Am I insane? TLH in October?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by lostonwheels, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. lostonwheels

    lostonwheels Adventurer

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    So yeah just what the title says/\/\ Is it a terrible idea to do the translab in like the first or second week of October? I have some vacation time to burn by December and really want to do the translab before it's all paved...

    For some background, the rig is an 08' Versys that will have a tkc80 and k60 combo. Briefly looking at an atlas it shows that temps should be above freezing (just)

    Anyone done it this late that has some words of wisdom?

    Thanks in advance!
    #1
  2. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

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    I have never done it, but if I was going to I'd consider October just for no black flies. Having said that I wouldn't camp, I'd hotel it and I'd give myself an extra day or two so that if it was really bad weather I could take a rest day and hang out in the motel room.
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  3. lostonwheels

    lostonwheels Adventurer

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    The hopeful lack of flies was a consideration:D

    The plan is to take one whole week off plus the following Monday totaling ten days. Ride from central PA to Nova Scotia spend two days in Newfoundland and then up and around Labrador and back south through QC. The way I have it in my head this should amount to 8 days leaving two for bad weather or plagues. It's a tight schedule but that's the state of vacation time in post industrialized America:D

    As far as camping goes, my plan is to camp whenever possible. While cold weather isn't my favorite, I've done quite a lot in much colder than that (Go Boy Scouts!:D) But your statement is making me think I should budget a little more for hotels just in case.

    That said, am I correct in assuming that it's pretty much fair game to camp along the road in Labrador? Or even on the rock for that matter?
    #3
  4. pjm204

    pjm204 Long timer

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    If I hadn't just taken a trip out to Colorado on the bike, I would have joined you. The cold doesn't really bother me, with the right gear, above freezing temps can be warm.
    #4
  5. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    It's doable, I've never done it but I'm from Nfld and have family in Lab. While it could be low single digits at night, could be mid teen Celsius during the day. The fall colors should still be intact, no bugs, and little traffic.

    can camp anywhere in Lab or the Rock. The peak season for hotelling will be over as well should you need a real roof to sleep under.

    And i recommend you take the route clockwise going thru Qc first.
    #5
  6. lostonwheels

    lostonwheels Adventurer

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    Any particular reason? The only reason I'm thinking CCW is to get the big ferry over an done with in case there are scheduling problems. Not dead set on it that was just my thought.
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  7. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    get the crazy stuff over first and have a couple relaxing days in Newfoundland. If run into issues at the front end you'll have a chance to get back home without schedule changes.

    shouldn't be any problems with the ferry and it's about a 6 hr run.
    #7
  8. tedmarshall

    tedmarshall Been here awhile

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    How bad can it be?!:lol3
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  9. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    2c (36f) tonight in Lab City. Just saying.
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  10. CanadianX

    CanadianX Don’t leave a steaming pile for others.

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    You can get some local advice by logging on to ridetherock.com Should be doable with lows averaging -2C and highs of 10C, (10F to 50F). Not sure how much rain/snow you might see or how hard the winds blow at that time of the year.
    #10
  11. mgb71

    mgb71 Been here awhile

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    I was thinking about doing the TLH this Fall as well, but I was going to do it CW. I live in Lake Placid, NY so I'd just head north from here. I'm a mountaineer & ice climber so the cold temps don't bother me. What's your departure date?

    I'm on a KLR650.
    #11
  12. lostonwheels

    lostonwheels Adventurer

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    I haven't decided yet. I'm hoping for either the first or second week of Oct.

    I know I'm insane because I kinda want to do this solo. I've already had two very generous people offer to ride with and that's awesome! That said I kinda want to hack it on my own while I'm still young and naïve:lol3.
    #12
  13. mgb71

    mgb71 Been here awhile

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    Actually I think I'm going to head up next week and do it anyway.
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  14. lostonwheels

    lostonwheels Adventurer

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    Awesome! Let us know how it is!
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  15. mgb71

    mgb71 Been here awhile

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    I have a lite work week coming up so I figure I'll just go while I have the time. If I can get everything all packed up tomorrow then I'll leave Sunday.
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  16. macinnisl

    macinnisl Adventurer

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    Leave a little extra time and dress very warm and you should be fine. I just did it and rode till 2am some nights. It was cold but I had the gear. I also camped no issues. Enjoy!!!
    #16
  17. lostonwheels

    lostonwheels Adventurer

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    Whelp I just put in for leave the 13th through the 20th so now I have to go:lol3
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  18. Canuk

    Canuk OntRider

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    I did the run clockwise from Ottawa up the 138 in Qc to Baie Comeau, tire change in Baie Comeau, around the Translab, down the west coast of NFLD, across to NS, around the Cabot Trail and 2 days through US backroads and back home to Ottawa. I left on Labour Day Monday and got home on 10 Sept. It was plenty of time. It was an amazing ride. I camped most nights and while the temp dipped to near freezing some nights, most days were great for riding (mid teens Celcius).

    There are a few white knuckle areas which are dependent on weather and riding experience. I had the worst weather of the entire trip on the worst stretch of the road (b/w Port Hope Simpson and Red Bay). It rained hard the entire time with high gusting winds...not fun.

    I'm glad I did it clockwise for the reason mentioned earlier, get the tough stuff out of the way first. I did it solo and my gravel experience was limited at best. If you're a confident, experienced off road rider this will be a piece of cake.
    #18
  19. mgb71

    mgb71 Been here awhile

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    I just got back from the TLH yesterday. I did 2924 miles from Lake Placid, NY in 8 days and did it clockwise. It was pretty awesome. The temps were 45-50F during the day and about 35F at night. I didn't see any snow but there were reports of snow in Goose Bay and I saw ice on some of the small ponds in that area so it must've dropped below freezing in some of those areas. I had some rain and some sun, but no storms. I camped most nights but did get a motel in Baie Comeau ($95) and Blanc Sablon ($80). I cut through Maine, New Hampshire, & Vermont on the way back to Lake Placid which was more appealing than all of the highway riding through Quebec.

    Just a few notes:

    Parts of 389 were slow going due to construction. There was also a layer of fresh graded sand in some sections that was pretty squirly especially since it was wet when I went through so my speed dropped down to about 30mph.

    A majority of 500 is paved but 510 is pretty much all dirt & gravel. Some of the gravel is quite loose and felt like I was was riding across ball bearings so in these sections my speed dropped down to 40-45mph, otherwise I was cruising at 50-55mph. I had a brand new set of Shinko 244's on the KLR and they did well. I dropped my tire pressure down for the soft and loose stuff.

    The only gas station in Churchill Falls closes at 6pm. I got there at about 6:10pm and couldn't buy gas, but a local guy was nice enough to give me some gas he had in his garage so I could keep going. He wouldn't take any money for it and even gave me some sandwiches to go!

    There seemed to be a pretty even flow of tractor trailer traffic in both directions and most of that was on 389. I only passed a handfull of tractor trailers on 510. I only saw 2 other bikes on 510 headed the opposite direction, and then a few bikes in NF.

    The ferry to and from New Foundland is on NF time which is a half hour earlier than the mainland. I got my times screwed up and missed the last ferry from Blanc Sablon and had to spend the night to catch the one the next morning (motel). It didn't seem like a reservation was necessary especially with a single motorcycle because they could squeeze you in somewhere on the ferry. There was a short ferry on 138 in Quebec and I actually got to see a couple of whales swimming in the water! I think they were Minke whales.

    Everyone I met in Labrador and NF was super friendly and wanted to help out any way they could. People would just pull up next to me when I was stopped somewhere and welcome me to the area and ask where I was from and they didn't want anything in return, they were just happy to see me.

    Here are some photos:

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/16imgu07am75f0k/AACjwTywxGPvPm4vfJAcRL74a?dl=0
    #19
  20. lostonwheels

    lostonwheels Adventurer

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    Freaking awesome! Now I'm stoked!
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