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Old 12-20-2010, 07:53 AM   #151
Alvingee43
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This is a great thread. I have read it all over the past several days. I plan to make this trip sometime in June. I will post my travel on ADVrider. I have gained much usable information from all the posts. I travel alone and will use motels and b & b's. My old bones don't like tent camping anymore. Made the trip to Alaska in 2009 and rode the Dempster to Inuvik, then to Prudhoe Bay. It was a great trip but now I need Labrador and Newfoundland for the rest of the Canadian Provinces and Territories.

I hope you all have a wonderful trip. Ride safe!
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:00 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by willys View Post
But I am surprised you saw no wildlife on your Radisson trip......especially if you did the TT as well......?
I am planning on doing the TT next year, last year we only did James Bay road and the North road.

The one fox we saw though, was a beaut!

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Old 12-23-2010, 06:12 AM   #153
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4 days from Manic 5 to Blanc Sablon is not a rush, at least not the way I ride.
We did day 1 Baie Comeau to Lab City, Day 2 Lab City to Happy Valley, Day 3 Happy Valley to Port Hope Simpson, and Day 4 Port Hope Simpson to the afternoon ferry to Newfoundland. Didn't feel rushed at all.
We did Manic5 to Churchill in one day, then Churchill to Port Hope the second day. Caught the morning ferry the third day. Not much to do up there but stand on the pegs and let her rip Oh ya we had multiple breakdowns along the way which slowed us down (lost a few hours here and there), but we still never had to ride in the dark.

I thought the coast line was the best part of the ride (secenery wise). YMMV
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:23 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by willys View Post
... once we hit Manic 5, we either camp there or slightly above on the side of that large meteor strike lake on our second day of hard riding.
Willys: I have a detailed sectional map of the TLH (Manic 5 to HVGB) made from various screen shots of the Canadian Dept of Natural Resources topographical map website.
PM me if you want me to send you the booklet I made.
We found this very valuable in planning our camp sites.
There is an air strip in Gagnon. At the north end of the airstrip is a small road that leads to a lake. Perfect camp site.
For the next 3 nights we camped at various spots picked from surveying these maps.

Here is the main website: http://maps.nrcan.gc.ca/


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So...the question still remains.....realistically how long will it take us to ride from our first campsite to the first ferry to Newfoundland....? And still enjoy all that the Trans-Lab has to offer???
We did in 4 days. BUT we took our time. The next part of your post is key to your schedule....


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We have a few guys who really are inexperienced on gravel, but after the first 100kms, they will be fine for sure...lol
I would advise you not to count on everyone getting comfortable with gravel. My riding buddy had years of dirt riding experience but he was still very cautious with the gravel even after 3 days. Myself I never had any dirt or gravel experience and I was riding at 50 mph on the gravel after 3 days. So it can go either way. With a large group the potential for diversion between the gravel comfort riders (40-50 mph) and the non comfort gravel riders (30-40 mph) will increase. I would recommend that you plan accordingly.

I have not yet finished my ride report (curse the work schedule) but here is a link: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=618482

Mike.
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:03 AM   #155
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I would advise you not to count on everyone getting comfortable with gravel. My riding buddy had years of dirt riding experience but he was still very cautious with the gravel even after 3 days. Myself I never had any dirt or gravel experience and I was riding at 50 mph on the gravel after 3 days. So it can go either way.

Agreed. There are a lot of variables at play -- including the bike itself and its unique setup.

When I rode the Trans-Lab in 2009 on my XR650L, we got lucky with good conditions, and I found the ride to be easy and fun. I did a lot of riding at 60-70mph and was comfortable on the gravel almost immediately, and at that speed the bike stabilized nicely over the gravel.

When I rode it again this past fall on my Wee-Strom, I found it far more difficult. The conditions would have been more difficult on the Honda as well as there was a lot more loose, trackless gravel, but additionally, the Wee-Strom just didn't handle the sketchy stuff as well. Some Wee-Strom riders haven't had an issue; in my case, due perhaps to the suspension settings, overall weight, maybe even how the bike was loaded, I just could not find a speed at which the Strom stabilized the way the Honda did.

With each bike and rider -- and the conditions they happen to encounter on the Trans-Lab any given day -- the circumstances will change.

--mark
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:22 PM   #156
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Lucky Dogs !


Hey Dudes !

WoW, what a thread for this trip ! You have a link to my ride report at the first of the thread (Squidventure) that I finally finished yesterday. I've breezed through what you have here and its pretty impressive. We did this trip on five separate bikes all running different tires and we all made out fine, especially at the speed we were running at times.

The main thing is to be prepared, but try not to over think it. We were lucky because the weather in late August/early September this year was fantastic. Next year maybe wet and cold ???

Making sure your bike is up to the task is key. BRAND new tires (preferably TKC's) with new tubes. Good chains and sprockets where applicable. You will need gas jugs for the Goosebay - Port Hope Simpson phase III section. CHECK your battery before departure. I didn't and that cost us 1/2 a day and we were lucky.

When you consider camping vs lodging consider this : With five of you going, it will often be not much of a price difference to go from a cabin rental vs. five separate camping sites. Also consider, like us, traveling with iPods, GPS's, laptops, cameras, helmet to helmet communicators (gotta have em) all run on power. Your not going to be charging those things up sticking them into a tree and campground power outlets can be few and do you trust leaving these high ticket items around getting charged ? Finally camping gear takes up the most space/weight on your ride. By the time I packed tent, mattress, footprint, chair, bags X 2 (didn't know how cold it would be) and cooking gear (not to mention food) your bike starts to look like a scene out of Beverly Hillbillies.

We did camp for four out of our thirteen nights. If you stay overnight at Manic 5 make sure you find the area detailed in our ride report. It was by far the best place we stayed and it was free !!! That said, knowing what I know now, I would have forgone all that extra gear and weight and stayed with lodgings. A lighter bike will be your friend once that gravel goes loose . If you chose to camp than a bug mesh is mandatory. They are so bad that it will drive you insane and I'm not kidding.

As I stated above try not to plan it out in too much detail. You are always a wipe out, mechanical failure or a slept in hangover from everything changing. We had planned on making Goosebay a two day stop over because that was roughly the 1/2 way point for us. That two day stopover coincided with the weekend and that was the best hit for us. Goosebay rocked, the bars and the people were great and I would go back just for that party alone.

The best of luck with your trip lads. I'll leave you with this video (in case you haven't seen it yet). If you can post a 170km fly by while riding one handed holding a camera on the Phase III section of the Trans-Lab than I need you all to stop in Nova Scotia and party with me and my crew.

Cheers (click on the block below)


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Old 01-04-2011, 07:03 PM   #157
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I finished your ride report yesterday and thought you did an awesome job!!! Ride on! I will see about doing the 170km fly by for ya....I think its do able.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:32 PM   #158
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I finished your ride report yesterday and thought you did an awesome job!!! Ride on! I will see about doing the 170km fly by for ya....I think its do able.

Thanks blaster11 !!!
I appreciate your words and the fact that you are bringing your own fly by to the table will have me looking anxiously for your own ride report. Who knows, our paths may cross when you hit my home province of Nova Scotia. We venture up to do the Cabot Trail whenever we get the chance.

Hope you all have the times of your lives
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:36 PM   #159
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Who knows, our paths may cross when you hit my home province of Nova Scotia.

I hope so! Thanks for the motivation, I needed your ride report.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:36 AM   #160
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It's been snowing all night and hasn't stopped yet.....read the squid adventure.....has fueled me for the next clearing of the driveway!...Thanks again!
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:51 AM   #161
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It's been snowing all night and hasn't stopped yet.....read the squid adventure.....has fueled me for the next clearing of the driveway!...Thanks again!
Hey Willys!
Imagine finding you on this thread. Thinking of making this trip? I've been drawing out one from North Carolina to Newfoundland/Lab since I got back from Alaska. This looks interesting and might be within my alloted time.
Take care and if you make it down to NC, shout.
Mark
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:57 AM   #162
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Hey buddy good to here from you.....lol...Yep...I'm hooked on long distance adventures now...funny eh. Wonder why....last year's trip was epic!
I may be going to BC again next year but this year's run is the trans-Lab and the Rock....Our group is going for sure on the 6th of Aug for a 2 week excursion...hope to see you along the way.
As for me crossing the border....I refuse to pay the costs now of all the paperwork they require me to buy......frig'in homeland security.....lol
Maybe once I have seen all of Canada....in 3 or 4 years....lol
The Yellowknife area is enticing....hmmmmm....?
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Old 01-06-2011, 05:40 PM   #163
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Hey Mark....I just spent the day reading your blog and looking at your great pics of the trip...what memories! I have to force myself to take pics from now on!
Nice3 to see a familiar face....hope to meet up with you again one day.
You have a need to go back....yet?...I do.....lol.
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:57 AM   #164
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I did the trip you fellows are speaking about in June last year on a 2007 R1200GSA. Ran Heindau tires, but I ran them from Calgary, across Labrador & NFLD and got fresh ones in Halifax, NS. You could make this trip on Tourances or Ankees, but if it gets wet or if the "rough patch" hasn't improved, you'll be clenching your sphincter the whole way.
In terms of "how far in a day," I road from about 1 hour north of Baie Comeau to Churchill Falls in one day. Biggest challenge was multi-mile dust plumes from b-train gravel trucks. Full sensory deprivation.
HVGB to Port Hope Simpson is a full 400KM, including something the locals were calling the "rough patch," 50kms of gnarly, muddy, rock-strewn goo. You'll need enough fuel for a full 400kms, plus some extra in case the rough patch bites you.
I stayed at Red Bay, about 45 minutes east from Blanc Sabon. It is where the gravel turns back to pavement. They have refurbished a wee building into thee nicely appointed hotel rooms with a beautiful view of the bay. Good restaurant, low key and bloody picturesque with an unobstructed view out to iceberg alley.
Camping is no problem, especially if you wish to camp between cities.
Early June was my timing, which meant no bugs & no black flies. You'll need some severe frosts to kill those things, so later August is likely the next best bet. Otherwise DEET bug juice and head nets.
It is a very cool trip. There is nothing terribly technical, but keep an eye on your mirrors. The truckers and locals drive fast (110 - 140kph). I'm no superstar rider and my speeds varied depending on conditions from about 50kph to 140kph. I expect I averaged something like 80 to 90kph.
Other nuggets; Yes, the north shore of the St. Lawrence is way better riding. It can get cold and wet - heated vest and proper sleeping bag & tent are critical items; Gross Morne is a jewel; Never drive past a gas station - ever. Carry extra water & some powerbars or something like that, it's 300 to 400kms between towns; Carry a tire repair kit as some of the road can be very sharp. Always be kind, polite and considerate to the locals, because it is the right thing to do and because they can help you.
I rode across the entire country last year: My favorite bits were Quebec City, Labrador, NFLD and the Cape Bretton Highlands (Meat Cove).
Best of luck. Keep the shiny side up!
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:41 AM   #165
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I just found this thread.Thank you for compiling so much useful information here.

I am hoping to do a version of this trip in mid-August on my Ural, and I would camp almost the whole time. I would probably shave off some of my time in NS in order to be back home to CT a bit sooner.
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