Key West to Shediac, NB, Canada, avoiding the slab

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Kedgi, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Some of you may have read my previous ride report. Trans Labrador Highway Twice in One Summer. Here is a link to that for those that haven't had the chance.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=766142

    The following is the beginning of my ride report of the next adventure....Key West, Florida to Shediac, NB, Canada

    Here is a look at our intended route, or at least the planned portion of our route. Beyond this we are flexible. Our route from the northernmost portion of this map on will depend on time, family, and work commitments but we figure we should basically head for the Scranton PA area and then ride the Green Mountains of Vermont, the White Mountains of NH and then across Maine into NB and home. We plan on about 500kms per day, ten to twelve days in total, allowing time to see the sights.

    Our ride will include the Tail of the Dragon, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Shenandoah Parkway.

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=1bKjqQx7Clm-3M0xESsndEICIKKb4dihWD0ZS6XKNyPMop_ttU3_Cxp3eMux7

    There are four of us going on the ride. We all live in the Shediac, NB area of Eastern Canada.

    We contracted Haulbikes to haul our motorcycles down to Miami. Haulbikes doesn't come to Canada so this required a chilly ride to Calais Maine to load the bikes up to be trucked to Florida. Calais is about a three hour ride from home. We rode through a little rain with snow mixed in it was about plus 4C.

    We hope it is a lot warmer when we fly down to pick up the bikes in Miami on May 10th.

    Here is a short video of part of the ride to Calais and the loading of our bikes. Can you tell there was a little separation anxiety?

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZuEu2IM2IsA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    The riders are from left to right, Marc, Mike, Mike and myself (not pictured) on a Varadero, a Triumph, a V-Strom and my KLR650 respectively
    [​IMG]

    Mike brought his Triumph down in a pickup truck so we all had a way to get home. I missed the loading of it. I was refueling at the time. I went on reserve unexpectedly on the way down with only 290kms on a tank that usually allows for 400kms of riding, thanks to fairly high speed, (Haulbikes was waiting for us), and a strong headwind.

    We were lucky to get the bikes to Calais when we did. Snow can be a problem this time of year in the Maritimes. a few days later, this is how I spent my Easter Sunday, on my Kubota, enjoying 22cms of snow
    [​IMG]

    I hope you will enjoy following along. Now we just have to wait for May 10.

    More to come......
    #1
  2. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Two more New Brunswick riders, Mike and Brad have made plans to meet us in Deal's Gap. They will ride south from Shediac on the same day the four of us fly to Miami. When we meet up in Deal's Gap we will all ride north together.
    #2
  3. dovetailredux

    dovetailredux Adventurer

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    I enjoyed your TLH report Kedji, so I'm signed up for this one too. Good luck.

    Doug
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  4. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Thanks Doug!

    One month from today, we're on our way.

    Dwight (Kedgi)
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  5. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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  6. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    With our departure getting closer we have decided to get everyone together for one final meeting on April 26

    I'm going to try and get a photo of all the riders at the meeting including those that will ride down from New Brunswick to meet us in Deal's Gap

    Haulbikes has kept in touch with us and they will have the bikes in Miami as close as possible to May 9th, the day before our arrival.

    Counting the days now!
    #6
  7. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    On Monday I seized up. Not my bike, Me.

    I watched Sunday's Nascar Race with my wife, Angele, and during a commercial I went out for a smoke (It's my ONLY bad habit)

    While I was outside I had a sneezing attack. You know, the kind where you sneeze uncontrollably about ten times. I heard something go pop in my ribs. Instant wicked stabbing pain.

    I came in, watched the end of the race, took an ibuprofen and went to bed early. I had already had a few beers and I don't think I felt the pain as intensely as I might have had I been completely sober.

    It turns out I had aggravated a pull in my intercostal muscles caused when shoveling left over snow from the Easter Sunday storm we had (pictured above). Intercostal muscles are the muscles that are in between each rib.

    Monday morning I could not get out of bed. Angele tried to help me and I got as far at the bathroom door and completely seized up. I couldn't take a step without severe pain in my ribs and I couldn't raise my arms to put a shirt on, nothing I was locked to my bathroom door frame. After 20 minutes of increasingly worse spasms, Angele called the ambulance. They came and the attendants told me I was having "quivering back spasms" as bad as they had ever seen. They put ice on the affected area which after several minutes allowed me to sit down in an office chair we have. The attendants said they were taking me to hospital and no matter how they got me out of the house their best advice was "It's going to hurt getting you to the ambulance so we suggest you scream loudly and a lot because it adds drama for the neighbors." I followed their advice.

    At the hospital I was given a shot of some painkiller and an IV drip of some narcotic and after about an hour the spasm subsided but I was still very sore. They sent me home and told me to go to physio right away.

    That afternoon I was sent to physio. I told the therapist about my upcoming bike trip. I figured it was a washout for sure.

    He gave me exercises to do and explained that aggravated intercostal muscles contract and can contract severely and knot or tear as they attempt to protect your internal organs causing severe stabbing pain. Fortunately mine don't appear to be torn, which can require surgery to correct, only really knotted up. He said the exercises would release these muscles and I would be fine in a week or so. WHO KNEW????

    In any case now, three full days later I'm still a bit sore and doing my exercises and I am feeling 80% better and have no doubt the therapist was right and I'll be able to do the trip.

    Final meeting of our group, before departure on May 10th, is tonight. I'll try to get a picture of all the guys.
    #7
  8. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    We had our final pretrip meeting tonight. Not all could attend but we had a good time talking about previous trips and planning the meet between northbound and southbound riders on this trip. We used one of our guys offices which makes a great briefing room

    [​IMG]

    From left to right, Marc, Myself, and the three southbound riders, Brad, Mike and Steve

    The southbound riders plan to leave Shediac on May 11th, the day after we fly to Florida and meet us in Deal's Gap

    With everything ready, now we just wait to go....
    #8
  9. C-Stain

    C-Stain Accredited Nincompoop

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  10. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Happy to have a Maritime lurker aboard!
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  11. jeffgrig

    jeffgrig jeffgrig

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    Bring on the adventure! I look forward to reading about your travels. Looks like a good bunch of guys...
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  12. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Hi Jeff

    Welcome along on the adventure!
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  13. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    One week and counting until we fly to Miami to start our adventure. I'll be sending updates and photos from the road using a new netbook, at least that's the plan, we'll see how that goes.

    I'm taking a GoPro with me, if time allows I'll try and edit a bit of video and include that too. I find video editing kind of slow so I may have to do that when we get back but we'll see. I will send lots of pictures for sure.

    Gables Honda/Kawasaki of Miami has been kind enough to receive our bikes and hold them for us, making the whole trip possible:thumbup

    Lidia Martinez in Gables service department has been excellent and arranged to do some last minute maintenance for us like tire installs etc prior to our arrival. Awesome!

    Thanks Lidia

    If you're riding in the Miami area, Gables Motorsports has treated us very well.

    Stay tuned......

    The ride is about to start:ricky
    #13
  14. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    I hope you can afford the trip after your medical bills. Oh no wait...Canada...national health... Oh well it's 85 degrees and no snow in southernmost Florida so back spasms aren't needed here. Which is just as well as they bankrupt people here.
    #14
  15. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    In Canada we are lucky to be able to go to hospital when we need to but nothing is ever free. A dozen beer here is $22.00:eek1 and gas is over a $1/gallon more than in the USA. Even if you don't drink beer they still get you, a gallon of milk is over $7.00 To top it all off we're paying 13.5% sales tax on everything with very few exceptions, like food.

    We pay for our "free" healthcare in many ways.

    Looking forward to some warm weather. It was 11C here today, about 52 F degrees

    I envy you living in the Keys. I make at least one trip to Key West every winter if I can.

    My "happy place" is the Green Parrot
    #15
  16. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    Hello from Ft. Myers

    It is 5:30am. I'm up early just to write a few quick words about our trip so far.

    We left Thursday morning as scheduled. Up at 3:30am to pick up the guys in our van and go to the airport. We were at the airport by 5am. Angele was kind enough to get up and drop us off and then drive the van home.

    We departed on time, arrived in Newark NJ, changed flights, flew to Miami, took a taxi to Gables Motorsports to pick up our bikes. Hualbikes had delivered them on May 9th. Excellent service on their part.

    We picked up the bikes, Gables had done the work we requested and even washed the bikes. Very nice of them.

    We still had some work to do to get ready. Marc had received his new Panniers at home in Shediac the day after we shipped the bikes south so he had to install them in Gables parking lot in 90 degree heat.

    Mike R and I headed for Key West ahead of Marc and Mike M and arrive at 7:20 PM after a very slow ride on the Overseas Highway, thanks to heavy traffic, in high heat and humidity. The others caught up with us in Key West after the Pannier installation was complete.

    We spent the night in Key West. I had a chance to have a short visit with many of my friends there.

    We got going late on Friday morning and headed north. It took us a while to get going thanks to the incredibly long day on Thursday. The ride up through the Keys was very slow. Heavy Traffic! high humidity, 93 degrees. Wow! What a shock to the system after coming from Canada. We made it up through the Keys and then rode the Tamiami trail over to Ft Myers and stopped short of our goal of Sarasota at about 7pm when faced with thundershowers.

    Today the plan is to head for Tallahassee. It is supposed to be very hot again today. 93 with high humidity. We paln to be on the road at 7am. The others will be up in 15 minutes for breakfast.

    I will write more later and provide more detail but it was fun seeing alligators at the side of the road and signs warning of Panther crossings yesterday, we'll see what today holds.


    Here is a look at Seven Mile Bridge and Pigeon Key

    <iframe width="1280" height="720" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/xk1QBrzwY84?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    More to follow......
    #16
  17. C-Stain

    C-Stain Accredited Nincompoop

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    As I was told on my trip down south a couple of years ago, "Ride Fast and Reckless. Have fun, but be safe!".

    Waiting for the updates!
    #17
  18. Kedgi

    Kedgi Banned

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    It's early Sunday Morning and we are in Tallahassee. Light rain and about 78 degrees. The rain is kind of nice after blistering heat the last few days but it is ironic that when were are here to ride the "drought is ending" is all you hear on the TV Weather.

    Yesterday was frustrating to say the least.

    We had planned for an early start. 7am. It was 8am by the time everyone was ready.

    I had an oil filler cap issue. I have one of those Eagle Manufacturing Caps (it was on the bike when I bought it) and it stripped where you put the hex key in because the cap was on so tight. I had had the oil changed at my Kawasaki shop and I'm not sure if they over tightened it, but I really doubt it. It may have been the extreme heat had made it so tight. In any case I had a problem. I was getting close to the bottom oil mark and i could not get the cap off.

    I told the guys I needed to get this issue addressed before we went too far. I agreed that we should make some time in the relatively cool morning but said if we saw a Walmart I wanted to get some channel locks and remove the cap. We went up the I-75 to get through Tampa. Not my preference. I do not like riding the loaded KLR on a busy Interstate. There was a strong crosswind just to complicate things.

    We rode for about an hour, stopped for gas and there was a Walmart across the street. I could have solved the oil cap issue in five minutes. This is where problems started. One of the guys was determined to make time in the cooler morning air and wanted to address my issue later in the day when we took a break from the heat. My idea is if you have oil filler cap issues in 100 degree heat and you are riding as a group you all have a problem that needs to be addressed asap. In any case I was a way from the bottom oil mark and I agreed to push on.

    We rode up to the I-275 at Tampa and almost immediately after that exit there's another exit with a small sign, "last exit before tolls". I took the exit. I was in the lead and I took it when I saw the small sign because fighting the crosswind was treacherous for me around those trucks on the Interstate. (I had told the guys that I was struggling on the Interstate in the wind at the last gas stop) When I saw the sign, "last exit before tolls" it occurred to me that the toll was for the skyway bridge in Tampa which I had seen from the air a few months earlier on a flight to Key West with a stop in Tampa. There was no way I wanted to go over that bridge in the wind.

    One of the guys, the last guy in line, missed the exit. We were now separated. He had no phone. One of us waited at the intersection for him to return. I went with another to the nearest gas station. My oil was at the bottom mark, the weather was getting hot. Now I had a real problem.

    The missing rider came back and looked for us but somehow he and the guy and the intersection did not see each other when he came back, looked for us and got on the highway again and headed north again.

    We waited and waited. Finally I said I have to find a fix to my oil cap issue and I headed north on Route 41 in search of help. I found a small automotive garage that after some trying with a socket set that looked like an easy out that would not budge the cap, he got the cap off with large channel locks. ( I didn't like that Eagle Cap when I bought the bike used. You always have to have a hex key with you to add oil. Who would have though about it stripping)?

    The rest of the day was spent trying to regroup in 100 degree heat. Phone calls, directions, re-directions, missed mettings by 5 minutes after two hour waits, more long waits in brutal heat. It turns out the missing rider was at a rest area on the I 75 north of Tampa and borrowed a phone to call me. I called but couldn't reach the guys we sent looking for him. I couldn't call the guy waiting in the sun at the intersection, because he too, didn't have a phone.

    I should say I have only recently met these guys. Although we all live in the same small town I am relatively new to the area. I moved back East from Vancouver. I had never traveled with them before. They are all good riders and good guys and I don't know how you ride in a group and avoid issues like starting early or late, how to address priorities related to mechanical issues, route planning, timing etc successfully. I do know that this is the second major trip in a year where it has been an issue with new riding partners.

    We talked and planned at length for this trip. I expressed the concern that I was riding a KLR, a bike not well suited to Interstate travel at speed, fully loaded. The other guys are on much larger displacement bikes with huge street tires. Quite a different animal than my KLR and I had suggested in the beginning that I would truck my bike with them and then do my own trip.

    In the end that Is what I've decided to do. They are currently on the way to the Barber Motorsports motorcycle museum in Birmingham. I am headed to Talladega to see the Nascar track which is one of the things I most wanted to see and discussed at length in the pre ride meetings. Yesterday morning I was told we wouldn't have time to see it. There is a disjoint here in riding plans. I feel like I've driven the length of Florida without really seeing much and that's why I don't have many photos so far. I did take some video in the Keys with my GoPro but I haven't edited it yet. I'll post it here when I do get the chance to sit down and edit it.

    I just got a call from one of the two riders headed south from Shediac with the plan to meet us in Deal's Gap. One of then is having issues with his wrists and is going to nurse that back home. The other rider who is on an extended trip has decided he will likely skip the Deal's Gap idea and head West to get out of the rain. His eventual destination is Edmonton, AB

    I am on my way to Talladega later this morning. I see from the weather that the drought is ending from here to Maine on the East coast. I may head north on a more westerly track.


    More to follow........




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    #18
  19. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Great seafood in Shediac fellas!! Lobster capital of the world. :dg
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  20. C-Stain

    C-Stain Accredited Nincompoop

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    What works well is to decide where the start and end point of each day is. If someone misses and exit or gets lost, the end point of the day is X. As far as mechanical problems go, 1 rider remains with the broken one and they play catch-up. "Leave no man behind"

    It certainly helps to have similar displacement bikes, especially if the plan is to take the Interstate. Wait...who wants to ride on the Interstate, anyways? :huh

    :clap Ride yer own ride! After years of traveling with someone else, there is a comfort factor to solo travel, especially if you all don't have the same riding style. Have fun Kedji...following along.
    #20