"When you see a red road, take it!"

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Outside, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
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    Prologue:

    ..."Man, I've been looking for 10 years to find a girl who'll go dirt biking with me...I'm jealous".

    By the dude we met in line at the Subway.

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    About 20 minutes into our 4 day trip the above quote was spoken to me by...well...a dude we met in line... when he saw us geared up. This was going to be our first multiday ride on the bikes together and the fact that we were grinning ear to ear on a Monday surely hinted that it was going to be a fun trip. We celebrated our 20th year together this year and have gone on many a hiking, kayaking and car camping trip. A new adventure always does a relationship a favour.

    My riding partner....aka Shiny.
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    Our Ride:

    We decided on going to Prince Edward Island on Canada's Eastern shore. The island is now connected to the mainland by way of the Confederation Bridge. The 12.9-kilometre (8 mi) long bridge opened on 31 May 1997 (Remorselessly ripped from the pages of Wikipedia).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation_Bridge

    Here are our XT225's, packed and ready to go.
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    Leaving Salisbury NB, we stopped in Riverview for fuel and food.
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    We took some side roads and the highway when necessary, getting to the bridge about 1 1/2 hour later. After a quick stop at the information booth and prepping up the GoPro helmet cam, we were on the bridge. Riding such a long span is a neat feeling but it makes for some pretty boring straight line video.:lol3 Not realising this fact, we didn't take any pictures of the bridge on the way to PEI. There will be some later in the RR.

    Once across we stop to at a gas station to check out the maps. Suddenly a bike wisperer approaches and says: "Those bikes are perfect for the Island....When you see a red road, take it!"

    So, not wanting to upset the Island biker gods, we did. [​IMG]

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    The only problem was that this road wasn't the one we'd picked on the map earlier so...
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    Out comes the map again...(We've resisted the GPS purchase but the urge is getting stronger). The map checking would happen often on the trip but it had the side benefit of reducing the bottom tenderizing experienced on long trips riding XTs.

    Shiny's uncle had bought a piece of land on the Northwest side of the Island and we wanted to check it out. Having had a bit of a late start to the day we took the quickest route there. Our plans were to possibly camp the night there, but if conditions didn't warrant it, we wanted to get there early enough to find a campground. Exploring would have to wait till tomorrow. We stopped in Oleary along the way looking for a place to eat and settled on Vinny's Takeout. I'm sure they have some good food but I'd recommend that you stay away from the chicken. Something should've clued me in when I asked for dark meat only and the reply was: "Oh, we don't know what it is till we cook it. It comes prepackaged in a bag".

    After 3 or 10 wrong turns we eventually make it to her uncle's property.
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    A great location along the shores of the Northumberand Straight. Unfortunately there wasn't a suitable place to put up a tent due to the tall grass and rain was in the forecast. A fun little trail (which I ingloriously wiped out on) with deep ruts led to the spot and we weren't sure what it would become if the rainfall was significant.

    We'd already scoped the area for an alternative camping spot so we rode a bit farther to Cedar Dunes Provincial Park and picked our site. Just then it started to rain. I quickly pulled out the tarp. (Hint...if you're about to throw out an old tent, keep the rain fly. They make a light waterproof tarp that usually have guylines already attached.

    Then we rushed to setup the tent.....

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    Ahem....umm..Shiny...I said we rushed to setup the tent...
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    Will you quit fooling around...I need the footprint to setup the tent!!
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    What do you mean I can't come in ?!? (She actually said it).

    When the rain let up for a bit we moved the bikes so that water wouldn't pool in the middle of the tarp and it created a nice shelter.
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    While sitting there a man walked up and offered us tarps and the use of his trailer if we needed to cook anything. I thanked him for his generous offer but I was still haunted by the chicken. We took a short walk to a nearby wharf and on the way back picked up a bundle of firewood. Even though there were quite a few people camping there, we only noticed one other site with a fire.

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    A rainy windy night was still to come, but dawn would bring sunshine and the beauty of the Island would start to reveal itself.
    #1
  2. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
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    Just a rough idea, I haven't posted the side roads we took.[​IMG]
    #2
  3. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

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    :clap
    And warm camp fire....
    #3
  4. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
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    You're right B-Web...ain't nothin' like it! :freaky


    Forgot to post this from Day 1.
    From Shiny's uncle's property:
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    Click this link to view video1

    (sorry...Flickr cut the video half way...I'll try to fix it)
    She really enjoyed pointing out that she was already off the bike before I arrived.

    Day 2:
    The hypnotic sound of rain hitting the tent, famous for lulling one to sleep, was countered effectively by the tarp nearby flapping in the wind. We did sleep fairly well and woke to a rainless sky though still overcast.
    Short on supplies we packed up as soon as we were up.
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    A few local sights before finding breakfast.
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    Riding past the windmills and hayfields till we reached a restaurant and had a fine breakfast.
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    Click to view video2
    [​IMG] S. (Pics taken by Shiny will be indicated with an "S").

    Well fed and relaxed we planned out our route.
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    A few years ago we'd been to the northern tip of the Island in a car so we decided to double back a little and explore the eastern shore via side roads.
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    Whenever a dirt road or trail seemed intriguing, we took it...
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    ...and we were never disappointed.
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    Later down the road.
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    No matter which dirt road we took, the sights impressed.
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    Another red road. This one led to Belmont Provincial Park.
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    [​IMG] S. (I believe this is what they call dogwood)

    Shiny decides to test the waters...
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    ...so I do the same...
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    ...with dramatic consequences.
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    As I fell into a deep channel, my cat like reflexes kicked in and I was able to remove my shirt and hold it aloft keeping it dry. (Anybody buying this story?) :augie

    In truth I just layed back in about 8 inches of water. Not a great swim but refreshing nonetheless.

    To be continued...
    #4
  5. AZ_ADV_RIDER

    AZ_ADV_RIDER Demons In My Helmet

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    Looks like a really fun trip - great pics too!
    #5
  6. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
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    Thanks AZ-ADV.

    Day 2 continued...
    I decided to do a bit of exploring and reached a spot that had a gate installed with a 2 foot gap in the middle. As I was about to go through Shiny says: "You can't go in there, its for hikers". I looked at it and said: "Nah...it for dual sports".
    For those worried that I was breaking the rules, don't worry. I wasn't going on a single track hiking trail. It used to be a road that had been gated due to erosion of the cliff. Of course I didn't know why it was gated till I saw...
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    Time to hit the road again.
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    We follow the eastern coast until we reached Malpec. Next to a wharf we find a nice restaurant. Guess what they specialize in. I usually don't post food pics but because of the nice presentation
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    The best meal of the trip.
    And what do you do when your not riding? Check the map of course...
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    ...and check out the scenery.
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    We decided to camp at Prince Edward Island National Park. We didn't have too far to go and the ride was pleasant.
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    To get to the National park you have to ride through Cavendish. Cavendish is Man's way of improving on nature. It's got Rainbow Valley Fun Park, Sandspit Amusement Park, Wax World of the Stars, etc, etc. In short, my version of hell. It was packed with people...Damn tourists. How am I supposed to tour this place with all these dam...oh right. I don't mind an amusement park, but an entire town of it? Its a bit much. Oh well, kids like it so I understand the attraction.

    I forgot to mention that there's a Santa's village
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    No wonder he's always jolly. Nice tux though, must be Martini night.

    The park has various campgrounds so we picked the one that seemed the most isolated on the map which was Robinson Island campground.
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    Well that turned out well.
    At least the ride there was nice.
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    Within 15 kilometers was Stanhope campground. We had a choice of getting a site with a firepit in a more open area, or a secluded site but no firepit. We opted for privacy though it felt kinda wrong to be tenting and not have a fire. The appreciation for the outdoors and peace and quiet are some of the few things we have in common. Truth be told we're somewhat opposites. She likes dance music, I like alternative folk. She can be a bit introverted, I can't keep my mouth shut. She's organized and neat, I'm....not.
    Example:
    Shiny's ride.
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    Now take a good look at this cluster.
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    Being opposites has its advantages though. Take food for example. She likes white meat, I like dark. Makes choosing who gets what piece of chicken a breeze. What we do share is a sense of humour. That is key.
    The sun was quickly going down and I really wanted to check out the sand dunes again in the light of the sunset. Shiny surprised me by saying: "Why don't you go riding and take pictures while I setup the tent?" After making sure she didn't mind I headed out.
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    While riding around I decided to try to find a store to get some ground coffee for the following morning. After riding about 20 km's I finally find one. Riding back I am reminded why a tinted visor is not recommended in the waining light of day.

    Back at camp we relaxed, listened to some tunes on the MP3 player and made a call to make sure the homestead was still there.
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    "Its kinda nice here, do you want to spend two nights?"
    #6
  7. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Looks like some nice riding and scenery. Nice job on the report:thumb
    Makes my want to load up my 250 and go for a long trip. I guess I'll have to buy some lightweight camping gear.

    Thanks for posting.
    #7
  8. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    Just read your report again. I liked it even more the second time.:clap
    #8
  9. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Northeastern California
    Great pics. It's so beautiful there!
    #9
  10. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Great to see NB ride report on here! Thanks for sharing your ride :thumb
    #10
  11. PWRCRZR

    PWRCRZR Grumpy Old Bastard

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Mid-Coast Maine
    My wife and I were supposed to go to PEI this year but did not make it. I will have to make it up next season.

    Looks like beautiful country and a fine time in the company of a lovely lady..what more can a guy ask for?
    #11
  12. Outside

    Outside Confused

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Thanks for the comments all!

    Light gear is the way to go. Even the mess I have on my bike hardly affects the ride.

    Well worth the trip, the Island can be done easily in a day, but some of the nicest scenery is found at the end of little side roads.


    The following update is a bit short but I'll make up for it on the next one. I started it a bit too late :shog .

    Day 3.

    After a great sleep, I didn't even have to get out of the tent to start the coffee. Heck, I didn't even have to get out of the sleeping bag. They should design kitchen/bedrooms like that for lazy people like me. A great benefit of Prince Edward Island is that there are no bears. We're not forced to keep our food hung in a tree away from the site.
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    The right way to wake up. Nice campsite with coffee brewing.
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    We'd made the decision to spend two nights at the campground and spend the day exploring the Southeastern side of the Island. With the gear left at camp, all we needed was a backpack. About 3 kilometers from our site....
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    For those who prefer slightly more "civilised accomodations".
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    The wise man who told us to take the red roads was definately on to something.
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    The road led to an amazing beach with hardly a soul around.[​IMG]
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    Later we stopped near Morel for breakfast. While bringing our coffee the waitress knocked the tray slighly sending a cascade of milk flying. She was apologetic and seemed a bit embarrassed. We joked a bit with her and she rushed to clean the spill. I didn't have the heart to point out the leg of the customer sitting next to us which was dripping.

    We then kept going East and stopped at the Greenwitch Interperative site. There were quite a few hiking trails, one that seemed to go to an extremely large sand dune. Inappropriately geared for a hike, we settled instead with climbind up a tower.
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    The temperature was climbing so we wasted little time getting back on the road....
    #12
  13. PWRCRZR

    PWRCRZR Grumpy Old Bastard

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    Pics are great...you got me convinced:thumb
    #13
  14. Lobster Grrl

    Lobster Grrl Ground feeder

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    Looks like you two had a great time :clap
    The scenery is beautiful! I love the red rocks and dirt.

    I think I smell a bike trip next year....:D

    lg
    #14
  15. BKMLWR

    BKMLWR Wondering around...

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    great RR, those red roads around Elgin are nice too, right in your backyard...
    #15
  16. Outside

    Outside Confused

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    And plenty of lobster, along with other seafood!

    Yeah, We're blessed with alot of great dirt roads and trails here in New Brunswick. :thumb
    #16
  17. Outside

    Outside Confused

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    Continuing our eastern trajectory , we made our way to Cable Head.

    ***Warning --- Poser Alert***
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    No momentum..didn't stand on the pegs..I like the pic though.

    A little while later we met ADV rider Marcoue.
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    80 000kms in 3 years. Been across Canada and States side. He was down from Quebec visiting the Island and waiting for his wife to fly in. We chatted about bikes and traveling. We also compared the various provincial rates for bikes (lisence, registration, etc). The rates in Quebec were often ten times what we pay. Makes me happy I'm from the Maritimes.
    While we were talking a gentleman was leaving the beach with his vintage pedal bike and stopped to ask if we'd gone for a swim. He said the water was perfect. I had my doubts as this side of the Island is the open Atlantic, usually quite cold. Listening to the locals had worked so far so I decided to go out. Marcoue geared up to leave while laughing and questioning my sanity.
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    Vintage bike guy was right. Man that felt good. Try as I might, I couldn't convince Shiny to go for a swim.

    --Just a word of warning in case you're ever in the area. Some parts of the beaches are known to have a dangerous riptide. Its best to stay close to shore. A few unwary have been pulled away by the current.
    As if the conditions weren't great enough, we were buzzed by a low flying military plane.
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    Before we left, Shiny wanted to have a go at the sand dune.
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    Once her momentum stopped, I signaled for her to stop but she kept the throttle pinned.
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    Someone was having too much fun...I'm just happy these bikes aren't heavy.

    We'd be seeing Marcoue every now and then during the day. It was a real pleasure meeting him. Hope he and his wife enjoyed their stay.
    Next stop was Shipwreck Point Lighthouse.
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    Our destination would be East Point (how creative). Along the way were fishing villages, farmland and windmills.
    A few pics.
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    While riding I look in the rearview to see some guy right on Shiny's rear tire. We slow 50 km/h to let him pass, he stays there. We speed up to 90, he speeds up. At every passing lane we gave him a chance to pass but he stayed glued to her rear tire. Finally I pulled over just to get rid of him.
    East Point.
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    Well, we've run out of East so we might as well try some South. Riding South until Souris, then we'd turn westward to find a different route back to the National park.
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    The is day 3 on the XT's. That bench is....not soft.
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    Once we get 10 minutes from the Park, we took note on the map of a site we missed on the way out. The Grand Tracadie Lighthouse. We take the road that leads to a hiking trail. A bit unexpected. With beach sand from the swim grinding away a layer of skin from my legs, we took the short hike. Oddly, this was the only place that we really noticed the mosquitoes. Little bastards. We get to the beach and...no lighthouse. Still a nice spot.
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    Back to our site near sunset and head to the beach. Lots of people there, but nobody's swimming. Until...
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    Last night on the Island..
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    In the darkness we made our way back to our site. A couple of rather odd things happened that night. Think I'll save the story for the last post.
    #17
  18. BKMLWR

    BKMLWR Wondering around...

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    nice, nice nice..

    looks like Kenda 270s on the wheels, how do ya like them, doing everything you want them to?
    #18
  19. Outside

    Outside Confused

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    Thanks!

    Yep..Kendas. The tires are good for the type of riding that I do. Pretty good on the road, dirt and gravel. Not very good in mud though, pretty bad in mud to be honest. Its a soft tire but suprisingly durable, about 10000 kms on this set for mine. Probably have another 1500 left. Some say that the compound is too soft for heavier bikes but for these small bikes its pretty good.
    #19
  20. Lobster Grrl

    Lobster Grrl Ground feeder

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    Great pix! I was in Tracadie in early June and really didn't get to see much because of the rain and fog. Looks like I need to go back again!

    :lurk

    lg
    #20