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Trans-Lab: Alone? At your age?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Mtl_Biker, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    You're right! I'm out of order. (And so are my photos!)

    Relais Gabriel is after Manic 5... I got confused.

    But I did say I got to Energie before Manic 5 (and the start of the gravel).

    My day one was Friday August 1st, so you were more than a week before me.

    Thanks for the comment about my photos. I thought they were pretty lousy, as most were shot with my left hand while riding, using a cheapie camera that only shoots jpegs.

    Did you do a trip report?


    #21
  2. R_Rick

    R_Rick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    515
    Location:
    Halifax, NS
    It's on my list of things to do, but haven't put anything together yet.
    #22
  3. pelvis_98

    pelvis_98 Havin A Time

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,159
    Location:
    Oxford Station, Ontario
    :lurk
    #23
  4. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    20,035
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground
    Awesome thus far... keep it going.:clap
    #24
  5. Conundrum29

    Conundrum29 Unter den Linden

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Thanks. I ride a KTM 1190 ADV or a BMW RT1200...depending on mood, weather conditions and/or destination. :D

    I haven't done the TLH just yet but I sure do enjoy reading about it!
    #25
  6. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Woke up early but wasn't sure what time it was. My watch said one time, my iPhone said another and the clock radio in my room was different again. Who ever thought of a half-hour time zone change? And my sophisticated wristwatch only allowed for full hour zone changes.

    Lottie treated me to a very good breakfast, several cups of coffee and I was feeling energized and ready to tackle more gravel.

    I went outside to start packing my bike. It was cold and there was a drizzle going on and the sky was dark gray. What to wear.... Heated jacket liner or rain gear? Decided on the rain gear and it was a good decision because it rained on and off (sometimes heavy and sometimes light) almost all day. And the rain gear also helped keep me warm.

    [​IMG]

    I'd aired my tires back up to normal pavement riding pressures as it was going to be pavement to about 40 km after Churchill Falls. The road doesn't actually take you through Churchill Falls, and you've got to turn off to find gas or anything else. I rode down to an Ultramar station (regular grade only) and filled up. The inside of the store looked like they had everything and the girl behind the cash proudly announced that they were the "Walmart of Churchill Falls" and that if they didn't have what you wanted, you'd be out of luck (although she said it a little more graphically). I asked if they had any bear bangers or "I survived the Trans Labrador Highway" stickers and she said I was out of luck. SIGH

    The road further out continues on pavement for about 40 km and then turns to gravel for another 80. When I hit that I immediately stopped and aired down. There was quite a bit of traffic (mostly on-coming) but it was the best gravel I'd experienced yet. I quite easily managed 90-100 kph in 6th gear.

    I forgot to mention in my Day 2 report that I had two very scary incidents on the gravel between Relais Gabriel and Fermont. I was riding along on good gravel, scanning the road ahead of me for changes in color or texture, trying to anticipate the surface conditions and without warning the bike would start to oscillate left and right, almost trying to throw me off. Felt like being on some kind of mechanical bull. I was standing on the pegs but that didn't help. My heart was in my throat and I have no idea how I managed to slow down and stop without falling. I had a vision of myself sliding across the gravel, hurt and bleeding. I was so shaken up by this the first time that I had to stay stopped at the side of the road for 10-15 minutes before my heart stopped racing and my breathing returned to normal. It really scared me. Everyone says that you should give more gas when this happens, but that really goes against every natural instinct, and I guess I hadn't given enough gas. I couldn't tell by looking at the road I'd just traveled what might have caused this and I really couldn't detect that anything had changed. I even looked at my tires to make sure they weren't flat because if the road wasn't any different, the bike must have been the problem. But the tires looked fine. The second time this happened, I actually checked the tire pressures, and even tried to wiggle the front wheel to see if something in the steering or axle was loose. I couldn't believe the road had caused my near wipe outs. But it must have. In hindsight what I think it was that very loose sand had gotten scraped into deep holes (damn road graders) and once the road surface was even and dry, there were no visible clues that you'd go from hard packed to loose deep sand without warning.

    Anyway, reaching pavement again (which would continue all the way to Happy Valley Goose Bay) I stopped to re-inflate my tires:

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    One of the bridges I crossed was a little scary. The grate was so large and open that it felt like the knobs on my knobby tires were jamming into the holes in the grate and the bike was pretty hard to control. That was the one time when a more street-oriented tire might have been better. But luckily it was only the one bridge.

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    I was really trying to baby my tires and also to conserve fuel. Usually my riding is shall we say, somewhat uh, spirited. I was enjoying the slow pace and total solitude. I didn't have any music on, nor were there any distractions. Riding a motorcycle always requires full attention but here the road was good, there was nothing to worry about in terms of distracted drivers or people coming out of driveways without looking and my mind was able to de-stress completely. It was absolutely incredible.

    And I admit I was feeling very proud of myself, for doing "such a trip" and "at my age". :) (Remember what the Gold Medal winning Canadian Olympic athlete said to me before my trip started.) I was feeling mucho macho! This was an adventure, and I was doing it, and I was surviving and feeling on top of the world.

    So I'm riding along enjoying for a change the relatively slow and very relaxed pace (the fuel computer was reporting that the bike was using about 3 litres per 100 km, the best I'd ever gotten!) when I noticed headlights coming up fast from behind me. As the vehicle got closer the headlights became a single headlight. Another biker! We waved at each other and gave thumbs up as he passed and then I thought, "What the heck was that?" Something very unexpected had registered in my subconscious mind and with him riding off ahead of me, I wasn't sure what it was. But something had bugged me.

    I brought my speed up to 120... He was still pulling away. Usually I love to give chase (and very few actually pass me) but the new improved and oh so relaxed me decided to just let him go. I was on track for getting the most economical tank of gas I'd ever gotten and I couldn't wait to check when I next filled up. The heck with it - let him go.

    A while later, maybe half an hour, (I'd even lost track of time) I could see a biker pulled over ahead of me. As everyone does on the Trans Lab, I pulled up next to him to make sure he was alright. It was the guy who'd passed me earlier, and I saw what it was that had bothered me. He was riding a SCOOTER! A Yamaha Majesty 400 cc scooter, and with a car tire on the back wheel!

    All of my macho sense of accomplishment went out the window. Passed by a darn SCOOTER. What's next? A Honda Odyssey mini-van full of little children smiling and waving as they pass me? SHEECH! A damn SCOOTER! Meet Vlad from Toronto, who will henceforth be known (with the utmost respect) as "The Crazy Serbian".
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    Vlad had ridden his scooter all the way from Toronto and he was doing the Trans-Lab. And here I thought I was doing such a courageous adventure (remember the Olympian from my first post) only to be passed by someone riding a scooter. I don't think I'm going to tell anyone about that. Vlad had run out of gas and was filling his tank from what looked like a 5 gallon can he kept under his seat.

    Anyway, we clicked, in that way only fellow adventurer riders can. We were both headed to Happy Valley Goose Bay for the night and he had reservations at a B&B. I had nothing. I was open to camping, a B&B or even a hotel. Vlad suggested we ride together (only about 120 km remained) and if the B&B had an extra room, I'd stay there and we'd have dinner and drinks together. Vlad had a fine old Scotch with him and I had 12 year old rum. Kindred souls.

    Vlad said I should go ahead, but since he knew where he was going and had a GPS, I told him to go first. He then asked me what speed I wanted to ride at. Geez, I was riding a REAL motorcycle, and I was an adventure rider, and my bike was 800cc and his SCOOTER was only 400cc. I puffed up my chest and said something like "Whatever speed you want to ride at is fine with me."

    So Vlad took the lead and promptly took it up to about 140 kph!

    My competitive nature kicked in and I took off in pursuit. But not for long. For the first time in a few days, I had wind noise in my ears, with the knobbies my bike was shaking more than I liked, and watching the fuel computer showed that instead of the 3 L/100km I'd been doing, it was now up to 7.5. I followed for a little while...

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    ...and then I asked myself what the heck I was doing. I went from a peaceful more relaxed ride than I remember having done to wind noise in my ears, bad fuel economy, more wear on my tires, and more stress for what? For my macho pride about letting a SCOOTER (I can't get over that) get away from me? For a guy I just met and spoke with for only a few minutes? What's wrong with me? So I came to my senses and slowed down to close to the speed I was doing earlier. Let the Crazy Serbian go! But Vlad was kind enough to slow down and wait every once in awhile and we finally entered Happy Valley Goose Bay together. First stop was for Vlad to get gas. I continued on to a place the gas station attendant suggested might have those Trans Lab stickers I so desperately wanted.

    Only problem was that it was Sunday early evening, and all the stores were closed for the day. I met up with Vlad and together we went to the Tim Horton's to use their WiFi and washrooms. Then we rode to the B&B he had reserved, only to find they had no other rooms available. Vlad's room had a double and a single bed, and he was extremely kind to offer the single bed to me. But I'm kinda set in my ways, and I really like my privacy but what I didn't like was that there was only one washroom/shower for the entire B&B. I told Vlad that I'd check out my other options and that if nothing else panned out, if his offer still stood, I'd be back.

    On my list of notes for the trip, I had several hotels. None of them great, and all of them expensive. While looking for the one with the best reviews, which I didn't find, I saw another one (which I knew didn't have the best reviews) but it had ON PREMISES one of the Jungle Jim restaurants. (I'd really enjoyed the one in Labrador City.) It was the Hotel North Two, on Hamilton River Road. The woman at the reception desk was somewhat gruff on first impression, but really turned out to be fantastic. And it was because of her that I decided to stay there that night.

    So I unloaded all my gear, put it in my room, and then sent a text message (thanks to the WiFi they had) to Vlad to let him know where I was and telling him to come join me for dinner and drinks. I put my bike on the center stand and tightened the chain (it had gotten really loose) and lubricated it. When I finished Vlad still hadn't shown up, so I cleaned up and then went to the reception desk to ask for advice about where I might find the most special "I survived the Trans Labrador Highway" stickers. Joann, the woman at reception, turned out to be an absolute sweetheart. She let me use the phone at the reception desk and kept suggesting different places to call (and giving me the numbers). One after another either didn't answer (it was evening on a Sunday night) or they didn't have the stickers. And the next day, Monday, believe it or not, was going to be a civic holiday with everything closed because they were going to have of all things, a canoe regatta. That's apparently a big deal in Labrador. So I wasn't going to find any stickers in the morning either.

    Joann saw how badly I wanted one of those stickers and she finally said that she would find one for me when the stores opened on Tuesday and mail it to me. Really? I couldn't believe my luck! I offered to pay her but she refused, saying she would be glad to do it. What a sweetheart! Before heading to the bar to await Vlad, I did manage to force a few bucks on her as I felt it really wasn't fair for her to pay for this herself.

    (Joann did actually send me some stickers, but they were credit-card size and didn't look like they were meant for outside use, and I've since learned that she has lost her job at the hotel for political reasons, which is a real shame. The hotel was the pits, and Joann was the only redeeming quality. I really wish her the best of luck and if I had a business there, I'd be happy to have her working for me.)

    I went to the bar, and started on a much desired and anticipated and deserved local draft beer. Vlad arrived, and also had a beer, before we got a table for dinner. That's Vlad's helmet on the bar:

    [​IMG]

    I thought I'd taken some photos of us at the table eating dinner, but I can't seem to find them. Must be my old age.

    After a good dinner and too many beers (gee, I was making a habit of that) we said our good night's and Vlad headed back to his B&B and I to my room.

    Now my friend the outstanding Canadian nature photographer Chris Dodds (see the first message) had told me about using Permetherin against the biting insects. But he had also suggested getting a sleeping bag liner with a hood (mummy shape in my case) that you'd also treat with Permetherin. Chris is often in sketchy remote hotels and inns when he leads his workshops and he is very concerned (rightly so) about sleeping in a place with bed bugs and bringing them home. He won't take chances. So in a questionable place, he sleeps in his sleeping bag liner and has nothing to worry about.

    So with this new awareness (and concern) I lifted the bed covers and checked it out with a strong flashlight I carry and I saw nothing. Then I lifted the top mattress and looked under it. I didn't see any bed bugs, but I did see "spots". Enough of them to make me concerned. Maybe they'd had a bed bug problem and treated it, or maybe it was still there, but I certainly felt uneasy about sleeping there (at $150 per night!!!). So I pulled out my sleeping bag liner and slept in that in the bed. And I don't think I have anything to worry about.

    End of day 3... Good night.
    #26
    GravelRider likes this.
  7. RickS.

    RickS. only 13 more miles

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    the "Pitts"burgh
    :lurk
    #27
  8. tennyis

    tennyis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    735
    really enjoying the ride report! subscribed!
    #28
  9. petravespa

    petravespa Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Well if Vlad the crazy Serbian can ride the TLH on a Scooter, my single cylinder 650 GS should do just fine!

    In travelling, like in racing, I believe weight is the prime consideration for performance! On the track, lightweight is easy to manoeuver. travelling less stuff to schlep around!
    #29
  10. HDen

    HDen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    Great report !!
    Thanks!
    #30
  11. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm glad to have you along! Thanks for commenting.


    #31
  12. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
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    Montreal, Canada
    You're more than welcome! Thank you for commenting.

    #32
    Whitbylad. likes this.
  13. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    From Happy Valley Goose Bay, you've got to ride back along Rte 500 about 10 km until Rte 510. That's where the gravel starts. And it continues all the way to Red Bay, a distance of about 530 km. This was going to be the most difficult stretch of the Trans Labrador Highway, but today I was only going as far as Port Hope Simpson, about 400 km. I'd called ahead and was lucky to find that Campbell's Place B&B had a room available for the night and that's where I was going to stay. Vlad the Crazy Serbian was also leaving that morning (I didn't see him) but he was riding all the way through to Blanc Sablon (over 600 km) where he had a hotel reservation. He would take the ferry to Newfoundland the next day (Tuesday) and I hoped to catch up to him at the ferry.

    The restaurant in the hotel (Jungle Jim's) wasn't open for breakfast and there was nothing within walking distance, so I settled for coffee in my room while gathering up my gear. The day was bright and sunny, but there were clouds on the horizon. I hoped I wouldn't need rain gear that day.

    I rode back to the start of Rte 510 and immediately encountered a road grader at work and it looked like he'd just finished my side of the road and was now coming back on the other. The berm wasn't so bad (less than a foot high I think) but the surface was quite soft.

    [​IMG]

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    Soon the gravel became excellent and I was grateful that it looked like it would be a smooth ride. My speed kicked up to 100 kph in 6th gear and I was really enjoying the ride. This was going to be a piece of cake! (Little did I know.)

    [​IMG]

    On-coming traffic would sometimes be going really fast and because the road was dry, big dust clouds would be stirred up. The 18-wheeler transport trucks were the worst because you'd sometimes be blind for 10 seconds at a time, and you never knew what you were riding into. There could easily be a vehicle behind the 18-wheeler, perhaps offset onto my side of the road to avoid being hit by flying gravel, so I'd get over to the right as far as I dared and slowed down. But you can't get over too much as it's really soft at the edges and very likely you'd loose control and fall. So this caused many tense moments.

    [​IMG]

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    The scenery, as desolate as it was, had a certain beauty and the solitude was amazing. The only worry was those road graders and surprise sections of deep sand when it looked like hard packed gravel.

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    All was not perfect though. I had another couple of close calls where I almost lost it. No warning at all. Once the road surface has dried, it all looks uniform and you can't tell if it'll be hard packed or soft and deep. The bike was trying to throw me off. Riding was kind of what I imagine it would be like to balance on the top of a knife edge, with the bottom edge being on ball bearings. I found it very challenging. I had to stop and wait until my heart stopped racing several times.

    [​IMG]

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    And even more road graders! I heard that there are nine permanent road crews working various stretches of the Trans Labrador Highway, and it felt like I encountered twenty of them!

    [​IMG]

    And did I mention the 18-wheeler transport trucks?

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    I finally made it to Campbell's Place B&B. I wanted to relax, get cleaned up, have a cold beer (not in that order!) and just take it easy for awhile.

    [​IMG]

    The rooms at Campbell's were spotless, each with private bathroom and shower, and the next building over was the Campbell restaurant. Anyone passing through Port Hope Simpson really should stop here, at least for a meal and cold beer if not for the night. Reservations strongly recommended, and I was eating in the dining room later that evening when they had to turn away several people who were looking for a room. I'd been real lucky to get a room when I called from Happy Valley Goose Bay the day before and I got their last available room. This place gets a very strong thumbs up from me.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the restaurant (the entrance is around the corner and it's really quite nice in spite of looking somewhat plain from outside at this angle:

    [​IMG]

    I was craving a local beer and couldn't see a place (other than Campbell's restaurant) to get one. I wanted to sit outside and enjoy the rest of the day, sip a good beer and maybe read a book. I rode back up to the main "highway" (dirt road to those in the know) to the gas station and they didn't have beer. I rode back down the road to Campbell's and then further into the very small port village. The first grocery store didn't sell beer. They sent me even further down the road. There was a sort of convenience store with half empty shelves, but they did have beer. When I walked in there were two staff at the cash and another young native woman who I first assumed also worked there. I asked them if they had the Trans-Lab sticker I so desperately wanted, and they said no. The native woman said she'd make one for me. That was kind of strange, as I doubted she could and that it would withstand outdoor exposure and of course, it wouldn't be "official". So I politely declined the kind offer. I picked up a couple of cans of beer and was disappointed that the only beer they had was Molson Canadian. Probably would have been my last choice, but that's all they had. I paid for my beer and walked outside.

    The young native woman was there waiting for me. And her accent made it difficult to understand what she was saying (and she was sort of slurring her words, maybe she was on drugs or alcohol or just slow, I don't know) but I gathered that she was willing to supply anything a long-distance traveler like myself would want. :) I pretended I didn't understand (and I really didn't) and put my helmet on and then I couldn't hear her. I went back to Campbell's. I changed out of my riding gear and took the beer, my iPad and a folding camp chair outside and down the dirt road to the shore of a little inlet. I took a few photos, relaxed, and read a little bit. The breeze (and especially the Permetherin-treated clothing I was wearing) kept the blackflies away and it was very pleasant.

    [​IMG]

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    It was getting quite cool and time for dinner, so I gathered my stuff and walked back to the B&B. As you enter, on the left side is a common room with table, couch, fridge, microwave, etc. and as you pass you sort of have to look back over your left shoulder to see into the room. I didn't do that. I stashed my stuff in my room and walked out to go get dinner. As I passed the common room I was now looking directly into it, and curled up on the couch, sound asleep was that young native woman. I wonder if she'd been looking for me (I think I mentioned at the convenience store cash that I was staying at Campbell's) and she must have walked there (quite a walk). And just then Mr. Campbell came by with one of his staff and he told me she wasn't a local and that he had called the police (I wonder where they come from) to have her removed. Pretty sad.

    One thing I forgot to mention earlier, was that when I was talking with Trevor (the fellow who had helped me get my bike off the center stand on day 2 in Labrador City, he'd warned me to be careful around Happy Valley Goose Bay, especially if I'm there on a Friday or Saturday night. He said there often was trouble in that area from some poor aboriginal people who hit the booze (or drugs) too hard and then get aggressive. He was suggesting that I only camp in a safe place and that if I was leaving my bike outside at night in the town I should remove anything that could be stolen. And I did see several native people outside convenience stores and gas stations who were begging for money. I doubt that it's a serious problem, outside of a very few people, but I guess like anywhere, you've just got to stay alert.

    I had an excellent dinner at Campbell's restaurant and I was surprised both at the variety of the menu and at the speed the food was presented. Just wish they had some local beer, or something other than Molson Canadian. While I was there, the restaurant actually filled up quite a bit... I guess there really aren't many (or even any) other options in the area for a good meal. I met a couple of very interesting riders who had just come in from the ferry at Blanc Sablon and who were doing the Trans Lab clockwise. They had done some amazing international motorcycle trips and were Horizon's Unlimited members. I'm sorry that I don't remember their names and that I didn't get any photos. They were staying at Campbell's B&B also and had made their reservation well in advance.

    As I paid my bill, the cashier told me what time they start serving breakfast, and I replied that my plan was to leave much earlier than they would start. (I really wanted to be on the road by 4 am.) Mr. Campbell heard that and sternly said, "NO, this is a bed AND breakfast place, and you WILL have breakfast!". He said they would prepare a couple of breakfast sandwiches (egg and sausage) and put them in the fridge in the common room and I could either take them like that or heat them up in the microwave and eat them. Wow. That's pretty darn good hospitality.

    With that taken care of, I crossed over back to my room and had a great sleep. End of day 4.
    #33
    GravelRider likes this.
  14. pzs

    pzs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    209
    Location:
    Central Australia, desert dweller
    For the dirt I don't know what tyre pressures you were running but I would be at around 18-22psi and drop your speed accordingly, That bike with a load should feel stable on pea gravel......looking at the photos of the dirt roads....easy saying this sitting at my computer tho. good report.
    #34
  15. Ravenslair

    Ravenslair Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    540
    Location:
    Placer County, California
    Great RR. Really looking forward to more of it.
    #35
  16. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Well, I didn't air down quite that low. I was about 26 psi front and rear instead of the normal 38-42 I run on pavement.

    And on "pea gravel" the bike WAS stable... it was the sudden deep sand I think that did me in. My photos really don't adequately show that, and in the worst of the places I was a little, uh, busy, and wasn't able to take photos.

    Pea gravel I really have no problem with.

    #36
  17. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,858
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Thanks very much. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

    There is a lot more to come, but only one more day within Labrador. The rest is Newfoundland, Nova Scotia/Cabot Trail, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York before returning to Montreal.

    Out of 13 days, I had 7 days of torrential flood-condition rain. Kinda "dampened" my spirits, among other things.


    #37
  18. slowpoke69

    slowpoke69 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    832
    Location:
    So. Jersey
    LOVING this RR!! I hope to do this someday, it looks beautiful. The permethrin must be the shit, all you hear is horror stories about those damned flies, and they aren't bugging you...nice!
    Back to it, great pix BTW!! STAY SAFE!!:D
    #38
  19. LongWays

    LongWays Skiing up a hill...

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,449
    Location:
    City of Subdued Excitement.... no really it is!
    :thumb

    Great report. Getting me all warmed up for my imminent (10-days and counting) departure from the West Coast to Newfoundland via the TLH.

    Looking forward to the rest of the story.
    :lurk
    #39
  20. VladM

    VladM Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada The enemy of far enough.
    Awesome report Eldor, keep it coming :clap. It was a great pleasure and honor meeting and riding with you :bow. Thank you for the colorful and flattering portrayal of yours truly, it definitely gave my ego a boost :D.

    Those interested to see my side of this epic ride can find it here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1002372

    Here's a selfie of Eldor and myself with our instant friends from Quebec:

    [​IMG]

    I had advantages of lower center of gravity and seat that allowed me to "flintstone" the scooter if necessary (it never was, but it gave me confidence in the loose). The incredible stability and traction provided by the car tire (not joking) combined with smooth CVT power delivery didn't hurt either.

    You have nothing to worry about. Your bike is the right tool for this road, especially if you know it and ride it well. Tons of torque of a big boxer wouldn't make any positive difference on TLH, but you would certainly feel it's weight.
    #40