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Old 07-16-2013, 01:13 PM   #31
novaboy
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Thanks for the RR, I'm heading up that way the last week of August first week of September. Trying to avoid the worst of the bugs by going late in the season.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:00 PM   #32
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Day 10 - July 1, 2013
Red Bay, Labrador, to St. Anthony, Newfoundland
~150 miles


Day 10

The plans for Newfoundland and Nova Scotia were pretty flexible except for the ferry dates (two for me, one for Chris). We awoke to a cold morning, with a fair amount of fog hanging over the water. Several more ice bergs had floated into the area, so we rode down there for some more pictures. You can never have too many ice berg pictures, right?

Day10f

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The pavement was a nice change from the gravel, but it was a bit broken up and uneven in areas and still required your full attention.

Day10j

The ride was very scenic along the coast for about 15 miles, and then we hit very heavy fog. I mean fog where you've only got 50 feet of visibility combined with mist. I had managed to scratch my visor quite a bit the previous morning with the wiper attachment on my gloves, and moisture had breached the pinlock seal as well. In other words, it was hard to see.

We rode at a prudent pace and pulled into Blanc Sablon with plenty of time before check-in for the ferry.

Day10k

Travel tip: Make sure you keep track of all the time zone changes, and if you take this ferry, remember that the departure time is on Newfoundland vs. local time. Fortunately, we knew this and didn't have any problems.

We gassed up, got some breakfast, and loaded up the bikes for what's usually a 90-minute ferry ride to St. Barbe, Newfoundland.

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The water was pretty rough, and that extended the trip by about 15 minutes.

Day10r
Fortunately, I didn't need to follow this guidance

We docked at St. Barbe and immediately hit the road heading up the coast on Rt. 430, also known as the Viking Trail. The scenery was great, with small towns dotting the rocky coast and very blue water. The wind was very strong, though, and we both found ourselves leaning over significantly against it to stay upright.

Chris wanted to see the settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, so that's where we went. Because it was Canada Day, admission was free. We walked around the site, interacted with some historical interpreters in a sod house, and learned more about the settlers.

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We even saw some more ice bergs floating in the water.

Day10z1

It was supper time, so we rode to nearby St. Anthony for yet another Subway meal. There was a Hotel North across the street and a Tim Horton's as well, and we decided to call it a day. Of course, the Canada Day fireworks nearby lasted late into the evening, spoiling my goal of an early bedtime.

Day10z2

This was a fairly easy day, one that we needed to recharge the batteries after the gravel marathon yesterday. We were ahead of our flexible schedule and planned another light day for tomorrow: riding back down the coast and into Gros Morne National Park. We didn't have any specific plans for where we'd end up.

Does a light riding day mean it would be a boring day? Stay tuned.

Full set of Day 10 pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9861969...7634566457977/
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:06 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbvt View Post
But that said, something worth keeping in mind for your next gravel adventure is that it's often easier to ride at higher speeds than lower ones. I was on a different bike on each of my trips up there, and found that my XR650L settled in and stabilized at around 55-65mph, cruising over the gravel confidently. On my Tiger, the speed it liked was more like 65-70, but again, it stabilized and became more controllable than at lower speeds.
I don't think I'd want to risk bailing on gravel at those speeds in the middle of nowhere with naught but the Labrador Air Force around to witness it. *shudder* I certainly grok the idea of floating over the stuff rather than getting buried in it, but one good rut taking out the front will make for a highside from hell.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:41 PM   #34
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Nice to see your ride report I remember seeing you at the limestone border!!! I was off Duty that day, hope your trip is going good!
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:17 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by NB.Moose View Post
Nice to see your ride report I remember seeing you at the limestone border!!! I was off Duty that day, hope your trip is going good!
Yes, I expected that border crossing to be a little less involved! Let's hope this doesn't become the norm when I visit the Great White North.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:39 PM   #36
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Nice report!

I headed over to Blanc Sablon on July 2nd - just missed you! We ended up waiting/stranded a few days due to the forest fires. Also saw the guy from Tenessee on the gs1200 at Whycogama (sorry, butchering the spelling I'm sure), in cape breton. Glad to hear he's ok - we were curious if we would seem him and the Harley's backtracking or not.

Keep it coming!
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:02 AM   #37
NB.Moose
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Originally Posted by mcgarrett View Post
Yes, I expected that border crossing to be a little less involved! Let's hope this doesn't become the norm when I visit the Great White North.
Its a remote location if you ever come back this way I suggest taking the aroostook trail systems and cross in van Buren ME/St Leonard NB. They are more use to seeing this type of travelers.

http://www.traillink.com/trail/bango...ook-trail.aspx
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:51 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NB.Moose View Post
Its a remote location if you ever come back this way I suggest taking the aroostook trail systems and cross in van Buren ME/St Leonard NB. They are more use to seeing this type of travelers.

http://www.traillink.com/trail/bango...ook-trail.aspx
That looks like fun and will definitely be on the itinerary for next time.
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:13 PM   #39
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Day 11 - July 2, 2013
St. Anthony, Newfoundland, to Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland
~218 miles


Day 11

We woke at our usual early hour and walked across the street for breakfast at Tim Horton's. I have to say, I was impressed with their cinnamon raisin bagels, which are a staple of my breakfasts back home. They really do give my regular bagels a run for their money.

We didn't have anywhere we had to be by the end of the day, so we set out to ride along the coast and explore a bit of Gros Morne National Park. It was sunny but very windy again and a bit chilly. We backtracked down the Viking Trail heading south.

Day11b

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Yes, I'm using my heated gear

Day11e
Chris gets artsy again

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Chris can relax anywhere

Chris was hoping to cross paths with an old friend who was part of a bicycle tour heading north. He had a general idea of where she would be, but he hadn't communicated with her recently, so he wasn't very optimistic about seeing her. We passed by a few cyclists, and as we continued down the Viking Trail, I saw Chris do a u-turn and pull into a general store/restaurant. Sure enough, he had spotted a bunch of bicycles parked there. He walked in, and found his friend enjoying a food break. They caught up on the past 15 years or so, and we resumed our journeys in opposite directions.

As the mid-afternoon became the late-afternoon, we approached Rocky Harbour and pulled into a gas station to fill up. Our ferry reservations at Port-aux-Basques were for the morning of July 4th, and if we stayed overnight in Rocky Harbour, we'd have all day tomorrow to cover those 200 miles. So with that in mind, we rode into Rocky Harbour to see what the town had to offer in the way of lodging and restaurants. We came up to the Ocean View Hotel, right on Main Street, and decided to stay there. They even gave us motorcycle "care kits" with towels for cleaning the bikes and let us park in the back next to our patio.

Day11s
Chris does his daily maintenance

Day11t
There goes the neighborhood

Day11u

I hadn't had a chance to run the entire trip, except for a treadmill trot in Maine, so I went out and did about four miles along the water. It was still very windy, but the views were great, even if the route was all uphill on the outbound segment.

We walked next door for supper, and I was in the mood for seafood. They had quite a selection, and they'd prepare it any way you wanted, as long as you wanted it fried. Those of you who know me know that I'm a "special needs eater" and don't eat fried food, so I didn't get any seafood that night. I did treat myself to a piece of apple pie (no ice cream), which is a once or twice a year special event.

We took advantage of the hotel's wireless Internet to catch up on news and correspondence, and I went back outside as the sun was setting.

Day11v

Day11w

The weather forecast for tomorrow looked good (again), so it was going to be an easy ride to Port-aux-Basques, or would it? Stay tuned.

Full set of Day 11 pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9861969...7634566646731/

mcgarrett screwed with this post 07-18-2013 at 03:41 PM
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:41 PM   #40
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Day 12 - July 3, 2013
Rocky Harbour, Newfoundland, to Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland
~280 miles


Day 12

We got an early start, and I wanted to ride out to a scenic spot I'd seen during my run the previous afternoon. It was looking like another great day weather wise.

Day12a1
My apologies for previously mislabeling this as Day 11

Day12a

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We continued south on the Viking Trail and saw even more great scenery along the way.

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Chris had heard that Trout River was worth the detour, so we turned onto Rt. 431 and traveled along some nice hilly roads that bordered the water at some points before we made the turn towards Trout River. We passed some impressive mountains on our left, and I made a note to stop by them on the way back.

Day12k

We ended up at Trout River and rode down to the docks, where some fishing boats were being refueled. This is definitely a town whose livelihood seems tied to fishing.

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On the way back, I led us onto a dirt and gravel trail that ended up reconnecting with the main road. It was a bit bumpy, but not especially hard on the bikes, or so I thought. We headed back to those mountains for a closer look.

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We saw quite a few hikers heading out on the trails leading to the mountains. I was surprised that there were still pockets of snow up there. As we pulled out of the parking lot, my speedometer started to read 0, and the engine died a few times. No lights, no nothing. I got it started again, and we were rolling for about 15 miles, right past a service station, and it started doing the same thing. I pulled over into a parking lot, and we discussed the possible causes. We didn't think it could be the ignition wire again, because it was soldered very well, and the other one looked ok. I unloaded everything to access the fuses, and they looked fine too. We had a false glimmer of hope when we put a new fuse in, and the bike would start again until we closed the fuse box. After a little back and forth, we decided it wasn't a fuse problem, and that left the ignition again.

Chris rigged up a stick to hold the wire in a certain position that enabled the bike to fire up. I only got a minute down the road, and it died again. I went about the tedious task of pulling out the ignition cylinder. The day was getting hot, with the sun beating down on us, and the bugs were in attack mode.

Day12x

Sure enough, the "good" wire had broken. Maybe that trail, combined with over a week of riding, put the finishing touches on the wire. Our plan was to hotwire the bike, get it back to the service station about 10 miles away, and have them re-solder the wire. Chris got the broken wire to stay in place with some baling wire, and I rode to the service station. When I got there and looked down, I saw the ignition cylinder was missing, and the two ignition wires were melted together, glowing red, and smoking. I quickly pulled them apart to prevent a complete electrical catastrophe.

Day12y

Our job of fixing things had just become much more difficult. There was no way that we'd find that ignition cylinder along the roadside. Chris and one of the mechanics brainstormed and came up with the idea to rig an on/off toggle switch. For $18 in parts and free labor (from us, but mainly Chris), it worked.

Day12z

The handlebars could still be locked, so a thief would only be able to ride in small circles. That ignition debacle killed two hours, as well as our plans to do a scenic loop along the coast west of Stephenville. At that point, I just wanted to get to Port-aux-Basques and be ready for the ferry the next morning.

We stopped in Corner Brook for gas and an early supper at Subway, whose toaster was broken, adding insult to gastronomic injury. We continued along the Trans-Canada Highway for a pretty long and boring stretch. The scenery started to get really impressive around the Wreckhouse region, known for it's freakishly powerful winds.

Day12z1

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The cloud formations were especially interesting. We saw an R1150GSA pass us, and we eventually caught up with him when he pulled over for a break. We chatted with damurph for a few minutes, then made the final push to Port-aux-Basques.

We pulled into the Hotel Port-aux-Basques around 8pm. Our ferry left at 11:45am the next morning, so we wanted to get to the terminal at least two hours early. Fortunately, it was less than two miles down the road, with a Tim Horton's on the way. The ferry ride was scheduled for six hours, and we planned to get a jump on the Cabot Trail after we arrived.

I was hoping I'd dealt with the last of my mechanical woes. What else could go wrong? Stay tuned.

Full set of Day 12 pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9861969...7634566784761/
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:26 PM   #41
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Day 13 - July 4, 2013
Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland, to Ingonish Beach, Nova Scotia
~60 miles


Day 13

We loaded up, gassed up, and went to Tim Horton's for breakfast. Sound familiar? It looked like the entire population of Port-aux-Basques was in the drive-thru line there, with traffic spilling out onto the street.

After breakfast, we made the short ride to the ferry terminal and lined up with some other motorcycles.

Day13a

Day13b
Dick impresses Chris with tales of riding all over North America on his Gold Wing

We saw a couple from Montreal who we'd also seen in St. Anthony and Rocky Harbour, as well as Dick from California, who had racked up over 300,000 miles on his Gold Wing. We got the signal to load onto the ferry well before the departure time, which was good, because I still wasn't fully checked out on using the tie-down straps.

Day13c

Day13d

I decided to splurge for a room on the ferry given the six-hour duration, and this proved to be a good choice. We'd been going very hard for a number of days without enough downtime, and we both welcomed the chance to rest and recuperate.

Day13e

We pulled out right on schedule, and I settled in for my first of two short naps.

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The ride was a lot smoother than the Blanc Sablon to St. Barbe ferry, and I went topside a few times to let my Spot see the satellites. We gained a half hour by sailing into a different time zone, and we docked in North Sydney at around 5:30pm. Our plan was to start riding immediately on Rt. 105 heading towards Englishtown, where we'd catch the short cable ferry across to the Cabot Trail and save a fair amount of time. We got delayed a bit heading up a mountain with a hairpin turn where a big rig had overturned, and emergency services were on the scene directing traffic. We arrived at the ferry just in time for their next departure.

Day13m

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We hit the Cabot Trail heading north and soon started to think about stopping for supper. We passed a few potential places and settled on the Clucking Hen. Funny name, good food. We asked about places to stay nearby, and it sounded like Ingonish, on the other side of Cape Smokey Provincial Park, might be our best bet. Daylight was fading, which added to the natural beauty but caused me some concern about possible encounters with wildlife on the road.

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As we were about to lose the last of our light, we found the Skyline Cabins just before the entrance gates to Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The price and amenities were right, so we got a cabin. We decided to do some quick bike maintenance, and Chris said, "I want to show you something." That didn't sound good, because he usually said, "Hey, take a look at this," when he'd spotted something amiss on my bike. This time, it was the rear sprocket, which had taken a dramatic turn towards imminent failure. The other day, Chris had pointed out some areas of concern with the sprocket teeth, and now they appeared very worn down. Additionally, the chain had been requiring almost daily tightening. Chris thought I might need to get both replaced before getting home, though I hoped to make it to a BMW dealer in Maine en route.

I'd been in touch with Matt (ms2uared) about meeting us for the Cabot Trail, and he texted that he was passing through the big rig accident zone on his way to the Englishtown cable ferry. I was still doing some work on the bike when Matt got to the cabin, and we talked about tomorrow's plan. He opted to camp nearby, and we would meet for breakfast across the street around 7:45am. I went in to tend to my new bug bites (inflicted through my shirt) and showered. Chris wished me a Happy 4th of July, minus the fireworks, and we called it a day.

Tomorrow held the promise of great riding and scenery, but also the specter of a failing rear sprocket and chain. Which would win out? Stay tuned.

Full set of Day 13 pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9861969...7634567022163/
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:56 PM   #42
Doug329
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Tlh

Great RR and photos. We did the TLH in 2010, East to West. Only pavement then was around Churchill Falls, and the short section by the Ghost Town. Rte 510 did not exist between Goose Bay and Cartwright. You had to take an all night ferry boat ride.

Your RR and pictures have brought back many memories. I must say, for a fairly new rider you have been doing a super good job, dealing with the grave land all.

You were lucky to have Chris there for the electrical repairs. Doubt if I'd have done as well so quickly.

Ride safe, Thanks for all your efforts on the RR.

Doug
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:59 AM   #43
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Day 14 - July 5, 2013
Ingonish Beach, Nova Scotia, to Digby, Nova Scotia
~434 miles


Day 14

Chris and I met Matt across the street for breakfast and chatted with him about his epic journey to this point:

http://www.findmespot.com/spotadvent...?tripid=318751

Our plan was to ride along the Cabot Trail with waypoints in Cheticamp and Inverness, proceeding to the Trans-Canada Highway and Truro, where Chris was going to split off and head towards Moncton to meet a prospective buyer for his bike. Matt's plans were a little more flexible, and he said he'd do the Cabot Trail with us and then probably split off before Inverness to visit the Alexander Graham Bell House in Baddeck.

Day14a

Day14b

Day14c

We hit the road and thoroughly enjoyed everything the Cabot Trail had to offer. I know I was slowing the guys down in a few spots, and I was happy to let them go ahead and zoom through the twisties.

Day14e

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The Cabot Trail is one of those must-rides. I can't think of a more eloquent way to describe it. The weather cooperated, and my bike was holding together.

Matt did split off and headed towards the Bell House, and Chris and I continued on to Inverness, where we stopped for a quick lunch. My ferry from Digby to St. John the next day was scheduled for 4pm, but they also had one at 8am, and I decided it would be best to get to the closest BMW dealer (Street Cycles) in Falmouth, Maine, as soon as possible. I called the ferry folks, and they kindly changed my reservation to 8am. Now, I had the easy task of getting to Digby before dark, about 315 miles away. What could possibly go wrong?

We got onto the Trans-Canada Highway and soon found ourselves heading into some very dark storm clouds.

Day14v

The sky opened up, and we pulled over to waterproof ourselves. Chris put on his rain suit, and I zipped up the vents on my jacket and pants. It really pored pretty hard for about 15 minutes, and then we found ourselves on the other side of the clouds in the sun. My low fuel light came on just before we pulled over for Chris to ditch his rain suit, and this concerned me because it was about 100 miles too soon, given my auxiliary fuel tank. I took off the auxiliary tank's cap and saw that the tank was still full, meaning it wasn't feeding into the main tank. I closed it up, started the bike, and the light went off. When I checked the auxiliary tank again, it had completely emptied into the main. I hoped this wouldn't be a recurring issue. More on that later.

As we neared Truro, we pulled over, and Chris and I said our goodbyes. I couldn't have dealt with those mechanical issues without Chris, and I sincerely appreciated all of his other assistance. A first-class riding partner.

I chose a route to Digby that took me on some secondary roads and avoided Halifax. I stopped in Windsor for a Gatorade break and called the service department at Street Cycles. They didn't have the rear sprocket, but they recommended stopping by to see what they could do to help. I got onto Rt. 101 heading towards Digby, and my low fuel light came on again way too soon. I stopped for gas and looked for a place to eat supper. I was excited to find someplace other than Subway, a nice pizza shop near Acadia University. Unfortunately, they had everything but plain cheese pizza and wouldn't do a "special order." Guess what was right next door? Subway.

Back on the road grinding it out to Digby for another 90 miles. I found a room at the Admiral Digby Inn, about five minutes from the ferry terminal. I'd made it with some daylight to spare, although I was completely exhausted after riding over 430 miles since morning.

Day14w

Day14x

Day14y

I looked nervously at my rear sprocket and chain and wondered whether they would carry me at least to the BMW dealer tomorrow, about 300 miles from the ferry terminal in St. John. Stay tuned.

Full set or Day 14 pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9861969...7634567120421/
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:12 PM   #44
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Day 15 - July 6, 2013
Digby, Nova Scotia, to Chelmsford, Massachusetts
~420 miles


Day 15

My number one priority for today was getting to Street Cycles in Falmouth, Maine, before they closed at 5pm. Everything else was secondary. Within that secondary group of things I wanted to do was visiting the now-closed Columbia Falls Air Force Station in Maine, which would be about 10 miles out of the way on Rt. 9. It's a Cold War era radar site that used to have some impressive hardware and an interesting layout. The most recent pictures I could find of the site were several years old, so I didn't even know what remained there. I'd be gaining an hour when I crossed back into the US, and I should be able to make the detour to Columbia Falls if everything else worked out.

I got to the ferry a little before 7am and saw several older Harley riders in a group lining up.

Day15a

Day15b

The ferry crew told the motorcyclists to get ready, and I rolled on board for my seventh and final ferry of this adventure.

Day15c

The ferry trip was uneventful, and the weather was fairly sunny. I've read that this can be a rough crossing, but not today.

Day15f

Day15h

Day15d

Day15e

The trip took about three hours, and we docked in St. John around 11am. I decided not to gas up there, because I theoretically had more than enough gas to make it across the border into Maine, just over 70 miles away. Or so I thought.

I hopped on Rt. 1 heading for the border, and my low fuel light came on with 30 miles to go. I knew I had enough fuel on the bike, but it was apparently sitting in my auxiliary tank and not feeding into the main (again). I checked the GPS for the nearest gas station, and it looked like there was one just a little ways from the next exit at Rt. 127. A little ways turned into a 10-mile trip into St. Andrews.

The gas station was the only one in town and a bit of a mob scene was there buying lottery tickets and bingo cards. I was very hot and frustrated at that point and didn't even bother to take off my helmet to wait in line. I must have looked like a tough guy or an idiotic Stig-wannabe. My frustration got the better of me as I pulled out of the parking lot, and I rolled on the throttle in a way that exceeded the collective patience of the chain and sprocket. I heard and felt the chain skip on the sprocket, and I knew that signaled a potential disaster.

I had passed a Tim Horton's on the way to the gas station and decided to stop there to cool off, both mood-wise and temperature-wise. I gobbled my lunch very quickly, because this detour had thrown my plans into disarray. Back on the road, I made for the big border crossing where Rt. 1 terminates in Calais, Maine. After my experience at the smaller Limestone crossing, I thought I might have better luck at a bigger one more accustomed to travelers. Unfortunately, they only had three of six lanes open on a holiday weekend at mid-day (thank you, sequestration), and the line was a bit long. The temperatures had quickly climbed into the low 90s, and I just wanted to be moving.

I finally got to the Customs and Border Protection Inspector, took off my helmet at his request, answered a litany of questions to his satisfaction, and I was back on US soil heading west on Rt. 9 towards Bangor. I kept running through the math in my head to determine if I could swing by Columbia Falls AFS, and the numbers just weren't in my favor. I was projecting a 4:30pm arrival at Street Cycles barring any more unplanned delays, and I couldn't risk it. This Cold War relic would have to wait for another trip.

My chain was beginning to skip almost every time I shifted up through the lower gears, even with a very light touch on the throttle. When I stopped to gas up, I noticed that the chain was loose, but I thought it would be ok for the final push to Street Cycles. About a half hour later, I was on I-95 just south of Bangor, and I decided I had to tighten the chain. I pulled into a rest area, unsuccessfully looked for a shady spot, and went about tightening the chain. I called Street Cycles to give them an update and got back on the road.

I was still chugging away when the low fuel light came on yet again. There were four likely possibilities for this issue: 1) The auxiliary tank cap wasn't sealing properly; 2) The main tank cap wasn't sealing properly; 3) The fuel line was kinked or obstructed; 4) The fuel pump wasn't working right. I ruled out the auxiliary tank cap because it was brand new and really seemed to seal well. To mitigate any issues with the older main tank cap, I needed some Vaseline or grease to help with the seal. I didn't have either, so I sacrificed a tube of Burt's Bees lip balm for the task. I lacked the time and expertise to troubleshoot the fuel line or fuel pump, but I did develop a system of removing the auxiliary tank cap while the bike was off, turning the bike on, putting the cap back on, with the hope that this would help create the vacuum necessary to feed the main tank. It worked with mixed results, meaning some fuel would drain from the auxiliary tank, but not all.

Back to the low fuel light situation of the moment. I thought I might have enough gas to get to Street Cycles, about 15 miles away. Unfortunately, I soon heard the characteristic coughing of an engine's unquenched thirst for gas. I poured my 30oz MSR (emergency) fuel bottle into the main tank and rode to the nearest gas station a few miles away. According to my GPS, I'd be reaching Street Cycles a little after they closed at 5pm. I called them, and Bill assured me that someone would stick around.

When I got to Street Cycles, Bill was in fact there and ready to help. He agreed with Chris that the rear sprocket and chain were terminal but not quite ready to fail completely. He expressed confidence that I'd be able to make it home if we tightened the chain to within a micrometre of its life and kept it well-lubricated. Bill also advised me to continue to be very gentle on the throttle. I thanked Bill and followed him to the highway, since a major construction project had taken away the onramp for the exit I'd used to get there. I can't say enough good things about how helpful and friendly Bill was: If you live in Maine or nearby and are looking for a motorcycle or motorcycle service, stop by Street Cycles in Falmouth (http://www.streetcycles.com).

I wasn't sure where I'd stop for supper or overnight, but I wanted to get as far as reasonably possible. The farther I got tonight, the less I'd have to ride tomorrow. The Kennebunk Travel Plaza looked like a good place to grab supper, and I joined a thousand of my new best friends who were also seeking air conditioning and food. I looked at my GPS and thought I might get to Worcester, Massachusetts, about 115 miles away. After another half hour on the road, I knew that was too ambitious, and I set my sights on Chelmsford instead. I reserved a hotel room from a rest area and rode for another 40 minutes before reaching the Best Western Plus. I'm not sure how Best Westerns achieve this Plus rating, but they were kind enough to let me park under the awning at the front entrance, which earns them a Plus in my book.

The temperature was still in the upper 80s, and in spite of my best efforts to stay hydrated using the Klim Hydrapak in my jacket, I felt like I could and should drink a gallon of something cold. I practically inhaled an Odwalla smoothie and half a bottle of Gatorade.

Another long and hard day behind me, one more focused on covering miles and keeping my bike together than enjoying the sights or scenery. The adventure was nearing an end, but I still had over 500 miles to go. I mapped out a route through southwestern Massachusetts and upstate New York, with a planned overnight in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Tomorrow would be Sunday of the holiday weekend. Surely, the roads wouldn't be clogged with vacationers, and the skies would be sunny and clear. Right? Stay tuned.

Full set of Day 15 pics:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9861969...7634573702370/
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:00 PM   #45
Natnewt
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Toronto Ontario
Oddometer: 485
I knew I saw you in my travels this past few weeks I'm only fresh back from my east coast ride and updating my report now.
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