Adventures of Blaster and Dorito--Trans Lab 2011

Discussion in 'Americas' started by blaster11, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Squidmark

    Squidmark a.k.a. "The Colonel"

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    285
    Location:
    The banks of the mighty Nissitissit River
    OK, sorry. Both of those were too strong. If all you have is two weeks, go for it. I'm sure you'll find the trip to be an excellent adventure however you do it and whatever else you do (or don't do).

    Good luck!
    #21
  2. REAPER_ONE

    REAPER_ONE YOU'RE DONE

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,221
    Colonel.. appreciate the advice and the link... all good stuff. :D Each adventurer has their own experience and it looked like yours had some lessons learned. Please continue to give us the good word!:thumb
    #22
  3. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
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    3,450
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    Hotel recommendations aka places I used on my ride and would use again
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Labrador</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">City</st1:placeType></st1:place> – Two Seasons Inn
    <CITE>www.twoseasonsinn.com<o:p></o:p></CITE>
    <CITE><o:p></o:p></CITE>
    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on"><CITE></CITE></st1:placeName></st1:place>
    <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on"><CITE>Goose</CITE></st1:placeName><CITE> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Bay</st1:placeType></CITE></st1:place><CITE><o:p></o:p></CITE>
    <CITE>Royal Suites<o:p></o:p></CITE>
    http://www.royalinnandsuites.ca/location.html
    <o:p></o:p>

    Port Hope Simpson
    Alexis Hotel</SPAN>Address:</SPAN><?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><v:shape id=_x0000_i1025 style="WIDTH: 12pt; HEIGHT: 12pt" alt="Station is accessible" type="#_x0000_t75"></v:shape><v:shape id=iwstar style="WIDTH: 0.75pt; HEIGHT: 0.75pt" alt="" type="#_x0000_t75" o:spid="_x0000_i1026"><v:imagedata o:href="http://maps.gstatic.com/intl/en_us/mapfiles/transparent.png" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\mcover\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtml1\01\clip_image002.gif"></v:imagedata></v:shape>&#8206;<o:p></o:p>
    </SPAN><st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">3 Alexis Drive</st1:address></st1:Street>
    Port Hope Simpson, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">NL</st1:City> <st1:postalCode w:st="on">A0K 4E0</st1:postalCode>, <st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region></st1:place>
    (709) 960-0228
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Plum Point Motel
    about 5 miles south of the St Barbe ferry landing. You can’t miss it.
    #23
  4. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Jan 31, 2007
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    3,450
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    #24
  5. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,119
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    I rode the TLH twice, in September 2009 and August/September 2010. Ride report links are in my sig below.

    I would recommend pushing the trip back a couple weeks -- the bug situation is much better in September. On the '09 trip we never even used our bug spray, let alone our headnets, and on this year's trip the bug spray and headnets were only used occasionally.

    The Phase III section between HV-GB and Cartwright Junction is finished -- but be aware that the road crews are now hard at work paving Phase I between Lab City and HV-GB. So you will encounter construction zones there, as well as plenty of freshly graded gravel. I know it's a little disappointing that the road is being paved, but think of the paved sections as a chance to get a good look at the landscape around you -- it's pretty phenomenal, but you don't get to see much of it while riding the gravel because you're too busy concentrating on the road.

    Little of that work had begun yet when I did the trip in '09, and the road conditions were largely very good (plenty of solid surface to ride on where the gravel had been scraped away). This year's trip was much more difficult because nearly the entire road was loose gravel with few or no tracks in it. So be prepared for wildly variable conditions.

    Have a great time!

    --mark
    #25
  6. RFlagg42

    RFlagg42 One hoopy frood....

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    More on hotels

    If you have to stay in a motel the night before taking the ferry from Labrador to Newfoundland, we found it difficult to find a place in Labrador, but we drove a few miles to Quebec and found a great motel for motorcycles....
    #26
  7. 6USMC6

    6USMC6 R.I.P. Party Boss

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,826
    Location:
    The "Upper" Valley of the Shenandoah.
    I got a couple of equipment questions - primarily aimed at those of you who have already run the trip.
    First, I going to sell the SMR and get something lower and more suited to rough roads (KTM Adventure, BMW GS, BMW R - the Beemers can be lowered relatively easily.

    Now, based on what I'm reading here, ground clearance doesn't appear to be a problem so lowering the bike a bit shouldn't be an issue, correct? (IIRC, Dana's bike is lowered and that should include lowered suspension).

    What about tires? Are knobbies necessary or would something like the Scorpion Sync found on the KTM Adv work?

    I'm going to have to do a lot of the prep work blind as I can not ride for approx 6 months and more than likely 8 or 9 - which makes late August, early September prime time.
    #27
  8. lakota

    lakota Geeser

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,450
    Location:
    Annapolis MD
    there should be no problem with lowered suspension.
    i used TKCs front and rear. was very comfortable with them. depending on your skill level any tire will work. i would prob use tourances if i did it again as there will be even more tarmac next year.
    #28
  9. 6USMC6

    6USMC6 R.I.P. Party Boss

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    Location:
    The "Upper" Valley of the Shenandoah.
    Thanks.
    #29
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,354
    you probably only have three partial days on gravel, otherwise you're on paved roads your whole route.

    the problem is that you never know what the gravel is going to look like and whether it will be wet or dry. you might be running 50-60mph on loose gravel, maybe higher if the surface is beaten down. i'd rather be on TKCs, or similar. it's the day long high sustained speeds on marbles that makes it very different from riding forest service roads.

    you sure as heck don't want to get above manic 5 and wish you were on different tires.
    #30
  11. 6USMC6

    6USMC6 R.I.P. Party Boss

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    The "Upper" Valley of the Shenandoah.
    No, and I don't need to crash and wreck the surgeons good work.

    Thanks JD!
    #31
  12. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,119
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    The only time ground clearance might be an issue is on the Phase II section between Cartwright Junction and Red Bay -- both times I've ridden it, parts of that road were heavily potholed and very rough. For this it would be helpful to have 6" or so of suspension travel just to avoid bottoming it out, but for the rest of the road, suspension travel is a lot less important than how effective the suspension is and what sort of tires you're running.

    I would definitely recommend knobby tires. TKC-80s work well. I personally would not run the Trans-Lab with anything less. You just don't know what sort of conditions you'll find once you get up there.

    --mark
    #32
  13. tsilliker

    tsilliker Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    I must also agree with those recommending knobbies. I rode it this year on a
    KLR650 with Dunlop D606 tires and felt they were really necessary.
    The construction between Lab City and the Goose made that part quite
    Knarly.

    A close call on 389 in Quebec also made me REALLY glad for the extra traction.
    Cheap insurance on your life.
    #33
  14. REAPER_ONE

    REAPER_ONE YOU'RE DONE

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,221
    Again, thanks to all for sharing your own experiences and tagging to this site. Tomorrow, Blaster and I have our kickoff brainstorming session for the trip. Our focus is to build basically three packages that the group will vote on. These will take in account cost, time, and route. If you have a checklist, schedule, route or just more suggestions please post it here. Blaster and I will keep you in the loop to help guide our journey.
    #34
  15. blaster11

    blaster11 Challenge X-cepted

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    May 7, 2008
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    Location:
    Southern Maryland
    I added ferry information, travel guide links, weather link, and a few other things on the first page. Keep checking back and thanks for all the input so far!
    #35
  16. Sawdoc

    Sawdoc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    I may want to tag along, i live in the east coast and planning on doing that route. I would be able to meet in Quebec , maybe Baie Comeau . the timing is good and i would be riding my 06 KLR ( TKC,s by the way nothing less up there ) . Being a native of the east and having travelled that general area, bring lots of bug spray for August. I can camp and or do the Hotel thing, which always seems to be a great idea at the end of a very long day.

    Sawdoc
    #36
  17. blaster11

    blaster11 Challenge X-cepted

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    Sawdoc,

    Welcome aboard and hope to ride with you this coming year! :thumb
    #37
  18. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
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    Location:
    New Melbourne, Newfoundland
    knobbies are nice when riding freshly graded sections, sounds like the new section is getting better too. Lots of local information to be found on ridetherock.com too
    #38
  19. Sawdoc

    Sawdoc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    New Brunswick Canada
    Thanks Bruce, i will keep watching the thread, and i expect at the end of the day i will try to tag along from Baie Comeau thru the ferry in Blanc Saiblon. I am pretty sure i will take the ferry at Port au Basque then head for the south shore and up to Kingston N.S ( near Digby ) to visit my daughter and granddaugheter at the Airforce base. Then home to Fredericton New Brunswick actually on your route. One idea you may want to consider is that i hear from some of my transpoatation buddies the "Cat" may be back in service this year from Yarmouth to Bar Harbour . This may be a consideration you want to keep in mind.

    Regards
    Rodney
    #39
  20. blaster11

    blaster11 Challenge X-cepted

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    Sawdoc,

    That's good news on the CAT, we were just talking about that yesterday and wishing it was in service! :rayof
    #40