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Old 11-06-2010, 07:05 PM   #16
EOD3MC
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Eric
I'm guessing you're not allowed to bet on yourself...betting now could fund this trip and a new bike...

Does this mean I'm that easy to get along with or just a big push over?
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:13 PM   #17
ChrisZ
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I MIGHT be up for this.

I'm still trying to figure out if I'm taking 3 weeks off to go to Mexico or taking longer off to go to Trans Lab and Canada THEN Mexico.

It depends on what I want to do with work, but cold and mud in Canada followed by warm in Mexico sounds pretty damned nice at this point.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:12 AM   #18
Squidmark
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I can help out a bit here. See my trip report link in sig.

1) Take more time or cut back your trip. Do some things beside sit on your butt on the bike 8-10 hours a day. Otherwise, you might as well stay home and sit on a sawhorse in your basement and watch videos.

2) The new road is open between HVGB and Cartwright Junction. Parts of it were awful last June, but later trip reports note it as complete - i.e. it's in as good shape as the rest of the TLH.

3) It's ~400 km between gas in HVGB and Port Hope Simpson. Plan accordingly.

4) As someone else has noted, the north shore of the St. Lawrence is a nicer ride than the south shore.

5) In Churchill Falls, take the hydro plant tour. It's cool. It's free. Eats up all of half a day. Ask at the gas station for the phone number. Anyone who passes on this is a fool.

6) Consider taking the hydro plant tour at Manic 5 too. (They hadn't opened yet when I was there.)

7) Good place to stay in HVGB if you need one: TMT's B&B. When you hit the "T" and have to chose between turning left toward GB or right toward HV, turn left and go 3 or 4 km. It's on the left. Unpretentious, cheap.

8) Bring good bug spray if you're camping in August.

Good luck and enjoy the adventure!
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:09 AM   #19
RFlagg42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidmark
Do some things beside sit on your butt on the bike 8-10 hours a day. Otherwise, you might as well stay home and sit on a sawhorse in your basement and watch videos.
Seriously? You would rather sit on a sawhorse in your basement watching TV than average 375 miles a day for 2 weeks in order to ride the Trans-Lab.
----------------------------
On the bug spray, I highly recommend that you all do not rely ONLY on bug spray. Bring bug nets. Wear them over a ball cap or floppy hat and tuck the bottom into your jacket when you stop in a bug infested area. I found that the legal, "non-cancer causing" bug spray you can purchase in the U.S. was as effective in repelling the bugs up there as catnip is in repelling kittens... When only one of us was wearing bug spray, that person was swarmed and the other two were left alone. We were there in full bug season, and if we took our breaks in an open area with a breeze, that was usually enough to keep them away.

I used this one from Aerostich and it comes with a stuff sack that compresses it to about a 2" diameter. I even put it over my helmet a few times when we were delayed for extended periods at construction zones. Most of the construction workers we saw on the roads were using something like this which has a zipper at the neck so they would wear the jacket over their clothes at all times and could zip closed the head part when the bugs got bad. Bottom line: for camping or having to work on your bike in an emergency, you do not want to be without this.

If you have half a day in your schedule at Churchill Falls, I recommend you ride the road to Esker which was one of my favorite days riding the whole trip, but it does get down to ATV width at parts and you will see moose droppings on the trail so be careful on blind turns. I feared taking the power plant tour as too many locals insisted we take it, and when combined with the fake movie set feel of Churchill Falls, I had images of being grabbed by the Morlocks down there and forced to work in the mines the rest of my life.... But if you need a break from riding and want to do the tourist thing, go for it....

Bruce, Lance: Next time we meet for coffee, bring a map and I'll show you where the key gas stations are...

Enjoy,
Eric
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidmark

5) In Churchill Falls, take the hydro plant tour. It's cool. It's free. Eats up all of half a day. Ask at the gas station for the phone number. Anyone who passes on this is a fool.
gee whiz, when you write stuff like that someone might actually take you seriously. i'm not going on a big ride in canuckistan for the opportunity to take power plant tours. i can do a power plant tour if i get bored at a convention in las vegas.


after 8/15 the bug situation gets more manageable. i used no insect repellent at all in late august and into september up there this season.



and that sawhorse thing in the basement...what's there to say.
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:35 PM   #21
Squidmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidmark
1) Take more time or cut back your trip. Do some things beside sit on your butt on the bike 8-10 hours a day. Otherwise, you might as well stay home and sit on a sawhorse in your basement and watch videos.

and

5) In Churchill Falls, take the hydro plant tour. ... Anyone who passes on this is a fool.
OK, sorry. Both of those were too strong. If all you have is two weeks, go for it. I'm sure you'll find the trip to be an excellent adventure however you do it and whatever else you do (or don't do).

Good luck!
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:03 PM   #22
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Colonel.. appreciate the advice and the link... all good stuff. Each adventurer has their own experience and it looked like yours had some lessons learned. Please continue to give us the good word!
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:18 AM   #23
lakota
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hotels

Hotel recommendations aka places I used on my ride and would use again

Labrador City – Two Seasons Inn
www.twoseasonsinn.com


Goose Bay
Royal Suites
http://www.royalinnandsuites.ca/location.html


Port Hope Simpson
Alexis HotelAddress:
3 Alexis Drive
Port Hope Simpson, NL A0K 4E0, Canada
(709) 960-0228


Plum Point Motel
about 5 miles south of the St Barbe ferry landing. You can’t miss it.
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:19 AM   #24
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[quote=jdrocks]

after 8/15 the bug situation gets more manageable. i used no insect repellent at all in late august and into september up there this season.

quote]

ditto for my ride
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:21 AM   #25
markbvt
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I rode the TLH twice, in September 2009 and August/September 2010. Ride report links are in my sig below.

I would recommend pushing the trip back a couple weeks -- the bug situation is much better in September. On the '09 trip we never even used our bug spray, let alone our headnets, and on this year's trip the bug spray and headnets were only used occasionally.

The Phase III section between HV-GB and Cartwright Junction is finished -- but be aware that the road crews are now hard at work paving Phase I between Lab City and HV-GB. So you will encounter construction zones there, as well as plenty of freshly graded gravel. I know it's a little disappointing that the road is being paved, but think of the paved sections as a chance to get a good look at the landscape around you -- it's pretty phenomenal, but you don't get to see much of it while riding the gravel because you're too busy concentrating on the road.

Little of that work had begun yet when I did the trip in '09, and the road conditions were largely very good (plenty of solid surface to ride on where the gravel had been scraped away). This year's trip was much more difficult because nearly the entire road was loose gravel with few or no tracks in it. So be prepared for wildly variable conditions.

Have a great time!

--mark
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:09 AM   #26
RFlagg42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakota
Hotel recommendations
More on hotels

If you have to stay in a motel the night before taking the ferry from Labrador to Newfoundland, we found it difficult to find a place in Labrador, but we drove a few miles to Quebec and found a great motel for motorcycles....
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:00 PM   #27
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I got a couple of equipment questions - primarily aimed at those of you who have already run the trip.
First, I going to sell the SMR and get something lower and more suited to rough roads (KTM Adventure, BMW GS, BMW R - the Beemers can be lowered relatively easily.

Now, based on what I'm reading here, ground clearance doesn't appear to be a problem so lowering the bike a bit shouldn't be an issue, correct? (IIRC, Dana's bike is lowered and that should include lowered suspension).

What about tires? Are knobbies necessary or would something like the Scorpion Sync found on the KTM Adv work?

I'm going to have to do a lot of the prep work blind as I can not ride for approx 6 months and more than likely 8 or 9 - which makes late August, early September prime time.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:29 PM   #28
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there should be no problem with lowered suspension.
i used TKCs front and rear. was very comfortable with them. depending on your skill level any tire will work. i would prob use tourances if i did it again as there will be even more tarmac next year.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:16 PM   #29
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Thanks.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:45 PM   #30
jdrocks
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What about tires? Are knobbies necessary or would something like the Scorpion Sync found on the KTM Adv work?
you probably only have three partial days on gravel, otherwise you're on paved roads your whole route.

the problem is that you never know what the gravel is going to look like and whether it will be wet or dry. you might be running 50-60mph on loose gravel, maybe higher if the surface is beaten down. i'd rather be on TKCs, or similar. it's the day long high sustained speeds on marbles that makes it very different from riding forest service roads.

you sure as heck don't want to get above manic 5 and wish you were on different tires.
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