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Old 08-03-2010, 08:06 AM   #166
Deadly99 OP
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Well it was day two of the trip and I'de yet to twist the throttle. I drove my car into the city and meet Dan and we loaded up our bikes, again.













"They'd better have my damned brake pads in or I'm going to freak" kind of mentality going on. Thought I'd get a bomber sleep the night before, instead I lied in bed worrying that I'd get delayed again. A quick call to the dealership ( Wheelsport in Orleans, Ottawa) and they said they were sitting on the counter, yehaa !!! We hauled over to their shop, and changed the pads in their parking lot. Like anytime you have a fully loaded bike in a public place, we answered some questions from folks going and coming to the dealership. "Where to","where from", etc







Dan and myself finally hit the road at 1:30 pm. The forecast showed rain behind us but blue skies where we were headed.




Following the Ottawa river on our left for a while. It felt REAL good to finally be on the road. Bike was running well, we were both smiling and it finally sunk in, we're off ! Cranked the beatles in my mp3 and started to put some miles down. Damn hard not to be cheerful with Paul McCartney singing about yellow submarines. The Fab Four go down for me as the best sing along, happy go lucky road tunes.




A quick stop jusy before crossing the border into Quebec. Of course at a Tim Hortons for a quick shot of the bean. Ask any Canadian, they must put something in there because it IS addictive.




Not much to say about the afternoon. We were flying. Rode past Montreal and Quebec City, dodged some traffic, applied the "any road is twisty, some just need more speed" philosophy. Once past Quebec the scenery improved dramatically. For me Quebec has a very European flare to it, every town seems to have a beauty of an old church in it, streets are narrow and of course everyone is speaking a language I know nothing about except a one liner "many large beers please". This is the same line I know in spanish and both have done me well over the years. More than one fun experience and a good story have been the result of knocking on a door and presenting the person on the other side with a large goofy looking white guy repeating his "line" and smiling. Maybe another time I'll take a trip down memory lane and share one of these experiences, lol










About 100 km's short of Tadasoucac we stopped at a campground. It was about 7 pm, we'd made about 650 km's, good start for our first day. The campground was a petting zoo slash campground. All sorts of odd animals, deers of various sorts, lama's and a bunch of ones I have no name for. I have REAL mixed thoughts about caging up a wild animal but I'll spare you my thoughts ;) Got our tents setup, lit a fire, drank some beers and wine and just enjoyed being underway. Spirits were high, it was a warm night, zero bugs and things were going well. A great day on the bikes :)




The Quebec flag "fleurdelisé". Folks from Quebec, for the most part, seem real proud of their heritage. By the time you get out here it's not uncommon for people to speak zero english. Most Canadians speak rudamentary french, if you don't a french/english dictionary may make your stay more pleasant. It's always more enjoyable when you can converse with the locals.




We setup camp in the sunlight and got everything put together just before dark. I always prefer to get off the bike at least an hour before dark. Setting up camp, cooking dinner, getting a fire going, etc just plain sucks for me if it's already dark out.



The tent I am using in the Tenere from Nomad Tents. It's freaking fantastic It weighs in at about 11 pounds so it is certainly a bit more weight than I am used to for a tent. It does pack small though, I store it in the grey dry bag on my rear rack. I'm 6'2 and it's just....well....humane to be able to stand in a tent. The vestibule is big enough for others to hang out in during inclement weather or to work on your bike. Can't say enough good things about this product. If you have a bike with good suspension then a few extra pounds doesn't become noticeable.



A few pints and a bottle of wine later and the day ended. We got an email from Pelvis and the gang. They were camped out at the Manic 2 dam along the Trans Labrador/Quebec Highway. Yehaa, they are within striking distance Maybe we'll catch up tomorrow.

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Old 08-03-2010, 08:30 AM   #167
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Day Three

Day three began uneventful...for me. The showers were about 2 km's up the road, no way was I walking first thing in the morning. I tried, I even pushed my bike down the hill to avoid starting it near our camp spot. I guess an uncorked Akrpovic's sound carries. Sorry Dan




Bikes packed and ready to hit the road. The weather report looked decent for the day. A few showers but nothing crazy.




Today would be another day of pavement. I'm usually not too keen on riding slab, especially watching my new tires get chewed BUT today the scenery more than made up for the lack of gravel. Following the North coast of the St Lawrence river there was always something to keep the mind occuppied. The hills got bigger, great views of the water and the small towns were right out of a postcard.
















In the photo below can you read Dan's lips? I think they are saying something like "stop taking photo's dumbass this truck is about to ram me"





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Old 08-03-2010, 08:59 AM   #168
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Day Three Continued

Did I mention the nice scenery today? This area of Quebec is called the Charlevoix region. Highway 138 (which these pics are from) follow the north shore of the St Lawrence River. This wasn't the first time I'd been up this road but the scenery doesn't get boring. If you have the time there are a few cool things to do along this road. Some of the towns make for nice stops, there's whale watching trips, tons of art galleries and so on.














In the above photo you can see a ferry. It cuts across to the Gaspe Bay area and makes for a different approach to this area. If I'm not mistaken there is also a ferry from Baie Comeaux over to the Gaspe. Depending on which direction you are coming from or heading too these ferries might make sense to take.



Along this road there is a "free" ferry, well I suppose our tax dollars pay for it, you must take. It drops you off in the small town of Tadoussac. This town has a few small restaurants and a gas station. Worth the stop in my opinion, pretty cool little town.










It was in Tadoussac that I decided to check the level of coolant in my bike. Red lights, etc had been causing the bike's heat to sky rocket. Well this is normally a 2 second procedure. Remove cap from coolant resorvoir, check level and fill if needed. Well it needed but my butter fingers screwed me again. The freaking cap goes flying off my "nub" and into the fairing somewhere with an obvious "ping" sound. Nub? Ya I'm missing a finger and I'm going to use it as an excuse. I don't get a handicap sticker to park or any other perks from it so I'm going to use it now as an excuse. Well there is one added benefit to only having half an index finger, when using a drive through I balance a dollar or two dollar coin (loonie or toonie for those non Canucks) on the nub and put my hand out the window. Each and every employee go for the grab then pull back, then go for the grab again then pull back again. Small things amuse me So we thought the cap was in the upper fairing, took it off and no dice. Behind the gas tank...nope Then Dan spots it, I get a skinny little stick and almost reach it.....then `ping` off it goes and you can here it ricochetting around the inside of the bike. Finally found it in the sump guard. Unneeded BS. Always happens during the hottest part of the day, and ALWAYS with a crowd watching.



I think during this next stretch both Dan and myself hit the wall. I was trying real hard not to fall asleep at the bars. Maybe the build up of the last week, the high speeds yesterday that came to a crawl today with having to go through small towns and red lights Who knows but we made Baie Comeaux and we were both beat. Energy drinks and coffee, that`s what was needed before heading north up the Trans Lab

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Deadly99 screwed with this post 08-03-2010 at 09:29 AM
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:39 AM   #169
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Keep it coming... great photos.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:01 PM   #170
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Ride Safe guys,

A fellow I know just had his brother crash his bike when he fell asleep at the bars, broke his neck.
Keep up the great work and stories!!
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:09 AM   #171
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The BMW group who were a day ahead had been keeping in touch with Ted and Dan with email.(when possible).

We were enjoying the scenery along the top of the St. Lawrence too and kept in the back of our mind that there were two KTM's following us. The topic of each rest spot was where did we think they were and we kind of expected to see them racing by us as we stopped some place to take pictures and rest.




















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Old 08-04-2010, 09:24 AM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadly99
If I'm not mistaken there is also a ferry from Baie Comeaux over to the Gaspe.
That's Baie Comeau to Matane.

I'll be more than happy to help figuring out a route across the Lac Saint-Jean and Saguenay area (sinc it's my backyard) to connect between the Route du Nord and Baie-Comeau. I'll ride as much as possible untill this winter and will keep you posted during the cold season for sure.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:30 PM   #173
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Following along from southern, NJ. Looks great so far. I have done some Snowmobiling with a friend that lives in Arundel, Quebec. There is some beautiful country up there. Thanks for trying to put this whole thing together.
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:02 AM   #174
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Sent you a message :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fab418
That's Baie Comeau to Matane.

I'll be more than happy to help figuring out a route across the Lac Saint-Jean and Saguenay area (sinc it's my backyard) to connect between the Route du Nord and Baie-Comeau. I'll ride as much as possible untill this winter and will keep you posted during the cold season for sure.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:49 PM   #175
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Day Three cont'd

One more of the St Lawrence River









And finally what we came for. The first 200 km's of the Trans Lab is paved sadly...BUT it is some seriously fun twisty roads. A great ride from the beginning to the Manic 5 dam where the gravel begins

















Manic Two dam. This is where the other guys had camped the night before. Our goal was to make Lab City today and potentially catch up to them. The sun was shining and we were making good time, enjoying the scenery and really enjoying leaning the bikes over. Very little traffic and 200 km's of twisty roads.




The land of electricity. The reason for most of these northern roads






Starting to feel like your getting somewhere when you see these signs




Made it to Manic Five dam around 5 pm and decided to call it a day. Rain was just around the corner and the temps began to drop. 300+ km's of gravel just wasn't on the plate for the evening, heck this is supposed to be a vacation. Asked the lady at the pump where the camp ground was and she pointed to a field Then she says for an extra 20 bucks each we could have a room Room it was, hot shower and some good eats.










I decided to take the sheepskin of the bike to keep it dry. Well...the key broke in half in the lock My spare key is twisted on a 45 degree angle and barely fits into the ignition and the key is butter soft, no biggy except i need to take it out to open both of the gas tanks every time I'll need fuel. What are the chances of this key not breaking ? Really? ANother dam issue to worry about. Can a locksmith even copy a key that's this bent out of shape.....
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:29 PM   #176
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I've been looking at getting a Giant Loop and would like to hear what you think about it.

Thanks
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:02 AM   #177
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Quote:
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I've been looking at getting a Giant Loop and would like to hear what you think about it.

Thanks
I'd definetly give their products two big thumbs up. The tank bag is the first I have used that doesn't get in the wat while your standing up. The rear bags hold the weight down low and tight. I have dropped the bike numerous times and have not managed to rip the fabric, it's very tough. Down sides? it's only 99% water proof (but I havent seam sealed it) and when you have bag on the back it's a bit of nuisance to get at your stuff. The pro's far outweight the con's though.

In summary, well thought out, great craftmanship, very practical, etc
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:05 AM   #178
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Thanks, that is what I was hoping to hear
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:36 AM   #179
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Day Four

Woke up to rain We knew it was coming and here it is. Ah well, less dust right. Today the gravel starts...finally I've been looking forward to this road for a few years now, seems like every year they were saying that this is the year the road gets completed, well 2010 and it's finished.

Just around the corner from our motel is the Manic 5 dam. It's BIG











It always seems odd to be in the middle of nowhere and then to see something man made. Mines or dams.....the scale of these operations in the north country always blows me away.

Hit the road and it wasn't dissapointing. Fast and fun. The rain would come and go. One valley would be dry then the next one would be hammering rain. Every time you'd come over a rise you'd be crossing your fingers.




The shoulders were VERY soft. Almost got caught a few times hugging the inside corners of some turns. Took a while to break the habit.









About 50 km's in I had a HUGE pucker moment. Coming down into one of the dips (valleys) I just about went down at speed. The sand builds up deep in the dips. The water then turns the sand into very thick concrete like stuff. The bars got yanked left and right a few times before finally getting stuck at the stop on the right side while the bike kept going straight, front wheel plowing through the stuff. I had to stop and let the old ticker slow down.

\







Approximately a 100 km's from manic 5 is a middle of nowhere gas station. We stopped to fill up and have a quick coffee. Spirits were high, we'd learned to slow down in the "dips" and Dan had himself a religious moment. He cranked his new to him steering dampner up and was nothing but grins. I NEED to get one of those. He'd just straight track right through the stuff that was trying to rip the bars from my hands, I was very jealous.




Filled up, helmets on and ready to go. Turn my key, everything lights up, hit the start button and hear a whiz, pop, whiz, zap then everything goes dark. WTF !. Turn the key again and nothing. Wave Dan down and explain I'll need his tools as mine are "locked" away under my seat with a broken key stuff in the lock. I take the skidplate off and get access to the battery (please keep in mind this is in the rain, lieing in the mud ). Tighten up the terminal post nuts and a few other odd's and end's. Reach up, turn the key and everything lights up, yehaa, something must of been loose. So we repack the bikes, get geared up, high five and jump on the bikes to leave. Turn the key, everything normal, hit the start button and whiz, pop, whiz, zap again. ARG! take off gear, remove gear, get Dan's tools, remove skid plate, get acess to the battery and sit and stare....hmmmmm.....I'm no electrician and I'm not really sure what to do. My gps is hard wired to the battery, it's the only electrical item not being run through the bikes charging system. Remove the battery leads and gps wires and the bike starts right up. I suspect a wire got rubbed one too many times and was exposed and coming into contact with something metal somewhere. Who cares, bike is back up and running. Bit of a pisser as I was hopeing to make a nice gpx file for the route but that can be done after the fact I suppose. When the weather gets better I'll take a few hours and try to properly find the issue and rewire the gps.

Back on the road. The weather was adding a cool factor to this part of thre road. The clouds were hanging down real low. As you'd cross a "mountain" you'd be up in the clouds, coming down the other side you'd either break free from the clouds or have a valley that was pissing rain.





Quick rest stops in area's where it wasn't raining. Drying gloves off One more advantage to an uncorked exhaust.
















Out in the middle of nowhere we were surprised to find a beauty of a stretch of smooth pavement. Normally I'd be dissappointed but in today's rain it was a nice welcome relief. If memory serves it was about 80+ km's long. The sun even came out at one point, weird weather.






The section after the pavement leading to Labrador City was a fun ride. The road criss crosses the railroad tracks and the road was FUN. Up, down and side to side.

















And we made it, finally out of Quebec and into the province of Labrador. A first for me and Dan. There's always something exciting about getting somewhere new.


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Old 08-09-2010, 07:02 AM   #180
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A "classic"


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