So I turned around and went looking for it. I ran out of gas between the 2 Mackinsons exits, dammit again! It's raining, I'm standing there in my raingear trying to thumb a ride for gas. About the 5th pickup stops and brings me to the closest gas station where they lent me a gas can to go back. I was asking every person who came in if they were headed to the highway. The 4th guy I asked was getting his 9 am case of beer and said he'd give me a ride. Yay, and his wife was driving. He also lives near the gas station and said he'd drop the can back for me too. Thank you very much for the help, sorry I didn't get a name!
Off I went again up the road looking for my hydration pack, all the way back to Freshwater and down to the highway looking in the ditch to no avail. Gone were a few bottles of octane boost for Labrador, breakfast food and coffee, my hand pump, a set of allen keys, zip ties and water. Oh well.
No I was rolling out at 11:30 instead of 8:30 with a long way to go and yes it was still raining. Not bad, my thermometer was saying 18ºC, pretty decent. It wasn't even too windy on the road.
Somewhere before Deer Lake it cooled down to 14º, I stopped there to refuel, put on dry gloves and another layer, thankfully it had also stopped raining. I'd made a reservation at the Dockside Motel in St Barbe so I knew I had a hot shower and bed to look forward to when I got there.
The guy at the gas station warned me about the wind heading north, I wasn't too concerned starting out. Everything was fine all the way up through Gros Morne right until I hit the first of the coastline where I got the full effects of the wind. The bits of headland would make breaks in the wind plus the gusts. It was gusting well over 90 km/h from the left which put me in the riding position of all my weight on the left peg, over the bars pushing down and my helmet mashed into my cheek. Fun. It got even more fun when I felt my front wheel get lifted off the ground by one big one. I managed to run to 20:00 with my tinted goggles and had to pull over to put on clear glasses, my new LED driving lights were excellent and really lit up the road for the last of it.
Finally after 700 km's in and out of rain and 200 of 300 km's in some serious wind I made it to St Barbe and my cozy little room; the bad news upon arrival was that no ferries had run at all that day and the next one wasn't looking too good either.
Here are the stats, no time for more