trans labrador highway 2010

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

  1. anatinae

    anatinae As Bad As Can

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    With those tires, I'm surprised you only went down once. Just got done with my Trip. Section 3 was by far the best. Did Adk in NY, TLH over to NF, up to L'Anse au Meadows, down to Port au Basques to Sydney, NS and back home in 7 days. Ride report to come.

  2. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    I really don't think the tires on Abenteuerfahrers bike had much blame in his little incicdent, he is spot on with his assessment of not having paid attention and a bit of speed too much.
    His rear tire looks quite appropriate really and the road in his photo was dry .No amount of knobbies are going to overcome deep loose marble gravel for a speeding bike of the size in his photo.Even pro motocross riders hit the dirt occasionally. Great mass will require great care. Lots of riders do the Trans
    -Lab on street tires with no problems just by realizing their limits and slowing down if required.
    In essence the Trans-Lab is no different than any of the thousands of kilometers of unpaved rural grid roads here in southern Ontario which I can access by turning right at the end of my driveway . The difference lies in the surrounding landscape and the absence of fences, farms and a constant string of farmhouses and towns in view and the long stretches between gas supply points.
    Back in the early 1990's I did the then existing road to Goose Bay on my street tire equiped airhead R100 in wet and dry weather without incident other than flopping it down while crossing one of the very high grader ridges in clear dry weather just south of Lab City. However I was only going walking speed and I just stepped off when I realized it was going over, dusted off and carried on.
    Back then I left Churchill Falls around 8 am and on the old sandy,hilly , rocky ,snaking road I reached Goose Bay just around sunset, with time outs for some nature apreciation photo stops and a talk with a motorhoming couple while a rainspell passed. This year on the KLR and new Highway I left GB around 11 am and was in Labrador City at 5:15pm, even with photo stops, a talk with another motorcyclist going east and time out to put on the rainsuit and a long pause for buying gas in CF
  3. scooterboyusa

    scooterboyusa Adventurer

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    Just got in from the trans lab that took me 11 days and 3200 miles. The only real rain I experienced was the last 10 miles home. Another ride off the Bucket List. I ran into Jud (adv rider) and his wife from Georgia in Goose Bay (Davis B&B). We were going in opposite directions however we had time to exchange good information and share of few drinks.
  4. RunLongVT

    RunLongVT Been here awhile

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    Hoping to head up to TLH from Burlington, Vermont on September 21. Anyone want to tag along? I can't make it on MarkBVT's expedition, but would love to have some company for the ride. I'd ilke to do the full TLH-NF-NS loop.

    Shoot me an e-mail if you're interested -
    palankearney@yahoo.com
  5. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Yep Amigo you said it so well...

    Although the Tourances did well I did wish to have knobbies..but what works on marbles....nuthin'! Been told to give it more speed so that you'll sort of "plane" a bit like a snowboard going down a mountain..it'll lift you out of the deep gravel...but at my age and build, hmmnnn....IF I do fall hard..I might be bear fodder there, thus my lower speed. I also had a SPOT tracker and my spouse could calculate my speed....wooo...! I had fun, really great memories. JUST DO IT...
  6. PackRat

    PackRat Huey Guns Supporter

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    You should have tried that in that beautiful hack of yours!:clap


    .
  7. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in Supporter

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    greetings from Churchill Falls.... beautiful ride...great weather.....met a few other riders here....otherwise it's been scarce....


    the pavement grows every year :cry

    we ran into group of fancy trucks on a guided overland tour....big trucks, earthroamers, jacked up huge winched pickups...:csm...I wonder how they feel when they see small passenger cars passing them...:poser :lol3


    BTW one of them in a fancy range rover with all the bling and snorkel...decided he can drive too fast into the dust kicked up from a passing truck when he is behind another truck and rearended him with serious damage and injuries....:baldy.....slow down in low visibilty is common sense
  8. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    leaving this afternoon for my clockwise loop.:D
    really looking forward to the ride
  9. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Yeah, heard about this through Facebook -- a friend of a friend is in one of the other Land Rovers and posted about the accident. Apparently everyone's okay; hopefully the driver learned a lesson about not being such an idiot.

    I'm leaving Saturday morning. I'll probably see you up there, Lakota.

    --mark
  10. anatinae

    anatinae As Bad As Can

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    Suggestions for the TLH from my experience;

    1. Knobbies, Knobbies, knobbies. Yeah, you can do it on a Tourance or Distanzia, but why would you? I spoke to a few that were on 80%/20% and wished they were not.
    2. If you plan on staying at hotels/motels, have a schedule and make reservations. I did long days and rolled into Lab City late and ended up unexpectedly camping in the rain.
    3. Stay away from the Labrador motel in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Its a shit hole. refer back to #2
    4. Make multiple ferry reservations. You will pay $10 for ea. res. but it leaves you many options when it comes to travel (its what most of the locals do) b/c the NF to NS ferry is never on time. If one of the ferries gets delayed you can jump on another which you already have a res. for. Well worth the $10.
    5. I would have brought another air filter. The dust on the 1st part was intense.
    6. If you are not outgoing (personality wise), travel with someone who is. You'll find out more local info and have a better time.
    7. If you fill up in Baie-Comeau, you can make it to Relais-Gabriel without stopping and filling up in Manic-Cinq (f650 Dakar and R1100 GS)
    8. Most importantly, the throttle is your friend. It will pull you out of most situations that the road will throw at you (in my experience). If you can't use the throttle, stand up that will work as well. The TLH has many forms (about 6 or so) so pay attention. If there is a nice vista or photo, stop then take the picture.
    9. Take a full gallon of extra fuel for the section between HV-GB and Port Hope Simpson.
    10. For the most part the food on the route is shit. If you have special dietary issues, your on your own. They tend to deep fry most food. Try the pizzagetti in Churchhill Falls ; ) Dressing in Lab/NF in breadcrumbs in disguise.
    11. Sat phones are available for free at the HV-GB Visitor Center and returnable to Port Hope Simpson

    If I think of more I'll add
  11. sailer

    sailer trained Cirus Bear

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    good and simply advise from anat , I am reading these posts it prep for my trip in 2011 so i thank you.

    hoteling it so any one who has any recomadation about places to stay, i would like hear them
  12. anatinae

    anatinae As Bad As Can

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    Two Seasons Inn in Lab City is Nice

    Royal Inn and Suites in HV-GB is nice as well.

    I stayed in the River Lodge Hotel in Mary's Harbor, which was decent. Nice people.
  13. PackRat

    PackRat Huey Guns Supporter

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    + 1 , they have a nice laundry room also for gear cleaning.
  14. alcontrast

    alcontrast at least I'm trying

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    I won't argue against any of the advice from Anatinae.. but each ride is different.. he/she sort of acknowledges that.. but from my experience last year I can give my impressions on Anatinae's reccomendations:

    1. Knobbies might be a little better but I saw a long time dirt rider on a bmw GS with Knobbies go down and get flown home after several days in the hospital at Goose Bay while numerous V-Strom riders with 80/20 (highway/dirtt) tires made it through just fine.. I was running TKC 80's at full air pressure and I had one sketchy "eat shit" moment but I rode it out. The 80/20 tire guys often said they had lowered their tire pressure but honestly I think it's mostly luck and your ability to pay attention for long periods of time that will keep you upright....
    .
    2. Bring a tent.. If hotels are fill find a place to camp.. My favorite nights from the ride were in campsites, especially in Labrador and Happy Valley/Goose Bay...

    3. I tend to take shitty hotel reviews fairly seriously... (Stay away from the Labrador motel in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Its a shit hole. refer back to #2)

    4. If you are broke like me ferry reservations that cost $10 each are a crazy luxury at best. the only ferry reservation I made was for the HV/GB to Cartwright ferry since it was only running twice a week last year.. There was plenty of room. And if there wasn't I would have actually welcomed a few days of actually seeing the area as opposed to passing through it in a blur. The most "local culture" I got on the TLH was when I had almost a full day before lining up for the ferry in Goosebay.. I rode north out of Goose Bay to a little village where there was a cultrual museum. The museum was informative I guess but boring. Talking to a few people at small shops in the village was great. I bought some local jam and got a realistic appreciation for what life was like there for the natives..

    5. A spare air filter might not be a bad idea.. or just stay further back from the traffic in front of you...

    6. I agree entirely (If you are not outgoing (personality wise), travel with someone who is. You'll find out more local info and have a better time.)

    7. Extremely bike/rider specific.. the longest no fuel section now is the new section from Happy Valley /Goose Bay to Port Hope Simpson.. I forget the exact kilometers.. it's here somewhere..
    (If you fill up in Baie-Comeau, you can make it to Relais-Gabriel without stopping and filling up in Manic-Cinq (f650 Dakar and R1100 GS))

    8. Throttle is your friend is also extremely dependent on the bike/rider/situation.. I agree that in a lot of sloppy surface mid to low speed scenarios throttle can pull you out of a sketchy situation.. Fishtailing in loose gravel at 60mph I don't know if banging the throttle is really the best idea.. I *PERSONALLY* had fairly good luck with standing up on the pegs while easing off the throttle when I got into some squirrely loose stuff at speed but that's just me.. Each rider has a way to respond that should work as long as they are riding in their "comfort zone" and doing what they feel capable of...

    9. T Extra fuel for a a couple of section is not a bad idea on any bike. knowing your fuel range under varying riding conditions is also a smart move. I carried 2 extra gallons of fuel for my longest section, Labrador to HV/GB but I made it there just before my reserve light came on (2005 f650gs).. It was the best mileage I had EVER seen out of the bike. Long straight sections of road holding steady at 50-60mph is what the f650gs loves. Other bikes will vary obviously.. so now the HV/GB - Port Hope Simpson is the longest stretch without fuel.. Calculate your bikes worst miles per gallon. Apply that number to the HV/GB - PHS section and go from there..


    10. "For the most part the food on the route is shit. If you have special dietary issues, your on your own." I got through as a fairly strict vegetarian.. If you are vegan good luck, pack your own food or eat potatoe chips for a few nights.. Unless you are into seafood most of the menu options were pretty bleak in Labrador..


    11. "Sat phones are available for free at the HV-GB Visitor Center and returnable to Port Hope Simpson"
    I heard about these free (upon deposit I believe) sat phones.. however I couldn't afford the deposit and I had heard that they often didn't have reception anyway.. PLUS aside from maybe after dusk I don't think I ever rode an hour, maybe even a half hour, before I saw another vehicle passing.


    just another riders perspective.. Ride your own ride.. No one knows your limitations better than you..
  15. sailer

    sailer trained Cirus Bear

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    thanks alcontrast

    any and all advice is good.
    I agree with bring a tent just as back up.
    any one know where to get the best maps for the area, maps that might show which sections are paved and/or not paved???
  16. DantesDame

    DantesDame Ridin' Fool Super Moderator

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    :lurk


    ...still gathering information for the 2011 attack :ricky
  17. hewhohesit8s

    hewhohesit8s Been here awhile

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    The TLH in the rain is a different animal than in dry weather. First day from Manic Cinq to about 40km before Relais Gabriel was in alternating drizzel and downpour. The road required all my attention and all my minimal skill to even just survive it at 20-30 km/hr. No traction even on Mefos. Then it got fun. The more we drove the more fun we had.

    +1 on the Labrador Hotel in HVGB - shit hole. Avoid at all cost.
  18. Damselfly

    Damselfly n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2010
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    We are 2 BMW GS riders from the UK and completed the Trans Lab Highway anticlockwise on Monday 21 Aug and were very lucky with the weather as it was dry most of the way. It seems that the road surface does change from hour to hour depending on what work has been undertaken or the weather. We both had dual sport tyres (Battlewings on my GS1200 and Tourances on the GS1150) and found that they were fine with lowered pressure. We do both have off road experience which does help confidence but nothing can prepare you when you are confronted with miles of deep gravel - you just have to grit your teeth, stand up, lean back to make the front wheel lighter and keep going because if you slow or stop you are doomed.

    There are very few places to stop at the side of the road if you want to eat or drink something although there is so little traffic so long as you stop where you can be seen it should not be too much of a problem. We used hydration camelbacks which stopped the need to stop for water - anyway the black flies attack you within 2 minutes of stopping!

    We did not camp on the trail and would not recommend the Black Spruce Lodge in Churchill Falls, but Mrs Davis' B&B in HVGB was OK and the 2 Seasons in Lab City was great - the campsite in Lab City is full of campers occupied by workers at the mine and resembles a tip and they party into the night.

    We thought the road from Lab City to Baie Comeau was the best part of the whole route - twisting and turning and hilly and once back on the pavement section after Manic 5 - full throttle to Manic 2 where we stopped at the fantastic campsite - definitely recommend it.

    Re the question above about maps - there are no maps of the paved and unpaved sections as they are changing. We met some surveyors who told us that in 4 years the whole section from Lab City to HVGB will be paved and the rest after that. The tarmac is growing daily with a lot of work going on near Churchill Falls at the moment and other short bits in the middle of nowhere for no apparent reason.

    I'd like to hear from any other girls who have done the whole of the Trans Lab Highway on their own bikes on what their thoughts are on the route.
  19. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in Supporter

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    just got home...what a blast of a ride.....

    it is much easier than people make it out to be...and it is getting easier rapidly by the day...

    my strom 650 with a anakee front with over 10,000 miles on it and a new tourance rear were perfect for me and my riding style...ride the slide, let the bike float but keep it beneath you....speed is your friend on that stuff IMO...100-130 kph all day is very very doable...allegedly.. :augie

    camp or hotel it, be prepared for both...yes the Labrador Inn/Hotel in Goose bay is a complete shithole with even worse awareness of service or dignity....stay away...or be prepared for it...it is still a bed....I've stayed in much better and cleaner places in remote central america

    gas....well I carried a little extra from Goose bay to Port Hope Simpson and was intending to discipline my throttle hand to increase range...but I chatted with some nice construction crew guys and they happily offered some gas (they have enough available)...so I took it for extra range comfort....nice to meet them and chat too....their comment.."how do you like the road?"...me.."I love it"...them: "Good, cause we are sick on it !!!" :lol3

    people, get there while it is still in this condition...it will be a 90% pavement ride all too soon. ...the road is all graded and ready for pavement and it is coming FAST!. 80 K east of Lab City now...2 months ago, there was none according to guy in Churchill.....

    the road can be passed with a Prius, no big humvee or earthroamer needed.....

    you won't know , if you don't go.

    :wave to all of those on here we met or waved at .....life is good
    [​IMG]

    wolf pups at this age are still curious, they will not interact with humans in a few months of maturity according to the locals
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  20. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    It's sad that they're paving it. What a great road!

    We missed you guys at CADVR this year.

    John