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Old 02-05-2014, 11:58 AM   #16
JimmieA
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This is more or less a boom area and hotels/B&Bs are not that cheap or easily available. You could plan one day from the ferry to Goose Bay, one easy day to Lab City and one day to Bay Comeau. Some people tour the power plant at Churchill Falls, it you could work that in.
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:27 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by JimmieA View Post
This is more or less a boom area and hotels/B&Bs are not that cheap or easily available. You could plan one day from the ferry to Goose Bay, one easy day to Lab City and one day to Bay Comeau. Some people tour the power plant at Churchill Falls, it you could work that in.
A lot of the road cuttings have been hydroseeded and make for nice camping - apart from the black flies.

I did it in three easy days Port Cartier (but for you it would Baie Comeau), Lab City, Blanc Sablon. If you didn't start at 11 and loll about with long lunches Blanc Sablon to Lab City in a day is more achievable IHMO. I suspect that Goose Bay to Lab City will be paved by this summer (not much left to do last year), most of Lab City to Relais Gaberiel is also paved. Not sure between there are Baie Comeau as I rode FS roads to Port Cartier.

Port Hope Simpson to Goose Bay is 420ks so you might need to carry fuel.

The ferry was no issue, I actually did it 3 times (Lab to NFL, NFL to Lab, Lab to NFL) and didn't book on any occasion.
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ciedema screwed with this post 02-05-2014 at 01:36 PM
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gregman_1 View Post
That is the first shot I have seen that looks extra challenging. All the other shots look the same or slightly better than our FS roads here.



All in all, we have four days planned between Blanc Sablon and Lab City, and the trip as a whole has five days of buffer, so if we have to wait for road conditions or otherwise, we could conceivably take 9 days to cross the Translab. We're not stupid (although we may be crazy), and we do take things like this into account. The rider reports are invaluable too, thanks guys!

Take heed of the notes about the surface. What looks like a "Forest Service Road" ain't necessarily so. Even running knobby tires, I had a couple of tank slappers that increased the pucker factor.

I stopped on the side of the road at one point and then had to pick my bike up because the shoulders are so soft.

At one point, there were Euclids dumping full loads that were being levelled by a D8 Cat Dozer. When the Dozer moved, that was when you proceeded. It was SOFT.

Thee ARE lots of folks that do it on Street Tires - but info on their experiences are anecdotal at best. I don't know what else to tell you - but, YMMV.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:39 PM   #19
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Conditions can change almost by the hour. Everyone I have talked to about this has had a different experience even days apart.
I have done it twice and both times I rode through too fast. Stop and take in some side roads. Spend some time in Gander. There is an inmate there named Straight8 (Jimmy Lee) He can show you around if he's available.
I blew through town completely forgetting about it.

Do the dam tour, meet some people and enjoy the solitude at the end of the day.

PS: Bring bear spray.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:36 PM   #20
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Conditions can change almost by the hour. Everyone I have talked to about this has had a different experience even days apart.
I have done it twice and both times I rode through too fast. Stop and take in some side roads. Spend some time in Gander. There is an inmate there named Straight8 (Jimmy Lee) He can show you around if he's available.
I blew through town completely forgetting about it.

Do the dam tour, meet some people and enjoy the solitude at the end of the day.

PS: Bring bear spray.
We have a camping night planned for Gander (or thereabouts)!

We have been thinking about the dam tour at Churchill, with all these suggestions we might have to just do that!
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:42 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by gregman_1 View Post
We have a camping night planned for Gander (or thereabouts)!

We have been thinking about the dam tour at Churchill, with all these suggestions we might have to just do that!
I think he means Goose and Manic 5 dam.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:59 PM   #22
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Tlh

It's true that any bike will do it. I to, came across an older Asian gent on his shinny 1200RT (well not shinny at that time). It was mid August and he had no choice but to cross the TLH because the ferry problems at that time ment he was stuck in Newfoundland for 12 days and he had to get back to the mainland (another story).

Now, would I take a road bike there ? Hell no. I did the clockwise route and like everyone here I will say that weather up there change very quickly. On the dry days and hard packed road i could ride 85km/h no problem. But the graders up there and the rain will change the situation from fun to not so fun.

I did the Happy Valley to port hope (the 420km gas less strip) thinking it would take me 5 hours. Well blinding rain, a 1h long hail storm and roads so covered in water you barely see it anymore made it a 8.5h day on the pegs.

If the road bike is all you got then put 50/50's on and lower the pressure, then ride slow. It is a place that you need to visit before it is paved and it get too many tourists (imho).

If you are camping, I'm pretty sure i have the gps locations for some very nice places in happy valley and réservoir manicouagan. feel free to pm me.

Have fun and be safe
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:55 PM   #23
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Observations for Gregman1

You have the desire to do the Translab. So do it. If all u got is a Concours or a Buell then make them work for a rough haul road. You will be forced to go slow with these bikes. So what. You will need some protection for the underside and if not knobbies then some rugged tires that can survive rock cuts. I recommend searching for ride reports by member "Tree" who has done this on a street BMW with gnarlier rubber.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:08 AM   #24
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I agree with take your time and see what it is you are blasting through.....we did just that blasted right through and now I am thinking of doing it again but at a snails pace....just to see what I should have seen the first time. Yes it is being paved faster than you could imagine......so what, OK, it would be much better if it were a dirt road but still, if you like being in an area totally alone it's the place for you. I hear there are many off shoots to explore and see, plenty of natural beauty spots we didn't see because we were too worried about getting to a ferry in time etc. IF you are doing the round trip adventure, do it anti clockwise so the only inportant ferry crossing is out of your way while you are on the best section of the ride. Riding through NFLD and Labrador....or you will be like us.....continually worried about mising that frig'in ferry. I'm pretty sure it won't matter which way you ride it to see it the best so to speak, just do it at a relaxed speed.....you will thank us for it if you do. There are many threads that give detailed info on the what to see if you have the time and not blasting through....search them out.....I have found plenty I missed and want to back to see.
The ride is what you make it and what you want from it.......some just want to actual riding experience where as others what to experience the area.
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Old 02-06-2014, 03:29 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by uptherepc View Post
It's true that any bike will do it. I to, came across an older Asian gent on his shinny 1200RT (well not shinny at that time). It was mid August and he had no choice but to cross the TLH because the ferry problems at that time ment he was stuck in Newfoundland for 12 days and he had to get back to the mainland (another story).

Now, would I take a road bike there ? Hell no. I did the clockwise route and like everyone here I will say that weather up there change very quickly. On the dry days and hard packed road i could ride 85km/h no problem. But the graders up there and the rain will change the situation from fun to not so fun.

I did the Happy Valley to port hope (the 420km gas less strip) thinking it would take me 5 hours. Well blinding rain, a 1h long hail storm and roads so covered in water you barely see it anymore made it a 8.5h day on the pegs.

If the road bike is all you got then put 50/50's on and lower the pressure, then ride slow. It is a place that you need to visit before it is paved and it get too many tourists (imho).

If you are camping, I'm pretty sure i have the gps locations for some very nice places in happy valley and réservoir manicouagan. feel free to pm me.

Have fun and be safe
pc
The route "plan" (I've done enough trips to put "plan" in quotations) includes 2 days Port Hope Simpson-Happy Valley, basically we're planning on averaging 15 mph or so (maybe 25kph) in the gravel so if it's nice we'll be ahead, rather than the opposite. I'm still looking for 50/50s for the Connies (1st gens have weird rear sizes), but we'll get that sorted. I'd love those GPS locations, the three of us prefer to camp anyways. We are also super excited about Manicougan (I'm a huge nerd and love that it's a giant meteor crater).

Thanks for the encouragement guys, as some have said, usually desire, experience and preparedness can trump poor conditions most days, and we do want to do this before it's all paved (then I guess we'll do the Dalton lol).
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:06 PM   #26
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A few of us went a couple of years ago mid-summer... It got included in Ted's epic cross canada trail post, but look at pages 11,12,13 for some good Translab pix

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...594395&page=11

In short we had
Hot sunny weather 30c plus and Cold pouring rain 5c miserable for days...
The gravel roads changed from hard and smooth, loose marbles, very soft sections especially shoulders, giant potholes and puddles, washboard, slick mud, crazy crosswinds, and plenty of blackflies to tickle you if you stopped.

What took me down was hard smooth gravel with very deep soft sections that jumped out and bit.
Martin was grabbed by very sloppy soft mud and put on his ass. We all had pucker moments. We also had a schedule to keep and kept the speeds up.. Us GS's were in front and we had the KTMs coming for us...

Do it, have fun, keep an open mind :)

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Old 02-07-2014, 08:40 PM   #27
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What will everyone talk about once it's all paved ?
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:05 PM   #28
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Trans-Targia....lol
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:30 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregman_1 View Post
The route "plan" (I've done enough trips to put "plan" in quotations) includes 2 days Port Hope Simpson-Happy Valley, basically we're planning on averaging 15 mph or so (maybe 25kph) in the gravel so if it's nice we'll be ahead, rather than the opposite. I'm still looking for 50/50s for the Connies (1st gens have weird rear sizes), but we'll get that sorted. I'd love those GPS locations, the three of us prefer to camp anyways. We are also super excited about Manicougan (I'm a huge nerd and love that it's a giant meteor crater).

Thanks for the encouragement guys, as some have said, usually desire, experience and preparedness can trump poor conditions most days, and we do want to do this before it's all paved (then I guess we'll do the Dalton lol).
Have a great trip, completely doable on any bike but there are sections that will be more difficult as others have stated.

As far as the speeds it seems every bike had a different speed that it was happy to cruise at on the loose stuff. I found on my bike that below 70km/h was unstable, bike wallowed in the gravel. At +140km/h my passenger got upset So 80-100km/h worked for me except around Fire Lake, lots of twists, loose sandy gravel. Didn't love that section.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:04 AM   #30
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Loved the TransLab! Have a great ride - I would go back in a heartbeat....
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