A Gentle Bimble Across Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by wianbiggar, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    Having read, enjoyed and benefited from a great many Ride Reports over the last 5 years I thought it might be time to stick my head above the parapet and post a report about my forthcoming bimble across Canada - a gentle, slow and, hopefully, not boring for the reader, ride across the country I called home for twenty years and that I saw precious little of when I lived there.
    Apart from the odd foray to other provinces, I lived in Alberta for eighteen of those twenty years and. I guess, found enough there to keep me occupied for that time. And what a province.
    So, time to explore other parts. I'll be travelling a good deal of the TCAT but, not being an experienced gravel traveller (but expecting to be an absolute god by the end!) and having just collected the first of many (I hope) pension cheques, I do not expect to do it all - if some part of it is too wet or gnarly I hope I'll have the wisdom to turn around and find an easier way.
    I worked as a photographer for most of those years and expect I will be stopping a great deal to snap (or "paint with light") which makes it difficult to travel with others - frustrating from their point of view. I have no interest in blasting through this wonderful country so have allowed three months to do the journey and spend time with friends.
    Have just received the updated maps from Ted and if I can just figure out how to upload photos I could start the adventure.
    Flying into Halifax with the bike (CCM GPs 450) on the 28th June so that I can enjoy Canada Day celebrations and after that off to St. John's.
    This will be a great privilege for me and I would like to thank Ted and all the others for the unselfish efforts they have made over the years to allow myself and others to enjoy this country in a way not possible before. Thank you.
    IanB.
    #1
  2. 2dogs1cat

    2dogs1cat Cole Harbour Kid

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    Can't wait to read all about it.
    :lurk
    #2
  3. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    wianbigger - please put a link here in this thread to the ride report.
    #3
  4. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    And how does one do that ( and my name is wianbiggar) - this is the ride report or at least I thought it was!
    #4
  5. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    #5
  6. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    Gotcha - thanks - first timer and all that - is there a guide on how to post photos somewhere?
    Ian
    #6
  7. Newfiebullet

    Newfiebullet Been here awhile

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    There's two sides to that. If you post it in the Ride Report section lots of people will miss it as well, I suppose. Wherever you do the write up, just post a link in the other forum.

    Posting pics is really easy, but ideally you need a photo-hosting site to up load your photos to in the first place. Something like photo-bucket or imgur, or even facebook. Once you have that done, right click on the photo, select "copy image address" and then, in adv, select the add image icon, and paste the image address in the window. Done. It's much easier than it sounds.
    #7
  8. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    Well - I head south to London tomorrow and I still haven't got the Garmin to read the TCAT files. Even sent a copy to Garmin UK (who have been very helpful, must be said) to see if there is an incompatibility with the file and the unit. Can't imagine that as lots of people have used both. The Garmin is a Zumo 340LM. Probably not the first time an adventure has begun with no maps! Plenty of time yet (and I'll have access to a computor in Halifax before I head to Newfoundland) tho it would have been more relaxing knowing the two were together in a harmonious relationship. And of course the power went off this morning and I lost my connection to the wide world. More fun getting reconnected. Oh joy, oh bliss. After this it'll be a piece of cake!
    I load the bike this afternoon - fairly light as I'll pick up stuff (tent and cooking stuff in Canada). Will try to load a photo then. Newfiebullet - thanks for the photo loading info.
    Ian
    #8
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  9. BlackBeast

    BlackBeast Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to it - safe travels!
    #9
  10. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    Thanks Blackbeast - it'll be slow and steady for sure.
    Ian
    #10
  11. GR0NK

    GR0NK Got some screws loose!

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    I helped Ted map out the northern Ontario sections. Specifically from Sudbury north to Timmins and across to Wawa. If you need anything just let me know. You are welcome to crash for a night when you come through. Also have a garage and tools in case you need to wrench on your bike or even just change tires. If the timing is right I can even accompany you part of the way as I'm always up for an Adventure. :ricky

    Cheers. :beer



    Sean :-)
    #11
  12. Biggardrum

    Biggardrum n00b

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    Good luck bro
    #12
  13. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    Thats great Gronk/Sean - love to buy you a beer as a thank you nearer the time.
    Ian
    #13
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  14. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity

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    Hey there, I was the TCAT guy for Newfoundland. How much of the island to you plan to see? I fly home today for a couple of days then not home again until late July so I'll probably miss you. You won't need any maps until Quebec so that gives you some time to figure out your tracks.

    As for photo hosting Baldy who owns this site also owns SmugMug which is a pay photo hosting site. It works quite seamlessly with this site. Supporting SmugMug pays for this site and pays to keep it advertisement free. I have over 9000 pics up on mine and if you use my coupon code in my sig line it will save you $5 for registration.

    If you plan to ride around some of the island let me know, here's where I am vs where I live.
    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    Thanks for that, Skibum. I think I'll be on the rock for about a week but won't get there til after the Canada Day celebrations, so, yep, may miss you. Pity. I'll look up Smugmug but so far I've been able to upload direct from my iPad library but it might be easier.
    Thanks for all the hard work you guys put in - I've been aware of your help to other travellers as well so, again, thanks for that as well. Am going to move my copied report from the Epic Rides page to here to simplify things as well. Hopefully get the Satnav to recognise Ted's files which it's not doing at the moment (and Garmin have gone very quiet) so will be following that up in Halifax.
    Flying out tomorrow morning - hope the bike arrived safely this afternoon.
    Ian
    #15
  16. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    Okay - going to combine two two reports to here only with maybe a teaser photo in the other report under the Epic Rides section. Seems more appropriate to me for it to be here.
    View attachment 883902
    With Debbie and Simon on the way down to London - that's Debbie's bike in the garage.
    Okay - I'll take you up on that Flying_Celt
    FNE - likewise - it'll be good to chill out.

    Let me say that good as the coffee and sandwich were, the forecourt of the Shell filling station on Basingstoke Road in Reading would not be my first choice of venues for a quiet supper out. Not only do all the local boy racers come in to fuel up but the lack of dining tables and the fact that it's self service slightly detract from the ambience.

    Still an adventure has got to begin somewhere and if all went to plan there would be nothing to write about. After almost half a century of driving, to pick this moment to put a gallon of diesel into my bike for the first time seems a trifle cruel. After cancelling the whole trip to thinking how I could ship the bike as is and sort it in Canada I managed to get through to the AA and the misfuelling team and they're on their way from Birmingham. And my credit card heavier by £220. Still they say they have a 99% success rate so I haven't given up yet. And it's not raining. In fact on the patch of grass I'm sitting on I could almost set up a tent. If I had one. Mmmm seems I'm sitting on an ant hill.

    Only 40 miles from the hotel and concentrating on not putting any more in than necessary I missed the fact that the nozzle was black and not green nor did I notice the smell. Put it down to tiredness and the stress of the last few weeks. Whatever. Here I sit and wait. As my good writer friend, Tony, said about his loss of money and passports to pickpockets in Greece:

    “I'm a writer. Now I know how it feels!” Very philosophical.

    Ah well - wonder what they have for dessert?

    Right. All sorted. And he hadn't come from Birmingham, only from High Wycombe which didn't reduce the price. He was on his seventh job today with another waiting after me. Busy boy.

    Onward. Got to the hotel a little later than planned and a lot more wired. Sorted gear and managed something to eat along with a couple of rum and cokes. Sleep did not come easily as cramp made an unwelcome appearance too frequently. Ah, the joys.

    All went well at Air Canada Cargo the next morning except that all my rehearsals for getting the gear packed neatly and speedily went out the window and it took me quite awhile to get done. A really nice, friendly bunch at the Cargo depot and they had the bags checked and x-rayed pretty smoothly. Mickey on the front desk even found me a cup coffee. So I left after making my credit card even heavier to the tune of £725. Pretty fair price given some of the quote I had been given from shipping companies by plane but also by ship. I will try to do a breakdown of rough costs after the fact - I don't know what it will cost to ship the bike back from Vancouver yet - and you won't want to read about the cost of all my coffees at Tims. And I promise not to show photos of any meals.
    #16
  17. Elenor

    Elenor n00b

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    Be careful of the colour codes at our gas/petrol stations in Canada. I don't think you will be wanting to put fuel in your bike from a "Green" handled pump.

    Best wishes,
    Dan
    #17
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  18. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

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    Checking in from the Epic Ride Reports thread. Safe and awesome travels!

    :lurk
    #18
  19. Flying_Celt

    Flying_Celt Adventurer

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    Check
    #19
  20. wianbiggar

    wianbiggar Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys esp. Elenor for the heads up on the pump colour - will proceed cautiously until I re-familiarise myself after being away for so long!
    At Heathrow waiting to board. Warm and muggy.
    Ian
    #20