Band On The Run - Year 5 (NY / VT / QC)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by smashley, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. smashley

    smashley Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario
    May 27, 2012 – Budds’ Advanced Rider Training

    Trumpet and I decided to give the Budds training day a go again this year. I assume there were more returnees this year than in the past, because, although the day was designed to be progressively more difficult, we started at a higher level and moved up from there. The grass course, still slippery with morning dew, was first up.

    20120527.092052.GSRiderTraining.jpg

    Sidehill on damp grass

    They also watered down a section so we could practice how to use balance and weighting to deal with losing traction going uphill. From there we did some balance exercises riding over narrow beams. With all of this slow speed work, Trumpet’s bike started to overheat. One of the benefits of engaging with a higher end dealership, they had spare bikes on hand and loaned him an F650 while they worked on his F800. It turned out to be a jammed fan they were able to easily fix on site. We ended the morning on the motocross track which included my favourite, the seesaw again (June 26, 2011 – Budds’ Advanced Rider Training).

    20120527.103704.GSRiderTraining.jpg

    Getting the balance right on a loaner bike

    After a well prepared lunch, we headed for the woods and some single track. It was reported back to us later that the locals found it odd to see headlights where they are used to only seeing dirt bikes.

    20120527.130729.GSRiderTraining.jpg

    Failing to look far enough ahead

    The afternoon included an optional jump, which the F650’s shocks were not up to. The landing seemed to bottom them out every time. As before the day’s training ended with the mud puddle, which I attacked with much more gusto than in previous years because the bike was shod with more appropriate rubber.
    20120527.133611.GSRiderTraining.jpg

    How much momentum should you carry?
    #1
  2. smashley

    smashley Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario
    Prologue

    The GPS eco-system fits my planning personality perfectly. I used the winter to learn about Garmin BaseCamp, then used the summer to get used to the Zumo. Through creating routes for my daily riding, I learned that the settings I liked were shortest distance & avoid highways. This meant turning settings on and off depending on what was in the plan.

    I can’t remember how I first came across advrider. I would assume that it was a google search for something that provided a result there. It was so interesting to me that within the first few months of browsing, I created an account.

    Farkle Update: This winter (and continuing through the riding season) I added a few items to the bike. I added SW-Motech engine guards. They were easy to install and are very well designed. They provide the right amount of protection without interfering in bike operations in any way. I really recommend them. Also for protection, I added a Hepco & Becker Headlight Grill. It made cleaning a dirty headlight difficult and seemed to reduce the amount of light available at night. Given that I have never had something hit the headlight, I would not make this purchase again. After putting 24,000 kilometers on the Tourance tires I bought last year, I was looking for something new, and a little more aggressive. After a lot of research on the internet, including advrider, I selected the Heidenau K60s. They have become my Frank’s Red Hot; I put that s*** on everything. For me, they work exactly the way I want a tire to. They provide more confidence when not on asphalt, and I have scraped the BMW’s pegs when on road. They are obviously not as good as DOT knobbies in sand and mud, but I get between 25 and 30 thousand kilometers on a set on the GS. On the KLR, the rear tread pattern is different, and I have not exceeded 20,000 kilometers on a set yet. This site has many complaints about wet road performance, but I have none. I have never experienced an unexpected slide on the Heidies. Trumpet and Saxophone are converts as well.

    I am fortunate to have married into a family cottage that I can go to every weekend. So every Friday, I ride a back road route to meet my family there. I have made it an obsession, especially now that I have a GPS that tracks my route, to cover every road between the office and the cottage. I also use it to test GPS settings and route planning. This summer I figured out a preferred route that takes me past four no exit signs. It gives me an opportunity to regularly ride on less than ideal surfaces.

    20120804.003202.CanonA470.jpg

    When no exit really isn’t

    The target area for the trip this year was Quebec. We knew that Trombone wouldn’t be joining us, so I spent much of my spare time in late August and early September planning the route.
    #2
  3. smashley

    smashley Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario
    September 17, 2012 – Oakville, ON – Lake Placid, NY (681 km)

    Given that this was my first time travelling with the GPS as a planning tool, I decided to carry a laptop with me to run BaseCamp. That led to thinking I needed more storage space than the previous year, which I proceeded to fill. In the end I grossly overpacked, adding a drybag to the 70 liters of storage in the Vario cases. Like the previous year, when the intention was to drive across the top of Toronto on a Monday, we had a very early start to the morning. Also just like the previous year it was quite a cool start to the morning. Trumpet met me at my house at 6:00am this time and we got rolling right away. There were no near misses this time, but 2 hours on the bike and the cold had really worked its way in. Instead of the usual stop in town, we pulled off at the Trenton ONroute to gas up, eat up and warm up. It took a full hour before I was ready to go again, so a little before 9, we were heading for our meet up with Saxophone. Just like the previous year the plan was to meet at the Morrisburg ONroute. We had planned to meet at 11 and given that we had travelled almost 450km (plus a stop) to get there, pulling in about 5 minutes late didn’t seem too bad. Once again Sax was waiting for us.

    It had been a year since we had seen him last, so we spent some time catching up and unfortunately didn’t think to top up. I can’t remember anymore what our target for this evening was to be, other than somewhere in Quebec. Sax took the lead to run us across the provincial border, probably through Hawkesbury. We didn’t make it. ... Heading north on ON-138 just as we reached Highway 417, Saxophone’s bike stopped running. After 45 minutes of trying to diagnose the issue, we were no closer to understanding what was wrong. After another 30 minutes of discussion, Trumpet and I left Sax on the side of the road. This was the first of several times to come over many years that I have found myself in this situation and I am quite conflicted by it. Do you leave someone behind or stick it out? In this instance the thought process was, we were 30 minutes away from Saxophone’s house and he had been able to arrange for a trailer, which was on its way, to get him back home.

    Rather than continue with the original plan without Sax, Trumpet and I decided to head back to Lake Placid. It was a straight shot to Cornwall and the crossing there. Because we had not gassed up at Morrisburg, we were forced to do that in Cornwall, meaning we missed out on the cheaper gas just across the border. We followed the familiar route from 2010, but this time took the Blue Mountain Road / Keese Mill combination, which once again caught me off-guard in the one sandy section. Since we were sticking with the tried and true it was back to the Best Western Adirondack Inn. On arrival we got a message that Saxophone had sorted his problem out and was on his way to join us. A little later than usual, we were able to grab a table for 3 at Grill 211 and toast the continuation of the trip.
    #3
  4. smashley

    smashley Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario
    September 18, 2012 – Lake Placid, NY – Champlain, QC (491 km)

    The next morning, we woke to a light rain, but more impactfully a KLR that would not start. The day before when we left Saxophone on his own, he was only 30 minutes from home and had a trailer already on the way. This was a completely different situation. After much deliberation, Sax insisted we continue on and he would figure out how to get his bike back home. As the light rain, became a downpour, Trumpet and I headed east. Even in the heavy rain I could tell that NY-73 running alongside the Cascade lakes was a scenic route. NY-73 eventually turns south and took us to Tracy Road. Hopefully I will get another chance to push the bike in the dry, but for now it was a reasonable pace again. As we reached Lake Champlain, I was surprised to see that the bridge at Crown Point had been completed. We no longer had to wait for a ferry. From there it was on to Bristol and for the 3rd year in a row a stop at the Bristol Bakery & Cafe. This year, however, we would not be seated outside.

    I was wearing a BMW Rallye 2 Pro suit which I got along with the bike when getting back in to riding. I had only ever worn leather before, and these textile suits were a revelation. On this day I had the waterproof liner zipped in. Stopping at the cafe, exposed a limitation with this jacket that I had not previously experienced. I hung the jacket on the back of the chair beside me as I ate, and it started to drain. The outer textile layer was soaked through and heavy with water. I was embarrassed when the staff brought one of the wet floor cones and placed it over the growing pool behind the chair. I did ensure the tip covered the extra mopping up the staff needed to do when I left. Over the meal we decided to head to Quebec and away from the rain. With the GPS set to no highways and shortest route, we found ourselves zigging and zagging across Vermont as we headed for the Canadian border. Most of the time I did not know where we were. Just blindly following the directions given meant that on multiple occasions we left the road we were on, took a shorter dirt road and then rejoined the road we had been on. In the rain, and not knowing the area, I didn’t figure this out until looking at the recorded tracks when I got back home. Thankfully though, the rain was becoming intermittent.

    20120918.134249.PanasonicDMCTS3.jpg

    Taking a break at a sugar bush on Perley Road

    The first place I did recognize, was the gas station in Richford that we had used in 2010. So I pulled in and we filled up at our last chance for cheaper gas. The border crossing on VT-139/QC-139, is a lightly travelled crossing that sees about 300 cars a day, so entering Canada was a breeze. We were once again just following the GPS as it directed us on the shortest route onwards. Sometimes we were on paved roads, sometimes on gravel roads, sometimes in the country and sometimes in small towns, but moving ever onwards as the rain came and went. That completely changed when we hit Drummondville. Whether it was the rain, or the fact that it was after 4 on a weekday, we got bogged down in traffic. I changed the settings on the GPS to fastest route and removed the restriction on highway to get us somewhere on the north shore of the St. Lawrence before dark. My only vivid memory of this portion of the trip was crossing the Saint-Francois River on QC-122 in Drummondville. The rain swollen river and the ragged rapids we could see on our right were a welcome break from the traffic.

    It certainly did not get better from there as we hit the autoroute. With the spray from cars and trucks I feel too invisible and given the choice won’t ride the highway in heavy rain. But we needed to make time and 45 minutes was all it took on the highways to get across the St. Lawrence and through Trois-Rivieres. However, our all too frequent late day hunt for a hotel was on. And even though it did take us to the very pretty church in Saint-Maurice, that was only to sit in the parking lot and figure out if the GPS could get us to a place to stay. We ended up doubling back towards Trois-Rivieres to find a way down to QC-138 that runs along the north shore of the St. Lawrence. It was well past 6 and any port in storm would do, when we finally arrived in Champlain and spotted the Auberge Samuel de Champlain. They had room and didn’t mind that we were a little wet. The B&B owner suggested the Resto Pub Manoir Antic for dinner. It was a short 10 minute walk away, although after dark on poorly lit streets. Even after a day focused mainly on covering distance, in mostly unpleasant weather, we were still able to enjoy a good meal with good company.
    #4
  5. smashley

    smashley Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario
    September 19, 2012 – Champlain, QC – Near Baie-Saint-Paul, QC (366 km)

    You never know when you wake up if that day is going to significantly change your future, and this morning was no different. The breakfast was unremarkable and although cool it wasn’t raining when we loaded up the bikes. We had a generally idea that we wanted to skirt around the north edge of Quebec City and head up to Chicoutimi. I had loaded a track in to the Zumo and we set off east on QC-138. Before we turned north, we got some great views of the St. Lawrence and rode across a long steel grate bridge over Riviere Batiscan. Rang du Rapide Nord is a very pleasant road that mostly follows the shoreline of Riviere-Ste-Anne. We needed to cross this river in St-Casimir, but looking at yet another amazing church (in a small town), I missed the turn for the first of many times today. We doubled back to pick up the road we wanted and realized almost immediately that we should stop for gas. It was a little after 10:00 am and we weren’t even a half hour into our ride, but when you need gas you have to stop.

    When I restarted the bike after fueling the GPS unit did not restart properly with the route. The gas station was at a corner that we were supposed to turn at, but I headed us straight on the road we were on. Frequently checking the unit and not understanding what it was showing me, I did think it strange that we crossed over a highway as I had not expected we should come to one. I knew for sure however we were on the wrong route when the road ended at a T junction with nothing but St. Lawrence river in front of us. Rather than double back, we headed east again on QC-138, to pick up the next major road that looked to be heading back north to the route we wanted to be on. The unintended detour cost a little more than 20 minutes, but we were back on track. We arrived in St-Raymond a little after 11. As it was a town of some size, we figured we could find a place to have an early lunch. Right on the main street we found a small cafe that was tucked into a pharmacy / doctor’s office / gift store. It was an unusual place but worked for some food and warm drinks.

    After lunch, we resumed the trek east. We passed through Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier as we made our way to Shannon which is dominated by the Canadian Forces Base Valcartier. We skirted around the base so that we could get headed north again. Once on QC-371, it finally felt like we had left the flat land behind as we started to see some lumps and bumps indicating more hilly terrain was nearby. It was the nicest road we had been on that day, especially when it was following Riviere Cassian. In Tewkesbury we turned on to the much smaller and quieter Rue Jacques Cartier. Five minutes later the route directed us past a sign that said Private Property. Even today Google Maps shows a road going though there, but it does not exist. We turned around and tried to reroute. Without too much difficulty we found ourselves northbound on Autoroute 73. It is pretty enough, but after 30 kilometers on the divided highway I pulled off at an available exit. I realized that I had intended to be on the prettier but quieter QC-381 that runs roughly parallel further east. The GPS indicated that the next exit could take us there. 10 kilometers farther up we turned on to Route 33. The road almost immediately turned to gravel.

    20120919.142248.PanasonicDMCTS3.jpg

    Route 33 is also snowmobile trail 369

    The road twisted and turned, rose and fell. Sometimes it was gravel and sometimes just dirt. I had never ridden in a remote area like this before. It was made even more magical by the very light flurries that drifted down around us.

    20120919.145211.PanasonicDMCTS3.jpg

    Off the beaten track

    On one of the stops Trumpet commented that we needed to rethink our plans. He was lower on gas than he was comfortable with and figured we should aim for that, wherever it would be, instead of Georges Vezina’s hometown. I punched in nearest gas station and we headed off. Two hours in the Reserve Faunique Des Laurentides and my confidence was growing. In the lead, I was picking up the pace a bit. Which is why when I came around a corner to find a water/mud puddle crossing the road, I didn’t have time to brake and plowed right through. Trumpet claimed that he knew it was fine for him to ride through, because he could still see the bottom as the water had not settled back from my passage yet. Shortly afterwards I realized that I had missed the turn I wanted to make, so had to double back and still didn’t find. Slowly retracing the route a third time I found what I was looking for. It was a steep downhill loose gravel trail leading off the road we were on. A quick chat and we confirmed that we would give it a go. Within a couple of kilometers, the trail had started to grow in. Another new experience.

    20120919.160706.CanonSD600.jpg

    When a road turns to a trail is it a warning sign?

    Sure enough, one kilometer later and we reached a closed bridge. No matter how many times we looked at the various issues, there were too many for us to figure out how to get the bikes on to, across and off the wrecked structure. We were still enjoying ourselves, so there was no concern about doubling back again and finding a go around. Even though it was 4:30 in the afternoon we only had about 30 kilometers (30 minutes give or take) to get back to civilization. 10 kilometers later that all changed. We came to a locked gate. There was no way around the gate. We suspected that we might be able to lay the bikes down and drag them underneath, but what would we find at the other end?

    The GPS was too small to do any planning on, so I broke out the laptop and started to plan a route out. I plotted a route that was 60 kilometers long and given that the big GS was reporting about a 60 kilometer range left in the tank this was our only option. Once again, we were doubling back, but this time with a sense of urgency. We easily found the turn we were looking for and the nice wide gravel road buoyed our spirits. Where the road started to narrow, there were two pickup trucks parked in the bush to one side. They were the first vehicles we had seen in 3½ hours. From there the road got narrower, and more broken up. I brought my bike to a stop at the foot of a loose dirt hill with what appeared to be only a single track up over an exposed broken metal culvert. As a novice to this type of riding, and at the end of a long day, I wanted to be sure of what was at the top before taking this on. So, I walked it first and the road did look better from there on. As I got back to the bikes, over the top came 2 ATVs. They were able to bump down over the rocks and stopped for us to move our bikes out of the way.

    Saxophone and Trumpet both married women whose first language was French, so I had no concerns travelling through Quebec with them. I stopped taking French in school as soon as I could, and it turned out that Trumpet’s French was not all that good. These hunter’s, of course, spoke very limited English. That was just the way the afternoon had gone. With what limited words we had at our disposal and a lot of pantomime, we learned that they did not have gas that we could buy from them. They assured us that if we went up the hill, we would be fine. There would be something across the road, but we would be able to easily get under it. Not to worry. With the conversation, if you could call it that, done, they moved on. Trumpet and I had a short discussion and decided we did not have much choice. I was not relishing the hill climb and so together we walked the bike up. This took more effort than expected, so Trumpet decided to just go for it. It was great bit of riding with the front wheel airborne after hitting the steel pipe at speed without landing in the rocks on the side.

    20120919.182217.CanonSD600.jpg

    The point of no return

    With sunset only about ½ hour away, it was time to cover ground. It certainly felt like twilight was already on us because the surrounding hills blocked the sun. Mounted and riding again we had gone less than 1 kilometer, when rounding a corner, I saw water from the lake on our right completely covering the road and stretching for about 100 meters forward. Tired and exercising poor judgement, maybe knowing that there was no alternative, I plowed right into it. At first it was not too bad, about ankle (on the footpeg) deep. But about ⅔ of the way across the nose of the bike dived downwards, and the water was suddenly not much below my knees. I had been able to maintain my momentum and stay upright. Once out the other side I slowed enough to confirm in my mirrors that Trumpet had made it through, and I picked up the pace again. Without a doubt the next 20 minutes were the most challenging riding I had done to date. There were a couple of loose rocky climbs and descents, quite a few critters on the edge of the road, but it was continuing to get better as the kilometers clicked by. Until eventually, we came to a chain draped across the road. I later realized this was the boundary with Parc National des Grands-Jardins. As the hunters had promised we were able to lift the chain up and walk the bikes underneath. From this point on it was a smooth gravel road. I don’t know when the park closes, but thankfully the gate was still up when we arrived at the visitor’s center.

    From there it was south on QC-381 to find a gas station. Even as night settled around us, I realized that I had been right earlier, and this would be a much nicer drive than Autoroute 73. A small detour in Saint-Urbain for a road closure made me wonder if we were going to make the gas station before Trumpet’s GS ran dry. Long after his bike was showing zero kilometers range remaining, we pulled into the Shell station where QC-381 meets QC-138. After gassing up, and taking a moment to feel relieved, we noticed the Maison Chez Laurent across the street. It was past 8:00pm by the time we checked in and the only restaurant nearby was closed. However, the motel office had a small store, so we bought some canned ravioli, borrowed a pot and some spoons, and cooked the food up on a small range in the room. On later reflection, I realized that this was our first true adventure and that bike travel for me was forever changed.
    #5
  6. smashley

    smashley Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario
    September 20, 2012 – Near Baie-Saint-Paul, QC – Saint-Gabriel, QC (388 km)

    20120920.092857.PanasonicDMCTS3.jpg

    A beautiful new day dawns

    After yesterday’s adventure, I suggested we take a look at the other end of the road that stopped us with the locked gate. I was interested to know, had we negotiated the gate, what would have happened at the other end. We got rolling around 9:30 in the morning and 10 minutes later where at the start of Chemain du Seminaire. I did a lot of research when I returned home and the only related thing I could find was the Seminaire de Quebec. However, I can’t figure out why a group of priests would have a private road through the woods.

    Rather than double back to the main road we took Rang Saint Placide Sud until it ended at QC-138. It was a nice relaxing quiet start to the day. Particularly because the rest of the morning was nothing special. There aren’t many ways to get to Quebec City from the east, so traffic was heavy. Especially through Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre. I remembered visiting the famous shrine there from an elementary school French trip, so we did a quick detour circling the block to see it from all sides. Also from 34 years earlier I remembered the Montmorency Falls as a quiet place out in the country, but passing it on this trip we were already on to the divided highway system that would take us through Quebec City. We exited the city northbound heading back past CFB Valcartier. Hard to believe that it was only 24 hours previous that we had been in the same place. As we backtracked to Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier we decided an early lunch was in order. We found Resto Pub Jacques Cartier and although it had a nice looking patio, it was cool enough that we ate inside. A good hardy meal and we were ready to get rolling again.

    The GPS was again set to shortest distance and no highways, with the target being Mont Tremblant. The back tracking continued to St-Raymond, but from there we took a more northerly route. QC-367 to Riviere-a-Pierre is a nice, sparsely populated road that is an enjoyable ride, but the entertainment value improves noticeably after making the left turn towards Rousseau. The pavement was brand new and we pushed the bikes a little harder just for a change of pace. Taking the shortest route is nice because of the frequent changes from major to minor and gravel roads. We also came across sights like the Chutes de Montauban. It did fall apart when we were directed on to Route Charest which seemed to peter out in a field. Eventually we got back on track, heading towards the Parc National de la Mauricie. I had heard that the road around the park was beautiful and twisty, although with a restrictive speed limit. Still, something I wanted to check out. The Grand Mere Suspension Bridge was a beautiful way to mask the brutal traffic that was to come as we made our way through Shawinigan. Once out of the city it was a short ride to the St-Gerard entrance. Unfortunately, it appeared to be a pedestrian only entrance to the park, so we were stymied from continuing farther. With the taste of that disappointment fresh in our mouths, we started heading west again. An hour of bland riding later and we pulled over to try and figure out where we should pack it in for the day. The GPS directed us to the nearby town of Saint-Gabriel. In our usual fashion we spent the better part of the next ½ hour trying to find the “just right” place before booking in to the first place we had driven by when we arrived in town. We were given a second floor room when we checked in at the Auberge St-Gab. The floors weren’t quite level and the bathroom was shared, but it had a nice feeling and the first floor restaurant was perfect for dinner.
    #6
  7. smashley

    smashley Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario
    September 21, 2012 – Saint-Gabriel, QC – Low, QC (369 km)

    Trumpet had been messaging Saxophone and he offered to host us at his cottage tonight. I plotted out a route that would include a handful of roads that I had seen written up. We got a later than usual start to the day, not rolling until after 10. We would spend the day heading generally west. QC-347 leaving town provides beautiful views of Lac Maskinonge. I assume that this is a bit of “cottage country” as this route is quite populated, at least compared to what we had been riding the last couple of days. The GPS was doing its favourite trick and taking us on to side roads only to rejoin the road we had been on. It was something I would have to address in the future. QC-347 between St. Come and Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci had been recommended. It did have some curves that had to be respected, but I would not describe the road as twisty. A short run north on QC-125 brings you to the start of Chemin du Nordet. This was another recommended road. Why this overly engineered road exists where it does I can’t figure out. It is wide, has lots of guardrails, cuts through rock and has nothing on either side for 30 kilometers. If I had a do-over, from there I would take Chemin Duplessis to Tremblant, but we were following the GPS which took us to the town of Mont-Tremblant rather than the resort. We were looking for the latter so took QC-327 to get there. We left the bikes parked in one of the public lots and wandered into the pedestrian village. Settling on Le Shack, with its big bright windows looking out at the ski hills, was a very good choice for lunch.

    We returned to the bikes and all was as we left it. We took a slightly different route leaving Tremblant and then started across country in a generally south west direction through the Laurentians. There were some nicely paved roads, poorly paved roads, and gravel roads, but no major roads. This did eventually cause us some time issues. As we drove through Buckingham at 4:00pm, I adjusted the GPS settings and set us up for the fastest route to Sax’s cottage. It did mean about 60 kilometers of highway driving, but we were able to shut the bikes down by 5. Being the host that he is, Sax had the cold beers in our hands before we had our riding gloves off. Over an amazing steak dinner and some good red wine, we started talking about the trip. Trumpet and I recounted as best we could our time in the Reserve Faunique Des Laurentides. The solitude, the adversity, and the increased challenge of the riding were the strongest memories of this trip. Through the course of the conversation, I brought up Rene Cormier’s talk (July 7, 2010 – Rene Cormier – University of Gravel Roads). My favourite part of his book and of Long Way Round were their experiences in Mongolia (maybe not the LWR support SUV flipping over, but …). Those memories, combined with my recent experiences, caused me to realize that it would be a dream trip for me. Saxophone, ever the practical thinker, figured if I (or we) wanted to do the trip, we needed to be much better prepared. We would need to be more self-sufficient when it came to maintenance. We had twice left him stranded and for my part, even my paniers had been bolted on at the dealership. Outside of chain maintenance, I did nothing myself. The second thing he pointed out was that we needed to be better riders. We should consider how we could practice during the year and how we could up the challenge level of our trips. By the time we were ready for bed, I was pleasantly surprised that we had a plan that might one day lead to a dream trip. Even more gratifying was this part of The Band wanting to share my dream.
    #7
  8. smashley

    smashley Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario
    September 22, 2012 – Low, QC – Oakville, ON (526 km)

    There is no rush to wake up on a Saturday morning at a friend’s cottage, so we slept in and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. Maybe the rain also factored in to delaying the start. Eventually we mounted up and headed out. Instead of heading back towards Ottawa, Saxophone had suggested an alternate all gravel back road route to Ladysmith and then on to Shawville. We took it, but the conditions were quite poor, so it was not particularly enjoyable. Shortly after crossing into Ontario we stopped at a Tim Hortons in Renfrew for lunch.

    Leaving Renfrew, we made our way to ON-41 which is fine road to cover miles on. Much nicer than a highway. South of Madoc we used a rail trail to go from one road to another, which added to my belief that there is not too much enjoyment to be had on one. It was already 3:30 by the time we pulled on to the 401 in Trenton. So, other than a stop for gas at the ONroute, we just pushed on home.

    2012.Route.jpg
    #8
  9. smashley

    smashley Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Oakville, Ontario
    The story continues in Year 6.
    #9