trans labrador highway 2010

Discussion in 'Americas' started by scooterboyusa, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. leftystrat62

    leftystrat62 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,002
    Location:
    Little Rhody
    We just finished the last leg about 4 hours ago,and the black flies are rugged! If your not camping you'll be fine-if you are it's interesting-we camped. We're in Newfoundland right now and are told the ferry 's are backed up at least a week even if you have reservations. Not to take away from those who did the new section when it was tough,but it's no problem now-thus I call it the Laberdoodle. It took us 3 days to do the 884 miles of dirt,average 50 mph;some stuff near Manic 5 where we started was tough but we've done the whole trip in the rain so that probable was the cause. Everyone seems to say they will continue to pave the whole thing so get er' done while you can.
  2. leftystrat62

    leftystrat62 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,002
    Location:
    Little Rhody
    We just finished the last leg about 4 hours ago,and the black flies are rugged! If your not camping you'll be fine-if you are it's interesting-we camped. We're in Newfoundland right now and are told the ferry 's are backed up at least a week even if you have reservations. Not to take away from those who did the new section when it was tough,but it's no problem now-thus I call it the Laberdoodle. It took us 3 days to do the 884 miles of dirt,average 50 mph;some stuff near Manic 5 where we started was tough but we've done the whole trip in the rain so that probable was the cause. Everyone seems to say they will continue to pave the whole thing so get er' done while you can.:clap
  3. mullerjd

    mullerjd Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Saratoga, NY
    Ohh, that's not good... I guess I better make a phone call.
  4. anatinae

    anatinae As Bad As Can

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Oddometer:
    293
    Location:
    New York
    same here
  5. leftystrat62

    leftystrat62 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,002
    Location:
    Little Rhody
    Ferry update: instead of waiting 4 days for the ferry we drove there hoping to get on that evening. I went to the check in booth and asked to buy a ticket,and when the lady said you must have reservations I just played dumb and she sold me a ticket for the 3am ferry (which we got bumped to the 11pm). There was plenty of room left for 20 more motorcycle spots-it's a shame they're so screwed up. We were told this is the last year for these old ferry's as they will be replacing them next year. Be warned that other people told me they were stuck for days waiting for the ferry to be fixed,so leave some flexibility in your travels.
  6. leftystrat62

    leftystrat62 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,002
    Location:
    Little Rhody
    Sorry, but there no better in late Aug. as we got hammered. Wore the nets and bug juice,but dozens of them follow you into your tent so you'll have to spend a good 1/2 hour just killing them inside your tent before you take your net off! A local told me they're around until the first frost in Oct. You may want to get a room at the 1/2 way point where we found them the worst,but all in all a great fun ride.
  7. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,791
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)
    Um... it's not late August yet.

    I rode the Trans-Lab and Newfoundland in early September of last year and we never even needed bug spray, let alone head nets.

    --mark
  8. leftystrat62

    leftystrat62 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,002
    Location:
    Little Rhody
    That's good news about your bug experience,they were so dang rough up until the 2nd week of Aug. that it's hard to believe that 1 week later can make a big difference,but I hope your right.They said they had a very wet winter/spring so maybe that has something to do with it?
  9. ibelyna

    ibelyna The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    In Chataguay now getting fuel with Anatinae. Baie Comeau here we come.
  10. ibelyna

    ibelyna The Dude Abides

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    Montreal and Quebec City at rush hour stole time. Stopped in Saint Simeon and off to Baie-Comeau now.
  11. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,386
    Location:
    Merrickville, Canada
    Rain a couple of weeks when we rode it.....new part was slick in the construction area :evil

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
  12. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,111
    Just got back yesterday from my litlle Trans-Lab ride on the KLR . No problems with the roads or ferries to report. I Even included a ride through Prince Edward Island, bridge on,ferry off, very nice.
    For the ferry to Newfoundland I had no plans or reservation . The staff at the Nova Scotia tourist info center at the Canso Causeway at 9 am said I should have reservations and gave me the toll-free number for the ferries to Port Aux Basques .The phone agent said there was ONE space for a motorcycle left on the 22:30 sailing, took it and paid by credit card right there. This left me the rest of the day for a relaxed scenic exploration of the towns ,the forests and peninsulas on the south coast of Cape Breton Island up to Sydney and the ferry.
    Ferry left at 23:00 , five hour trip , with time change and arrived just at sunrise. The ferry had lots of space left over for cars, truck or 4 or 100+ bikes .After a slow relaxing tour up the pininsula I got to the St Barbe port just as the last ferry run for the day was leaving the docks.But that was okay with me, did not know the schedule ahead of time, had no illusions of getting on board , and besides it wa s just as well, time to take a spot in the campground/RV park across from the ferry office. Next am at opening time 6:00 I was standing third in line for a ticket. Although reservation signs were posted the StBarbe -Blanc Sablon ferry is a case where just showing up is enough, low volume run, plenty of space on the boat.
    The reservation business is highly overdone I think, more a way for the ferrry company to do with less staff manning a desk at the dock than actual ferry capacity limits during non-peak times. They say they had been having mechanical problem delays with some of the vessels but outside of busy national summer vacation travel days I don't think there should be much problems.
    Nice weather again on the Quebec side of the Strait of Belle Isle and I had to do the obligatory ride on the nice pavement to it western end 70km into Quebec, then back to Blanc Sablon and the Labrador border and more pavement and small caostal towns for the first 80km or so. This is where I had the worst event of the trip- a small pinhole puncture in the front tire.. That was not bad but the dark raincloud moving in was making it a race to get the new tube in.I lost the race, but a couple of local men in apickup offered to take me and wheel the few km back into LAnse au Loup to get the repair done in a dry tire shop. Back to the bike, the rain subsiding and wheel hastily back in KLR and on my way and into dry weather. Then I noticed my speedo had stopped. In the rush I had only finger tigtened the cable at the wheel and now it had come undone and lost the inner drive cable. Retracing my route 10km proved futile to finding it , so henceforth it was only a tacho to have a roiugh guide of speed. Distance ids not a problem- buy gas when available, and the KLR has 500km+ range.

    Nice Ride to Marys Harbour for the night in a hotel, Next morning beautiful day, ride to St Lewis and to the mountain top view of the Atlantic
    from the "point farthest east in N America accessible by road"
    After that excellent gravel to Port Hope Simpson and LAST FUEL for 400km until GOOSE BAY and the NEW transLab highway .All construction seemed to be complete, excellent wide flat gravel , some bare packed clay-ish sections, and a fast ride in dry weather-perfect.Here and there they were still spreading gravel or doing detail work on ditches and railings
    All flat plateau country of bogs, pinetrees, then down to the GooseBay vally and pavement. A night camping north of town, a ride to the end of the road at Northwest River and back at GB a visit to the airport display of planes , then rest of day west on the previous route of the Translab which has now been completely rebuilt ,rerouted into a fast straighened wide gravel highway. THe old road from 16 years ago is still seen curving off tat some points to meander up over hills, around ponds. A tour of Churchill Falls town then on to Lab City, and a few showers en route.. Pavement laying was in progress already 84km east of Lab City
    Camping free a night in Lab City ( hint go to the water tank atop the hill in mid town and enter the site from the south side suburban street) At Mc Donalds for breakfast I met another motorcyclist ,from Georgia ,on a n Aprilia Capo Nord quite heavily laden who was also heading down south to Baie ComeauHe had taken the ferry to Goose Bay and done the TransLab here in the dry . . He went on his way while I explored LAb City , and Wabush. Pavement end is south of Fermont, Quebec another new iron mine town, 40km south of Lab City, then it is the most interesting part of the entire trip. gravel lots of curves , steep hills, and it just happened to be raining. Great ride.
    Then after few hours I saw the rider from Georgia sitting astride his bike pointed north. Stopping for a chat I saw he was ashen faced and in pain. He said he had crashed, a moments inattention and maybe a bit fast as he had tried to cross a ridge left by the roadgrader, with street tire in the wet. He had sat at the roadside for more than an hour after truckers had put the bike on its wheels, taking pain killers.It seems he was spun out then highsided and landed on his back on some pointy rocks hidden in the soft dirt. It was in the middle of the bush, no way to get out but to ride or call in the tow truck.I turned his bike around for him since he was unable wit an apparent broken rib. He was in pain, and with the rain his confidence was also gone. I offered to follow and we set of slowly.On one of the wetter sections with some mud he lost it again at slow speed doing no more injury to himself but really setting his anxiety level high. Again passers helped right the bike and after a while we set off again. Finally mid afternoon we reached Relais Gabriel truckstop and motel, still 318km from BComeau.
    He couldn't face doing anymore riding that day so we bunked at the Relais for the night. Next morning he was feeling a bit less bruised but stil a lot of pain from a rib crunching around in his back.
    After breakfast the rain started again, and 12% grade to climb right off- confidence inspiring. But he made that climb and many others while I rode ahead this time suggesting the better track to folow, Happily, no more tumbles and after an hour we rode out of the rain.Gassed up at Manic 5 we set off on the paved road to the St Lawrence coast , then west on Q132 and the ferry to Riviere du Loup, last one for the day.
    After doing much thinking and gps consulting he decided to take the fastest route back to Georgia via Quebec autoroute 20 to Montreal area then south into New York and the Interstates. He was immensely grateful that I had taken the trouble to help guide him back to the populated world. Can't say I would not also be happy for halp had I been in the same situation. He said he had learned a lot this trip about packing light and buying out of country medical travel insurance- which he did not have -. But from there on it was straight sailing with painkillers ( hope they didn't fog the mind) something like 32hours riding for him to get home. After recovering and repacking-lightly- I hope he will be back on the bike again to continue his rerouted trip of north America.
    For me it was just a nice slow meandeing 3 day ride back home , a distance which others have easily done in one (too) loooooong day.
  13. mullerjd

    mullerjd Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    100
    Location:
    Saratoga, NY
    I'm heading out in the morning!!:clap
  14. alcontrast

    alcontrast at least I'm trying

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,698
    Location:
    central CT, USA
    damn.. good report.. For such an easy looking ride the TLH can be surprisingly dangerous.. It's wide, generally smooth gravel surface, rarely any tight turns, little traffic, and what traffic there is can be seen from a mile away.. So you end up riding fast and enjoying the scenery.. Which is fine 95% of the time.. But hit one unexpected bad patch of loose gravel or a big pothole or something and you are tumbling down the road before you know what happened. The bad part is that you are going 55mph (88kph) when you hit the ground unlike some twisty back country dirt road. It makes it harder to avoid injury if you are unlucky enough to crash the bike.

    as for ferry's I agree.. when I rode last year the only ferry I booked ahead of time was the Goose Bay - Cartwright ferry.. The others I just showed up or called the night before (the newfoundland to NS ferry). Bikes are easy to fit on those ferries.. Supposedly the space isn't the main issue, it's occupancy. Only a certain number of passengers are allowed.. Get a few tour buses on there with a lot of cars with full families and a ferry may be "full" despite room for your bike.. That may have been rumor but it makes sense..
  15. Jud

    Jud Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,930
    Location:
    Arkansas Ozarks
    Great meeting you today scooterboyusa. Had a great time yapping and thanks for the tips concerning the rest of our trip. Wishing you a safe a fun remainder of your trip back home!:1drink
  16. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,791
    Location:
    Georgia, Vermont (that's one town, not two states)

    Yep. As long as you concentrate on the road, things are generally okay, but the moment your attention wanders even for a second you can be in a world of hurt. I didn't see much of the countryside when I rode it last year, just lots of different kinds of road surface. :D

    I leave next Saturday for my followup trip. Can't wait. And I'm very curious to see how different the road is this time. I expect each Trans-Lab trip is pretty unique because the road surface changes so much.

    --mark
  17. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,387
    Location:
    Prescott, Arizona, USA
    Correct markbvt...here is my wandering attention admiring the scenery....booommm...crash, I hit some softspots. From then on if I wanted to admire the landscape and scenery I STOPPED..dismounted and breathed the air...took pictures...and inhaled another big gulp of the pristine air up there! Lovely:clap

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  18. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,111
    Good news,
    just read an email from the wife of the Georgia Aprilia rider. He has made it home in one piece, or I should say a complete collection of pieces.Apparently he put in a few verrrry verrrry long days of riding from Quebec to his Georgia home . She said he only went to the hospital after getting home and it was then determined he had 9 (NINE!) fractured ribs on the left side, some with multiple breaks , and a partiallly collapsed lung beginning to fill with fluid. Wow. The agony- I ever only had one cracked rib from a work related incident and that was bad enough.
    They kept him in hospital "a few days" then let him go home taped up. But he will recover and ride another day .I think he deserves a prize.
  19. PackRat

    PackRat Huey Guns Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,523
    Location:
    Copper Canyon, Texas
    You deserve a prize -- that was really good headwork, staying with him that first night.....he could have been in some deep and serious shit alone!:clap

    .
  20. tedmarshall

    tedmarshall Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    716
    Location:
    Wilmette, Illinois
    Nice job fella. :clap