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Old 03-14-2014, 08:51 AM   #31
fredgreen
Is it Spring yet?
 
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Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, Canada
Oddometer: 478
Next time you're east, plug The Stanfields into your ears. You won't be dissapointed! Great riding tunes for the CT.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:10 AM   #32
Pray4Snow OP
Saddle Monkey
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 95
Day 13 – July 25
Woodstock, NB to McLaren Island (Long Sault), ON
851 km


• Sunny this morning, but chilly for July (11C)

• Just trying to make miles today. Will push for Lancaster, ON, but I’ll see how I feel … feeling like I’m coming down with something.

• Opted for the northern route on the way back … through/past Quebec city, down to Montreal, and then west to ON.

• Had brekky at Timmy’s in Grand Falls, NB. Chatted briefly with a few bikers on their way home from Halifax to Brockville, ON in the parking lot. Garmin says it’s still another 700km from here to Lancaster … gonna be a loooong day.


• I didn’t really get comfortably warm until Montreal (actually wimped-out and turned the grip warmers on for a few clicks … in JULY!!)

• Fairly uneventful … just put my head down and hauled ass.

• Got a lengthy text from one of my inlaws’ neighbours at Dickie Lake … detailed instructions on the best way to bypass Montreal. I didn’t get the text until I was past Montreal. I have a sneaking suspicion that all the construction may have rendered the ‘fast’ route no better than the rest anyway.

• Found a camping spot at Long Sault Park … a series of islands in the St Lawrence that are all joined by bridges and causeways. Ended up on McLaren Island. Had a nice spot overlooking the water (it was an island … most of the spots had a water view). A nice evening.


• Smoke and Libations: My journaling has gone all to shit at this point … I’m sure I partook of both, but no recollection and no photographic evidence.
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Old 03-15-2014, 05:41 PM   #33
Whitey Jr
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Strathcona County, Alberta
Oddometer: 151
Great RR Sr. Nice to hear our relations out east are still doing well. We'll have to make it out there together one year.

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Old 03-16-2014, 08:30 AM   #34
Pray4Snow OP
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 95
Day 14 – July 26
McLaren Island (Long Sault), ON to Dickie Lake, ON
488 km


• Pretty good day. Weather was warm without being hot.

• Took the 401 to Belleville. Stopped to take some pictures … haven’t been here in decades.


• From Belleville, I got the hell off the 401 … took the 62 north toward Madoc. Stopped at the Ivanhoe cheese factory. I have vague memories of this place as a kid. Bought a kilo of fresh cheese curds … good thing I’ll be somewhere where they serve vegetables for a few weeks!


• Hwy 62 wasn’t terribly exciting, but the route from 28 to 118 was pretty good. And 117 was awesome as usual.

• Came around one big sweeping turn, and damned near hit a full-sized turkey hen walking down the middle of the road.

• Was a great riding day. Good temp, little traffic, and great roads.

• The road from Dorsett to Baysville was fantastic. Nice and twisty, and along a couple of lakes.

• Stopped in Baysville to set up the helmet cam before heading up the lake road. One of my regrets from last time is that I never really got footage of this road … a nice twisty, canopied road. Not meant to be ridden fast (lots of blind corners and hills), but always fun. As I started up the road, a white mini-van pulled in front of me that looked vaguely familiar. Sure enough, half-way to the inlaws, a very familiar looking arm popped out the passenger window and started waving like an lunatic! So much for shooting some nice serene riding footage. Turns out I caught my wife and father and law returning from the liquor-store. (Good thing I didn’t try passing them on the 2-lane … might have ended my ‘spousal license’ right there!).



• Had a quick refreshing swim (a nice change from two weeks of sweaty riding gear), and a ‘few’ cold beers.






• For the next two weeks, I just chilled at the lake. We did a little visiting with friends and family, a lot of drinking, and even more relaxing. We even managed to get to the Key to Bala to see The Trews play live.


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Old 03-16-2014, 04:08 PM   #35
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 95
Day 15 – Aug 5
Dickie Lake to Newmarket (return)
353 km


• I had sent an oil filter out with my wife, and had sourced oil and a new front tire in the area. However, I’d spent the last few days sweating the condition of my chain and needed to change that, and the sprockets, too. I couldn’t find the right parts locally, so was going to end up going to the dealer in Newmaket for parts anyway. I decided to just have them do the tire and oil change anyway … I’m on vacation dammit!

• A blurry picture of the rear sprocket ... I got a better pic when I changed it at home ... later in the ride report. At this point in the trip, some of the teeth were already sharpened at the end, and starting to burl over.


• Was foggier than hell leaving Dickie Lake. I had to stop and change my dark visor to a clear one. Visibility got down to around 100’, and the mist was accumulating on the visor as fast as I could wipe it. Eventually rode out of it south of Gravenhurst.

• The dealer had trouble with closing the masterlink on the chain and I ended up spending an assload of time cooling my heels in Newmarket waiting for them to finish. Even once they finished, they only had the correct front sprocket … I’d have to continue to limp the rear one home. This `quick` trip to Newmarket ended up being longer than expected, and the only riding I did for two weeks.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:13 PM   #36
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 95
Day 16, Aug 12
Dickie Lake, ON to Sault Ste. Marie, MI
589 km


• Didn’t get on the road until around 10am

• Lots of tears from the girls.


• Finally got some helmet-cam footage of Dickie Lake road … without the minivan photobomber! Took Muskoka #2 to Huntsville … nice ride!


• After Huntsville, the riding was pretty plain ... Hwy 11 to 17 ... think of the QE2 in Alberta, but on the shield so the occasional curve.

• Rained hard around Spanish River … got soaked to the skin. Going to have to look at a new riding jacket and pants in the off-season.

• The weather got a bit better, but it pissed all the way to SSM, ON.

• I had planned to push a bit further into the US and camp at Newberry, MI, but I was soaked and cranky so I started looking for a hotel on the Canadian side of the border.

• Didn’t see anything sanitary-looking along the main route into SSM, ON. Kept following the signs to the border and ended up making the crossing.

• Black clouds forming over the lake … can’t tell what directions they’re moving.

• Got a motel room n SSM, MI. … it was a bit pricey, but I was freezing … could hardly talk to the border guard my teeth were chattering so hard.

Drinks: Nope. Had take-out from the fast-food place down the street. Ate back in the hotel room after a 20 minute, scalding-hot shower.
Smoke: Not tonight
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:43 PM   #37
G is for Guiness
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Joined: May 2009
Location: DFW Airport - That would be Texas!
Oddometer: 43
Nice RR

You had me at Scotch every night and a cigar! Nice to see Cape Breton, I am from Cape Breton and rode through last year. Rode from Dallas, Texas to Newfoundland and back to Boston. Rode the Cabot trail and stopped at the Distiller Glenora Distillery. Bought some Single Malt you can only buy in Canada. The picture of the river that you took and feeds the distillery is named the MacLellan river, which happens to be my last name. Nice surprise and somewhat appropriate! On the distillery tour I was offered a small sample of Scotch, I declined (riding a motorcycle) then 4 seconds later "bitched slapped myself" and enjoyed a wee taste!

Safe ride home thanks for the flash back and the ride report.
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Old 03-25-2014, 06:35 PM   #38
Pray4Snow OP
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 95
Day 17, Aug 13
Sault Ste. Marie, MI to (almost) Deer River, MN
786 km


• Up a 7 … on the road by 8.

• Colder than shit … 11C on the bike. Normally 11C would be chilly, but not cold … this eastern humidity is messing me up.

• Big grey clouds moving S off the lake … looks like rain.

• Took M28 out of SSM … nice secondary highway, not much traffic.

• Pavement was wet in a few spots from showers overnight, but no rain by the time I stopped for brekky.

• Stopped to eat at Russell’s Diner near Strungs, MI. The place looks like it's seen better days, but the food was good and hot.

• Tons of construction … posted limit is 55mph (88kph) but traffic is moving 100-110kph.

• Stopped for a few pics in Duluth/Superior




• I didn’t really warm up until around 2pm.

• Got off the road around 7pm SSM-time. I was shooting for Deer River because there was lots of camping available … according to the book. Pulled off the road between Grand Rapids and Deer River to read the detailed instructions/directions in the book … everything in the Deer River area turned out to be well off my route, and not very large (in terms of the number of sites) … there was a chance I’d get all the way out there and have no vacancy. I was already beginning to get into the ‘just-make-miles-and-get-home’ mindset and didn’t feel like any extensive detours. Decided I’d start watching for signs for camping and get off the road before Deer River.

• As I pulled back onto Hwy 2 (after studying the camping book), I saw a sign for camping at Pokegame Lake Dam on the Mississippi River. The dam is an old Army Corps of Engineers project around which they’ve built 20-or-so camping spots. It’s a bit pricey for tenting, but I paid more in ON, and as a ‘water guy’ there was some cache to spending a night on the ‘mighty Mississip’. The payment was one of those ‘put-the-cash-in-an-envelope-and-slip-it-into-the-lockbox’ setups. I never seem to have the right denomination of bills for these things … ended up having to use 75-cents worth of Canadian coins to make up the $26 fee … hope the attendant doesn’t get too bent out of shape about it.

• Was VERY glad to get off the road … hadn’t realized how tired I was until I walked back to the campsite from registering … friggin’ wiped. The campground is a bit close to the road, but at this point I don’t care … ear plugs rock!

• Gained an hour along the road today. Feels like 8pm, but really only 7pm while I was cooking dinner. Made for lots of light that evening. Got a few good pics of the River.




• A beautiful evening … met a couple from Texas … he was some sort of Minister who ‘guest preaches’ across the country. Met another couple with BC plates on a camper van … I think they were from Kamloops … just making their way home from an extended roadtrip.

• Had the Shepherd’s Pie (Backpackers Pantry) again tonight … MAN that stuff is good. And hot … should have had some for lunch to try and warm up … lots of the roadside pullouts I passed today in MI and WI have picnic tables and water.

• Libation and smoke? A high probability, but at this point ... who knows.
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:45 PM   #39
Pray4Snow OP
Saddle Monkey
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 95
*** Editor's Note***
OK ... the ride home from here is pretty bland, and almost the same as the ride eastward. I'm going to try an push the rest of the updates quickly, and do a bit of post-ride analysis, and start planning for this year's trip.
P4S
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Old 03-28-2014, 05:51 PM   #40
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 95
Day 18, Aug 14
Deer River, MN to Estevan, SK
816 km


• Nice morning … sun is up, but still a bit chilly

• Met the guy from BC coming back from the shitter. I was close … they were from Vernon ... not Kamloops. Chatted with him a bit … they were planning to head to Devil’s Lake, ND. I told him about my experience there last time, and suggested they might want to consider pushing on into MT.

• While I was packing up camp, I heard a ‘thunk’ and a looooong squeal of tires on the highway, but not far from the campground. There was also road-construction noise, so I didn’t think too much about it. A couple of minutes later, the sirens started. Definitely an accident, and it must have been close, because the emergency vehicles were all turning their sirens off as they passed the campsite. At least a half-dozen emergency vehicles.

• Cold as shit at highway speed … bike readout showed 9C … IN JULY!!!!!

• I had stressed out all night and all morning about the rear sprocket, so I pulled into McDonalds in Bemidji, MN to use the wifi and see what’s around (or at least not far off the route) for parts.

• Couldn’t find anything locally, so on a whim I tried calling FFUN Motorsports in Saskatoon. Got a recording that said they weren’t open yet (must be another time change between here and S’Toon because my watch says 9:15 … then again, my watch hasn’t been right since I left AB). While I was looking through their website, a ‘live chat’ window popped open. The person on the other end said their name was ‘Charlotte’ from FFUN, had noticed that I was on their site, and asked if there was anything ‘she’ could do to help. Let’s just say that more than a few warning bells were going off.

• Although I was sure I was being spoofed, it turned out to be legit (although I was still half-expecting to be asked for my banking information on behalf of a Nigerian prince.).

• I explained what I was trying to do, and she mentioned that the parts department wasn’t open yet. She offered to look for places close to where I was , but she essentially had access to the same information that I’d just accessed online … no o.e.m. BMW parts anywhere near Bemidji, MN. One thing she was able to help with, was to find a place in Winnipeg that sold Motorad parts (amongst other brands) that wasn’t referenced on the website. Kudos to Charlotte and FFUN … very helpful.

• Called Winterpeg. The guy there said that the computer showed him having the necessary sprocket in stock. I was considering changing route to swing directly north to hit Winnipeg and pick it up. Just to be safe, I asked him to check and see if he had it before I changed routes and went 200km out of my way. Good thing … he couldn’t find it.

• After killing the better part of an hour assessing options, I packed up at McD’s. I looked at the sprocket again … maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Regardless, it was going to have to do … pushing on to S’Toon!

• ND was just as busy as last time … and considerably more development. Trailers and pickups parked everywhere. Lots of ‘campgrounds’ (gravel pits with picnic tables) between Devil’s Lake and Minot.

• Even the gas-stations were getting in on it … selling t-shirts and hoodies along a ‘my-Dad-went-to-the-Bakkan-field-and-all-I-got-was-this-lousy-shirt’ theme.

• Considered getting a room in Minot, but it was still early … only 4pm-ish (I think). Pushed north to Kenmore … but no camping, and no room at the hotel. This is starting to shape up the same as the last time I came through ND.

• There was a large, black storm building to the NW. Decided to haul ass for the border and Estevan, SK … and hope they have a site/room.

• No trouble at the border, but the friggin’ storm was getting closer and uglier.

• I let Garmin direct me to the first hotel I passed on the way into town … the Derrick Motel. The parking lot was full, and there seemed to be a lot of service vehicles in town … not sure if SK is cashing in on oil and gas like ND, or if the mine/powerplant was on a maintenance shut-down. This is starting to look like Devil’s Lake all over again. I hope I can get a room.

• Got one of only three rooms left. The room left something to be desired, but from the looks of the storm rolling in, I am glad to not be camping.

• Used the luggage dolly to unload the bike, while it was parked under the overhang at the front door. When you stack the panniers, top-box, camping gear, and tank bag on a 2’x3’ dolly, you get a real appreciation for how much shit you’re packing around with you. It’s surprising that bike can even roll!

• JUST got the bike unloaded and parked when the skies let loose. The rain was so thick that the SPOT wasn’t able to send my usual ‘I’m OK, and I’m off the bike for the day’ message to Mrs P4S.


• The highway was flooded from curb to curb for about 20 minutes.

• Was talking to a guy who had just come from the power plant. He figured they got over an inch in around 5 minutes … had to pull over his 1-ton for fear of hydroplaning.

• Went to the Smitty’s next door to the motel for dinner around 7:30 … not because I particularly care for the menu … just because there was ankle-deep water everywhere and I didn’t feel like walking too far.

• While sitting at the restaurant trying to figure out how to get the SPOT transmit through the storm, when I realized I had made better time than I thought … I was a day ahead of the rough schedule I had made. Instead of hitting S’Toon on Friday, I’d be there on Thursday afternoon/evening.

• The new plan would be to head to S’Toon in good time to pickup the sprocket from FFUN. I had planned to give Hammy a call, but now that I was going to be there on the Thursday, Hammy would likely have to work Friday. I’d have to play that one by ear.

• It’s only 464km from Estevan to S’Toon. If I decide to stay there overnight, I’ll have lots of time to kill.

• No smoke … but a couple of Kokanees with dinner (I’m starting to notice that my high-falootin’ scotch-and-stogie start to the trip has descended into a beer-and-diner-food end … c’est la vie!)
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Old 03-28-2014, 06:01 PM   #41
Pray4Snow OP
Saddle Monkey
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 95
Day 19, Aug 15
Estevan, SK to Edmonton, AB
996 km


• On the road by 8:30. Brekky at Weyburn, SK.

• Turned into a nice morning. Listened to The Sheepdogs all the way across SK again. A nice vibe for a morning ride … road to myself … laaaaaaaiiiiid back.

• Started stressing about the sprocket again. I know in my head that it shouldn’t be a problem for the little bit of riding I’ve got left to go home, but I can’t stop sweating it. Everytime I accelerate a bit, I’m half-expecting to feel slippage as the chain finally bends-over the ever-thinning tips of the teeth. I’m definitely spending too much time alone in my helmet … definitely over-thinking this.

• Called FFUN BMW from Chamberlain, and spoke to the Parts department. They had one in stock and would hold it for me. Even if I didn’t need it, just having it packed with me would make me feel better.

• Uneventful ride from Chamberlain to S’Toon. Picked up the sprocket and packed it away. It was hotter than fuck in town … was sitting in a puddle of my own sweat in no time.

• By the time I was clear of the dealership, it was only around 2:30 (I think. Was losing track of the time changes again). It was really too early to camp, especially if Hammy wasn’t available for a visit. It was only around 500km to Edmonton from here, so the closer I got to Edmonton, the less sense it made to stop for the night. The weather was good and the traffic on a Thursday afternoon/evening was bound to be better than waiting until Friday to enter Edmonton. So a management decision was made to push on to Edmonton. Even if the weather turns, I can push on in the rain knowing I’ve got a dry bed to sleep in tonight.

• As it turned out, it remained a beautiful evening, and a great final day ride home. A good way to end-off the trip.

• Pulled into the garage around 8pm (I think). Didn’t even unpack the bike. Just put her up on the centre stand and closed the door behind me. I’d have a ‘free-day’ tomorrow (Friday), and the entire weekend to put things away, clean things up, etc.
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Old 03-29-2014, 09:02 AM   #42
Pray4Snow OP
Saddle Monkey
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Oddometer: 95
***Post-trip***

Lessons learned
o The ‘scotch and stogies’ is getting a bit tired … especially when I don’t bother to restock the scotch-stash or record what I’m partaking in on any given night. I either have to come up with something else (hookers and blow?) or take better care to shop and journal! Lesson learned.

o Much different weather than last time. Two years ago it was sweltering hot, 30C+ days … this time it was a number of rain-days. Between the increase in rain-days and the advanced age of my riding gear and its zippers this time ‘round, I spent a lot more time sitting in a puddle INSIDE my gear this time. Time to look into some new kit. Lesson learned.

o When the chain starts to go, it goes fast. It would have been OK in town, but on a trip, I should have taken care of it before I left. Lesson learned.

o The chain was actually a ‘double worry’ … not only was I worried about the chain failing, but I also worried about the stretch exceeding the amount of distance I could move the rear axle back … if it was too loose, it would start slipping off the (also well worn) teeth on the two sprockets. When I took off from the last red light before I rolled into the service department in Newmarket, the bike jack-rabbitted a bit. I’m not sure if it was the chain slipping, but if it had happened at the beginning of a long day, or in the middle of no-where, I definitely would have spent some calories worrying about it. Lesson learned.

o The 2010 F8GS must have had two different production runs that year. As a result, some of the bikes have their rear sprocket attached with an M8 bolt, and the other with an M10. I didn’t realize this when I ordered the part from FFUN in S’Toon. Sure-enough, when I went to install it at home, I had the wrong one. Went into my local dealer, and the lady at the parts counter explained that when I placed the order, I should have been asked for my VIN … which would have shown which production run my bike was from. No biggie … I bought the correct one here in Edmonton, and FFUN was good about taking the other one in return. Lesson learned.

o Comparison of the old (top) and new (bottom) sprockets


o Once again, I let up on the journaling and photo taking towards the end of the trip. I’ve chastised myself on this after every trip I’ve done, but I still seem to get tunnel-vision on making it home on the last 2 or three days. Probably partly because the closer I get to home, the less ‘photo-worthy’ everything seems … seen it all before! Lesson learned … again!!
• As usual, I tracked my milage and fuel consumption. I averaged around 48mpg, with daily km totals all over the map. Also as usual … my last day before home was the longest … just short of 1000km.


• Next trip:
o Nothing as long as this trip. Some one-to-two week trips … maybe a weekend or two with my brother if our work schedules align.
o I’ve signed up for some off-road training and a guided ride in Colorado this summer. It’ll be three days of hauling ass on the slab to get down there, two days of training, two days of guided riding thought the Rockies of western Colorado, and then around a week to come home … route to be determined. Stay tuned … I’ll probably post something!
Ride safe!!
P4S
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