Adventures of Blaster and Dorito--Trans Lab 2011

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

  1. 4badboyz

    4badboyz Been here awhile

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    WOW! you definitely have the details covered.:D
    I'll just pack the night before, grab my wallet and hit the road. Whatever happens happens:freaky
  2. tsilliker

    tsilliker Adventurer

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    I'm mostly inclined to ride this way as well.
  3. blaster11

    blaster11 Challenge X-cepted

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    Are you still planning to leave Toronto August 20th and return Sept 10-17th ish? Hopefully we can meet up somewhere along the way.
  4. willys

    willys Long timer

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    But when it's snowing outside and it's freezing.......you can't ride....so.....it's time to tinker and farkle and if all else fails.....plan the summer's adventures.....will you actually ride them as planned....probably not.....but when confronted with a ferry system that likes to screw with you...it's best to at least plan around them as not to allow them to ruin your adventure like they hope they will.....try as hard as they may.

    The only real planning is for that crossing and when you will hit it IMHO...the rest is....complete enjoyment in the planning and riding ...oh and the farkling to make sure you and your bike is up to the task at hand.

    It gives us something to dream for.....during the cold dark days of winter......how else are we to survive...? Snowmobiling....augh!!!!!:huh
  5. 4badboyz

    4badboyz Been here awhile

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    Oakville.
    I'm thinking of leaving Toronto as soon as the kids are back in school. The tourist traffic should be lighter and I wont have to pre book the ferry for a specific day. It looks like you will be a week or so ahead of me.
  6. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

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    I'm following this thread for sure.
    Chilango, just wondering why you are taking a ferry from Lewisport to Cartwright?
    The western shore of NL is simply amazing (especially the Port au Port peninsula and Gros Morne)

    I'm planning to do the TLH counter clockwise to make catching the ferry from NS to NL easier to plan. I want to to the TT as well but maybe 2 shorter trips as opposed to 1 long one.
    Not sure yet.
  7. chilango

    chilango super-user

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    I was playing around with google.maps. You are not the first one to chastise me on the choice of ferries. Apparently there is some viking thing I must visit as well... And the ferry is much quicker.

    Last year we left NYC and arrived in Radisson in three days. I was back in the city six days after I left. Too many miles, and not enough roses...

    Next year, I plan on taking it a bit easier. Some of my buddies have shown interest in the "island" portion of the loop, while others want to do the trans-taiga bit.

    I want to take at the very least sixteen days (leave NYC on a Sat, arrive on a Sunday).

    We saw ONE fox. That was the extent on the wildlife we encountered. I am determined to see bear this time, that's why we are camping next to trash bins, and the trash areas of villages (not true, but will visit them, as I hear the bears do hand out there). Moose. I want to see moose. And an iceberg or two. I hear scotch and iceberg, er ice, is a match made in heaven.
  8. RFlagg42

    RFlagg42 One hoopy frood....

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    Guaranteed bear sighting....

    Churchill Falls dump on Monday night... there were about 5 or 6 within 100 feet of us and they were too full to chase us, at least I hope they were; maybe we just got lucky

    [​IMG]
  9. willys

    willys Long timer

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    I know it's a bit out of your way....but the best location for wildlife I have ever seen or experienced was on the Cassier Highway coming back from the Dempster this summer......I gave up counting after a while.....you know how you count the number of sightings in your head.....well after so many you just enjoy the moment......unforgetable! Except when you need to anchor up from 100kmph when a frigg'in mother moose and her calf step out in front of you! Then you think.......hmmmm....maybe I need to slow down and not enjoy the road as much as the wildlife!:huh

    But I am surprised you saw no wildlife on your Radisson trip......especially if you did the TT as well......?:huh
  10. jdrocks

    jdrocks Gravel Runner

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    that's like saying, if traveling to NYC, LA might be a little out of your way.

    only 4,000 miles, so 8,000 RT to see a few bears. hmmm, maybe you better just go to the dump at CF.
  11. Alvingee43

    Alvingee43 Geeser Adventure Rider

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    This is a great thread. I have read it all over the past several days. I plan to make this trip sometime in June. I will post my travel on ADVrider. I have gained much usable information from all the posts. I travel alone and will use motels and b & b's. My old bones don't like tent camping anymore. Made the trip to Alaska in 2009 and rode the Dempster to Inuvik, then to Prudhoe Bay. It was a great trip but now I need Labrador and Newfoundland for the rest of the Canadian Provinces and Territories.

    I hope you all have a wonderful trip. Ride safe!:clap
  12. chilango

    chilango super-user

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    I am planning on doing the TT next year, last year we only did James Bay road and the North road.

    The one fox we saw though, was a beaut!

    [​IMG]
  13. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    We did Manic5 to Churchill in one day, then Churchill to Port Hope the second day. Caught the morning ferry the third day. Not much to do up there but stand on the pegs and let her rip :evil Oh ya we had multiple breakdowns along the way which slowed us down (lost a few hours here and there), but we still never had to ride in the dark.

    I thought the coast line was the best part of the ride (secenery wise). YMMV
  14. MK Bike

    MK Bike D2T

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    Willys: I have a detailed sectional map of the TLH (Manic 5 to HVGB) made from various screen shots of the Canadian Dept of Natural Resources topographical map website.
    PM me if you want me to send you the booklet I made.
    We found this very valuable in planning our camp sites.
    There is an air strip in Gagnon. At the north end of the airstrip is a small road that leads to a lake. Perfect camp site.
    For the next 3 nights we camped at various spots picked from surveying these maps.

    Here is the main website: http://maps.nrcan.gc.ca/


    We did in 4 days. BUT we took our time. The next part of your post is key to your schedule....


    I would advise you not to count on everyone getting comfortable with gravel. My riding buddy had years of dirt riding experience but he was still very cautious with the gravel even after 3 days. Myself I never had any dirt or gravel experience and I was riding at 50 mph on the gravel after 3 days. So it can go either way. With a large group the potential for diversion between the gravel comfort riders (40-50 mph) and the non comfort gravel riders (30-40 mph) will increase. I would recommend that you plan accordingly.

    I have not yet finished my ride report (curse the work schedule) but here is a link: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=618482

    Mike.
  15. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Agreed. There are a lot of variables at play -- including the bike itself and its unique setup.

    When I rode the Trans-Lab in 2009 on my XR650L, we got lucky with good conditions, and I found the ride to be easy and fun. I did a lot of riding at 60-70mph and was comfortable on the gravel almost immediately, and at that speed the bike stabilized nicely over the gravel.

    When I rode it again this past fall on my Wee-Strom, I found it far more difficult. The conditions would have been more difficult on the Honda as well as there was a lot more loose, trackless gravel, but additionally, the Wee-Strom just didn't handle the sketchy stuff as well. Some Wee-Strom riders haven't had an issue; in my case, due perhaps to the suspension settings, overall weight, maybe even how the bike was loaded, I just could not find a speed at which the Strom stabilized the way the Honda did.

    With each bike and rider -- and the conditions they happen to encounter on the Trans-Lab any given day -- the circumstances will change.

    --mark
  16. High Side

    High Side Squidventurer

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    Hey Dudes !

    WoW, what a thread for this trip ! You have a link to my ride report at the first of the thread (Squidventure) that I finally finished yesterday. I've breezed through what you have here and its pretty impressive. We did this trip on five separate bikes all running different tires and we all made out fine, especially at the speed we were running at times.

    The main thing is to be prepared, but try not to over think it. We were lucky because the weather in late August/early September this year was fantastic. Next year maybe wet and cold ???

    Making sure your bike is up to the task is key. BRAND new tires (preferably TKC's) with new tubes. Good chains and sprockets where applicable. You will need gas jugs for the Goosebay - Port Hope Simpson phase III section. CHECK your battery before departure. I didn't and that cost us 1/2 a day and we were lucky.

    When you consider camping vs lodging consider this : With five of you going, it will often be not much of a price difference to go from a cabin rental vs. five separate camping sites. Also consider, like us, traveling with iPods, GPS's, laptops, cameras, helmet to helmet communicators (gotta have em) all run on power. Your not going to be charging those things up sticking them into a tree and campground power outlets can be few and do you trust leaving these high ticket items around getting charged ? Finally camping gear takes up the most space/weight on your ride. By the time I packed tent, mattress, footprint, chair, bags X 2 (didn't know how cold it would be) and cooking gear (not to mention food) your bike starts to look like a scene out of Beverly Hillbillies.

    We did camp for four out of our thirteen nights. If you stay overnight at Manic 5 make sure you find the area detailed in our ride report. It was by far the best place we stayed and it was free !!! That said, knowing what I know now, I would have forgone all that extra gear and weight and stayed with lodgings. A lighter bike will be your friend once that gravel goes loose :lol3. If you chose to camp than a bug mesh is mandatory. They are so bad that it will drive you insane and I'm not kidding.

    As I stated above try not to plan it out in too much detail. You are always a wipe out, mechanical failure or a slept in hangover from everything changing. We had planned on making Goosebay a two day stop over because that was roughly the 1/2 way point for us. That two day stopover coincided with the weekend and that was the best hit for us. Goosebay rocked, the bars and the people were great and I would go back just for that party alone.

    The best of luck with your trip lads. I'll leave you with this video (in case you haven't seen it yet). If you can post a 170km fly by while riding one handed holding a camera on the Phase III section of the Trans-Lab than I need you all to stop in Nova Scotia and party with me and my crew.

    Cheers (click on the block below)

    [​IMG]
  17. blaster11

    blaster11 Challenge X-cepted

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    I finished your ride report yesterday and thought you did an awesome job!!! Ride on! I will see about doing the 170km fly by for ya....I think its do able.
  18. High Side

    High Side Squidventurer

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    Thanks blaster11 !!!
    I appreciate your words and the fact that you are bringing your own fly by to the table will have me looking anxiously for your own ride report. Who knows, our paths may cross when you hit my home province of Nova Scotia. We venture up to do the Cabot Trail whenever we get the chance.

    Hope you all have the times of your lives :freaky
  19. blaster11

    blaster11 Challenge X-cepted

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    I hope so! Thanks for the motivation, I needed your ride report.
  20. willys

    willys Long timer

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    It's been snowing all night and hasn't stopped yet.....read the squid adventure.....has fueled me for the next clearing of the driveway!...Thanks again!:freaky