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Old 07-28-2008, 03:44 PM   #241
derevus
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Good to have met you...

Elmer,
It was a privildge to share some time with you and hear of your travels first hand. Keep safe and continue to squeeze the goodness out of every day!
All the best,

Lloyd
Sackville, New Brunswick
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:12 AM   #242
Abenteuerfahrer OP
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Great & most excellent information and planning....TLH

This was posted by rdwalker(gnarly adventurer) who gets credit for taking the time to give you all food for thought and has just about everything that needs to be said in planning to do the TLH loop.

Cheers, YOUR MAN THAT WAS ON THE ROAD



Planning information


Here are some planning resources that could be useful for anyone else considering a ride along the Trans-Lab.

Good luck!



Planning Resources.

--> Maps & Info:

Newfoundland and, in particular, Labrador is off most tourists' radar screens. Your typical maps will have very little detail on the area. North Coast of the St. Lawrence River is not shown on your AAA publications; forget about the Trans-Labrador itself.


Online mapping services, like Google Maps or Mapquest offer fairly good resources for trip planning (just ignore the outlandish travel-time estimates).

I love paper maps, though: nothing but an unfolded sheet offers the large scale overview together with the depth of detail. I always enjoy the sense of adventure when randomly perusing a map. The smell of fresh ink, the exotic names in faraway locations really do it for me.

The provincial government publishes a very good road map of Newfoundland and Labrador. It can be obtained just for the asking, together with some brochures, from their tourist offices at: http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/ .

JDMGeo (www.MapArt.com) publishes very good maps of Quebec, although the really interesting sections of Trans-Quebec-Labrador and of James Bay Road are not shown.

A big community at your service: www.ADVrider.com, of course.
Newfoundland riding : www.ridetherock.com/forums
Specific sections of Labrador:
www.labradorwest.com, www.labradorcoastaldrive.com
Trans-Lab web page: http://tlhwy.com/



--> Communications.

Immediately upon entering Newfoundland, my GSM mobile phone stopped working. In towns, I have seen a lot of people yakking away; judging by the pull-out antennas, they still had analog service. And of course, once out of town and in Labrador there is no cellular coverage. I did not re-acquire digital service until reaching Forestville on St. Lawrence River in Quebec.

In other words, be prepared for not having mobile service for many days. In order to communicate, you should have access to an 800 (toll-free) service that allows you to make calls from hotels or private land phones. AT&T is one provider of such service (although pricy). I also have Primus Communications' Global Access card (http://www.affinitytele.com/c-cards.htm), which offers toll-free call-in numbers throughout the world; I have been using their card extensively during this trip. Note that some payphones in Canada do block toll-free access calls.

For the main section of Trans-Labrador Highway, the provincial Department of Transportation provides free emergency satellite phones. These are capable of only dialing 911 and can be signed in and out for 24-hour periods in selected locations in the four towns between Goose Bay and Labrador City.


--> Time Zones.

On Ferries: all scheduling is done on Ship's Time, which is announced and displayed throughout. Make a note what time zone is in use, or you may miss breakfast or oversleep landing.

Quebec: bulk of the province, accessible by road from Montreal / Quebec City uses Eastern Time. North Coast section (Blanc-Sablon) runs on Atlantic Time.

New Brunswick and Nova Scotia: Atlantic Time (1hr ahead of Eastern).

Newfoundland: Newfoundland Time (another 1/2hr ahead of Atlantic, i.e., hour-and-half from Eastern).

Labrador: section immediately across the Strait from Newfoundland (L'Anse au Clair) in on Newfoundland time. All of the rest (Cartwright, Goose Bay and west) is on Atlantic time.

All zones observe Daylight Time.


--> Ferries.

Reaching Happy Valley - Goose Bay via the Maritime Provinces requires sailing on several ferries. I strongly recommend spending the night on the long runs: it saves riding days and substitutes for hotels. Booking a cabin is very useful; it allows for comfort, privacy and security for your belongings.

The ferry I took from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland was fairly modern; I understand that so are the other ones on that route. Cabins contained bathrooms with showers, quite convenient.

The Goose Bay ferry seems to be living out its days after retiring from service around Jutland Peninsula - even the signage is still in Danish. It is a bit rough around the edges; bathrooms and toilets are in a common area. I would not be surprised if this route is terminated once Phase III connector of Trans-Labrador Highway opens, between Cartwright and Goose Bay.

Reservations on all of them are a must if you desire a cabin. They are recommended just for the passage as well, although I do understand that a lone rider with a motorcycle is always somehow fit in.

The routes between North Sydney, NS and Port-aux-Basques, NL, as well as the seasonal connection to Argentia, NL, are serviced by Marine Atlantic:
http://www.marine-atlantic.ca/

Newfoundland to Labrador crossing and the Goose Bay ferry are operated by Labrador Marine:
http://www.labradormarine.com/

On the other side of the run, in Quebec, there are several ferries crossing St. Lawrence River. These may be of interest if a side trip on Gaspe Peninsula is in your cards. Despite repeated announcements to the contrary, the Trois Pistoles - Les Escoumins connection seems to be gone for good, but the remaining routes are:

Baie-Comeau / Godbout - Matane:
http://www.traversiers.gouv.qc.ca/tr...ection=%C9t%E9

Further west there is the Rimouski - Forestville route. Note that some English-language pages do not work too well on the ferry companies' Web sites. For schedules, just dig into the French sections - you should be able to figure them out. 'Horaire' is schedule, everything else is self-explanatory.
http://www.traversier.com/accueil.html

Finally, St-Simeon - Riviere-du-Loup:
http://www.traverserdl.com/e/horaire/sim-06.htm


--> Fuel:

Once in northern Newfoundland and through the whole length of Trans-Lab highway, there is no premium fuel (except, maybe, in Goose Bay and Fermont). Also, some rural stations in New England carry only regular gas. Your bike must be able to handle regular.


The longest distance between fuel stations is about 300km (~ 200 miles) between Goose Bay and Churchill Falls.



--> Repair Shops.

Atlantic Motoplex (only BMW dealer in the Maritimes)
950 Champlain Street, Dieppe, NB E1A 1P8
506-383-1022
www.atlanticmotoplex.ca

RPM Cycle
168 Main St., Dartmouth, NS B2X 1S2
902-434-8516
www.rpmcycle.ca

Steve's Cycle Truro
1279 MacCallum Settlement Rd.,
MacCallum Settlement, B6L 6V4
902-893-2581
stevescycle@z6.com

Adrian's (x-BMW shop)
80 King Street, Moncton, NB E1C 4M6
506-382-0262

(Mike) Milligans Cycle Works
2271 Mountain Road, Moncton?
854 4555

Darren Tapley
All-Euro, Halifax NS

Ed Barkhouse
Procycle, Dartmouth NS

Keith Windsor
The Toy Box
St. John's, NL



--> Hotels.

On my blitz tours, I usually do not skimp but try to stay in fairly nice places. My trips are expensive simply because I pay for my own time off work - cost of a hotel is then not as significant.

When selecting accommodations, I prefer a hotel that has a restaurant on premises - unless in a city, where everything is within walking distance. I like to clean up in the evening, then have a nice dinner and some good wine; I do not want to be riding anymore.

Having Internet access is quite important as well. It's a valuable travel tool: not only to check email, but also to find out local weather, schedules, make or cancel reservations, and so on. Fortunately, Wi-Fi is becoming more and more prevalent in most establishments.

Below are places I used on this trip. I have been fortunate to be able to recommend them to all.

Planning note: all accommodations in Newfoundland and Labrador are very busy during the brief tourist and construction season. Reservations are essential. At the very least, keep a list of possible hotels and call ahead.


In most common destinations: Holiday Inn Express (www.ichotelsgroup.com). These are standardized, clean and comfortable locations, with good services and Wi-Fi. Dinner, however, may be an issue. On this trip, I used them in Seabrook, NH and in Moncton (Dieppe), NB.


Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland:
Ocean View Motel
Phone: 709-458-2730, http://www.oceanviewmotel.com
Good facilities, restaurant, pub, Wi-Fi.


Mary's Harbour, Labrador:
Riverlodge Hotel
709-921-6948, www.riverlodgehotel.com
Here you are a bit off the tourist track; don't worry about Internet access. When planning on late arrival, check on dining room times - kitchen closes early.


Wabush, Labrador:
Wabush Hotel
709-282-3221/3222
Formerly a grand place, now very busy during road-building season, filled with construction crews. Still, has all the facilities and is the best (if not only) hotel in town. Reservations are a must! Wi-Fi spotty.


Baie-Comeau, Québec:
Le Grand Hôtel
48, Place Lasalle
1-888-838-8880, http://www.legrandhotel.ca
This town-center hotel is being renovated right now and can be a bit disorganized. Still, the owner may himself guide you around the building to park your bike next to his Fat Boy. Wi-Fi spotty.


Québec City, Québec:
Chateau Laurier
1220 Place George-V Ouest
(800) 463-4453 www.vieux-quebec.com
This is one of my favorite places to stay in Quebec City, a modern upscale hotel, yet often in CAD$170 range. Great amenities and Wi-Fi, underground garage. Just on the outside of Old City walls and next to restaurant strip of Grande Allee.
Note that motorcycles are not allowed in Old City; thank you, loud pipes.



Woodstock, VT:
Lincoln Inn
802-457-3312 www.lincolninn.com
Quite upscale - yet not expensive; nice restaurant and pub. Very friendly and helpful staff. Wi-Fi is advertised - but I was too tired to try...

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Old 07-29-2008, 07:34 AM   #243
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SCARYSHARKFACE......many thanks for your kind words. I pretty much had followed your posting before I hit the TLH. You gave some good advice in regard to speed on the gravel. I did experiment with my heavy GS by riding a bit faster and found that you're right that one digs less deeper just like snowboarding: the faster you go the more you rise above the snows compared at a slower pace where you sink. The same applies to biking. But at my age I was a bit afraid should I hit some embankment at 60 mph...pitching into the ditch, being deaf...can't call via satellite..eh; I chickened out and rode at about 30 mph on poor surfaces. This speed was adequate for a gravel novice like me.

I also looked at the intriquing Sag-Wagon idea...he,he...a caravan of Deaf riders..?????
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:39 AM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derevus
Elmer,
It was a privildge to share some time with you and hear of your travels first hand. Keep safe and continue to squeeze the goodness out of every day!
All the best,

Lloyd
Sackville, New Brunswick
LLOYD...oh, how could I forget you and your parents?? Such hospitality, kindness...! Thank you..

Have you decided to ride WEST yet?? All the best and a safe passage. Ready for ALASKA next year?
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:33 AM   #245
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Thanks for posting the ride plan.

One last thing before I sign off..."what are your reflections on the personal aspect and the equipment needs of this trip?"

In other words if you were to do the trip again---what would you change? Keep?

Hondachopper
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:02 AM   #246
Abenteuerfahrer OP
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Hondachopper..... I would reduce my tool collection. Carried so many tools as if I was doing a global tour: tire irons, beadbreaker, two mini-aircompressors(manual + electric); various tire plugging kits, etc. These added plenty of weight. Since I replaced my tires at Max BMW in NH, with Michelin Anakees, they were pretty much foolproof. Less winterized clothing; the Gerbing heating jacket would have just been fine. Wood axe and collapsible shovel/spade/ could have stayed home. Most campgrounds already had hacked wood to take either at cost or free(Canada). The Kermit chair, although nice and comfy could have stayed home as well. Each side case was balanced to about 43# x2=86#. Topcase about 40#, then the camping and cold weather gear in bags added another 30#. This roughly added about 136-140# of gear, well within the limits of the GS but did make the front a bit lighter due to the rear compression. No problem on paved roads but slightly squirrely on gravel sections thus necessiating an occassional peg stand-up in deep sections and high up hill grades.


I was well prepared for anything nature would throw at me: had a full fledeged medical kit as well.

The tank bag carried 2x quarts water and other stuff, putting a bit of forward weigh to the GS for better gravel steering.


Kept most of the weigh reasonably low. Did carry a 2 gallon fuel reserve container full with gas which I never used. The GS gave respectable gas mileage considering the weigh I carried....about 40 mpg. I could reasonably go about 200 miles before needing gas. The extra gas container I could do without.


At my age I like a bit of comfort...I noticed that I Moteled about 95% of the time due to inclement weather so next time I might scratch camping altogether thus saving me a lot of weigh.


What I would not do without is the tire plugging/patching/airpump/ motor oil, basic tools, medical kit..water, energy bars......everything else is pretty relative!
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:19 AM   #247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abendteuerfahrer
*snip*

I also looked at the intriquing Sag-Wagon idea...he,he...a caravan of Deaf riders..?????
I'm open to any ideas that might make it work, or work better. Obviously, fuel and ferries will be the major expenses. Could be a lot of fun though.

John
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Old 07-30-2008, 11:33 AM   #248
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Terrific ride report and pictures, definitely going into the "riding goals" folder. Thanks for sharing, looks like a great trip!

Cheers......Mike
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:45 PM   #249
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Welcome Back!

Welcome back Papa! I really enjoyed reading your journal and loved the pictures. Vermont is beautiful as well - so green and no advertisment road signs (whooohooo). So, where to next summer? My schedule is wide-open. How 'bout a trip to Alaska?
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:14 PM   #250
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Great read, especially since I'll be riding the Labrador highway in September.
Do we need reservations if we get hotel/motel in Goose Bay we were not planning on bringing a tent.

Going thru the thread I saw your picture of the back side of the torn down the building We must have similar idea's about good looking buildings here is one from this winter when I was working in Quebec City (I love it there). No bike at that time I went there in a Jaguar XJ6 with about 300lbs of steel plates in the trunk and some very agressive snowtires.
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:10 AM   #251
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SPEED3......don't know which way you're going. Clockwise or counterclockwise. There are three(3) motel/hotels in GooseBay/Happy Valley and B&B's. I never reserved any rooms throughout my travels except Relais Gabriel(via desk clerk in Chruchill Falls). The French section of Quebec; Relais Gabriel, has been fickle at best when it comes to just walking in and requesting a room.
Please do pick up a free travelers guide when entering Newfoundland/ Labrador, called "Lost and found"; Newfoundland/Labrador; Canada' at any tourist information with the blue "?" sign on the road guiding you to the center.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:19 PM   #252
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We will be going counter clockwise leaving CT September 6th.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:57 AM   #253
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SPEED3..............

You on the road yet??? Awaiting your RR and pictures...
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:51 PM   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abendteuerfahrer

Amazing! I never ever saw anything about any Australian being aboard the Titanic, let alone seeing a grave site so far from here! I live about 60km from Sydney Uni and used to work about 2km from it!

Thanks for posting up your trip... naturally the scenery is much different to anything we have down here!

This will be added to my list of overseas "dream rides", essentially they will only ever happen in my dreams.

Well done and thanyou for taking the time and effort to share!
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:04 AM   #255
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Hi there!

I caught your ride report from your signature line in comments to another thread. I am totally blown away by your pics and your "reporting from the trenches" style. Thank you for keeping everyone up to date during your month-long vacation! You have added yet another place, or rather several places, to my "life list" to visit as ADVrider tends to do. . .

Anyway, I saw you mention in one of your comments that part of your gear for this adventure was shoulder armor and other sorts of extra padding/armor. Could you comment on that further? I did not see or detect these in your self portraits. I am curious if the extra bulk affected your ride, esp on the TLH. Also, I am curious if you would recommend it for such a trecherous ride as the TLH.

Thanks again,

TSDM
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