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Old 07-14-2013, 05:59 PM   #2731
Deadly99 OP
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KIWI Photos

Mikes bike takes a nap in the long grass along the canals..




And now there are three....





The carnage left behind from the run in with the deer...






The result....





Another deer jumps into the path...






Still smiling....10, 000 km done, 5000 more to go





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Old 07-14-2013, 06:02 PM   #2732
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Jeepers ...take it easy on our wildlife Bryan. We only have 8 zillion deer we cant really afford to have you guys coming over and running them down just for fun

Safe travels, take it easy on that shoulder

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Old 07-14-2013, 10:13 PM   #2733
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I hate the damn forest rats. Got so bad here I hate to ride in the dusk and into the dark. Glad you were able to continue even though I know how much it hurts.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:56 AM   #2734
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Wink Tough guy

So that's your side of the story about the deer running into you, now lets hear the deers side please. Might be more like this... I was just having a light snack with my head down then all of sudden some blue beast try's to run me down. I could see it in his eye....lunch and I was on the menu. I escaped with my life but am damn sore today, tough bastard almost had me.

You are lucky you walked away from that deer. Glad to hear you are continuing on...tough guy.
Safe travels
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:35 AM   #2735
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have you had to bribe any soldiers on rail bridges yet?
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:34 AM   #2736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olebiker View Post
I hate the damn forest rats. Got so bad here I hate to ride in the dusk and into the dark. Glad you were able to continue even though I know how much it hurts.
I know how you feel about them.going to work was getting expensive for used parts to replace the front end on my jeep. one year I hit 3 deer going and coming from work, the farmers in the area had a great day for food for their dogs though.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:01 AM   #2737
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The NZ Crew

I met up with the New Zealand crew at Blackstrap Lake just southeast of Saskatoon yesterday afternoon. Rode with them to Dundurn where they got a room and a few beers. What a great group of guys - after over 11,000 km and one broken collarbone they are in great spirits and having fun. Thanks for the beer, boys. Hope you enjoy the rest of the trip!

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Old 07-22-2013, 03:11 AM   #2738
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KIWI Photos

I recieved an email from the Kiwi's, looks like they have left the prairies now and are headed to Banff for a couple of days rest before riding the next chapter of the TCAT. They've asked if I would share these photos from their travels across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.


Caribou Creek Saskatchewan . Almost as far north as the TCAT gets. Great spot - cabins, gas, food, beer!




Chris Rieger and the Kiwis. We have Chris to thank for a world class effort in marking the TCAT in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Job very well done.





Day off at the Nipawin Exhibition. The wagon racing was breathtaking!



Bryan and deer - a certain attraction. Our altercations with them continue ..








Mike on a slippery slope in Saskatchewan . Hard to see the true grade but 5 mm of damp makes the surface like soap .





Manitoba Lake - the Cree First Nation. A very warm welcome, Keith telling our story to locals .





Keith looking for the trail in long grass. Bloody great moose appeared! ( not in pic)






Rains a'comin on the prairie




Oops. Road closed





Typical axle deep 'damp patch' we had to get through on the Saskatchewan prairie






The 912 Saskatchew​an . One of the best dual sport trails anywhere !







Pic does not show it, but miles of this slippery goo.,







The TCAT is in there somewhere!







Saskatchew​an - big, wide, and beautiful
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:59 AM   #2739
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:59 AM   #2740
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Great ride guys. Enjoying seeing the pics and your reports. Looks like some of that stuff in Sask would make Charlie & Ewen cry.
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Old 07-23-2013, 03:32 PM   #2741
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Kiwis ride the Big Dog. July 12th, 9,000 km and counting

9000 km and counting.
Friday July 12th we were out of Winnipeg heading north through Selkirk and onto the trail proper. Pretty soon we were riding on paper roads - really overgrown grass tracks deeply rutted. After a few hours of this and Keith & Mike both viewing the underside of our bikes more than once we were onto gravel roads. Pretty hot riding as once again it was 30 degrees plus.

Mid afternoon we arrived at The Narrows after discovering that the tank cap on Bryan's Big Fuel Tank was jammed solid and that the Narrows accommodation was full (holiday weekend) and our only choice was to camp. After we had spent some time getting the cap off without damage we decided it was too late to press on so we camped. We also discovered there was no fuel at Narrows and they cannot be relied upon, so we back tracked 20 km for gas. Pleased we did as it was a long way to gas the next day.

The Narrows has a nice camp ground on the edge of a river, less than basic facilities but made up for by a surplus of mosquitos. After a camp cooked meal it was an early bed battling the mosquitos and listening for bears rummaging in the trash bins. A restless night!

Next morning,with a bright & early start (after a full breakfast at The Narrows Resort) we headed West then North on gravel roads making good progress with our goal of reaching Swan River near the Saskatchewan border. Riding through Canadian Pine/Fir?? Forest gaining altitude we stopped at 850m to put on another layer as the windchill was quite icey. Continuing and dropping down to lower areas we were told at a gas stop by an interested local that people wear Bear Bells to frighten the Bears away on the trails..... and Bears regard the bells as a dinner gong..... Here comes lunch!Shortly after lunch heading Nth West on a nice smooth gravel road a large deer complete with antlers leapt out of an irrigation drain surrounded by long grass and sprinted towards the noise that had spooked it - Bryans bike. Unfortunately Bryan didnt even see it as it came out of the undergrowth behind Bryan's line of sight and hit his bike in the side near the rear wheel.

Leaping into the air the deer disappeared on the other side of the road. I was riding 30m behind Bryan and saw the whole thing including the bike doing an endo & flicking Bryan down the bank towards the drain. By the time I got to him Bryan we saying "what happend" as he never saw the deer. Injured shoulder and mildly concussed we sorted Bryan as best we could & after an hours break when he had recalled what was happening and the bike was straightened out ( minor damage nearly all the impact taken on the luggage which was a bit scuffed) we set out slowly for the next town intending to get accommodation & make an assessment there. Reaching the next small town 20kms away Bryan said he felt ok, could remember the PMs name so wanted to keep riding. Carrying on through forests on well formed gravel roads we reached a small settlement on the edge of a lake with cabins but unfortuntely all full. After a break some food and drink Bryan was adamant he was fine - main problem was a sore shoulder but riding made it no worse. We continued eventually reach our goal of Swan River after around 320kms in light rain checking into a nice dry motel. As we checked in I noticed right across the road was a hospital!

While Keith & Mike had a couple of beers and a game of pool in the bar, Bryan had his shoulder xrayed to find out his collarbone was broken in 2 places & the bone was displaced. The medicos fitted him with a hi-tech figure of 8 splint, Bryan consulted with an Orthopaedic Surgeon friend of his in New Zealand who confirmed that no further damage would be done by continuing to ride as long as he can handle the pain. According to Bryan his shoulder really only hurts when he removes the splint for a shower.

The next day Sunday we left Swan River heading NW again crossing the border into Saskatchwen. Riding once again on dusty gravel roads we saw 2 deer, one which was spooked by the noise of our bikes ran alongside us for a few hundred metres before darting across the road in frint of Keith. We were watching it & prepared to stop but gives a good indication of the design fault which must be in a deers programming. " Get spooked by a noise - run towards it......"Anyway after an uneventful, dusty but warmer 395kms we reached Nipawan with Mike testing the fuel efficiency with a standard 7.6L tank managing to reach 221kms by slipstreaming behind Keith for the last 50kms of seal coming into town.

Decision reached that today (Monday) was for a rest day as there is Cowboy fair with rodeo events, wagon racing etc.

After some discussion we decided not to make a late entry - just as well because those guys and gals put on a breathtaking show! .Tomorrow on to Prince Albert.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:07 PM   #2742
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Over 10,000 km on the TCAT

Over 10,000 Kms

Our rest day Monday July 15th we went to the Nipawin Exhibition (like an American State Fair). Really exciting - we watched chariot racing behind 2 horses, then chuck wagon racing behind 4 horses which was seriously exciting - the speed each of the 3 teams in each race go around the oval which is about 1 km is amazing with the wagon sliding and each rig jockying for position. Eight teenagers Cowboys & Cowgirls then competed in a mail bag race. 2 teams of 4 carrying a mail bag which they had to pass twice to the next rider - like a relay. Again seriously fast and exciting. The day finished with thunderstorms & rain so the freestyle motorcross was cancelled. We repaired to an Italian restaurant for pizza & wine.

Tuesday we left Nipawin at 8.30 and headed North on gravel roads before turning left to start heading West. Travelling on firm packed gravel roads we soon followed our GPS directions onto a track winding through a native forest where we encountered soft sandy patches which required some attention as this stuff is not worth encountering when you are not prepared. Three stream crossings (2 shallow, 1 quite a bit deeper) tested the waterproof qualities of our boots (failed) and also our stream crossing abilities (passed).

Back onto a sealed road for a short distance before it turned to gravel and we arrived at the Caribou Lodge for morning coffee in their well stocked store. You can just about buy anything in these remote stores from fishing gear (huge range) to camping and hunting gear (not guns) clothing, food and a whole lot more besides.
Leaving the Caribou we soon turned off onto another track through the forest.This was the Saskatchewan 912 road and although actually "closed", we all agreed this was the epitome of dual sport riding - testy enough to be a challenge but not an enduro, very remote and scenic. Again, well done Chris Rieger for finding it. This was as far north as the TCAT gets over its 16,000 Kms.

After a stint on this road we turned off to Manitoba Lake where the Cree Nation have a reservation. We gassed up at their store noticing the signs on the windowless store "Abuse, Drunkeness, fighting will not be tolerated on or near these premises" Cautiously venturing in to pay for our gas we found a clean & tidy well stocked shop with a cafe at the back. After paying for our fuel we had a lengthy discussion with the friendly Indian staff and were then surprised to not only to be given a small gift (credit card case) but thanked by the store owner/manageress for stopping by. Obviously as they are off the beaten track we were an unusual visitor during their day. They made a great lunch.

After leaving the Manitoba Lake stop we then headed south on a combination of sandy, hard packed dirt and gravel tracks before rejoining the main road heading for Prince Albert. Along this road Bryan spotted a deer grazing in the long grass at the side of the road. We stopped took photos and eyeballed it eyeballing us. After venturing closer it decided it had had enough and trotted off into the undergrowth. As we remounted and started our bikes it reappeared behibnd us and stood quite close in the middle of the road before scampering off into the forest again, this time on the other side of the road.

Another 20km or so of seal before we turned off again onto a similar track as previously which took us to around 10kms from Prince Albert. We rode into town looking for a motel. Most were booked as the Summer First Nation games are on here this week. Eventually found a Motel 8 which had one room left but with only 2 beds. Mike drew the short straw so camped on the floor. He contemplated erecting his tent in the room so to claim another night camping, but after 420kms today, too tired to bother.

Saskatchwen so far is very flat (as the local saying goes "if your dog runs away you can watch it for 3 days) however, again we have to say Chris has made a great job marking it and kept it interesting with some great gravel roads combined with tracks, sand & river crossings. Go do it!

Wednesday: Leaving the Motel we headed to the Yamaha store just across the highway as Keith & Bryan had realised their chains were past their use-by date. They didnt have the right chains but the accessory store next door did. The workshop there started to fit the chains but we then realised the front sprockets were over & out probably a few 100kms ago. Back to the yamaha store to luck it - they had 2 sprockets in stock ! Back to the accessory store where the young mechanic fitted sprockets & chains in the process telling us he rode a 1973 Kawasaki S3 - what a nostalgic blast from the past! Made well before he was even a twinkle in his mother & father's eyes.

Out of Prince Albert we were soon into great tracks & gravel roads with our destination goal being Duntrun. Travelling over forest tracks, gravel roads canal tracks (huge irrigation canal system on the Prairies and each one has a rutted grassy track running beside it). More deer sightings & one stage we saw a Moose which we had flushed out of a patch of trees whilst unsuucessfully trying to negotiate a swamp (us not the moose!). Huge animal with impressive antlers - trying hiting him..... moose 1 motorcyclist 0.

Many turn arounds & route re-tracing today due to flooded impassable roads, although we did manage to splash our way through a few closed roads including one that was fetid and provided the best incentive to not fall off (worked).

Approaching our destination we were Joined by Chris who marked the trail through Manitoba, Saskatchewan and most of Alberta. Chris has put over 2 summers of riding and countless winter hours on Google Earth, maps etc & is one of the biggest contributors to the TCAT. We rode with him for 40 minutes or so then checked into a very "rustic" motel in Duntrun. A few beers with Chris before he had to head home to Saskatoon, a great guy - a real motorcyclist with a collection of bikes & a lot of adventure miles under his belt.

Early start as we knew this was a big day - heading for Broderick or possibly Leader as our goal. Heading out of Duntron we were soon negotiating kms of canal tracks - some easy & some rutted, we pressed on heading North then South then West being lead by Chris' well planned GPS route. After a couple of soft sand tracks which included another Deer heading for the noise that spooked it - & flying towards us across the fields of Rape (Canola) crop, then darting across the track in front of Keith. Being Deer shy we were aware of its progress so we able to slow and take avoiding action. Carrying on this deep sand track which went beside a forest we exited onto a well formed gravel roads. The soft sand tracks provided some serious challenges & has created a formula which would blow whatshisname Einstein's y=mc2 into the weeds. Basically this is a formula for adventure riders. Soft sand x complacent rider divided by momentum (lacking) =X (where x=upside down
with a mouth full of sand!) Enough said.!

More enjoyable gravel roads & canal tracks led us to a huge earth dam which is apparantely the 4th biggest in the world with a lake stretching back behind it for 200kms. As we crested the dam it started to precipitate down so we donned wet weather gear & turned off the gravel road onto a now muddy slippery track. Discretion overtook valour & we turned back onto the gravel road not before testing the limits of our tyre adhesion on the steep downhill to get off the track (failed) We then plotted a route that bypassed this ice like track arriving at a small town with a truck stop canteen (busy) where we had a hearty soup for lunch & gassed up.

Back on the route we headed across more canal & farm tracks before coming to a flooded track which was 1/2 m deep in water with a muddy base. We crossed this with great skill (lucky We had trained for swimming as this was one of the skills required.) Continuing on fast & well formed gravel road we had to take another detour as a ferry we had to take on the route was closed. We arrived at Leader after 440kms to check into a Canadian Country hotel. The Leader Inn is run by octagenrian Mal who couldnt have been more welcoming inspite of the dried mud we trekked into his well presented Hotel. A pleasant dinner and a few games of pool preceded a welcome sleep.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:09 PM   #2743
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Kiwis ride ride the Big Dog - over 12,000

After leaving Leader we headed out of town and came upon a train derailment. At least one wagon off the tracks & down a bank. It looked like it was loaded with grain & they were endeavouring to unload it. Travelling on a variety of gravel roads and canal service tracks we had a great ride with our goal being to ride through the Cypress Hills National Park and then to somewhere near Medicine Hat in Alberta Province. Medicine Hat gets its name from the translation of the Indian word for the feathers worn by the medicine man. More recently famed for its natural gas in the surrounding area. It is actually referred to in Canada as the gas city and was mentioned in Rudyard Kipling's writing as having "hell in the basement".

After all that we arrived at the toll booth for the Cypress Hills National park to be strongly advised "dont attempt the road as after heavy rain it is very slippery - almost impassable" Not trying to prove anything we u-turned and headed back to the small town of Maple Creek which we already been through earlier in the day and which had kept appearing on road signs during the countless loops we were doing as only being a short distance away!

Checking the GPS Keith & Bryan worked out that there was another side entrance into the Hills. We ventured in to see what the conditions were like. Stopping at a roadside information board after a great winding sealed then gravel road, we struck up a conversation with an elderly Canadian couple who had just driven out of the Hills Road and said it was fine. Turns out they were also motorcyclists, and had been to NZ! They even went to Invercargill to see where Burt Munro came from and had done a tour in Northland including a bus trip up 90 mile beach. It's a small world. Travelling the Hills road on a great windy gravel road bought us out at Elkwater Lake which was very pretty, great for watersports and being well used by campers, RVS and motorhomes enjoying their summer holidays. I have never seen so many 5th wheels, Caravans & Motorhomes as you see here.

Elkwater whilst very attractive had no gas or accommodation so we pressed on. After more great gravel roads and then sealed highway we arrived at a major T intersection. Left to Medicine Hat around 40kms, or right to the small town of Irvine only 4kms away that maybe had accommodation. We chose Irvine and arrived there a few minutes later to find a country pub which had rooms and was also biker friendly. What a find. The rooms were $35 each and the beer garden was set up with a bar and a biker (mainly Harley) theme - heaps of posters, memorabilia and complete with some members of the Medicine Hat Hog chapter who had ridden out for a couple of Friday night beers on their immaculate cruisers.

These guys appeared to be the real deal with leather chaps & jerkins, one had "bad to the bone" across the back of his jacket and other tough guy slogans. Whilst we had a beer with them they asked about our trip it became pretty obvious that belieing all the appearances they had to be home by 7.30 or they would be in trouble, 2 of them were playing golf on Saturday and probably by Monday morning they would be back at work in suit & tie.!

On leaving they shouted us a round and then cruised off with stereos blaring and their greybeards fluttering in the breeze. Whilst talking to these guys a Hutterite arrived selling beef jerky ( like a Mennonite but I think they worship beef jerky or chickens which they also sometimes sell in this beer garden). After trying a sample or 2 we bought a pack to have as a beer snack over the next few days. The pub apparantely has a biker night every Tuesday often getting 50 or so bikers who ride out from Medicine Hat to have a few beers & talk motorcycles - a great concept. However judging by what we have seen so far it would be all cruisers, not a trail or sports bike to be seen.

The pub provided a BBQ meal cooked by Lou the owner on the garden BBQ. Great food & entertainment especially once Tracey the local character arrived, proceeding to shout everyone in the beer garden 2 or 3 rounds. Describing himself as a cowboy whilst carrying on a discussion on everything from the Apalloosa horses he breeds & breaks in, to the state of the Canadian Nation along with discussions about his real life as a heavy equipment mechanic, he kept us entertained for a couple of hours whilst we had our steaks and fought off swarms of mosquitos. A comfortable nights sleep interrupted only by a long freight train coming through the town (or may have been the downstairs bar) tooting its horn approximately every hour!

Next day Saturday we headed towards Medicine Hat to the nearest gas around 25kms away. By the time we had rejoined the trail near Elkwater Lake we already had 50kms under our belt. Riding on gravel roads we were soon on canal service tracks travelling on these for around 45kms. The tracks vary between a dual rutted trail to just grass and whilst generally easy riding you need to be alert as the ruts seem to have a mind of their own and can suddenly grab your front wheel with ego destroying consequences. Fortuntately we avoided this result and exited the tracks onto more great gravel roads and a section across a paper road which was waist high grass and really more of a trail ride. The irrigation schemes here run for 100s of kms and seem to have converted a lot of the badlands into thousands of acres of wheat & rape (canola) crops.

Arriving in a small town called Vauxhall we had lunch in Wendys (not the real one but a small roadside diner) realising we had already travelled 300kms and it was only 1pm. Proceeding on more great gravel and sealed roads we arrived in Strathmore (the GPS telling us we had done 560kms and ridden for 8.5hours) Strathmore is a decent sized city, and after a few circuits of the motel area managing to get separated in the process, we managed to find a slightly down at heel motel with 2 rooms for a good rate - perfect.

Sunday we left Strathmore for more of the same but this time we were riding alongside deep ravines and we were encountering a few small hills. We saw some pretty ritzy country homes including one complete with a playing fountain in the front garden! Just before Drumheller we stopped at the Last Chance Saloon where there were a group of cruiser riders camping next to a stream and judging by the stack of empties having a great weekend.

Continuing to Drumheller we visited a Dinosaur park as this area is famous for fossils -now three more in town. Leaving, we had a brilliant ride on winding gravel, paper roads with rape crop shoulder high and generally agreed to be one of the best days riding. All across the landscape for the last few days we have been seeing smallish oil derricks pumping oil on what seems to be private farmland. I think in some parts these are colloquially referred to as Nodding Jennys!

Probably these are a joint venture between oil companies and the farmers. A great earner for the farmers and easier than milking cows. We also went through a small town appropriately named Carbon which had a company with a large yard with all the rigs for installing these derricks. Obviously this community is not concerned about the concept of peak oil which last I heard was due to run out about 2000????

Arriving in Cochrane (near to Calgary) we found a great Ramada Inn with a room for 3 at a good rate which included a solid breakfast the next morning.

Monday We fitted our tyres, changed our oil all with much help from Jonathan. Mike had also found a rear shock mod on the internet which claimed to lower the bike around an inch. We did the mod and it seems like now he will be able touch the ground when stopping even on uneven ground! Here's hoping!

Leaving our bikes and gear parked and picking up a rental car we headed out of Cochrane that afternoon arriving in Banff an hour later. Banff is a ski resort town similar to Queenstown but on steroids. We found a hotel and adjourned to a local restaurant for dinner and a bottle of red.

Tuesday after a leisurely start we drove to Lake Louise some 50kms out of Banff where we visited Moraine Lake and admired the spectacular mountains complete with glaciers. Visiting the Fairmont Hotel on the edge of the lake - we contemplated staying there until we saw some idiot had an inserted the decimal point on the tariff in the wrong place. Not to be beaten we visited the cafe restaurant for a coffee on the balcony overlooking the lake, only to be informed that they save the balcony for people who are buying alcoholic drinks. Well what were we to do?

After a pleasant glass of Argentinian Malbec & a cider for Bryan and an hour admiring the view of the lake, mountains & glaciers we made tracks back to the village to catch a Gondola to the top of the hill. We saw a grizzly from a distance & realised that this whole area was a ski resort in winter. We visited the Bear Interactive centre, heard an interesting lecture on the local wild life, saw a couple of bears up close (stuffed fortunately) then returned to our hotel in Banff as weary tourists.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:28 PM   #2744
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More Photos from the Kiwi's

Posting some more photos Keith sent via email...


New tyres and oil with Johnathan's help in preparation for the final push over the Rockies to Vancouver about 3,000 km away. Our little WR's are still humming and have proven a great choice for the TCAT overall. Fully loaded GS1200? Hmmmm, don't think so.





The Kiwis with local rider Tracey at the Irvine Pub. One of life's characters.






One of many flooded no go roads in Saskatchewan






Typical "navigation discussion "amongst vast fields of Canola. We rode right through fields just like this on rutted paper roads for many Kms in Manitoba and Alberta.






Bryan and Keith on day off in Lake Louise
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:56 PM   #2745
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Got an email from a fellow (Maat) who is travelling the TCAT in reverse and is in Ontario, about to cross into Quebec. He is travelling the route from Wawa, Ontario to Baie Comeau, Quebec.

Safe travels Maat


A couple of photos he sent me. He mentions (we will update the GPS file) that the gps files has a waypoint in Sudbury, Ontario for a Suziki delaership that doesnt exist (is now a Polaris dealership and not friendly). He does mention a shop called Prentice cycle which is just up the road. Good shop by his accounts, they helped him with a new chain and sprocket.





A bridge between North Bay, Ontario and Sudbury, Ontario along a long stretch of rail trail....


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