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Discussion in 'Americas' started by GravelRider, Jun 4, 2019.
Just seeing if anyone else is riding the Trans Lab this year.
Thinking about it mid August haven't decided yet though when u heading out.
Well you will have to give me a ride report
Will do. I'll post a link here. Make sure to do the same!
I rode the Trans Lab from May 27-30 this year. It was COLD. Temps stayed in the mid to upper 30's (Fahrenheit) and we had some snow showers.
The road conditions were good. The dirt section between Mary's Harbor and Goose Bay was being graded, in preparation for pavement. The road crew guys said that whole section should be paved by the end of the year. There are road crews working everywhere. They've filled most of the pot holes with soft loose dirt, and they're hard to see. Watch out for them, your front wheel could sink in as if you were riding in sand. It might be better once it gets packed down and graded over again? There are some deep gravel spots, where it looked like they just put it down fresh. It's nothing to worry about though.
The entire way from Goose Bay to Lab City is now paved. It's nice smooth pavement, so you can make good time on this section.
Rt 389 from Lab City to Baie Comeau is the star of the show, although not technically part of the Trans Lab Highway. The scenery is great and the twisties are fun. They're doing major road work on the southern most section of dirt on 389. They're straightening out a ~30 mile section of the twisties. They're already cleared the straight path, and are working on grading and leveling it now. The road crew guys said it'll open in increments starting next year. The twisty existing section of 389 crosses back and forth over the new straight section about a dozen times. The old twisty section of 389 is still open, with minimal delays for construction. If you're planning to ride it, do it ASAP.
Ride it now before it all gets paved and straightened out!!!
While you're up there, take the ferry boat over to Newfoundland. We enjoyed Newfoundland much more than Labrador. IMO, the scenery, roads, and food are all better on Newfoundland:
Thanks for the updates. Great pictures!
So they're planning on paving the whole 250+ mile section for Mary's Harbor to Happy Valley Goose Bay this year? That's ambitious!
Is everything past Mary's Harbor paved now? Like from Mary's Harbor to Blanc Sablon?
Unfortunately I won't be going to Newfoundland this time. I spent two weeks there on my bike a few years ago. I absolutely loved it, and will be back... Just not this trip. I just don't have the time and don't want to deal with the ferries with a tight time schedule.
Did you do a ride report?
And by the way, does this map I made look correct, as far as road surfaces/gas spots go?
As of May 2019, it's completely paved from a bit west of Port Hope Simpson to Blanc Sablon. The dirt section is from a good many miles west of Port hope Simpson to about 60 miles east of Goose Bay. This is what the road crew guys told me they're planning to pave by the end of the year. I don't know the mileage, but it's way less than 250 miles of dirt. Probably more like 100 miles, but that's just an estimate.
The rest of your map looks correct for pavement, dirt, and gas stops. The gas station in Relais Gabriel was closed (it didn't look permanently closed, they just weren't open when we happened to be there), but we had enough to get us to Manic Cinq. Most of the gas stops only sell 87 octane, and the pumps only operate during business hours. None of the pumps up there take credit cards, so you have to go inside the stores to pay, hence only being able to get gas during business hours. I cannot confirm for the 4 side roads heading north, as we did not ride those.
I didn't do a ride report yet, but I plan to once I get all of my photos and video edited.
If you need motorcycle parts or service, Frecchie's Outdoor Shack in Goose Bay and Hewlett Minpaco Recreation in Wabush (right next to Lab City) were both able to hook us up with some parts we needed. As far as I know, those are the only two 'big' bike shops in Labrador.
Thanks for the additional information. It's disappointing that they're paving the whole thing. There's something different about a paved remote highway than a gravel one. It just doesn't feel as wild or remote, even though it still is. This being said, I know it's good for the locals living there that aren't concerned about having a fun time riding a gravel road in the wilderness.
I figured most places would only sell 87 gas. I'll be on my WR250R, which takes 91, so I'll take some octane booster with me. Last year on the Trans Taiga I ran into the same issue with fuel. I packed octane booster, which worked great for my first 87 fill-up... but I had the can strapped to the outside of my luggage and lost it somewhere along the Trans Taiga. So the rest of the time was straight 87 octane gas. It actually made a much bigger difference than I thought it would. The bike ran like crap until I got high octane gas back in it.
When you do write a report, post a link here. I'll definitely check it out.
As far as I've ever heard, there's no practical way to ride between Schefferville and points south. As I understand it, there's not enough of an access road or embankment along the railroad track to be passable, and of course if you ride on the track you're liable to get hit by a train. But I haven't been there so don't know for sure.
Interesting to hear that so much of Phase 2 has already been paved. I'm heading up there in September; will be curious to see how much is left unpaved.
I'm planning to ride the tracks on my WR250R. I'll ride up to Esker and see if it looks plausible. If not, I'll turn around. No big deal. Train schedules are published, and I'll verify by phone before I go, so it's easy to find a relatively safe time... Though if I do it, I'll obviously be keeping a keen eye on the mirror and out ahead of me. It'll be about 50 miles of train track to ride. Some guys did this about 10ish years ago on big bikes. Had a few flat tires, but made it there and back. I ride sections of track around me all the time, and on a small bike, it's easy to get on and off the tracks if need be.
Riding the Translab in July, leaving Southern Ontario July 6, hope to be in Baie Comeau July 8 or 9 then up we go!!!
I will be heading that way mid july.
I‘m going to do it in a few days. Right now I’m in Nova Scotia, Antigonish and will go to New Fundland at the End of this week.
I’m thinking about to get some new tires on my 990 Adventure as my Heidenau K60 currently have more than 15.000km on it. And it will be a few more before the Trans Lab.
Is there a good dealer in New Fundland you could recommend?
Anyway, thanks for all the good information here and the map!
Max384 maybe we see each other out there in Labrador!
Newfoundland has a small population, and it's not too likely you'll find a motorcycle dealership with a good selection of that type of tire. Since you're in Nova Scotia at the moment, you'd be much better off riding to Moncton, New Brunswick (or more precisely, Dieppe), where there's a large dealership named Rallye Motoplex that's much more likely to have what you need.
""""I'm planning to ride the tracks on my WR250R""""
Take note that the railroad is private property -- EDIT my mistake - it is now a common railway serving the remaining population of the FORMER mine town of Schefferville and the small native communities
" Riding the ties" may sound old- timy , appealing and witty but you will still be trespassing on the railway
If you have a crash you could be laying in the tracks for a while waiting for an expensive airlift or for a meat wagon to pick up what's left.
If you can't ride a gravel road there you could see about hitching a ride on one of the passenger /freight/ flatbed rail cars hauling supplies up north .
The railway south from Lab City is still most definitely off limits as it carries a lot of ore trains .
Check the posts of peter640 I think he is going end of June 2019.
If you haven't seen the report yet ...
510 is completely washed-out just south of HVGB. Road closed 2 days ago.
No work around as of yet
Anyone with plans for the TLH next month?