Small bikes amuse small minds!!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Outside, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    175
    "Hey, when's your vacation this year?"

    "Blah blah blah and August 24th. Not sure what I'll do though, my wife has a week's vacation less than I've got this year so I'll be solo."

    "Hey me too!"

    "Really? Man we should go on a ride somewhere".

    "Alright...hmmm...How about Nova Scotia?"

    "Sounds good!"

    And with that impromptu conversation the plans were made ...err... initiated. We talked about doing a 5 day trip so he checked with his wife and she suggested a 3 day trip. This is perfect I said, we're in a good negotiating position. Counter with 4 days she's sure to agree, after all its a great compromise. So he did and she made another counter offer of 2 days. At which point we offered 3 days to which she agreed. Men are such great negotiators. All kidding aside though it was awesome of her to supportive of our trip. Moe has 2 young'uns at home so she was going to have to be at two places at once all the time. (is that legible?)

    Fade back to conversation:

    "This should be great, I've been wanting to do a multiday ride for a while."

    "Yeah, I hope my bike makes it (Honda Magna 40), Needs a new back tire, plus it probably needs a valve adjustment,
    it kinda sputters at times."

    "I know, why don't you take my wife's bike?"

    "Are you sure she won't mind?"

    "Nah, she won't mind."

    For those who don't know, my wife's handle is Shiny. That bike is always spotless. She takes care of her stuff like they're museum pieces. She has a mountain bike from 1988 that still looks brand new. The only scratch on it is from when I borrowed it. She brings it up whenever she sees it. I think she gets some form of satisfaction out of it. A piece of evidence that proves that I'm an idiot. The more I thought of it, the more I realized that I may have made a promise that would send me back crestfallen with the all too familiar .."uhh I screwed up" facial expression and have to recind my offer.

    Conversation with Shiny:

    {nervously}
    "Umm honey...Do you think that, maybe...possibly...you'd..loan your bike to someone?"

    TO WHO??

    {more nervously}
    "Moe?"

    "Oh sure."

    Whew...I had no idea she held Moe in such high regard....Neither did he. We both agreed that he has her fooled.
    As the date approached we agreed that he'd come over to pick up the bike, rain or shine, Sunday August 23rd and we'd head out to his place before taking off Monday morning.

    On Thursday 20th I get an email from Moe that said the following:
    "Did you hear about Bill?"

    .....to be continued with many pics. Sorry no teasers....you can't have your pics until you've done your reading.
    #1
  2. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    175
    A little about the players in this story. This is me. Your narrator, a 30 something ball of nerves. New to riding this year, outdoor enthusiast and ATGATT.
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    This is Moe. Father of 2, been riding for years. As mellow as they come, a heck of a photographer and wtf does ATGATT mean?!
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    Oh yeah...Bill. Well with hurricane Bill on the way we decided to postpone by a day. So Monday evening Moe shows up and we head on down to his place. The next morning we got the bike's packed around 8:00 am.
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    Yep...2 XT225's. A bike so unintimidating they named it after a goat in Japan ...or a goat-type antilope. Either way, neither is top of the food chain.

    **Since both Moe and I were taking pictures, the letter "O" under the pictures mark the ones I took, those with an "M" are his! Another way of telling is the smudges that appear on most of mine. How's that for being smart. 3 Days of pictures and I forget to clean my lens.

    Moe's house is only a few minutes from the Nova Scotia border so after a quick breakfast in Sackville, we were soon at the Amherst information center.
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    We picked up a map and some info guides and jumped on the highway towards Truro. The highway isn't the ideal riding area for an XT but we were maintaining a speed of around 110 kms/h (almost 70mph). We eventually made it to Truro and jumped off the highway. Since we hadn't planned an exact route, out came the map and we picked a road that went in the general direction we wanted.

    Eventually we'd cross a river, the name of which escapes me. There was a sign indicating that it had the highest recorded water level at high tide in the world (the result of being fed by The bay of Fundy).
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    After riding for a while we stopped on the outskirts of Windsor and got a quick snack.
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    Noteworthy was the submarine sandwich Moe purchased which turned out to be more like a loaf of bread with a slice of ham hidden inside.

    From there we turned South towards Chester and Mahone Bay. The roads were in pretty good shape, better than Truro to Windsor and we made pretty good time. It felt pretty good getting to the southern coast.
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    Next stop, Lunenburg..
    #2
  3. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

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    Outside and Moe, great pics, great sense of humor/humour(lol) and love those pics of the PetroCanada stations.

    AT my age sure glad you changed the size of the script in your story.:evil

    gale
    #3
  4. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
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    175
    Thanks for the comments Gale!
    And thanks for pointing out the font. It didn't look right to me either.:lol3 Its fixed now.
    #4
  5. Gale B.T.

    Gale B.T. Long timer

    Joined:
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    Pagosa Springs, CO.
    Was not a problem, the font that is, and I must admit it fit the title and your story. I was just glad I did not have to hold the screen at arm's length just to read the captions. LOL:clap

    gale
    #5
  6. Buffalo Bill

    Buffalo Bill kickthetire.litethefire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
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    997
    Location:
    North Idaho
    :lurk
    #6
  7. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    USA
    Great! 3-day journey on small bikes, and you know I love those small bikes :evil

    Please give us your performance impressions as well. I'll be reading :lurk
    #7
  8. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Thanks Pedro. I'll give a little review at the end though my experience is limited. It may give beginners like me some usefull info.
    #8
  9. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
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    We took the old highway, #3, which hugged to the coast. This was a nice ride with beatiful coastal scenes and nice twisty roads. We weren't the only ones enjoying this stretch as we saw quite a few bikes, sportscars and convertables. We made our way through small town this and small town that then ended up in Lunenburg, home of the Bluenose II.

    History of the original Bluenose if interested: http://www.bluenose2.ns.ca/Legacy/HistoryoftheBluenose.html

    After riding all day, I was craving a beer. We found a nice pub and eatery overlooking the harbor. I asked the waitress for a Keith's and she had to point out that in Nova Scotia, since they serve both food and beer, they aren't allowed to sell alcohol unless you buy food. I wonder who sponsored that bill. Well that suit me fine so I ordered some fish and chips, which were delicious by the way and got my beer. Moe was gonna order a BLT until I scolded him. "Your on vacation, on a coastal trip, and you're gonna order a BLT??" So he shrugged and instead ordered scallops. Bastard....now I felt my meal was mediocre by comparison.

    Non-ride report interlude:

    Unfortunately for Moe, beer wasn't in the cards for him. Last winter the poor guy went to the hospital not feeling very well. The doctor pretty much said, "I don't know, sounds like you have a cold." Fast forward a couple of weeks. He was suffering cold sweats, swelling of glands pushed his jaw forward so much he couldn't open his mouth and his sides hurt something awful. Turns out he had Mono, which undiagnosed and untreated caused Jaundice, which inturn caused liver damage. He's better now but still feels the effects on his liver so alcohol is still a no-no for now.

    Interlude over:

    Here's our view. The Bluenose II is the black ship (schooner).
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    O
    For a complete view of the Bluenose just find a Canadian dime.


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    O

    We would've liked to have done a bit more exploring within the town but had to move on as time was fleeting. We stayed on highway 3 until we notice a wall of dense fog moving in from the coast. Since we'd rather have dry gear at our campsite we opted instead to turn around near Bridgewater and hit the main highway 103 which was more inland.
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    We made our way to Port Joli and then towards Thomas Randall Provincial park. After a few kilometers of hard packed dirt Moe pulls over in time to let a doe and her fawn cross the road. They were gone in a flash. We eventually reached the park. Just in time I might add, the sun, or should I say daylight, was waining and it was starting to get dark. As we were setting up, Moe says "Did you bring any bug spray?" I hadn't and figured they wouldn't be bad that night as it was a bit cold and foggy. I was right, they weren't bad, they were nasty, hungry and plentiful. The kind folks at the main office brought over some firewood which we quickly used to try to smoke the "skeeters" out. It worked to some degree. Then we heard a hoarse scream, akin to the sound of Scooby Doo being strangled. It didn't take long to figure that there were seals on the beach nearby, though we couldn't see them through the fog. When you don't expect it, the sound sends a chill down your spine.

    We sat by the fire, listening to some tunes. I, drinking a Heineken, Moe sipping on a Coke. Around 10:00 we turned in for a somewhat chilly night.

    You may have noticed the gas jug on my bike. Unfortunately the damn thing leaked. For the most part it wasn't bad though my air mattress soaked most of the spillage. I did have some vivid dreams that night.

    The next morning was as foggy as the previous night however we could see a bit more around the campground. It had a rugged beauty, reminicent of a small mountain top though we were at sea level.
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    By the time I got up, around 7:00, Moe was already out exploring the beach. I set the coffee to brew...
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    ...and headed to the beach.
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    Choking Scoobs in the fog.
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    One last shot of the campsite and we'd be moving on.
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    A good start to day 2....
    #9
  10. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,564
    Location:
    USA
    Love those tall ships!

    And thanks in advance for reviewing the XT. I am thinkng about getting the new XT250 as an additional bike. I've had to put limits on myself in some of my Mexico rides where there is no pavement.
    #10
  11. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    175
    As we were finishing our morning coffee and packing up the bikes, we decided to check to weather forecast on Moe's cell. "Fog" he said. "Till what time" I said. "Fog" he said. Wha?, a whole day of fog?? That can't be right, it's still summer. So I put forth a motion that we double back a bit and cut across the province by going through Kejimakujik National Park (spelling of park may be incorrect, writer too lazy to verify) to avoid the fog. The motion was rejected by a vote of 2-0. We wanted to follow the western shore and that's where we're going. At roughly 8:30 we were off again.

    This is by far the longest trip I've ever taken on the bike and I'm loving it. The sights, sounds and smells gives it such a feeling of immediacy. I know we're not on an epic, soul searching trip but it feels like an adventure to me. Every turn brings something new. I feel that I understand what it would've been like to be one of the great Canadian explorers, like Jacques Cartier or Samuel DeChamplain or..the Sweeney Family??
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    O
    Sorry, I'll try to be funnier.

    At this point we're looking for breakfast. Two different people about 20 kms apart suggested the Scotia Lunch in Shelburne. With those ringing endorsments on we rode towards breakfast.
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    While hanging around the bikes two gentlemen arrived and were quite inquisitive. One was enthusiastic, the other? Well not so much. We had the most peculiar conversation. Actually his (Mr no so much) facial expressions said more than his words. Since I deemed it impolite to ask him to hold this expression so I could take a picture, I hired a professional actor to play him in the RR.


    Mr Enthusiastic:
    Hey!! What are those? 450?

    Me:
    No actually, they're 225's

    Mr not so much:
    [​IMG]

    Then Mr not so much spoke:
    Is it hard on the rear?

    Me:
    Not bad once you get used to the seat.
    [​IMG]

    Can you take it on the highway?

    Me:
    Oh yeah, its not much fun there but we can maintain highway speeds.

    [​IMG]


    At that point he walked away. His buddy said "sounds like fun". He seemed to mean it.

    We finished our breakfast and I must say the food was pretty good.

    While checking the map, I noticed a place called The Hawk. It appeared to be the Southern-most part of Nova Scotia. I had to go there. Off into the fog we went. It felt like riding through a cloud. Not the light fluffy ones, but like the dense, cold and wet clouds. And it was windy too. It seemed to take forever to get there. The longer we rode, the more I thought about turning around. What'd be the point, we couldn't see anything anyway. But we'd been riding a long time so I figured we might as well see it to the end.

    Finally we make it to a rocky beach. And wouldn't you know it, the fog thinned out a little. I decided to go up the ridge to see if there'd be a view and if I could get a good picture with the bike and the ocean.
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    That's as far south as I got, because...
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    Moe would try the left ascent with almost the same result.
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    At least Moe was smart enough not to bury the back tire.
    With more speed we would've gone over fine but we had no idea what was on the other side of the embankment. Plus, I'm by no means a talented rider.
    A few more pics of the beach the call The Hawk
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    Moe easily backed his bike up while I required assistance. While we were doing so...
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    o_Ops

    And a few more pics.
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    This was one of the highlights for me. It felt great getting there, it wasn't difficult but it was satisfying.

    We then left towards Yarmouth. The fog was incessant, the viser would condense within seconds yet not enough for it to wash away. The coast was next to us but we couldn't see much of it.

    We drove till we saw this.






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    Hey...even advanced life forms ride XT225's.



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    Alright, alright...back to reality.
    This location was near Shag Harbour (great name by the way). The incident was even covered by the national broadcaster back in the day. For more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shag_Harbour_incident

    Hope you'all don't mind more pics.
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    Moe crossing a finish line that only he can see...
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    M......and no I wasn't taking a leak.
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    It was a neat little place, but we weren't in Yarmouth yet....
    #11
  12. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    175
    That guy was expensive, stupid S.A.G., but worth it. He got it in 2 takes.

    Thanks GatorJane, I'm happy to hear that you guys and gals are enjoying it!
    #12
  13. FatherX

    FatherX so͞oˈpərflo͞oəs

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
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    7,775
    Location:
    NE Ohio,USA
    cool RR

    i spent the afternoon pecking away at some back roads in Amish country on a borrowed DR3fiddy.

    Ride on
    Be Safe
    #13
  14. tommyg

    tommyg Long timer

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    petoskey,michigan
    nice report well written thanks for sharing
    #14
  15. Desert2202

    Desert2202 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
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    818
    Location:
    Alice Springs Central Australia
    WOW I really admire you guy's riding 225's all loaded up :bow Who needs an EXPENSIVE BIG Beemer:D
    #15
  16. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    We left the spaceman and headed towards Yarmouth. Its still foggy, we ride for quite a while when a warning sign appears on the side of the road. No picture to show you but it said the following:

    Warning
    Heavy Fog Conditions for the next 1.5 kilometers.

    The funny thing is, that section wasn't as bad as the previous 100km's. As we rode along a truck went by. Not a big deal I know but I remember thinking, "Jeez, what's he hauling? Rotting fish anus?" About 5 minutes later I laughed as we rode on a bridge over Annis River.

    We eventually made it to the outskirts of Yarmouth.
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    Facing Yarmouth we could see the fog billowing towards us. It was time to discuss our itinerary again. We'd been in the fog for about 4 -5 hours and both of us had had enough, plus we were hungry. Sadly we'd leave the coast and head inland towards Richfield. We rode for a bit and stopped on the side of the road to check the map to make sure we were going in the right direction. As we stopped, both of us were hit by that wonderful smell of fried food. Moe pointed behind us and sure enough; a restaurant.
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    While in there we met ADV rider SASCANADA, a nice guy who knew the area quite well. He had his red BMW GS (I hope I got that right) out in the parking lot and was having dinner with his father. He quickly suggested the fried clams. A very good suggestion.

    I was checking the map to get an idea as to where we were. I asked Sas to confirm which road we'd be going on. He suggested that we take 340 but turn left on any dirt road along the way, that way we'd most likely ride around the fog and hit the coast in a clear area. His father replied: "Your gonna get them lost, just keep going straight". This went on for a bit, both making good points in a pretty funny exchange. Since we'd been riding alot already for 2 days and we'd seen enough movies to know what happens to people who don't listen to the wise older gentleman, we went straight. The previous night we'd arrived at our campsite at dark and we wanted to get to the next site with some time to relax while we setup. Had we had more time, we would've explored those roads.

    Was great meeting you and your dad SasCanada!

    So we took Route 340 and within minutes we were out off the fog. We moved along for a while and took a break at a park near a lake.
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    While there we noticed a few otters swimming around. Unfortunately we weren't able to take a picture good enough to post. We had a nice break and a good laugh at some of the messages that had been scratched onto some of the park edifices.

    And we were off again.
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    Small town after smaller town went by. In one particular town we saw a bunch of signs at the end of almost each driveway saying "NO TO THE MINK FARM". I figured they were animal lovers against the fur industry. About 15 minutes later we came upon another town with several odd looking sheds or barns that were stack one next to the other at about 8 to 10 in a row. Then the smell hit. I have never, EVER, smelled anything like it. Sure sometimes I find this or that smells bad, but for the first time in my life I was gagging due to the smell. I swear I was praying for the return of fish anus man. That's when I realised: "The mink farm!". That had to be it! I almost wanted to turn around and sign whatever petition the previous town had going around.

    We sped out of Smellytown as quickly as possible and about 20 minutes later we were back on the coast making our way to Gilbert's Cover (I think). I'm not gonna lie to you, I'm not good with details.

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    There we found a lighthouse and some nice vistas.
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    While I try to take some cool pictures, Moe turns a mangy tree and a couple of bushes into work of art.
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    It'd soon be time to find our next campsite...

    p.s. Warning, the next update will be picture heavy.
    #16
  17. Ghilly

    Ghilly Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
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    830
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    PA
    A great guy (Brett) I met on the TAT was riding an XT 225 and I thought he was going to have a hard time keeping up with me on a DRZ. Let me just say that I will NEVER underestimate the XT. A decent rider can do good stuff on that bike. He made it up Hancock and Tomichi pass on a loaded XT. I would not have any problems with someone riding that bike with me on a trip that is for sure. I am a decent sized guy and have speed issues so I wanted a bit more power. After this trip I will upgrade to a KTM 530 to help me with my issues.:D .

    By the way, Brett is a very smart guy and manufactures a very sold rack for the XT bikes and is working on a few other models as well. His rack made it through a decent chunk of the TAT with no issues so that may tell you something. The TAT beats EVERYTHING up.
    #17
  18. DualSPRTfan

    DualSPRTfan Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
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    107
    Location:
    Waterdown, Ontario
    You had me hooked at being in NB! :lurk ... and of course the smaller bikes, don't know why I love the small bike RR, perhaps because they are underdogs, and I usually go for the underdog!
    #18
  19. NB_CRF'er

    NB_CRF'er I got a job, I explore!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    NB, Canada
    Your certainly a funny storyteller!:lol3
    Great pics too! :thumb
    #19
  20. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
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    1984
    :thumb
    #20