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Old 09-06-2014, 06:14 AM   #1
NCD OP
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The LAST Trans-Labrador ride report EVER!!!




About the Author

NCD (Nickolas Cocksmith Dildomodel) began riding motorcycles just a few years ago, and often finds himself behind the popular curve of ride report destinations. So, rather than just do another normal one, he again finds himself compelled to parody his journey and destination for entertainment's sake. The LAST Trans-Labrador Ride Report EVER!!! chronicles his journey through Labrador on a route that is being paved at an alarming rate, thereby ending a major part of the adventure itself.

Praise for The LAST Trans-Labrador Ride Report EVER!!!

"An insightful documentary of the exotic land of Labrador, that continues through Newfoundland & Nova Scotia. Filled from cover to cover with lush photography and skillfully crafted prose. A modern masterpiece" - The New York Times

"I had become as dry as two pieces of toast. After reading NCD's latest, I'm delightfully soppy again." - Natalie Portman

"Looks like I need to stop straddling my Portia and hop on the back of this guy's BMW!" - Ellen Degeneres

"Had I known this report was coming, I wouldn't have wasted my time trying." - Ernest Hemingway

"NCD ist das beste, was uns seit der Führer." - BMW Motorrad
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:19 PM   #2
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Canada. Living in America, you know it's up there - but you always forget about it. At least I do. Don't take offense, Canadians. You are just really quiet. It's good in the grand scheme of things.

I will confess however. I'm a junkie for the Rockies and parts west. When I get an open shot, I will generally head straight for Colorado or Utah. But the Trans-Lab is right in my backyard, and I just kept putting it off. That was, until I got wind of how quickly they are working on paving the whole shebang. Once this paving project is completed, this land will become accessible to everyone. And we all know what that means. Happy Valley-Goose Bay is going to look like this next summer:



And that's going to suck. So I loaded up the bike, and headed northeast to get in on the gravel while the gettin's still good. But the first odd thing happened before I ever left the states. On the way up through central New York, I see this exit:



Ummm, really? You have to put a town called Mexico just south of the Canadian border? WTF. Either that or it's one hell of a u-turn exit.

After a long day of interstate riding, and spending the last hour of it in the rain (a common theme to come) I arrived at the border and began the process of digging out my passport. I totally missed the message on my GPS screen:



Here it goes. My first venture out of the country on a motorcycle.
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Old 09-06-2014, 06:46 PM   #3
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Well, that was quick, it's over even before you got there

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Old 09-07-2014, 03:47 AM   #4
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Literary Praise

Quote:
Praise for The LAST Trans-Labrador Ride Report EVER!!!

"An insightful documentary of the exotic land of Labrador, that continues through Newfoundland & Nova Scotia. Filled from cover to cover with lush photography and skillfully crafted prose. A modern masterpiece" - The New York Times

"I had become as dry as two pieces of toast. After reading NCD's latest, I'm delightfully soppy again." - Natalie Portman

"Looks like I need to stop straddling my Portia and hop on the back of this guy's BMW!" - Ellen Degeneres

"Had I known this report was coming, I wouldn't have wasted my time trying." - Ernest Hemingway

"NCD ist das beste, was uns seit der Führer." - BMW Motorrad
Lyrical, enthusiastic review quotes!

Understand e.e. cummings composed a poem in praise of the new book. Typed with such vigor he broke the SHIFT key on his word processor . . .
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RumRunner View Post
Well, that was quick, it's over even before you got there

DW
No way man. It's just getting started!

That "warning" was because I have made fun of Canada in other ride reports, and constantly hound my buddy from Nova Scotia aboot his accents on words, etc.

I figured karma was going to allow Canada get back at me. Hence the "warning."
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XDragRacer View Post
Lyrical, enthusiastic review quotes!

Understand e.e. cummings composed a poem in praise of the new book. Typed with such vigor he broke the SHIFT key on his word processor . . .
Wow. That's pretty high brow sarcasm! I'm impressed!
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:15 PM   #7
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So, after answering a bunch of odd questions - they let me in.

"What is your license plate number?"
"Where are you headed?"
"Do you know how far that is?"
"Why are you going there?"
"Do you have reservations?"

But I must have passed the test, cause those suckers let me in!

Shortly after pulling away from border control, I looked left to see a sea of Canadians crowded to our border trying to catch a glimpse of what life is like on the good side:



But it was raining pretty damn hard now, and I was treated to a couple slick metal-grid bridge crossings. At least these had cement in the grid, so it was 50/50 traction/slick. A few more miles in and it was time to get some gas. Holy sh*t gas is super cheap in Canada! Only like a buck thirty a gallon!



But the pump was a piece of crap, and tried charging me for like 13 gallons. I went in to complain to the clerk, but she was speaking some other language. Nice scam Canada. Bastards.

At least the speed limits are nice and high. Although my bike gets terrible mileage at 100MPH:



The route up to and through Tadoussac begins to become a lot better in the scenery department. Although awfully grey and soggy most of the time on my trip:







Yep. 100MPH is PERFECT!







And then the road just ends. My GPS was routing me forward, but there was no road or bridge. Then someone pointed out this:



I was like: Yeah, that's a boat. Who cares? I need to get over there on my bike!



I was told I have to ride onto it and cross by boat...





Oh Canada. What were you thinking? Don't you know that you are supposed to build a big, bad ass bridge whenever possible?
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:55 AM   #8
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Well, here is an unexpected post!

I was contacted by Matt McCann, host & reporter for CBC News in Newfoundland and Labrador. One way or another he came across this ride report and reached out to me.

Turns out, the paving of the road - and how it will change the flavor of travel through the region - is a contentious issue up there. I did a short radio interview with him on my thoughts on the issue that should be out later today or tomorrow.

If it does see the light of day > I will link it up here!

Here is the link:

http://www.cbc.ca/labradormorning/ep...-tlh-pavement/

NCD screwed with this post 09-18-2014 at 05:24 AM Reason: added linky
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCD View Post
Well, here is an unexpected post!

I was contacted by Matt McCann, host & reporter for CBC News in Newfoundland and Labrador. One way or another he came across this ride report and reached out to me.

Turns out, the paving of the road - and how it will change the flavor of travel through the region - is a contentious issue up there. I did a short radio interview with him on my thoughts on the issue that should be out later today or tomorrow.

If it does see the light of day > I will link up up here!
My best guess is that it's pretty easy to breakdown the "contentious" nature of paving:

Truckers & locals:

Tourists & advrider.com regulars:

I feel the loss for our community, but can't really blame the locals for wanting pavement. Fortunately, there is always the Dempster!

EDIT: Loving the report so far. Keep it coming!
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selkins View Post
My best guess is that it's pretty easy to breakdown the "contentious" nature of paving:

Truckers & locals:

Tourists & advrider.com regulars:

I feel the loss for our community, but can't really blame the locals for wanting pavement. Fortunately, there is always the Dempster!

EDIT: Loving the report so far. Keep it coming!
That may well be it. But it did seem like some locals are torn on the whole idea as well. We'll see!
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:33 PM   #11
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Well, I have to admit. The ferry ride (the first of four on this trip) was pretty darn fun. Although it was a bummer to see that it was raining on the other shore. But the fjord provided some stellar views:





Not raining where I left from:



Raining there:





And at the departure zone:



Once the ferry stopped and docked - I was faced with a pretty good challenge. It was raining, and the uphill exit ramp off of the ferry was a shiny steel grate. And there was a medium sized group of foot passengers waiting to get on and off standing right there watching me exit. The pressure was on! I crept up too close to the car in front of me, which made me stop right at the beginning of the ramp. Double farts! Now I had to start up the glossy grid from a stand still - no momentum. Eeek! I made it off, but it was a clencher for sure!

Originally I was headed to a campground I had pegged on the GPS from someone else's ride report. But the persistent pissing in the direction of travel made me look for an alternate solution. A quick wi-fi stealing endeavor showed me a cheapo motel up a side route, on a road with a cool sounding name. Plan B enacted.



On the way to the hotel, I noticed some dirt roads called out on the Montana - and marked them. After checking in, I headed back out to see if they would afford a scenic view of the fjord I crossed earlier. Score!









I was a fun little side trip down some lesser used farm roads that panned out into a great view, and one of those nice little ADV side trips to remind you why you just spent hours on the highway getting somewhere new.



Traveling in a French speaking area? Can't read the menu? Hot sandwiches were always a winner!



I put the steed to bed, covered up in my home made rain cover. Just grab a closeout tent ground cover from your local camp store, sew some simple pockets for your mirrors, and tie thin bungees to the corners that reach some key points. Boom! $10 travel cover!



Good night's sleep tonight. The real adventure starts tomorrow.
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:18 PM   #12
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Thankfully, that rain cover never got used that night. But the cloudy, grey skies still dominated all morning - still heading East.



It's riding through here that things really begin to take on a different feel, and the fact that you are in a very different country & region becomes apparent.











And finally on to 389 Nord - - 100 miles of undulating, bumpy fun. If you stopped for every cool sight along this road you would never make it anywhere.





Oh yeah - I launched big ass air off this ramp!





Yep. I knew the dryness was going to have to end soon. I was stuck under a crappy weather pattern all week. Dammit!



But the rain let up right before I got to the gigantic Molson Brewery that is along the route. I cannot even begin to explain how big this place is. Canada must drink a TON of Molson to support a facility such as this...



The sheer size of this monster just doesn't even come though in photos...







But there she is in all her glory - that dirt road you have been waiting two and a half days for!



The last minute decision to put on a TKC front was going to bode well on this trip. Some other reports talk about Labradust. I had to deal with Labraslop.



Keep your eye open for little side routes down to the water:



They usually reveal excellent views otherwise missed:





Weather just "happens" in Labrador it seems. No pattern. I'm warm in the sun here, with rain a few yards over the hill. Sigh.



After chowing down another hot sandwich and gassing up in Relais Gabriel, I made a left on a little spur just down the hill. Quiet, peaceful spot just by the water. But buddy, let me tell you about blackflies. Holy F-ing sh*t. Out on the road, it was always windy and/or raining - never noticed them. But this evening was still and semi-clear. You roll down, find a great camp spot - and begin pulling stuff out of your panniers. And there they are. Everywhere. I had a hat and bug net for my head. Priceless additions to my travel gear. I put up my tent in full riding gear, gloves and all - then jumped in. I had to kill the 30 or so in my tent before I finally passed out.





Oh yeah, gas is over 7.00 a gallon in Relais Gabriel.

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Old 09-14-2014, 06:27 PM   #13
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That water I camped by is a little inlet of Lake Manicougar, named after a popular sitcom on the CBC.



But the news is (maybe good, maybe bad) is that from here to Fire Lake - it's paved!



But oddly, the narrow wooden bridges remain???



This section, however, is full of stunning natural beauty. Or maybe I was just swayed by the blue skies!









Good news is, if you find yourself in need of assistance from Superman...Labrador has you covered! Or I suppose you could get a pizza delivered...



I really like liked the rally-esque feel of the Fire Lake section. Twisty, loose gravel roads that required more attention than the rest. On the pegs, roostin!





I will say it again. If you stop for everything beautiful you see - you will never make it anywhere!



Obligatory photo!





And boy, was I glad that this bad boy was dry! But it would be the only dry one all trip!



Would have loved to see this pre-hydroelectric plant:





Oh yeah, let's talk about the money for a second. Canadian cash is WEIRD! It feels like wax paper, has CLEAR plastic sections on it - and has pictures of old broads, trains, and kids ice skating on it. Don't make this joke to locals BTW. I found that you will be swiftly reprimanded into submission, and dutifully corrected that they are PLAYING HOCKEY not ice skating. True story. She really ripped me a new one. And don't get me started on the 30lbs of coins I ended up having for change.



Oh yes. Be warned.

Labrador Motel Room Syndrome

Everywhere I inquired about a motel room - - they only had one left. Every. Single. Place. No matter how busy it seemed. I think it might be a sales tactic you see...
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:40 AM   #14
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Since we are about to start another cold, rainy day - let's establish some solid guidelines for when you must stop riding a motorcycle:



Let's head north to Happy Valley - Goose Bay...



Very little gravel road is left:





See. I told you.







And there ya have it. That 180 miles went by quick. Very few photos, cause of the persistent rain. Oh well, this picture was taken around noon, still plenty of riding left today. I'm headed to Port Hope-Simpson tonight. Need to get gas first though in HV-GB.

This sign greets you in HV-GB. I absolutely swear I did not do this. So at least one other person in Labrador shares my crude sense of humor...



Backtrack a little bit, turn left - and get ready for an all afternoon rain event on the longest stretch of gravel road left to enjoy up here. But first, of course, there is a long metal grated bridge waiting for you in the distance of this picture. By far the sketchiest of the trip.



This section was much hillier than I expected. I assumed it was going to be flat for some reason. This whole region is composed of 4 basic elements:

a. Rock
b. Water
c. Swamp
d. The Road

But that's what makes it so great!



Don't like red gravel? How about grey?



Grader Taint













Spooky:





I rolled into PHS a soggy, tired mess. The girls at the gas station were totally awesome. They know everyone in town, and called around to see who had rooms available. They did find a hotel that - you guessed it - had 1 room left. I nabbed that up pretty fast. Bonus: the hotel (like most up here) served food pretty late.

As much as I have made fun of Canada for fun, I will say this. The people of Labrador are super friendly, and add a lot to a long solo trip like this. I only encountered one person with a foul attitude over thousands of miles up here.

PHS was fogged in all night and morning. The small glimpses I got through the whiteout looked beautiful.

And a small tech note: My tripmeter showed exactly 250.0 miles from the gas station in HV to the one in PHS. I read higher estimates before I left. 1 extra gallon in the 800GS was plenty.
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Old 09-18-2014, 05:12 AM   #15
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My notes for Day 6 are very clear. First line: Road is F'n SHIT SHIT SHIT.



I woke to rain - and it was rain, sprinkles, and mist all the way to Red Bay. This section of the road is the roughest and most potholed of the journey. Everywhere else there was always a clear line for a motorcycle. But through here, there was not. After about 15 miles or so - you give up and just beat your bike through them.







And one pothole just about got me. I plowed into it at about 50mph - but upon exit it sent me out at around 10:00. It was deeper than anything else I had hit (they were full of water so it was impossible to tell) and the back must have had a large rock in it or something. The impact was so hard that it caused me to blip the throttle hard AND exhale full breath into my shield - fogging it up 100%. Kinda worse case scenario. Ass end sideways on a wet muddy road and unable to see. Geographically - I think this is the farthest point away from home. Of course.

I'd love to describe what I did to save it and not eat shit - but it happened so fast. Shove pressure on the pegs to counter the slide , plus fling my shield up all in some choreographed move. The bike swung the other way, back the other a little bit - then all was back to well. Except for the Stage 11 butthole clench happening in my pants. If was wasn't awake yet - I was now!



Here's why the road is so bad. They don't care! They are blasting huge sections wider to prepare for paving. I missed the explosion by about 10 minutes they said. Myself and about 7 other cars were stuck here for about and hour and a half. Two ladies from Newfoundland offered to let me hang out in their warm car - but I pointed out how soaking wet I was - and they politely rescinded the offer! I don't blame them.







And just like that, you are back on pavement. It's sort of a sad moment - but it just marks another episode of the journey starting. Thankfully, the rain let up in Red Bay. and I got a good look at life in coastal Labrador before leaving.









The road south to the ferry was a ton of fun! Notes: :) WOO! Sort of like the western US - - loooong sweeping corners with open sight lines so that you can haul ass! Ahem..I mean adhere to all local laws concerning speed. My bad. Sorry. It was ultra windy through here. One of those days where the bike is leaned over just to keep going straight.



But the fun had to end, and the queue for ferry number 2 begins. I was blown away at how big this ferry was. Little did I know this one isn't crap compared to the next one in a few days. Make a reservation! It paid off.



Bikes go on last, so you are asked to wait off to the side...



And then everything gets packed on incredibly close!





This ferry must be really old, as the decor seemed very dated - and it was in pretty rough shape. I guess it doesn't matter. It was cheap, and better than swimming. Plenty of dolphin sightings on the way were true highlights.

It's about 2 hours across to Newfoundland, and I had taken the later ferry - so the ladies from the car (you meet back up with everyone eventually at the ferry) recommended the Plum Point Motel. Simple cabins, with a stunning view out the back.





And MOOSE! Someone yelled at them and threw rocks to scare them away from the road. Hence the hightailing into the woods. They are BIG and kinda clumsy looking really. Bears are cooler. My .02. But I guess moose don't try to eat you.

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