Churchill MB by 'Road'?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Wanderlust, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. humvee

    humvee Long timer

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    Speedracer to the white courtesy phone...

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9914069&postcount=20
    #41
  2. low-1

    low-1 n00b

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    Summer of 2009, they did a bunch of work replacing ties, mostly because they have sunken away and rotted like you see in the picture. Not sure when that pic was taken, maybe they didn't make it all the way up? We ran into a crew doing this work just south of the bridge at the Weir river and they were definitely NOT happy to see us. Definitely makes it a lot rougher... ca-chunk-ca-chunk-ca-chunk for around 300 km (or however far they made it).

    I haven't been all the way up, but areas I have been on this is not really the norm. Usually there are pretty steep embankments on both sides and not a lot of room on top.

    Perhaps some of the guys who have made the whole trip can comment better?
    #42
  3. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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    That photo was taken in Aug 2008, according to its meta-data.
    #43
  4. BackRoader

    BackRoader Life Is A Hiway, Ride It.

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    Keep in mind, you will be trespassing on private property the entire trip. The right of way is 50 feet either side on the center line of track. At sidings the right of way may be 100 to 200 feet from the center line.

    Riding along the shoulder will definitley piss-off the track repair guys, as the wheel ruts created by the bike increases shoulder instability and on a line where it is already poor.

    If traveling to Churchill on a bike is something the owner of the rail line will tolerate, then call the HBR, there are offices in Winnipeg and The Pass as well as Denver. I believe the parent company is Omni Tracs. "Good Luck".
    #44
  5. moparmiller

    moparmiller Been here awhile

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    Conditions on the track ranged from jackhammering along the bare ties, baseball sized ballast stones on the tracks, to 4" of loose sand (all within the same mile...) very inconsistent- just when you get into your sand riding groove it turns to boulders...

    The shoulder is functionally un-rideable. The bank is soft and steep (think: trying to side hill a dune fully loaded but... if you go down hill you will never return). It sucks but the tracks are the best place to ride. Set your suspension with soft valving in the compression and rebound stacks for the first 50% of travel. Bring a 950 SE with good suspenders and a big tank and you could cruise.

    Also a butt-ton of tubes (like 4+ sets) and patch kits will be a good investment along with a good electric pump and true tire iron kung-foo skills. Also aggressive tires would aid in this- skip the 908RR's and get Michelin Deserts- any other dual sport compromised tire is making life harder than it needs to be.
    #45
  6. moparmiller

    moparmiller Been here awhile

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    Before you think about doing do any of this, do the steps below:

    1)Load up your bike with everything- FULLY loaded with extra fuel...

    2) go sprint run for a mile to get the jelly leg feeling going...

    3) find a *real* freight track in your town

    4) bring a strong friend- You will need them after you dump it

    5) ride the tracks- Stop and start, try to find any rhythm (good luck), and then try to get your bike over the rail and back onto the rails (without using a street crossing...)

    Contemplate what 200 miles of this shit would be like with the real possibility that you might run out of fuel.

    I tried with a few others and I would not do this again (*on a KLR that wasn't mine*). On my own bike I might try this run again...
    #46
  7. willys

    willys Long timer

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    Hmmmmm....well...now that you said it is so simple...maybe I'll reconsider...?:huh
    #47
  8. 2Trider

    2Trider Been here awhile

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    Riding 200 miles between the rails would be tedious and extremely draining a speed.....do not want to scrub the rails

    I ran a abandoned section of track for awhile and as interesting as it was you had too keep focused
    http://www.youtube.com/user/bkrgi?feature=mhum#p/u/25/pdfqSFByLwk

    Would i do it......eliminate the train threat and with proper prep ....why not:D
    #48
  9. DieHappy

    DieHappy n00b

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    Just got back from a failed attempt to ride the tracks to churchill mb.
    Just thought I would share some of my observations.
    My mistake was thinking I wouldn't have to get off the track very much.
    All those little towns you see on the map have side rails which means that the track you are riding on is blocked by a switch rail. Each town has two switches. 20 towns equals 40 switches.
    You have to have a means of lugging your loaded bike over these switches.
    A track worker helped me drag my KLR650 with 105 lbs of gear on it over two of them.
    We dropped it once and bent my shift lever.
    He then helped me remove my bike from the track so he could get by.
    At this point I could see the writing on the wall and headed back to gillam,
    I will try again next year but I will have a light weight specially designed ramp system.
    I rode slow and had camping gear so I could camp half way.
    What worked was riding slow.It really saves the bike as it gives you time to avoid rail debris and head shake.
    My trip was during absolute pouring rain. I started at Gilliam and was thrilled to cross the Nelson River on the train bridge. For the record there are trains on that track 4 times a week. Still easy to avoid.
    I was alone but had a shotgun. If you stay close to the track you are a day or two away from a rescue.
    The ride from Gillam to Thompson was mudfest as it rained my whole way...very challenging but fun.
    I hope this info will help others succeed.
    Diehappy
    #49
  10. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Kudo's to you for trying :thumb





    #50
  11. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    nice try.
    any pics?
    #51
  12. BackRoader

    BackRoader Life Is A Hiway, Ride It.

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    :lurk
    #52
  13. ApexJeff

    ApexJeff Been here awhile

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    I don't see ANYWAY to ride a moto from Gilliam to Churchill! I even looked at folowing the power lines, but impossible. You can ride the rails but I consider that very dangerous, with NO room on some sections to ride on the side, with water and steep grades. There ARE MORE than 4 trains a week going up and back with vital cargo and supplies, the passenger train that goes up and back alone 3 times a week. The locals thought I was nuts just going from Thompson to Gilliam which the worst I have been on in a couple years., including the Dalton and Trans Labordor. I did not find another moto but mostly pick-ups. It was construction, with graders taking off gravel, leaving nothing but mud and no tracks,( slicker than snot) until the trucks can lay down some new stone, then there was not any lines, so loose deep gravel. Some sectios were great with hard packed and good lines.The road south of Split Lake was the worst with construction being hurried to be done by Oct.

    MY best choice of the year, which included, NOT Riding from Gilliam to Churchill, NOT crossing the Darien Gap, but to take the train, choose a sleeper berth, have a cocktail, get the best nights sleep all year, get up and have breakfast in the dining car and be in Churchill!!:snore
    #53
  14. BackRoader

    BackRoader Life Is A Hiway, Ride It.

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    Funny there is a new post on this thread today. I was speaking with Speedracer earlier this evening and we talking about the same thing. He makes it sound like they were on the Paris Dakar and the first leg is basically riding through a scrap yard with no end in sight.
    Plenty of flats and bikes falling apart from the pounding.

    If anyone truly thinks they have it worked out... PM Speedracer for more details.
    #54
  15. SkinnyPedal

    SkinnyPedal Not So Skinny

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    Now that this thread is almost 10 years old, shall we revive it one more time? Has anybody attempted this one recently? More pics of this would be awesome, even if the last leg is by train. :ear
    #55
  16. BackRoader

    BackRoader Life Is A Hiway, Ride It.

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    Who ever does try it ... Take a Spot, that way the "search party" will know where to start looking.
    I did the trip on track in Motor Car in the late 80's. It was early June, the flies were brutal. I try to forget the rest!
    #56
  17. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    They could try it in the winter. No flies....
    #57
  18. Boyscout123

    Boyscout123 n00b

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    Another revival anyone??

    I have often thought of a motorized rail bike...how hard can it be
    #58
  19. BackRoader

    BackRoader Life Is A Hiway, Ride It.

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    The "Chieftan" mini bike was riding the rails in the 70's.
    Sorry no photos,
    #59
  20. PiffleMaster

    PiffleMaster Long timer

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    Wait, it's coming....
    Ok, a ten year old thread, but again. someone will try it this winter...
    I expect an adventure if/when it happens.... :freaky
    #60