Ohio to St. John's, NL (~4,700 miles) - Help with planning, please?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Cerberus83, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    Well... I know where I'll be grabbing dinner while in St. John's

    The Duke (1:09 minute mark and here's the menu) :slurp:D
    #61
  2. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Between St Brides and Branch there are only two turns to the left. One is the bird sanctuary at Cape St Marys. Steep cliffs and popular with the tourists but it is very foggy usually. The other is Point Lance with a long sandy beach. Only a few miles apart but a world of difference.
    #62
  3. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    Thanks murph! I the day I disembark my only "planned" route is to ride into St. John's, so I should have all the time I need (I hope). However, looking at GMaps, to ride both of the routes you suggested is an additional 1h and 45mins (link here) - is this correct?

    Also, thoughts on Pippy Park? Looks like the only campground near St. John's...
    #63
  4. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    8 miles down and back each way X2 does not translate into 90 minutes of travel time but if it is a sunny day you will want to take some pics.
    Pippy park is a campground right in the heart of the city next to our Legislature. I don't camp there because i live here so it is kinda like asking what the motel is like down the road from your house. From what i have been told by tourists it is ok.
    Usually when somebody comes here i take them around and show them the sights. Max384 dropped in last year and his RR shows a few spots i took him.
    And the Duke as well as the Ship are both good pubs i am told.
    #64
  5. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    Touché! :D

    I'm quite stoked about this trip!!
    #65
  6. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    Deleted.
    #66
  7. AlecMyrddyn

    AlecMyrddyn Been here awhile

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    You can request free Travel Guides/Maps & such from the Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism Bureau. My parents went a couple years ago and said they were helpful. I was warned the free paper copies might take a while though, so order soon. There are downloadable versions as well.

    http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/PlanYourTrip/TravelBrochures

    They also have an iOS mobile App.

    http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/PlanYourTrip/MobileApp

    It might not be strictly necessary, but I called my insurance company and had them print a Canadian Certificate of Insurance to carry with me.

    Make sure you have your passport or passport card, if you haven't ordered it, do so soon.

    See you on the ferry on the 28th!

    -Alec
    #67
  8. AlecMyrddyn

    AlecMyrddyn Been here awhile

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    51 days 'til I hop on the bike and head north toward Nova Scotia and Newfoundland! :clap

    I need to start firming up my plans for the ride up and back in terms of where I'm staying each night so I can make reservations. Unlike Cerberus83, my girl and I won't be camping. Real beds every night are a must.

    In trying to keep to 300 miles or less per day, I'm thinking of the following as a plan, and looking for any lodging, pit-stop or route advise any of you FFs, I mean "Fellow Inmates", might have... :ear

    Day 1 - Saco, ME to St. Stephen, NB (~250 miles)
    The fun section for the day will be Route 9 from Bangor to Calais. From Saco to Augusta will definitely be 95/295. Augusta to Bangor might be via 202 for variety if we set off early enough and want to avoid more highway. I'd love to push further to say St. John, NB on the first day, but my girl is worried about wearing ourselves out on the first day. Have to remember that I lose an hour when I cross the border into New Brunswick as they use Atlantic Standard Time. ​
    Day 2 - St. Stephen, NB to ~Truro NS (~270 miles)
    It looks like this will be a day of boring Canadian Slab? NB-1 E to the Trans-Canadian Highway 2 E to NS 104 E. I might push as far as New Glasgow, another 35 miles down the road, since day 3 has to be short...
    Day 3 - Truro, NS to North Sydney NS (by 3pm!) (~190 miles)
    Looks like there's more options for "fun" routes to get to North Sydney, but I do need to be there by 3pm to board the ferry to Argentia. It's NS104 to Cape Breton Island, then I'm not sure which route will be the most fun and allow me to get to North Sydney by 3pm... Any suggestions? Will need pit stops for bathrooms and such along the way. It'll be a Friday during the day, so hopefully traffic won't be a concern?

    1. NS 105 E - I assume this is the "boring" route, but faster? North of the Bras d'Or Lake.
    2. NS 105 E to 223 E - http://goo.gl/maps/R2dwq - through the "middle" of the Bras d'Or Lake.
    3. NS 104 E - http://goo.gl/maps/bhQNF - South of the Bras d'Or Lake.

    Tolls on above Canadian Routes?


    It looks like there's a $4 CAN toll on NS 104 in the Cobequid Pass. Any other tolls to worry about? It appears my EZPass won't work, and I'll need cash. Any where else?


    General Riding Tips for Canada?



    I've read not to go more than 10kph above the limit on the major roads as they are heavily patrolled and you will get ticketed, other than that, what do I do to avoid being lectured and fined by a Mountie?


    What about riding Newfoundland? I know Saint Johns is a decently sized city, so probably has a few officers patrolling it and the Trans-Canadian Highway, but what about the rest of the Avalon Peninsula? I enjoy spirited riding when it's safe. I'm going to stick to daytime riding, and avoid dawn, dusk and the night because I do not want to hit a moose, thank you. :huh
    #68
  9. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    Your day 2 route is long and boring. It's very easy to get on the throttle and end up going faster than you realize. Last year I got a $170 ticket in New Brunswick on Route 1 or 2 (can't remember). Wasn't paying attention and was going too fast. I'm usually pretty good about keeping only a few mph over the speed limit, but every damn time I looked down I was going too fast.

    The mountie that pulled me over was pretty nice about it and actually gave me a break at $170. He wrote it up at a lower speed than I was actually going. He told me that basically no cop will stop you for 10kph over and that most would let 20kph slide.
    #69
  10. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    St. Stephen to Truro doesn't have to be boring. Long is a matter of opinion.

    I have gotten off of 1 and used roads that are roughly parallel to it. Some are a bit rougher but nothing harsh. I'll admit to not knowing exactly where I've been although I won't admit to being lost.

    There are fewer options between St. Stephen and St. John, but plenty of secondary roads northeast of St. John.
    #70
  11. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    HA! Guess I'm not the only one counting down the days :D Funny thing is I'm reading some older RR's about camping (what [NOT] to do) and as excited as I am, I have a feeling that on the way back from NL, I may end up grabbing a motel or two :rofl

    As far as Day 3 goes, why not take southern route (option #3) and then the northern part (option #2) on your way back? Or vice versa? At least that's what I'm planning on doing...

    See ya soon :1drink
    #71
  12. AlecMyrddyn

    AlecMyrddyn Been here awhile

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    Your (awesome!) ride report must be where I remember that tip from. Thanks! I'll try to watch my speed...

    I started looking at other options after realizing how much highway was involved.

    http://goo.gl/maps/BxU4P is one possible more interesting option. Take the highway from St. Stephen through St. John and Moncton across the border into NS. Turn left at Amherst to the northern coast, taking "Nova Scotia Trunk 6 E" along the northern coast to New Glasgow. Anyone have any comments on that route? It's a little longer, but should be much more interesting. And it saves $4 in tolls! :rofl

    I was thinking the same thing. But I was also looking for any local input on the quality of those roads, etc. I'm obviously concerned about getting to the ferry on time on Day 3.
    #72
  13. AlecMyrddyn

    AlecMyrddyn Been here awhile

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    Riding & playing Tourist on the Avalon Peninsula

    First of all, thanks to Cerberus83 for starting this thread, and I hope I'm not being an ass and threadjacking it as I plan my own trip around the same time as well... :wink:

    What are folks' suggestions on the "must-see" parts of the Avalon Peninsula & St. Johns? One caveat... My girl has MS and not a lot of walking stamina. :cry Any walking or hiking needs to be limited to no more than a kilometer at a time with places to sit and rest in between. Longer hikes are unfortunately out of the question.

    I've got 4 full days in St. Johns. Some of that time will be spent visiting with my girl's friend, but I suspect during the days we'll be left to entertain ourselves for the most part.

    Rides!

    This is a motorcycle trip, so I do plan to get out to see some of Newfoundland itself! I have two loops in mind:

    Southern Avalon - http://goo.gl/maps/pl6Rz
    Take Route 10 south of Saint Johns along the coast. Route 90 back north. Possible stops at:

    Baccalieu Trail - http://goo.gl/maps/RPT3p
    Take Route 1 west to Route 75/70 north, back down route 80. No idea if there's anything specific to stop and see along this route. The obligatory picture at the Dildo sign?
    Greater Saint John's Touristy Things...
    What's a must see in and around Saint Johns?
    • Cape Spear - This is a must for me, a moment as the most easterly person on land in North America? Awesome!
    • Signal Hill & the Cabot Tower - I've heard this is just incredible for the view.
    • Johnson Geo Center Science Museum - It's just around the corner from Signal Hill. Good option for rainy weather...
    • The Rooms Museum - Another rainy day option. Exhibits and info about Newfoundland's history.
    • East Rider Motorcycle Museum - Can't find much info, but bikes are always fun!
    • A Whale Watch tour? Any recommendations? The one I've found so far is spendy @ $60 per person...
    #73
  14. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    Almost 2 weeks until my trip and while I'm the process of finalizing my plans (routes, packing list, contract info, etc), I wanted to know if buying 2" straps (for the ferry rides) is an overkill? I have plenty of 1" straps, but I thought buying 2" would be a good idea/investment... especially, if the seas get rough.

    Thoughts?
    #74
  15. max384

    max384 Bandaided

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    I wouldn't bother. The standard 1" ones should be more than enough. Besides, they have the large 2" straps available for free on the ferry for you to tie down your bike with. When I went over, I was the only motorcyclist there who had his own straps. Everyone else just used the ones provided. They weren't ratchet straps, but as long as you compressed the suspension a bit, they worked well. Nobody's bike went down on my way over, and the seas were fairly choppy that night. I only used the 1" ratchet straps I brought with me.
    #75
  16. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    Your route south of st. John's and back up thru Salmonier is a good one..

    Your other route when leaving St. John's, go to CBS (conception bay south), take the coast thru Holyrood, Harbour Main, Bay Roberts, Harbour Grace, Carbonear, thru Victoria, Salmon Cove up the coast to Northern Bay sands, keep following the coast around then go go back south towards Dildo. Lots of great little towns to ride thru, almost no traffic, and good winding coastal roads.

    Salmon Cove has a nice beach to visit, and about 6 kms north you'll be along a very high shoreline which locals call Spout Cove, it has spectacular views and whales are easily seen and is an iceberg alley depending of course when you're there. Don't walk near the cliffs...

    Stop into a roadside takeout called Hogans in Northern Bay Sands and get there famous, chips-dressing-gravy. Post pics here....:1drink
    #76
  17. Cerberus83

    Cerberus83 The Wingman

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    Well, I just got notified that our ferry to Argentia has been delayed / rescheduled. Originally, it supposed to sail at 5PM on Friday and arrive around 9AM on Saturday; however, due to some circumstances, it is now sailing at 1AM and supposed to arrive around 6PM (Saturday).

    Although this is not a huge problem for me, it does mess up my plans a bit. What I was hoping to do was ride on Saturday morning through Southern Avalon (arrive to St. John's around 7PM-ish) and then ride around Baccalieu Trail (peninsula) on Sunday (say, 9AM-3PM).

    Given the issue with the ferry, this is no longer an option. Since Saturday is pretty much a wash and I'm only staying another day in St. John's, the question for you all is should I spend the Sunday to ride:

    A) Avalon

    B) Baccalieu

    ...and why?

    Thanks!!
    #77
  18. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Ride with the weather.
    A southwest wind will mean fog as you get near the bottom of the Avalon Peninsula. I have run the Irish Loop out of St Johns in the sun but from Portugal Cove South to Gaskers was a whiteout. If the wind is North/northeast it will be cold (and likely foggy) up around Bay de Verde.
    #78
  19. AlecMyrddyn

    AlecMyrddyn Been here awhile

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    I got that same notification! I am bummed. Really hope they don't delay the return ferry I'm taking on July 4th, 'cause that'll screw me up big time.

    On the plus side, if you weren't already planning on riding the Cabot Trail, it might now be an option. Or at least some of it...

    See you in a week!

    -Alec
    #79
  20. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    So what route did you take?? How was it?
    #80