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Old 08-16-2009, 03:24 PM   #166
sakurama OP
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Bill!

Wow, so glad you made it. We all agreed that you'd make it and were hopeful you'd not have any problems.

So I'm behind a day or so I know. We just got into our rooms in Quebec City and are getting cleaned and ready to check out the town. I'll download and catch up tonight.

Later.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:45 AM   #167
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simply awesome.


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Old 08-17-2009, 05:57 AM   #168
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Day 15 - End of the Trans Lab

Saturday we woke to light rain and put the liners in. We agreed that we'd skip breakfast and wait until we arrived at Manic 5 and eat then. As we're packing up Lauren orders a little snack for Gino but the translation to French somehow ends up with Gino getting two plates of bacon and eggs. We can't not eat the food so Judiaann orders and I eat the second plate and once again we're leaving late. We discover that we're back to EST and suddenly we're not quite as late as we thought. With Gino we need about three time zones a day to stay on schedule.

Since this is our first stop in Quebec we're not quite prepared for the French. Of course we knew they spoke French but we were also sort of expecting they'd speak english too - which is not the case. Gino tells the story over breakfast of how he went down stairs to ask for a fan and the women owner started cursing at him in French when he tried to explain it was too hot to sleep. I'd asked too but was rebuffed - evidently they have only one fan in Relais Gabriel. She came back and angrily handed Gino the only fan. I, instead, had to pull the sheets off the bed and soak them in the sink in our room and then finally fell asleep laying on top of them. It must have been over a 100 in the rooms.

We all agreed that Relais Gabriel seemed like a back water town in the deep south but some sort of time/space wrinkle had them all speaking French. Gino felt the women owner was like a trucker, "Oh my God - she's so mean. Don't mess with her."

We also found that gas is no longer "Regular" but "Ordinaire - Sans Plomb."



I also need to thank Wayne again for the tires. It's not just that he gave me one to replace the one we destroyed but he gave me a set of knobbies which is what I probably should have put on in the first place. The roads out of Labrador are so much nicer when your tires hook up.

We got on the road at the crack of 11 (or 10 corrected) and prepared for the last difficult section of the trip. We'd heard from the other riders that there was deep and difficult sand for in the last 60k of dirt. We kept being ready until we hit the pavement of Manic and realized that the only really difficult section was the one from Churchill Falls to Labrador and mostly due to the cross winds. This section was pretty easy and we hoped that the guys that fell here yesterday were going to be okay out of Labrador.

When we got to Manic it was a site to behold. One of the largest dams in Canada and one of the worlds largest concrete arch structures. It's really beautiful.



I pulled out my widest lens and stitched a vertical panorama together but it still doesn't seem to capture the giant size of the place.



We rode down the hill from Manic and to the only gas for several hundred km and saw that there was a "Cafététeria" and we figured with two french accent marks and two dirt bikes outside it had to be good. Besides, we agreed, we'd only have a snack.



So inside it felt like an american school cafeteria but with really great homemade food prepared by motherly french speaking women. We simply couldn't resist. Our "snack"



The food was absolutely delicious and everything good comfort food should be. The poutine was made with real homemade cheese curds. We're growing fond of poutine and it will be good for our health when it's finally no longer on the menu.

While were eating it started to rain again and while we debated whether to put in our liners it got harder. We ran out into the downpour to get them and then undressed in the restaurant to put them in - we no longer have any sense of decorum and will dress and change in a restaurant, gas station or by the side of the road. We wave in our underwear to passing cars.

When we got outside it had stopped but we left them in just in case it rained on the way down. The road down from Manic is very beautiful and the pavement it broken and rutted in places but on our bikes this is nothing. It's one reason we love these big adventure bikes - we don't need billiard table smooth pavement to enjoy the ride. The rain was heavy off and on and we tried another camera angle for our little VIO camera.

rain again from Gregor Halenda on Vimeo.



When the sun finally came out again we stopped to pull out our liners as it had gotten warmer as we descended from the mountains. One of the things that we discover on our trip is that when people find you're from NYC they automatically assume things of you like that you're rude or you can break dance. Of course these sort of assumptions are ridiculous - we're not rude at all.

But we can all break dance. If you ask we'll deny it out of modesty but it's part of living in the city. Lauren misses NYC and often busts a move on the side of the road while we're checking out the view.



The GPS is set to go to a campground that Flanny had reserved for us and I set it for "shortest route" which can sometimes find some interesting roads if the "avoid dirt roads" option is left unchecked. That was the case this time and it was fun and sandy and we rode it standing since it was also a bit bumpy.

last canadian dirt from Gregor Halenda on Vimeo.



Once back on pavement we started to see a ton of bikes on the coastal road - almost all were Harley's which again doesn't seem to fit into Quebec. The road passed several waterfalls and as a photographer I'm under a contractual obligation to stop to shoot them, not to mention sunsets, puppies and dried and cracking paint on the side of old buildings - rules are rules.



I've exchanged emails, PMs and ideas with Flanny from ADVRider for years now but we've never met so when he offered to meet up with us for night it seemed like fun. It didn't hurt that he had made campsite reservations with a view of the ocean. We got to Bon-Désir around 7:30 which is about right since we were aiming for 5. We found the site but not Flanny and we had no internet so we just took it on faith that he'd show and went into town to get some food. Flanny's impeccable timing had him show up just as we were pulling the burgers off the grill and like any good guest he brought chocolate and scotch which endeared him to us instantly.

The only tough part of this day was flipping the burgers on our incredibly hot fire. Ingenuity struck me and I dug the tire irons out of my tool kit and got the job done. The best tools are multitaskers.



It was dark when we finally ate but the meal was great. We didn't break with tradition and had our fourth tomato salad because Gino is Italian and has to have tomatoes every day. Dinner by headlamp and wine in stainless mugs just as it should be.



Tomorrow Quebec.

sakurama screwed with this post 11-07-2012 at 04:10 PM
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:19 AM   #169
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Ride-report crashers....The nerve of some people...








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Old 08-17-2009, 07:24 AM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sakurama


Tomorrow Quebec.
Only one thing wrong ... I'm not in the pic !!!




That dam wall...... could you imagine setting the form-work for the concrete ?

I'm still with you guys, and feeling every bump

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Old 08-17-2009, 07:51 AM   #171
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I've been following along intently. Awesome RR! The Trans Lab is definitely on my "to do" list.

~TR~
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:44 AM   #172
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Okay, you've convinced me. I'm bringing an extra set of spare tubes when I run the Trans-Lab in a few weeks.

--mark
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:48 AM   #173
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Wink Day 16 - Chillin in Quebec

So Sunday we woke to a pretty spectacular view from our camp site. Bon-Desir is a really great place to camp for sure.



Gino and I had our normal breakfast of hot chocolate with coffee, chocolate cookies, chocolate bars Flanny brought and then Gino just gave up all pretense and started eating the Nutella with a spoon. No shame that boy.



Another popular idea about New Yorkers is that we're all drug addled junkies - this is true. Gino's bag of coke exploded in his pannier:



Okay, it was actually his container of "Anti-Monkey-Butt" powder and the good news is that his toiletries will no longer itch. Traveling with soft bags is a bitch. Gino is planning on converting the HP2 into a wicked touring bike this winter. After he spends the next month cleaning it. Our bikes are filthy.

We packed up and Flanny rode with us down the coast where we caught our seventh ferry of the trip. Gino puked Nutella for the entire 10 minute ride - just kidding, he's getting better.





The coastal scenery was really beautiful but at one point I spied a field of wood (often called a forest) and we had to turn around to shoot a photo from the top of a tractor. This wood stretched into an entire other field and was just incredible.



That's ride report crasher Flanny on the right.

After a nice brunch we rolled through traffic (traffic?!?!?) into Quebec. Quebec is a mix of both very old and very new and refreshingly cosmopolitan after Labrador.



We had no idea where to stay and the GPS wasn't much help. We saw a Marriott downtown and, as Gino said, "No, how would we know we were anyplace different? It's all the same in the chains..."

So true but how do you find a good place. Asking on the street didn't produce much help as they would suggest the Marriott or the Hiton but I've always had the best luck asking at a booked place. If they're filled they'll be honest about sending you to a nice place and that's just what happened. A B&B we called had no rooms but suggested Au Petite Hotel which turned out to be in the old part of the city tucked away in a small alley.



Our plan was to ditch the bikes, shower and change and then spend the night eating and drinking and taking in the city of Quebec. We hit several places and enjoyed great French and drank well into the night if you consider 10pm well into the night. We get up early, we ride and we're whipped after a bottle of wine. We have no energy to party despite snorting several lines of "Anti-Monkey Butt" powder. Our noses don't itch though.

This morning we had coffee in our little courtyard with our bikes in the private lot just outside - we couldn't have asked for a better place.



Then crepes at a cafe and now we're going to head to the states and, since someone suggested it earlier in the thread, we're going to come down through Vermont and see what we find there. We're already dreading coming back to our daily grind but our goal now is to make it to the Ear Bar tomorrow night for the weekly motorcycle hang and have a celebratory beer and park our filthy bikes in the midst of all the butt jewelry that never leaves the city. If you're in or near NYC come join us for a welcome home drink.

Bon Voyage.

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Old 08-17-2009, 10:33 AM   #174
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It is undoubtedly a wonderful story. Congratulations to Team.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:13 AM   #175
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Route suggestion- the NH crossing along rte 3 is VERY pretty country- and lots of camping or cabin style lodging just beyond the border. Moose, loons- you get the picture. Cross over to the VT side just south at West Stewartstown and follow rte 102 south along the Connecticut river- one of the prettiest roads in the New England area.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:55 AM   #176
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Gregor,

How long are you guys away for?
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:56 AM   #177
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Wave when you go thru Brattleboro, VT !
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:02 PM   #178
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You can follow Rt 100 pretty much all the way through Vermont, and it's a great ride.

If you guys find yourselves taking extra time and can't make it back home for tomorrow night, you could always swing by Bike Night in Winooski, VT, instead. 6-9pm at Donny's Pizza every Tuesday night. I'll recognize you if you turn up, and pizza will be on me.

--mark
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #179
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I cannot believe you did not call for my soft luggage! The Wolfmans are just sitting here unused. Thanks for taking us along.
Cheers

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Old 08-17-2009, 01:38 PM   #180
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Awesome trip
been thinking of something quite similar, but it looks like I will need something a little more dirt worthy than my current ride.

Do you get your coke at the Whitestone toll plaza?

+1 on Vermont 100. Also 9 (Molly Stark trail), and 2 (Mohawk trail) in north west Mass are bithin' roads. A couple of good little breweries around there too!

Been meaning to stop in at the Ear one of these days. Enjoy your pints!
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