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Trans labrador HWY in Winter

Discussion in 'Canada' started by paulmondor, May 16, 2007.

  1. Bdog

    Bdog Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Fort McMurray Alberta
    Hey Paul when are you flying back?
    I think I owe you breakfast.
    Don't forget the personalized plate so we can the first ones in the West Coast Kitchen when they open the door.
    I know the transition from snow to rain and -50 to +10c might be hard but you get used to it.

    B

    Attached Files:

  2. Big Doug

    Big Doug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    526
    Location:
    North Bay, Ontario
  3. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    22,879
    Location:
    Way Out There.

    Wow! :yikes
  4. Big Doug

    Big Doug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    526
    Location:
    North Bay, Ontario
    1) Ride coast to coast, 10 miles at a time on Frosty from one Tim Hortons to the next Tim Hortons.

    2) You can give the locals lessons on swearing in French, er entertain them with your charm and wit
    until runner-guy catches up, then ride to the next Tim Hortons

    3) Repeat 1) & 2) above until you reach the opposite coast.
    If there's a long stretch until the next Tim Hortons, he can ride in the sidecar.
    He looks pretty light, so your 650 should be perfect.

    You could call it the cross-country double-double
  5. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,536
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    He just called me, flying out in an hour or so...

    I thought I'd cross post, he's probably kind of busy!



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] <table border="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr> <td valign="middle">[​IMG]</td> <td valign="middle"> Re: Go man go!!
    « Reply #369 on: Today at 03:50:58 PM »
    </td> <td style="font-size: smaller;" align="right" height="20" valign="bottom"> [​IMG]Quote </td> </tr></tbody></table> <hr class="hrcolor" size="1" width="100%"> Ok! Time to cut the crap!

    We have been a hell of a ride! It has been fun and it has been hard! There are few things I have been told and I will quote!

    “You brought people together”

    “We lived the ride through you!”

    You have a skill at allowing others to live your own emotions!”
    For these thing; I am thankful! But what I want to write now has nothing to do with all this. And it WILL be the last entry! As it has always been, I have learned and am learning as we speak a hell of a lesson! And I am learning it the hard way.
    Let’s rewind here to the day I came back to Baie- Comeau. That night was the accumulation of things that rank in the hardest I have ever done! To say the TLH scared the hell out of me, that it was so much harder than I had anticipated and that it through curves at me that I was NOT prepared for would not only be an understatement but a hell of a lie! Behind all these tabarnacs and colisses was a guy who was really lost.

    That night when I called Melanie she told me that she did not understand why I was pushing myself like this and putting myself through this.

    I tried to explain as we all remember that it was the need to feel to the extreme, and to be reminded how precious life was.
    This is all good and nice! A guy leaves pushes himself to the absolute limits and dies on the side of the road. Not married, with no one and no responsibilities, nothing and no one will really miss him. This is not my case! Never was! And I am thankful it will never be!

    Well I hope not! I was also told that I could come back someone different and by the grace of God I have! But in a good way! While I was gone something happened! It might not be the trip, and then it might be. One thing is for sure this tri has started a chain of events that has caused me in the last 24 hours to have the biggest examination of my own heart and soul.
    The real reason I did this is that till yesterday I had no freaking idea and only made myself believe things.
    Now hurting like I am hurting I can say it is pride and ego that were my fuel. And to add to the mixture they were really well misplaced. I knew I could handle the trip but I knew the TLH would be more than I could handle. Being the man I am and I will simply say ‘Being a man!” It was impossible for me (At that time) to admit that to myself out loud, let alone to others.

    After all I am Iceman right?

    What I should have done is go to the ones I love and who are close to me. (You can all; at least I hope, relate to this), and said “Ok! I am worried here! And yes I am scared! I thought I could do the TLH and I was wrong! And not only this, but I also know that it would not only put myself at risk but the wellbeing of others! Like you Melanie! Like Travis, Amber, and my friends and all the others who care for me! I do not know how to stop this!”
    But I did not! I swallowed hard and held on to the belief that if I did not go through with the plan I would be a failure. That I would be looked at as someone who chickened out and did not have the strength to proceed! And off I went! The trip across was ok till I hit the TLH. Then all hell broke lose!

    Well! Let me tell you this! I have failed! I have failed miserably not as a rider but as a man! As a friend, as a partner and lover, also has a brother, uncle, son, cousin and might have you!
    Now I am a day away from flying home! Frosty just came in! She is good and was ok all the time! But I could not give a shit less! Let me explain! I know some of you out there personally. I know you as friends and riders in adventure. But those of you I got to know personally, I also got to know as dads, moms, brothers, sisters, boyfriends and girlfriends.

    And from what I have seen I know that none of you would put yourself at risk like this. Not because you are scared of doing the ride! No! Not because you do not have the skills! No! But simply because you could not and would not put your loved ones through this!

    As simple as that! And in this there is no failure! There is no shame! And there is no loss!
    Looking back, the last 2 years have been dedicated to these trips. 2 F%^$#* years!
    I have been blessed with Melanie and her kids for almost 3 years now!
    And in this there is pride, a sense of accomplishment and a total and undeniable success!
    While I was busy dreaming, boasting myself and lining up these trips, especially this last one, pride and ego grew. The last one was ok! It was ok only in retrospective! Because compared to this one, there were no risk and it was a walk in the park.
    When I came back last year it was total absolute celebration. And relief was in the air.
    This year felt like this till I came back to Baie Comeau. And my writings about it like I said brought me to this day. Today! I am sitting here with my eyes so full of tears by the time I will be done it will have taken me 2 hours to write this.

    I have written that I felt like I have failed by not coming back on 2 wheels!! In fact I have failed because I just found out how much I have hurt Melanie and those close to me. I scared them! I got them so scared to lose me that a lot has taken place.
    It will be my job from now on to fix this and make sure it will never happen again! I have never really asked for anything but I am now! I am asking the big guy up there to allow me to go back home Wednesday night and mend the damage the last 2 years have done. Like I said; especially this last one.

    I have romanticized and glamorized the whole thing. I am not taking away what I have done! What I hate right now is the result and the reason why I was not able to draw the line between calculated risk adventure and heart stopping fear, pointless risks that could have cost so much to those who mean so much to me.

    Ron, Doug, Kevin, Steve, Geoff, Woodgrain, THM, Lornce, and all the others I ask you this not as riders but as men! How far would you go before you risk too much and see, really see what and who you must stop this nonsense for?

    My good friend Rob in Vancouver said this and I quote “You of course are most welcome to ride with us. Since I am a chicken, I will have a backup SUV with satellite phone and survival gear. I have kids, so my adventures need to have a greater safety margin.”
    I have shared my dreams, my joy, my pain, my fears and goals with my family of riders and I got into it so much that I actually got to believe the romanticized reality. I am not writing this to seek credit, admiration or to feed my misplaced ego and pride as a man.

    I am writing this because I am going nuts, I am hurting like I never did and as usual I love to write. I also clear my mind as I do this and those of you who know me will go! “Holy Shit man! I have never heard him say this before! This is serious shit!

    This is not about, adrenaline, it is not about testosterones, and it is not about a plaque on the wall or a pile of newspapers to look at once in a while.

    This is about Paul Mondor! Not Iceman! Just plain Paul Mondor! I know some of you will go on and say “There we go! He lost it!” others will say Ahhh! Fucking whimp! And other God knows what!

    And like Gone with the wind’s famous line goes! “Frankly my dear! I do not give a damn!”


    No! Today is about a ride I am about to go on! And to be honest with you, THIS WILL be the hardest I have ever been on! A flight home, that will take me 3000 miles away in comfort and warmth to one of the most beautiful place on earth.

    But at the end of the line lies the biggest challenge this men has ever faced.

    The other heart mine has been beating for, has been crippled in the way it feels for mine!

    And I am scared! I am hurt and the only thing I have in common with the name Iceman is because my heart and soul are frozen and paralyzed in fear!

    And because I feel so cold right now I do not care about anything else but what it is I can do to get this warmth back..

    I have caused hurt and pain selfishly and blindly!
    I have ignored and I dreamed so much that I have forgotten my own reality.
    I have pretended, I have lied and I have pushed aside the real feelings a real man shows in time of challenge.
    I can stand anywhere in this F%^$# country and say I have conquered it twice! In winter! I have done what no one else has done! A total of over 17000 kms of frozen country!

    But today I am paralyzed because the road between our hearts has frozen solid and I do not know if I can ride it. I could not see the warmth what was in my heart and arms. I was too busy looking at endless ice. Now I feel like I cannot thaw out anymore!

    I went too far! So let’s forget about wheels and engines for now. Let’s forget about rides, challenges and credit. Let’s forget about who did the most and the fastest with the most power in the thickest dirt with the least worries.

    Let’s forget about the grunts and the cheers and the clapping which I assure you I appreciated. But right now it weighs little in the scale of life.
    It is about what really counts. Without people close to us sharing our dreams they mean nothing. And if you push to far your dreams might/will take away the only ones you love(d) to share them with. Then what???




    Iceman (Whatever) out
  6. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    8,536
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    "Ron, Doug, Kevin, Steve, Geoff, Woodgrain, THM, Lornce, and all the others I ask you this not as riders but as men! How far would you go before you risk too much and see, really see what and who you must stop this nonsense for?"

    You know how, and where I draw the line,Paul...the last thing I would ever want to do, is something stupid, that would hurt Sonya.

    So I know exactly where you're coming from.
  7. woodgrain

    woodgrain In-Dented Savant

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    east of Scarbaria
    Well put Ron. Paul, occasionally we seek answers to questions that were never asked.

    Woodgrain
  8. Indochine

    Indochine 'Bikes are OK, but . . .

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    356
    Location:
    Saigon (HCMC)
    Wow, what a story. That's about all I can say right now. I will never forget it.

    Last thing for now . . . you really must put this all in a book (as raw and unvarnished as you write it here), with pictures. I will buy the first copy. Of course, Frosty must be on the cover. :deal
  9. Big Doug

    Big Doug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    526
    Location:
    North Bay, Ontario
    Hey, Paul

    You made the right decision and you made it from the heart. You are to be commended for that, buddy.
    Go give Melanie a big kiss.
  10. Oznay

    Oznay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    357
    Location:
    Lake of the Woods,N.W Ont,Ca
    Paul,you've accomplished more than most people even dream of. I can't wait to get out to the Island,will be there on Labour Day weekend,will find ya,and be honoured to shake yer hand!
  11. Gregster

    Gregster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    999
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Dear Mr. Iceman,

    You know, as bad as you feel now about the position you put your family in, think of poor Frosty.
    You wouldn't want her to think that her heroic feat was all for the wrong reasons.
    Some of us have been reading about this little bike for more than a year now, and she has become somewhat of a celebrity, cementing the image of dependability in the worst possible conditions. A reputation she will carry forever as the bike that could.
    I think you should save a small part of your story for the degree of trust you placed in this bike and how that it did not let you down. Perhaps some of your motivation was more than personal "I can do it" stuff, like proving that your awesome bike could, will, and did do it. BMW owes you a debt. Most extreme product tester by far.
    I know that when you go back for her in the spring, Frosty will be waiting, ready to go, and all will be forgiven.
    This epic ride was about our other hero too - Frosty
  12. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    119,358
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    "If you follow every dream, you might get lost."
    -Neil Young



    Where to draw the line between home and adventure? Paul, I think you found the line. There's no dishonour in going home to your loving family. You completed the hard part of the adventure ride, and now there's no reason to take such a risk again.
  13. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Victoria BC God's garden
    You are right! she is was the other one on that road.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Frosty! The little one that was put in my face.
    December 2006. I had been planning the first Cross Canada trip for close to a year now and this was from the beginning just a ride! After all as a motorcyclist it is riding on 2 wheels that counts. 2, solid reliable wheels. I had X amount of $$$ set aside for this trip and I had chosen a 2003 KLR 650 with only 17000 on it. It was in pristine condition and the owner was a good friend of mine. So I bought it and prepped it. I always loved the 650 <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Dakar</st1:place></st1:city>. It was to me a great bike. I had owned a 2004 that got written off when a driver decided to turn left into me and use me as a 250 lbs launch able potato.
    Anyway I knew they were great.
    But! I had a problem with tossing a 12000.00 (With all the equipment) bike in this salty frozen mess.
    4 days before D-Day, we got a call from Norm Wells, president of BMW Canada saying that he will do pretty much anything to make me take off on a BMW. After all it is who I was working for.
    Sitting in the corner was a 2007 BMW F650 GS Dakar. She was the last one and because the season was over on <st1:place w:st="on">Vancouver island</st1:place> she was to spend the rest of the winter sitting on the floor with some of her siblings who just like did not make the cut.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I said to Norm “How about this 2007 <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Dakar</st1:place></st1:city>?” to make along story short he said “She is yours! Go and have fun!”<o:p></o:p>
    4 days to prep her! Change tires to TKC’s, put guards on her, update fasteners to SS ones, break her in and do a shake down run. This was a task that was big! Too fast and it was a lot to expect from me and also her. But we went for it.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    In the back she went! On the lift and we started right away to remove parts and installing others etc. there was something about her! Don’t know what but I have it on video as the guys are working on her. I had not ridden her yet and I was already attaching myself to her.
    A whole day she spent on the lift and then she came out. 3 days we had to acquaint each other before we had to go.
    You al know what she went through on this first trip. She did not miss a beat! Not one! I was impressed! She came back home a month after me from <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Newfoundland</st1:place></st1:state> where she was resting and also being prepared to come home. My <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Newfoundland</st1:place></st1:state> cavalry took good care of her. She came home and I spent 3 days cleaning her. But she came through shining like a little star. She spent the summer going all over and doing what she liked in temperatures she was designed for. I learned a lot on that trip and I know in some kind of way she did too.
    Then this trip came! She was ready and willing! Prepped even more than last year! And this year I even attached a 200lbs appendage to her without even asking her. That is half her weight. She would have to pull sideways for over 8500 kms of frozen land.
    This was a lot to ask of her. I think she adapted to this sidecar thing a lot quicker than I did! As a matter of fact she adapted to it right way and I never did! I am a 2 wheel creature. Not 3!
    I am sure that she did not like it and had probably by then memorised all the French swear words and thrown then at me. The sidecar was a tool to me and to her it was a growth she could not shake lose.
    She pulled and slid and climbed and forced every bolt in her to be tested. As the mileage piled up she hung on. The toll was high on her as far as her chain and sprockets were concerned. But I am sure that just like the infantry man on the front line, losing a finger in a life threatening battle was of little concern. I am still convinced I could hear her breathe and talk to me. And when I parked her at the end of each day in the cold night air that I was running away from myself,, I would look at her and feel her clamped herself down for the night like a horse at the end of the day. Breathing, moving, aching and yet knowing full well that it had to start all over again in the morning. Every morning I walked to her and before I started her I touched her head (Dash) and asked her to hold on one more day! As I wiped the frost, and ice off her seat and lights, I know she was bracing for another day. But yet, was faithfully getting up and started every time like she always had.
    As always I thanked her and let her warm up. I packed her up and another day started. Day after day after day, cold frozen mile after cold frozen mile she kept on soldiering on. Each bump on the road causing her to pry her bones sideways as the sidecar required.
    Then the TLH came!
    We stopped at the manic 2 and took a picture of her.<!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"/> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"/> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"/> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"/> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"/> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"/> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"/> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"/> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"/> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="_x0000_i1025" type="#_x0000_t75" style='width:6in; height:4in'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:\Users\Iceman\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtml1\01\clip_image001.jpg" o:title="DSC01167"/> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]-->
    She was standing there, breathing and living. I know that! Just waiting for me to get over my prideful moment and allow her to move so her parts would not freeze. Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump! In an endless rhythm she sang to me. And down the road she went.
    She went through this so many times
    [​IMG]
    and yet! never missed a beat!

    This road is hard, incredibly hard on bikes in summer. Frames have broken right off, new shocks gave in, tires blew and welds came apart. In winter it is 50 times harder. Her metal was shrinking in this cold climate. Her tolerances were annihilated and things were coming lose. Small things, light cover, signals, but never a vital part. Plus she had that big ugly thing putting enormous amount of sheer lateral stress on her and she still held on. 1200 kms of bone crushing, metal bending washboards and body ripping impacts. Kilometre after kilometre she went on. And to honest with you I was amazed at how solid and sturdy this little bike has been!
    At times, when I was stopped and hurting in the cold hard night. I knew I was in that mess because of my own sheer stupidity. I am hurting still, and writing about Frosty helps a bit. In those moments I can still see her, standing there idling at -55C with thick smoke/condensation coming out of her and for most of the trip back home, pouring oil like a deep would pour blood. It was not fatal but she had trouble breathing and exhaling. Her one and only little piston had no way of exhaling because ice kept building up in her air box. She had no choice but to vent through her head and letting go of some of her life preserving oil at every stroke. But I kept putting some in and she kept on going. At every bump that sent my spine into shock I could feel the deep impact on her. And this, repeatedly like a machine gun! It was horrifyingly painful for me at times and still is. But there she was! As I was breathing air through the little slit in my helmet, the air at -55 was freezing my lungs almost solid and hurt ij ways I had never experienced. It also was hitting my eyeballs with pain just like I had 1000’s of needles thrown into them.
    I am sure that is how she felt too. She ran all day.
    [​IMG]
    Minute after minute. When I stopped for breaks or resuscitation she was running and stopped only at night to be abandoned in the cold again.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I can only say this now! I made it though only because of God’s grace! Make no mistake about this! I have hurt in ways I never want to hurt again! Never! With a tabarnac de big capital “N” and I KNOW he brought me back home to heal. But make absolutely no mistake about this. He brought me back home on Frosty.
    And I know that for 1200 kms, my so called perceived safety never or hardly existed. But the little I had rested a 100% in little 650 cc heart.
    She made it! And she made it back home pretty much in perfect shape except for a really screwed steering head bearing (Thanks to the sidecar) and only one litre of oil left in her.
    They cleaned her up and brought her back to me. And guess what? I was obviously very emotional and drained still when they dropped her off in my brother’s driveway. But when the guy left, I sat on her, put the key in and started her. I know if I could have heard her speak she would have said “Ok Paul! I am ready! Let’s go home!” <o:p></o:p>
    But I was not! As she started and hummed like a gentle honey bee, I cried! I really freaking did!
    Maudit tabarnac! Talk about a 250 lbs piece of sensitive marde!! But hey! That is who I am!
    I hunched over her, wrapped her with my arms and hands and said “Thanks for bringing me back home!”
    I will pick her up this summer and we will ride again! She will bring me home again one more time. But this time! Make no colisse de mistake about it! It will be in a green luscious, environment!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I rode 1.3 million clicks on bikes in my life, I have owned close to 17 bikes, I have ridden incredible roads and pushed bikes to their limits more often than I care to remember. But out of all these, only one has come out brighter and shinier than any other. And only one attached itself to my heart closely and in many ways intimately. and most amazingly it is the one I have beaten the most.

    I can only say 2 things.
    First! No other bike would have survived what she did unscathed! NO OTHER. I would like to dare anyone to prove me wrong. But I will not! She proved it and we all know it. Many had doubted her in the first trip and she came home laughing at them. Then! She survived the second trip in an even more hostile environment!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Second? I could not have made it without her!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So here is to you Frosty! My little faithful riding machine!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>

    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
  14. paulmondor

    paulmondor Iceman

    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    626
    Location:
    Victoria BC God's garden
    What else can i say Klay! Thank you!
  15. Oldrice

    Oldrice oldrice.com

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Oddometer:
    533
    Location:
    Detroit - East Side
    Paul, Iceman, my hat's off to you. Well done sir. :bow

    A fantastic read through a journey most of us will never even get close to. Living vicariously through your writing throughout this journal was just awesome.

    And here's to Frosty! :bow



    Oldrice-
  16. thm

    thm Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    90
    Paul, there are three types of people in this world:

    1- People who make things happen;
    2- People who watch things happen; and
    3- People who wake up and say "What happened?"

    I think everyone knows what category you are in.

    Congrats my friend!
  17. Gobnobber

    Gobnobber Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    94
    looks like i'm payin another visit to sm cycle :D
  18. Superzoom

    Superzoom Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    610
    Location:
    Toronto
    Paul,

    I'm glad that in the end, there was a real purpose to your insane adventure. There is no doubt that your ride was one of the most difficult and dangerous things a motorcyclist could do. But by realizing in the end that no crazy stunt is worth it if the person you love the most suffers terribly, you finally grew as a person. That was the real point of your journey.
  19. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,741
    Location:
    Beautiful Revelstoke BC
    Nice ride Paul!
  20. STUFF2C

    STUFF2C We Ain't Left Yet!!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,463
    Location:
    O-lando
    Paul has been kind enough to come on SideStand Up and share his story with all of us live Tuesday the 19th. 9pm est. cool :evil