The Trans-Lab is Overdone. We want to Ride the Rock.

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Canuman, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I'd plotted out a Trans-Lab. It looked pretty much like everyone else's Trans-Lab, as there are only a few ways to go up there. Slog a few hundred or thousand klicks on roads that could be superb, dusty, muddy, or whatever, and chalk it up on the slate.

    Yadda Yadda.

    I'd take the requisite pic of Manic 5, fill up at the necessary stops, and take a pic of an iceberg if I were lucky.

    Then it hit me. Why not cut out the middle man and hit Newfoundland instead via Nova Scotia? Newfies are madmen. There is an exceptional network of trails up there. Ride the Rock!

    I'll probably cut up through Maine via my own NNEAT route, catch part of Ted Johnson's TNE through New Brunswick, and catch whatever gravel I can through Nova Scotia. Current plans are to to connect to the T'railway at Port Aux Basques and see what happens.

    Gravel routes north to south in NS would be appreciated.

    I'd likely bring the DRZ400. The KLR is too heavy, and the KDX has no legs.

    Advice? Offers? Free lodging and free beer?

    EDIT AFTER THE FACT:

    This was an absolutely mind-blowing ride, and I highly recommend it. RR Here:http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=915172
    #1
  2. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    The Burin Peninsula has a trail association.. Garnish to Point Rosie is a good start and there are several vids on Ridetherock.com. to tease your tastebuds. The Gaff Topsails on the trailway are stunning on a clear day. Thousands of Kms of dirt/logging roads through the interior. Old railway branch lines and quad trails aplenty. Camping is free and legal as most of the island is crown land.
    I am on the east coast. Look me up when you are here.
    #2
  3. JTT

    JTT Long timer

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    Is this a fall run? Or early planning for spring? I live in NS and have ridden Gaff Topsail route....great ride by the way :). Can provide more details once home, on stupid tablet now and can't type.
    #3
  4. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    Murph! What you doing up at 5:00AM? Looking for Kijiji deals?

    :lol3

    This might be time to mention http://ridetherock.com
    #4
  5. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Always on the lookout. Canuman had something for sale awhile back that caught my interest but i cannot recall what it was.
    I do not ride alot of trails but if he wants i can help him find people that do.
    #5
  6. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    This is early planning for next year. I managed to assemble most of the rail routes for The Rock over the weekend from various sources. I seem to remember from last year that there's a pretty good gravel section right up the middle of the west side of Cape Breton that runs 100k on gravel and dumps out not impossibly far from the ferry at North Sydney.

    I own a couple of acres near Guysborough, NS, so I'd probably stop there on the way.

    I'll keep people posted. I'm pretty sure I can get most of the way through New Brunswick on gravel, but Nova Scotia is going to take a little more planning.

    I bought the MapArt Canada Back Roads Atlas this spring, but haven't delved too far into it. Has anyone used it? Is it reliable? I have found my DeLorme maps not to be incredibly reliable for Canada outside the populated areas.

    I'm signed up on ridetherock.com, but haven't checked the forums in some time.
    #6
  7. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I'd be very interested in that. Planning for next year. I don't have snow tires.
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  8. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    The Bonavista rail line took a beating with hurricane Igor and is impassible in spots. Washouts and fallen trees. :cry
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  9. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I read that there were some go-arounds that locals had made around the damage on the line, but from the few pictures that Geoff Smith posted from his 2011 run shows it to be a full-on experience. I don't know if I'd want to attempt something quite so technical a thousand miles from home.

    http://www.graveltravel.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=60:the-bonavista-branch-line&catid=1&Itemid=19
    #9
  10. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    To my knowledge there are places the locals have bypasses but these are from quads. Some would be doable but some may not. There is always the road route to bypass these. i was not trying to deter you from attempting just informing you of the conditions. If you were to contact Geoff i bet he would love to revisit the trail with you. It is so out of my league.
    #10
  11. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    Don't worry, I'd prefer to err on the side of caution. It is not prudent to break one's bike and body far from home. Come to think of it, it's not very prudent close to home, either.
    #11
  12. dresda

    dresda shut up and RIDE!

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    I've got the ones for various regions, Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario.... They are pretty good, I use them a lot. You may want to find the Atlantic one. The layout is infuriating but the actual maps are fine. If I find myself in Chapters soon I'll check out the latest one and see if the layout has improved.

    Unfortunately their folding backroads maps have been replaced with the Rand McNally version which I don't like as much. I do find old Mapart ones in the stores though so if you want me to keep an eye out I can pick them up for you.
    #12
  13. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Geoff did a detailed write up on GravelTravel about the various trails on the island. Maps, gps files, photos, etc

    Have a fun trip :thumb
    #13
  14. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I've already been all over that like white on rice! Thanks as always Ted for the good resources over at http://www.graveltravel.ca. I've located some very good regional sites in addition.

    My friend Anton, inmate AtlasEXP stopped in tonight on his way home to New York City with his lovely wife. He's in. He ran about half of my NNEAT route a few weeks ago before the trip was halted by an unfortunate incident where inmate Devo2002 ended up with a tib-fib fracture from a low-speed low-side.

    Anton rides a BMW GS650 Dakar and a TW200. I think the TW is the tool for this run. I always thought the bike was an anemic pisspot for the ladies and the elderly until I saw Anton ride it. The testing ground was a long, steep, slippery two-track slope up an oil pipeline liberally sprinkled with baby heads. I made it up on the DRZ400 with considerable grunting and dabbing. Anton SAT DOWN, twisted in a little throttle, and the little 14 hp pig just ate it up.

    I don't intend to run this fast. The slab speaks to me less and less. Give me a light, small bike and a star to steer by.
    #14
  15. Littlepeter

    Littlepeter Been here awhile

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    I did the T'railway a few years ago (before Igor). I was riding a fully laden KLR, and had no problems, but a lighter bike would have been more fun. The KLR suspension was taxed to the limit.
    I wouldn't worry about navigating the old railway. Once you are on it, it is pretty easy to see where it goes. As someone said to me "trains don't make right angle turns". Most of it parallels the TCH so you will be pretty close to the slab if needed. The only exception is Deer Lake to Badger through the Gaff Topsails, which gets you pretty far off the grid. The conditions of the trail surface improved as we went east.
    I enjoyed the Trans Lab, but the T'railway definitely felt like more of an adventure.
    Happy planning,
    Peter

    ps: I think it would be hard to get from one end of NS to the other on continuous gravel. You could cut across Cape Breton on the Highland roads, but would still have to slab it a bit to get the NL ferry.
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  16. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I've ridden Nova Scotia on both bicycles and motorcycles over the past 25 years, and I agree with you. I plotted out a preliminary route through some country I haven't visited in many years. There is a fair share of pavement involved, but it is through some scenic areas, so I don't mind so much. Having ridden through the interior of the Nova Scotia mainland on other occasions, I am far more interested in the coastline. I haven't yet been down the eastern shore of Cape Breton, so that's going into the plan.
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  17. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    I would be particularly interested in one for Newfoundland, if you happen to find one. Thanks!
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  18. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    There's a pretty good team coming together for this one. If any of you civilized types from north of 45 what in on all or part of this, we need translators, eh?
    #18
  19. sailer

    sailer trained Cirus Bear

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    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I have a route that will keep you on Gravel (rail trail) from west of Amherts NS to Picto, NS[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]which goes by my Family Cottage. in Wallace NS[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I know of some stuff that I did, really nice, some-what maintain, gravel road stuff , on the west side of rock about 1 hour north of ferry. (was not rail trail) over a couple small mountain passes, very nice stuff, did not see one car for 3-4 hours, up to Deer Lake. in the Lewis cliffs area[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]from there rail trail is next to high way. ( with in a mile ) for a while, which is good cuz if you do not like it just get off[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Then Rail trail cuts a corner on your way to where Ice burgs are.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I have some really good pics of ice when i was there last year.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]some day when I learn how to post pics here, I will show you all. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]we can meet up some time with some maps and I be happy to show you, just bring my cord :deal[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I am up at Dartmonth Hickcock Hospital about once every two weeks, for at least next 2 months for my follow up stuff, thats kinda close for you.[/FONT]

    I am headed up to the cottage for thanks giving (the us one, Canada Thanksgiving was last weekend) I will grab some maps and trail maps from local genral stores.
    #19
  20. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    If you just pm me your address, Phil, I'll send you the extension cord. I'd like that route.

    I'm a bit concerned about the rest of your message. I suspect the get-off we're not supposed to mention was not so free of damage as it appeared?

    I don't much like hospitals. The last time I was in one yelling for morphine, there were plenty of sick people about. I checked myself out, as I couldn't take the strain. They wouldn't turn the lights off so I could sleep. They sent me a bill anyway.
    #20