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Old 05-26-2008, 10:21 AM   #1
DRZ400SK4 OP
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60 Miles of Back Country Trail Riding

Oh the Carnage!

From constantly being dinged in the head by low hanging branches, to the sound of bikes crashing to the ground on the wet and slippery terrain, to filling our boots with cold and muddy water, to seeing the first front and rear flat at the same time that I have ever seen, there was much suffering to be endured on today's trail ride. But man did we ever have some fun!

The weather was a mix of rain showers, cloud, and the odd sunny break, with cool temperatures, as we made our way along the 60 mile trail route from George's Brook to Port Rexton, on the Bonavista Peninsula, on the Island of Newfoundland.

We had a KTM 640A and a pair of DRZ400s along for the ride, today. Doug and I trucked the DRZs out to George's Brook, rode the trail to Port Rexton from there, and then rode the Bonavista highway back to complete the loop to where the truck was parked. Mike rode his bike out the Trans Canada Highway from St. John's, rode the trail with us, and then opted to stay over night in Port Rexton.

Thanks for joining me on today's whacky adventure, guys. It was certainly one of the more entertaining off road rides I've been on in awhile. There's no doubt about that.

And Doug...

It still freaks me out that you managed to get a flat in BOTH your front and rear tires at the same time!

And what's up with there being SNOW still left on the trail on the 25th of May?!

Here's some photos...






























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Old 05-26-2008, 11:11 AM   #2
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Looks like tough going ride! Thanks for posting
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:20 PM   #3
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Somebody tell Mike he's not riding an XC300.

LOL
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Somebody tell Mike he's not riding an XC300.
He's in complete and total denial, Rob.


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Old 05-26-2008, 08:29 PM   #5
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Nice report...looks like you had your hands full. Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:45 AM   #6
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As we rounded the corner at the end of our off road route, near Port Rexton, the view of this rather majestic looking iceberg was offered up as our reward.

Pretty hard to beat as the perfect ending to a great day of trail riding, me thinks...

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Old 05-27-2008, 05:48 AM   #7
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Looks like a perfect place for a last man standing

event.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:01 PM   #8
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another set of pics from this ride

Yup, good times for sure. Now I feel like I can handle some sand riding after the bit of fun we had riding this old rail line. Maybe Geoff can find out how long ago they pulled the rails, 80 years? He also has a map of the route. In 90+ km of riding we were lucky enough not to see a single ATV on the trail which is nice when you're cooking along at 50 mph on a fairly narrow trail.

here go the boys taking the easy way out


we were pretty tangled up for quite awhile-it took pliers to get one piece of branch out of one of my front calipers

Doug's waterproof boots were very effective at keeping copious amounts of water in them after puddles like the one behind us


Which got us to the most technical section on the ride-I had some doubts, never having attempted anything as difficult before

the video we shot in this section can be found here:
click o matic

then came the flat tires; Geoff caught up to me and got my attention despite lacking a horn to say he hadn't seen Doug's light in awhile so we waited a bit to see if he was coming before heading back the trail. A big sigh of relief for both of us coming around the bend and seeing he and his bike upright. Flat rear tire


While fixing the rear Doug had a look at his front tire and decided it didn't have any air either? Weird...thanks Lorenzo for having done a fix on a valvestem for Geoff with this little trick once before


Some fast open sections brought us across another little trussel into Trinity


Geoff getting a look at the lighthouse across the harbour


I had to pull a U'ey to get a shot of this cool berg


Being 6:30 pm, 3 hours from home and boots full of water I decided I would stay here for the night and continue this little adventure in the morning when the weather was forecasted to be the best day for awhile
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:06 PM   #9
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Looks like it was a great ride! Super pictures...very entertaining video.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:44 PM   #10
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Here's the embeded versions of Mike's video clips...


Not exactly David Knight, but I made it through unscathed...




My good friend Doug had a more memorable journey through this little technical section, however...

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Old 05-30-2008, 07:32 AM   #11
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the rest of the 60 mile offroad ride

Ok, as Geoff said earlier in this thread, I stayed overnight in Port Rexton at a place called Fisher's Loft which was definitely a good decision as the weather on Monday was forecasted to be the best of the week–so I looked forward to catching up with some friends I haven't seen in awhile and a little more adventure in the morning. After what we'd ridden through in the first 90+ km I could only guess what the rest of the railbed would offer.

the main house at Fisher's Loft where my little room was and a nice view


a nice cozy and spotless little room with my bike parked right outside the window-a perfect place to spend the night


there are 5 different houses to choose from


the riddle fence protects the organic garden where they grow most of the produce they use in the dining room you can see in the background


Gabe Fisher, thank you my friend for the exceptional hospitality.

Gabe is a talented mtn biker and snowboarder who can direct you to all the good trails in the area, I highly recommend the 4.5 star Fisher's Loft as a place to stay for a visit to the Port Rexton/Trinity area with plenty off good coastal riding close by too.

After a relaxing breakfast and enough coffee for two people I was on the trail again


this guy was the first person in two days we ran into on the trail-his obvious time spent riding his trike made the centerline of the railbed an excellent fast line to take for quite a distance


here's the only other person I ran into, he was on his spanky new quad and gave me the beta on some more good routes further south that we're planning to run sometime soon


And then I saw the water tower, which signaled the end of my trail-I was a little bit sad to have to get back on the pavement for the rest of the day.

It took Doug, Geoff and me 6+ hours to ride 93 km on Sunday through all kinds of fun and on Monday it only took me 2 hours to ride 49km including stopping to chat with a couple of people-obviously that last section was in good enough shape to ride at a decent pace.:)

A quick spin by the lighthouse to see more icebergs


a terrible shot of the Matthew replica that marks John Cabot's first landing in North America in 1497 and another iceberg, I put the poor photography down to the fact that I was standing in the middle of the road with cars trying to run me over


On my way south I took a little tour around Catalina in search of more lighthouses and happily found a shot of the Green Island lighthouse


Another iceberg behind little Catalina light and then off to Random Island to see if the light on Random Head was accessible by bike


I went over to Random Island and as far as Hickman Harbour where a local fisherman told me there was no way I'd get my bike to the lighthouse on Random Head. Maybe another day I'll have some more time to see for myself with my own eyes.

By the time I parked my bike I had 740km on the clock with 438 of them ridden on Monday and 140+ of them offroad. A great way to spend a couple of days.

My day wasn't quite done when I parked the bike at 5:30 and raced to meet some fellow ski patrollers to hike the section of the East Coast Trail between Freshwater Bay and Fort Amherst that took another 2.5 hours. Not having had anything to eat or drink since breakfast I was about ready to chew my arm off by the time I got home at 10.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:48 AM   #12
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Now that looks like a fun ride!
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:58 AM   #13
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yup-we had a really good time on that one. There are over 1000km more of railbed on the island that are mostly rideable too, maybe Geoff will post his little map of them up here too.
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