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Old 07-22-2011, 07:23 PM   #1
Vikingtazz OP
Will ride for food.
 
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Location: Prescott Ontario, Canada
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Brockville to East Coast - Ride Report

"I'm saying right now, I want to eat a big fresh east coast lobster", so said John as we posed for our ready to go picture.
"This is the before picture", and with that we poked in our ear plugs and donned our helmets; destination East Coast.



I'd been messing around with Google Maps trying to find the optimum route to the fabled lands called the Maritimes, and although there appears to be many options it really boils down to two.
Either we brave the mountains of northern New York - Vermont - New Hampshire and Maine, or we traverse the Canadian path through flat farmland and dodge the Indycar wannabies of Quebec.
Well, I gotta say it was a relief to hear John say he's game for the mountainous route.
It was now well after lunch, as John had to get to my place from Whitby. He took the boring but ground eating 401 to get here, and after a quick sandwich and drink, was ready to start the adventure.

The border crossing was uneventful, and the border guard even had a "Enjoy your trip" to speed us along.
We were like overcharged batteries, full of potential and sparking with anticipation; impatient for new roads and new sights.
The miles rolled beneath our tires as we navigated the edges of small town upper New York State; Ogdensburg then Canton, Tupper and Saranac Lakes and we rolled into Lake Placid around suppertime. Little did we realize, this was to be our last supper stop during daylight hours; and at this time of year we're talking good light until 9pm with clear skies.
Pizza for me, pasta for John and we were ready to hit the road.
"Where we stopping tonight?", John inquired as we suited back up.
I wanted to make Vermont before nightfall, and so we left the famous winter Olympic town behind and headed towards the neighboring state.

Dusk was threatening when we rolled through Westport and then down through Port Henry. A quick left on Bridge Road led us to the crossing at Crown Point. There were signs indicating Champlain Bridge Ahead, but a big orange and black sticker that clearly stated CLOSED had me a little confused and maybe a little worried. Trusting to fate and exuding an air of supreme confidence, I rolled the throttle hard and hoped for the best.
The gods were smiling on us that evening, as we rolled onto the deck of the smart looking ferry just as the crew cast off for the not too distant shore on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain.
Kick stand down, helmet off and a wink for my riding mate was just about flush with nailing a landing after a difficult jump.
"Amazing fookin' timing", John commented.
I just nodded and sheepishly dug around in my bags for the camera.
It was about here I realized we hadn't taken a single damn photo since starting the adventure.
I shall endeavor to be less absorbed folks, promise.





Looks like they're working on a new Champlain Bridge. I kind of like ferry rides though, it gives you an excuse to take a break while still covering ground.

We noticed a couple of harley riders on the ferry with Vermont plates.
Turned out they were Ontario natives who had moved to the green state sometime back.
"Born in Cornwall", the friendly fella said, "name is Viau".
Well isn't this a small world, same birth town as myself.

They suggested we look for accommodations at Middlebury, which we found readily enough, but well past dark.
The roads to this likeable little town led through farmland and over some good sized hills.
We crested one of these hills, eyes straining for kamikaze deer and suddenly found ourselves staring head on with the rising full moon just cresting a distant mountain.
It was one of those big moons, where the trick of the atmosphere enlarges it to the point of disbelief. The recently set sun gave it a reddish orange cast and it looked like Mars had come a calling, begging some coffee or maybe a cup of sugar for some sweet tea.
A passing wisp of cloud moved across the large bright orb, adding to the surreal nature of the experience.
"That was fookin' cool, did you see how the cloud moved across the moon back there?", John would ask later.
Yeah, I did notice...and yeah, it was pretty fookin' cool.
Alas dear friends, the road was perilous narrow and winding and there was other traffic abroad in the night. I wanted to stop and photograph the moon, but made a mental note to try and describe it instead; we had several miles to cover before bed and it was getting quite late.
If you've ever been to Vermont, you'll appreciate how every second house looks like a bed and breakfast.

Middlebury offered many places to stay, and we chose a modest looking place called the Greystone Motel.
The innkeeper was of course, Bob Newhart. If he had been cast as an East Indian, that is.
Nice fella and keeps a clean motel, but can't make coffee to save his life.



We headed to the nearest store for a six pack and some snacks.
Rolling Rock Extra Pale was on sale, so we decided to give it a go. Turns out it's a darned good beer, especially with nachos.
The girl at the cash asked John "Date of birth?", which pretty much handcuffed him right there.
"Kinda personal there lass, what for?"
It became obvious for my grizzled bud once I noted he was buying alcohol.
Well that really tickled him, and he commented more than once how it pretty much made his day right there.
"Was wondering if the wee thing was trying to get in the family way or somesuch".

It was a late start, but we rolled over some excellent roads and added some high quality experiences to the old memory banks before the first day was out.
John mentioned a new rattling noise on his bike, and maybe even some clutch slipping concerns.
Must remember to check his oil before we get too far in the morning.
Tomorrow we discover new places with old names.



To be continued...
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:52 PM   #3
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Old 07-23-2011, 08:16 PM   #4
Vikingtazz OP
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Day 2

We discovered another use for ear plugs during the night.
John managed to fall asleep first, which left me listening to a terrific rendition of "A Man and His Chainsaw".
Revenge was swift as he woke in the night to hear my dulcet tones reverberating through the motel room, an ode to grizzly bears and angry badgers.



The morning sun crept over the nearby hills and made sincere promises of summer fun and warm horizons.
Wispy clouds were making half-hearted attempts to contrast the big blue sky while we loaded up the bikes and then headed to the Motel office for our free breakfast.
There was a fresh loaf of raisin bread and some real butter in the fridge, so I opted for that combination.
The coffee was disappointingly thin, described by others as akin to making love in a canoe; f***ing near water.



A quick run up the road and John once again filled his diminutive tank with petrol. We managed several stretches of 150 km's (90 miles) during the trip, but a few tougher sections had him switching to reserve around the 130 km mark.
While a solid enough bike, the 1100 Honda does not have the equipment for long range travel.
I remembered John's comments about clutch slippage, and thought it a good idea to check his oil level.
"I forget where we check that", John noted hopefully.
Well, most of my bikes have had sight glasses to check level but I had absolutely no luck finding it on his bike.
We popped open the oil fill plug, but there was no dipstick and obviously not where you check the oil level.

Alright, we would have to rely on Google search the next time we had internet access, and decided to press on with a wary eye towards the potential clutch issues.
John mentioned that his bike had just finished a good checkup and oil change at his local bike shop. They gave it an all clear and even changed the back tire since it was questionable for a 4000km journey.
Hmmm, just changed the oil huh? Interesting, and I'm sure some of you may be thinking what I was thinking at the time.
John decided to remove the dangling key fob and paraphernalia from his ignition key, thinking this might be the rattling noise he had noticed the day before.

A quick run back up Hwy 7 and we were back on track taking 17 east through Bristol and then Camels Hump State Forest. This would have been a really terrific road but for two things. The road condition was definitely on the ebb tide of it's intended service life, and John's bike was having trouble keeping pace.
A smaller man would have fallen further behind, but John muscled that cruiser around tight corners, frost heaves and broken asphalt like a trooper.
It would be great to return there someday when the nice folks of Vermont lay down some fresh blacktop.
After several miles of concentrated effort, we found ourselves atop a good sized mountain with a large parking area for sightseers and weary cyclists.
Photo time!



A lone cyclists gamely battled gravity as he cranked his way up the steep and twisting switchbacks.



Looking back the way we had come was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Surprisingly, the cyclist didn't even pause as he reached the apex, turned tail and sped back down the mountain road.
It took very little time before he appeared between the trees and sped on his way, enjoying the fruits of his labor.









This road was almost too much for John's old bike. The clutch was slipping the harder we pressed her, and it was starting to look like there might be a potentially trip ending repair in our near future.
A quick scan of our map showed a less strenuous path to the east coast, and we diverged from the twisty and fun to the easy and level.
Montpelier Vermont is an interesting town. There were interesting looking shops with even more interesting names, and it seemed like we crossed into a world of hippies turned entrepreneurs.
If anyone could appreciate a good cup of coffee, it would definitely be this crowd.
Sure enough the Skinny Pancake had terrific coffee no doubt handpicked by non-oppressed, unionized and natural living folks in homespun clothing (dyed with all natural ingredients, naturally).




This brief respite brought good news regarding John's bike. She was keeping up much better on the gentler roads, and might even be cause for some cautious optimism.
I shared my theory that perhaps the bike shop did not install motorcycle oil when they changed it. This would definitely cause the symptoms observed, but I was having trouble believing a motorcycle shop would screw up like this.
We decided to press on.

Lunchtime found us crossing into New Hampshire near the town of Lancaster. We had discussed this upcoming meal, and decided to stop when inspiration dictated.
Well, I can't imagine a more compelling example of inspired dictation.
The service was outstanding, and the food was excellent.



I mentioned to John that we could try a little experiment with his bike.
The first opportunity we would pick up a quart of motorcycle oil, and try pouring half into his bike.
If this improved things, we might then be able to better plan a repair strategy.
A few miles later, luck would grace our path once again.



Half a quart of certified JASO/MA motorcycle oil and we were ready to begin our test.
This did indeed improve the clutch situation, which would indicate that either his oil level was low, or the bike shop had installed the wrong type of oil. My guess was the former; I just could not imagine a bike shop making such a mistake.
We really needed to find that oil level indicator.
A more careful search of the bike revealed the rear brake reservoir cover was not re-installed properly. This was the source of the rattling that John had experienced.
A few minutes of applied wrench-enomics and voila, no more rattle.
The oil level search was abandoned sometime later, with renewed expressions of "Google it later".

The Maine State line was breached in very short order.




We made good time traversing this lovely State. A bright ray of sunshine, direct from the hallowed halls of heaven suddenly and miraculously lit up our afternoon break stop.



The rest of the evening was an easy pace along secondary roads. Vehicle traffic ebbed and flowed in the lazy afternoon heat, and soon enough the air began to carry with it the hint of salt and the promise of a cooling ocean breeze.
Brunswick Maine passed in a blur as we merged with Coastal Highway 1 and began to thread our way north along the shores of the North Atlantic.
It was at this particular gas stop that John rediscovered his elusive oil dipstick. The head had broken off in some long forgotten battle with a previous owner, and was hard to see with the remaining nub of black plastic.
A quick check showed an oil level just above the full mark. Damn, there goes that theory. We had poured in the other half quart of oil some miles back, and gained a bit more performance out of the clutch.
It now seemed likely that the recently changed oil was not working as intended, whatever the reason.
There was of course, the possibility that the clutch was still heading towards a final and catastrophic failure.

We pressed on to Searsport before daylight submitted into ever deepening dusk.
We had passed several motels and inns, all with a prominent indication of "No Vacancy".
At last, we happened upon a quaint little affair with an adjacent restaurant.
We took the only available room, and ordered an extra cot.
To say the room was small would do an injustice to all things petite; you had to leave the room to change your mind.
A quick shower and we were ready to visit the restaurant. That is, I was ready and patiently waiting for my large friend to get his footwear in order.
"Fookin' bloody hell", he exhaled, "I've packed two right sandals".
I bet he has another pair at home just like them, but for opposite feet.



We entered the restaurant at 9:10pm.
The restaurant closed at 9:00.

I think they recognized two road weary travelers, and scraped up some very tasty leftovers.
A refreshing pint of beer washed down the remaining road dust, and we trudged our way back to the room.
Tomorrow, we stretch out for New Brunswick and their famous hospitality.

To be continued...
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:29 PM   #5
Vikingtazz OP
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Location: Prescott Ontario, Canada
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Day 3

The air conditioner squeaked and groaned all night, not unlike my right hip and lower back.
Ear plugs once again proved to be a valuable sleeping aid as two intrepid travelers made noises sufficiently guttural to keep bears, moose and mice at bay.

Morning rituals were now established and in short order the showers were had, and the bikes ready for another day of adventurous exploring.
John checked the adjacent restaurant, but the lack of bacon on the breeze told me already what I saw in his returning gaze. There would be no breakfast here today, nor any day for that matter as the restaurant was not open for breakfast.
"Guy over there says we should look a few miles up the road for a place called Just Barb's", my good mate said, "Best place around for bacon and eggs".
Well now, that sounds like something I'd like to see for myself.

Although we got an early start, it was a good thing we did not lollygag any longer.
We entered the little restaurant and managed to snag the last remaining table.
The coffee was passable, and the bacon and eggs were pretty darned good. What a great start to the day.



On the way out, one of the patrons saw our riding gear and spoke up.
He had a Sportster parked next to ours in the lot outside, and wished us safe travels and god speed.
It was obviously a well loved machine, with all sorts of dangles and trinkets affixed here and there.
Hot damn, he even had a Cup Holder.
From this point on, whenever we could not hear what the other said through helmet and ear plugs, we'd yell at the top of our lungs "IT'S A CUP HOLDER!".



Coastal Highway 1 winds its way along the eastern edge of Maine with small towns frequent and welcoming.
It is necessary to turn your attentions to the smaller roads that dart off towards small fishing villages if you wish to get up close and personal with ocean spray and fishy smells.
For the most part, we limited our travels to the main route, since we had many miles to cover that day and did not want to risk unnecessary toil on the aged Honda.
A large and inspired looking bridge was not to be missed, and we even stopped to take pictures.






Well heck, even the backdrop on the other side of the road looked picture worthy.



We rolled out after a brief stop, and I decided to keep the camera handy for some action shots.
It's a bit tricky keeping the horizon level, your subject focused and not run into anyone or anything.
As for composition, well...you can pretty much forget about that particular nicety.






Maine was a nice place to visit, and it might be nice to come again sometime.
It might even be nice to see a couple more Tim Horton's open up.

We opted for the Lubec border crossing to enter New Brunswick. It leads to a nice bridge, then a couple small ferry rides to the mainland.




Johnson Bay was very scenic, with iconic subjects just begging to be photographed.



A short ride through Roosevelt Campobello Internation Park led us to the first ferry crossing...I think.
The sign sure indicated that it might be a ferry crossing.



Nothing to the left or right...




Ah, here comes something now...






Yay, more bikers!




The little tug had to keep taking runs at the ramp, since the vehicles leaving would push the little ferry back away from shore. It took several cycles of running up on shore and being pushed back out to sea before the ferry was emptied of her cargo.
I was humming the theme song from Gilligan's Island and taking pictures of our fearless crew.
Hey look, it's Mary-Anne!



Disembarking was similar to the previous observations, and then it was a Monte Carlo start to get to the next ferry.
The line up looked a bit intimidating.




Hard to imagine, but they managed to get all the vehicles in front of us on the ferry.
It was a near thing, but they even managed to squeeze John and I on at the back.
My back tire was touching the rear ramp.




We met a local rider and his son, and had a nice visit while the government run ferry sped us to mainland New Brunswick.
There were no more stops this day, as we hit the big highway through St John and on to Moncton.
As luck would have it, we passed the Harley/Honda dealer on the way into town.
Good thing because John's bike pretty much limped into town, and it looked like we might be holed up here indefinitely.
Tonight's accommodations provided by Econo-Lodge.



The girl at the check-in suggested we head to the market district for eats and drinks, which we promptly complied with.
A short taxi ride found us in a trendy area of downtown where several pubs and nightclubs pumped their music into the streets and alleyways.
One pub had a live band energetically destroying songs of the alternative rock persuasion.
We chose a likely looking place with an appropriate name of Navigator's Pub which did not serve food, but they did have draft in really big mugs.
Pizza was ordered, and a good time was had by all.
Barkeep took really good care of us.

To be continued...
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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Day 4

Day four began bright and early.
Actually, that's bullshit.
Let me try again, this time with more honesty and less theatrics.

Dawn of the dead began around 09:30.
It was wet and gloomy.
The parking lot outside the room was a maze of scattered puddles and running water.
Perhaps when the parking lot had been freshly paved, sometime during the late Triassic I think, it had funneled the falling rain neatly and uniformly towards the storm drains.
The lovely couple from Quebec we had chatted with the evening before were almost packed and ready to ride.
I forget where exactly they were from, and where exactly they were going, but I do recall they were a lovely couple.
Oh yeah, and they knew where Brockville was and had mentioned that they considered Don's Fish and Chips to be the superior culinary choice of that genre in the entire known universe.
Come to think, I believe they are correct.

"Listen ya daft bastard", John mused knowingly, "our free breakfast is over at ten."
Say no more!
The coffee was decent, and I think I ate a muffin.
Or two.
Back to the room and we looked up the phone number for the Honda/Harley dealership with the appropriate if not unique name of Toys For Big Boys.
A quick telephone call indicated that our chances of service were slim, since they were booked solid with broken down Harley's that had failed mid adventure.
I kid you not, that is the honest to god truth of what we were told.
Well, crap.
It looked like we were going to be stuck in Moncton for a while.
To make matters worse, it had stopped raining and the clouds were definitely thinning.

John explained that we would like to try replacing the oil in his bike, to at least determine if the clutch needed to be replaced. The guy on the phone told John to bring his bike on by, and he would try and squeeze him in for that at least.
A quick check of the weather for our intended destination was not promising.
Rain and thunderstorms were the predicted flavor. Same for our optional destinations.
Crap crap and double crap.
By the time we had packed up and checked out (we were being hopelessly optimistic), the rain was finished and the parking lot was...definitely not giving up without a fight.
The street was much more professional about shedding water, and we had a perfectly dry ride over to the dealership.
It definitely pays to call ahead. We got to the shop within a half hour of calling, and they wheeled John's bike right in.
He picked out a fine vintage 20w50 motorcycle oil, and the mechanic went to work.

Remember that lovely Quebec couple I mentioned earlier?
A fuzzy memory tickled in the back of my head about rain booties.
Apparently John remembered also, and the story went something like this.
The dealership had an off-brand set of rain booties for $20, or you could buy the genuine HD model for $55.
John had mentioned that he would really like to get a set, so his footwear would not get soaked in case we encountered rain...during the day sort of thing...while riding.
Did I mention the hopelessly optimistic part yet?

Sure enough, they had the booties in size Yeti, and John scooped a pair.
The mechanic had his bike all finished by this time, and we were all ready to test out the new oil.
Well folks, you won't believe this but it actually worked. His clutch was perfectly fine, and pulling hard now that it had proper motorcycle oil in the crankcase.
I will refrain from mentioning the shop in Whitby that had done the maintenance on John's bike...for now.
He's going to discuss this matter with them when he returns.
Fly on the wall...large angry Scotsman...lame-ass excuses...oops, mental images escaping.

For now, lets just tip our hats to the fine folks at the Moncton Honda-Davidson dealership.
Good work guys, much appreciated.



Now, where to?
John has a family friend in Shediac working at a restaurant.
We were kinda supposed to head that way for breakfast but...ahem...the repair set us back several hours at least.
John had sent a message via facebook the evening before, and the invite had happened sometime between the large mugs of draft and the brandy.
Shediac is definitely a tourist town. Holy crap you couldn't move without hitting an RV.
What is it about large vehicles that they have to travel in pods?

We found the restaurant, had a good lunch and a good visit with one of John's childhood friends.
A quick recheck of the weather network produced some excellent news.
Cape Breton was now predicting 40% chance of scattered showers.
John's got booties, lets go to the Cabot Trail!!!

The ride along 15 in New Brunswick is kinda boring but it's quick and we needed to make up some time.
By the time we hit Port Elgin, it was time to switch to secondary roads.
The 970 crosses into Nova Scotia at Tidnish Bridge and becomes the 366.
Terrific scenery and decent road conditions. This is what we came here to ride.
Apparently we did not come to take photos, so I'll have to whip up some really great descriptive phrases...

Ah to hell with it.
The ride was really cool and the place was really pretty.
There was ocean to the left, and plenty of small towns and curvy roads and awesome new smells and the simple joy of riding was set to 11 on a scale of 1 to 10.

We hooked up with Hwy 6 and rode it all the way to Pictou.
Down the 106 and it was time for our coffee stop in New Glasgow.
It was during this short jaunt on the Trans Canada that John recalled a comment I had made a couple days ago about raising his windscreen.
It seemed to me that with his height, he might want it raised to the maximum available range.
This was going to require a stop at Canadian Tire for some tools.
Which we did...and that goddam contraption took over an hour to get adjusted.



Well, it was worth it in the end.
Back on the 104 eastbound to make up lost time, and John had a big smile and a big thumbs up for our efforts.
A quick stop in Antigonish for gas, and then back on the highway.
We really wanted to make Cape Breton before dark, which we did.
The Canso Causeway links Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, and that is where we stayed.



Tomorrow, there will be many more pictures.
Tomorrow, we ride the Cabot Trail!

To be continued...
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:27 PM   #7
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Day 5 - The Cabot Trail

John had set the alarm clock the night before.
I think we both felt the previous day had been less than carpe'd.
I'm not really sure what time the alarm went off, but it really was an ungracious hour.
There were road crew workers staying at the same motel, and we were packed and gone before they had finished their morning coffees.
That's how bloody early we headed out this day.

Coffee and breakfast were quickly consumed at the nearby Timmies, and without further ado...

Every 130 km's on average, this is what I saw.


John was a bit worried about the availability of fuel around the Cabot Trail, so he asked at this stop.
"Every shit-hole on this island has a place to get gas, don't you worry".
Groovy baby.

We cruised up the west side of the island hugging the coast. The decision was to ride clockwise around the Cabot Trail in order to avoid the RV's driving anti-clockwise.
We need not have bothered in either case.
The fog was so thick you could barely see the sides of the road, and I don't think we passed a single RV the entire day.
Thick fog was definitely the flavor du jour, which allowed us to focus on the road itself for a good portion of the ride.
We hooked up with the actual trail at Margaree Forks and some dear soul had even thought to put out a sign.



I wanted a photo of my bike on the Cabot Trail, so I took one.
Now that I've told you this, I suppose I'll have to share.



John was at another gas station chatting with the owner. He hasn't seen a single American visitor this year, and the overall numbers are way down.
After his visit, John came over to where I was taking photos and offered some of his Doritos.
Oh yum, I love nacho chips...except this was some sadistic version of my beloved snack.
Good lord, what the hell did I just put in my mouth? It was hotter than a two-dollar pistol, and tasted horrible.
Wouldn't you know it, I didn't have any shoe polish to get the awful taste out my mouth.

We had the road to ourselves.


Cheticamp has a Tim Horton's...yay! As you can see, the fog was still very thick.


We finished our coffees and headed back out to the bikes.
An ancient man approached us and began to speak with no preamble whatsoever.
"I had a motorcycle when I was younger. It was a Vincent Phantom."
A Vincent! I have read a bit about those bikes. They were built for racing, pure and simple.
The old man seemed genuinely surprised I had even heard of them, and I asked what displacement (having never heard of a Vincent Phantom).
"Twas 1000 cc and it could scare the hell out of you, yes sir...fastest damn thing on the road back then."
A satisfied nod, and his work was done. He shuffled off to his car without a backward glance.
John looked at me and asked "Did he have an albatross about his neck?".



The ride was terrific as various textures of fog spotted the geography; and this made the patches of clear all the more precious.







I think John was enjoying the ride also.
He pulled alongside a couple times to yell stuff at me, and I enthusiastically yelled back "It's a cup holder!".









We even stopped a few times during the ride.









There was a group of three young fellas at the Timmies back in Cheticamp. We passed each others several times during the day. Quite the mix of bikes as you can see, a Ducati, a Harley and the third a metric cruiser...Kawasaki I think.
My little camera did not process fast enough to get all three, but I got two...sorta.




Within a few moments, another group of riders came along.


I was on the wrong side of the road to get some good pictures for you all.
I hope you appreciate the things I do for you...in riding boots...ahem.




If you look at a picture of words, is it considered reading...or looking at pictures?








Ok, back to riding.
OMG, I'm being followed by Wayne Rainey!





Can I get your autograph?
"It's a cup holder!"


The east side of the Trail showed a bit of ocean.
Cheeky.










Shortly after this last photo, the rain started.
No worries, John has booties.

We rode the rest of the trail in the rain and missed the turn at MacDonalds Big Pond.
The next thing we knew, we were on a ferry.
Fancy that.




Lunch was overdue, so we stopped in Baddeck.
There are no photos of this little tourist trap, since we didn't think we could afford the fee.
There was many many people, and many bikes lining the streets. Trendy little cafes and shops were everywhere.
We gassed up and John picked out a sandwich shop.
He ordered a sammich, a drink and a slice of pie...total came to $19.25.
After staring at the cashier for a moment John asked "How much is the pie?"
"Four fifty".
"That leaves a pretty big gap for the sandwich, don't ya think?"
"I guess that does sound a little high", she giggled.
John looked at me.
I called him a tourist.
He paid the girl.
"My bum hurts".
We left town and rode hard for Caribou.
The town, not the animal.
We made it in time for the 8pm ferry ride to Prince Edward Island.

John mused about the fog in Cape Breton.
"You know, that's exactly how Scotland looks".
"How do you know? Everything looks the same in the fog".
"The Shetlands look much the same".
"My point exactly".
"There's an island in the Shetlands. It looks like the ground is alive, all moving and undulating".
No shit, he said "undulating".
"Do you know why?"
"Too much Scotch?".
"Rabbits...fookin' rabbits as far as the eye can see".

We lined up for the big ferry ride.







Ok, so the sunset was pretty...but the rain heading towards land ahead of us wasn't so great.



We rode to Charlottetown in the dark, and in the rain.
We didn't see much of Prince Edward Island, but maybe tomorrow.
I didn't take a photo of the motel.
It was raining, and I was tired.

To be continued...
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Vikingtazz screwed with this post 07-26-2011 at 06:30 PM Reason: It's a cup holder!
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:35 PM   #8
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Logging Truck

Did anyone else see the logging truck coming OFF the ferry from PEI?
Are there trees on PEI?
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Old 07-26-2011, 07:38 PM   #9
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Great ride report so far! Will be tuning in.

Your sunset photos from the ferry are beautiful! Wish we had seen that on our trip....the other half and I were just out to the east coast for two weeks and did the Cabot Trail, too. Just starting on the ride report now and will post up shortly. When were you out there? I wonder if we passed each other! :)
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:39 AM   #10
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Say, you weren't out and about the other night in Moncton were you?
Postings are a few days behind the actual riding, since it's time consuming to adjust all the photos for web content.
Well, that and the fact I'm trying to keep the typos and grammatical errors down to a minimum.

Glad you are enjoying the pics, looking forward to your ride report!
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:55 PM   #11
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Day 6 - The Long Ride Home

Weather Forecast: You guys are screwed.

We were looking at some nasty weather predictions.
Original plan was to ride back through Maine - NH - VT - NY, but every path home was predicting thunderstorms.
Riviere-du-Loup promised clear skies until late in the day, then chance of showers; ok not so bad.
Quebec City was promoting clear skies also, then chance of thunderstorms in the evening. We might be able to beat that.
But what about afterwards? Ugh...serious chance of thunderstorms.

Ok, we have an opportunity to ride like hell and beat all the bad weather.
So we did.

We made it to PEI the night before and rode through the rain and the dark.
The early morning ride to the Confederation Bridge was performed in thick enveloping fog.
You could barely see the side of the road. Thick, I say.
It occurred to both intrepid riders that the ride across the bridge might be a bit disappointing.

Ok enough drama.
The sun burned through the fog and all became clear a few kilometers before the bridge.
We crossed in calm seas and almost completely absent of other traffic.
They probably heard about the motel costs and stayed in New Brunswick.






The heavy fog was still clinging to my windshield!



Is that enough bridge photos now?

Hey cool, my GPS shows me on the bridge.


This is my cockpit view.


Welcome back to New Brunswick.
This is definitely one of the nicest places on earth. Everyone should visit Nova Scotia as well, such a wonderful place.

Just watch out for moose.


The camera was stowed, the bikes and riders were gassed up, and we pointed our noses west.
Traffic was fairly light, and we made terrific time...until we hit the Quebec border.

Rant: We rode through many places on this trip, and every one of them made us feel welcome.
The roads were well kept and construction areas were well managed and clearly marked.
Drivers were courteous, gas station attendants were polite and friendly, waiters, waitresses, barkeeps, other tourists, road workers, joggers, cyclists, bikers, truckers, locals, dogs, cats, birds and fish all contributed in their own way to make us feel like it was nice to see us and have us visit.
As soon as we hit the Quebec border, that all changed.
Drivers especially were really ticked off that we were riding on their roads, and they made it clear we were not welcome.
Road construction was haphazard and poorly marked.
The roads that weren't under construction, really needed to be.
End Rant.

We almost made it through Quebec City before the Big Rain.
A massive black cloud was moving in from the north, threatening to cut off our escape.
It succeeded.
We stopped under an overpass to put on John's booties just in time.
It went from early evening light to pitch black.
The wind turned icy cold and came in sideways, trying desperately to push us out into the maelstrom.
Raindrops the size of alligator gonads slammed into the road ahead and behind while thunder and lightning competed for attention.
The roar of semi trucks and formula one sedans reverberated under the overpass as chaos unleashed above our heads.

How's this for timing?
I took a photo just as lightning flashed beyond our sheltered roadway.


The storm front passed after several minutes, and we finished gearing up for the wetness ahead.
A gap in the traffic flow, and we were back underway.
Two minutes later, the skies cleared and we emerged into a hot and humid summer evening. The road was dry, never having been touched by the thunderstorm.
Holy crap, we missed beating the storm by about 5 minutes or less.
Bleh.

The rest of the ride to Montreal was hot, humid and boring.
We covered over 1200 kilometers this day, and it felt like it.

Home was just a few hours away for me, and a few more for John.
Final photos of the GPS data and the bike's trip log show about 400 kilometers of rain, or threatening rain from the whole trip.
I'd call that a pretty darn good ride.





We got back to Brockville shortly after lunch, and stopped at the local Honda dealership.
John sat on a used Varadaro and liked it very much.

"I'm going to Red Lobster when I get home", he muttered.
"What? Why?"
"I didn't get my lobster dinner".


The End.
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Old 10-21-2011, 01:14 PM   #12
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Hey John,
Did you go to Red Lobster and get your dinner after all?

Next summer, the plan is to head west.
My brother is doing a project in Dawson Creek BC, and says the riding there is fantastic.
I think it's time to start planning.

Hope you all enjoyed the ride report.
Cheers
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