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Atlantic Canada 2022


piotrek
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Sounds wonderful: enjoy it and ride safe so you can tell us all about it on your return.

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Riding a fully-farkled 2019 MT-09 Tracer 900 GT from my bayside home in South East Queensland, Australia.   

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9 hours ago, piotrek said:

This is a solo ride... so I am sure to have great conversations with myself, crack jokes and then laugh out loud, and sing along...

I know the feeling 🤣

Have fun. Looking forward to updates.

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This looks amazing! Looking forward to hearing about it!

 

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’70 Yamaha 125 Enduro; ’75 Honda CB360T; ’81 Yamaha XS650SH; ’82 Honda GL650 Silver Wing Interstate; ’82 Suzuki GS650L; ’87 Yamaha Virago 535; ’87 Yamaha FJ1200; ’96 Honda ST1100; ’99 Yamaha V-Star Classic; ’00 Suzuki SV650; ’07 BMW K1200GT; ’12 Suzuki DR200; ’15 Yamaha FJ-09.  Bold = current

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  • 3 weeks later...

The trip is now behind me, and what a fantastic experience it was, both on and off the bike. Time was limited, so this was no comprehensive tour, but rather a sampling of some out-of-the-way places that I have always wanted to visit. Here’s a bit of a rundown with some photos. I will put together a montage of the GoPro video segments at some point. Sorry… it’s a bit long, so I am posting it in four segments.

Day-1 (Mississauga ON to Ottawa ON)

Left home under overcast skies, but overall good conditions. I took the tried and tested roads through the Kawarthas and the Calabogie area. As always, the Calabogie CR-511 was a lot of fun. Too much fun for some… as I rode past a pickup truck that rolled and ended in a ditch. The scene was secured and the driver was getting help, so I moved right along

I was just about done with CR-511, when the clouds ruptured and it pissed buckets the rest of the way to the motel. I packed a travel sized, folding hair dryer and it came super handy that evening to dry my gloves and the helmet liner.

Day-2 (Ottawa ON to La Tuque QC)

More rain in the morning. I checked the weather radar and it looked like that low pressure system was in step with my ride plan. Not repeating the mistake from the previous day, I slipped into my rain gear from the get go.

The route to La Tuque took me through some great Mont-Tremblant area riding, then through Shawinigan and surprisingly fun RTE-155 (photo) to La Tuque. Weather ended up okay... mostly wet, but not the downpours I was expecting.

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Day-3 (La Tuque QC to Baie-Comeau QC)

Weather improved mid way through this stretch north on RTE-155, and I finally had some solid sunshine from about Lac St-Jean onward. It was a very welcome break from the gloomy start to the trip. I stopped at a rest area and stripped off my rain gear as the skies looked blue and temps improved.

RTE-172 from Saguenay south to RTE-138 was an incredibly fun and scenic 120 km stretch with back-to-back sweepers and elevation changes. RTE-138 was far less exciting… but there was no other way to get to Baie-Comeau.

Day-4 (Baie-Quomo QC to Labrador City NL)

Sunny and cool… perfect riding weather. Got fuel and headed for RTE-389. A sign warns of any closed/impassable sections. All looked good to go.

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The stretch from Baie-Comeau to the first gas stop was well maintained, with great pavement conditions. It was twisty and scenic… and the weather was glorious.

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After the first fuel stop, I discovered that cruise would not set. When I stopped to take a photo of the bike in front of a hydro-electric installation, I saw that the brake light was on. The brakes were otherwise fine, so I moved on with intent to troubleshoot in Labrador City.

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Between the first and second fuel stops the roads were mostly gravel (some sections loose and some packed). That was a lot of fun… and 90 km/h on that stuff felt like I was flying.

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I pulled over at one point to get Spotify setup, and a fellow on a Pan America stopped to see if I needed help. I had my GoPro running, so here’s a frame…

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There was more gravel riding closer to Fermont, a little more technical, with more twists and surface variations. I probably should have ridden more conservatively, considering where I was… but it was great fun.

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From Fermont out to Labrador City was all good pavement. It took one extra gallon of fuel to make it to Labrador…. but I finally arrived at the Big Land. I was so stoked.

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I looked into the cruise issue, and determined that the rear brake switch was stuck. I had hopes that I could disconnect it from the bike, but that would require diving under the tank to get at the connector. I decided to wait until my one day stay in Goose Bay.

~ TBC ~

Edited by piotrek
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canada.gif.22c5f8bdb95643b878d06c336f5fe29f.gif - IBA #66956 - 2015 Yamaha FJ-09

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Day-5/6 (Labrador City NL to Goose Bay NL)

The ride to Goose Bay along Route 500 was pretty chill, with a fuel stop in Churchill Falls. It rained for portions of the ride, but again… nothing major.

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The scenery was subarctic, something similar to what I saw on my James Bay ride a few years back. Stunted growth trees and vegetation.

I noticed that the right hand grip was slowly spinning on the throttle tube with the grip heaters turned on. The glue on the heat demon pad failed. All this thanks in part to the failed brake switch, although the glue should have held. It lasted 3 years. Arrived in Goose Bay for my one day stay.

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Weather looked solid sunshine and I was down for some exploring... and fixing my cruise. First on the agenda was some non-granola-bar food. Hello fish cakes and home fries, with locally brewed Black Horse beer... yum!

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Early next day I got down to the business of fixing the cruise. Tried to get my hands on the brake switch connector, but could not do this without rotating the tank out of the way. That was more than I wanted to do in a parking lot 2,700 km from home, so I cut the wire at the switch. I had my cruise control back.

I put the bike together and went exploring. Visited a small museum on the grounds of Wing 5 Canadian Forces Base. The base served as a transit point during WW2 between North America and the UK (taking advantage of the air stream), and later as tactical low level flying training facility for various forces, including Canada, U.S., U.K., Netherlands and Germany.

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Later in the day I went for a walk to Happy Valley and grabbed a coffee there. In all I put in some 20 km of walking that day. I have been doing some walking after each day of riding.

Day-7 (Goose bay NL to Cartwright NL)

Weather was set to be miserable along Route 510 and 516... wet, and cold. I knew I was not going to make it on a tank-full so I carried 2 gallons of extra fuel. Sure enough, I did 59 km on reserve and ran out 116 km short of my destination. Emptied my Rotopax containers and moved on.

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Route 516 was all gravel through wilderness, so more excitement... mixed with a dose of anxiety. I arrived with ~20 km left on reserve, and promptly took fuel at the only open gas bar in town.

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This was a Sunday, so nothing in the village was open for food. The motel owner was nice enough to leave me a club sandwich and some wings in the fridge. How nice was that. On way back from a walk, I picked up a bottle of local beer and Newfoundland's own Screech Rum... to warm the bones a bit.

Day-8 (Cartwright NL to Blanc-Sablon QC)

Wet and cold again, but this time there was no anxiety about running out of fuel. I got tired of holding on to wet sponges for hours on end, so I ditched the grip puppies at the first fuel stop. I forgot just how nice the Pro Grip 719 grips felt (and looked). What was I thinking?

The 510 south of Port Hope Simpson became more interesting, with elevation changes and sweepers... and finally some roadside view of the Atlantic around the Red Bay area.

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~TBC~

Edited by piotrek
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canada.gif.22c5f8bdb95643b878d06c336f5fe29f.gif - IBA #66956 - 2015 Yamaha FJ-09

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Day-9 (Blanc-Sablon QC to L'Anse Aux Meadows NL)

Super excited to jump on the ferry to The Rock. I started packing things up and for the life of me could not find my wallet... with 30 minutes to check-in time. Talk about anxiety. I had some cash stashed away for emergencies, but to lose ID, credit cards etc... this was an epic fail. I found it with minutes to spare, in a hallway of the motel, tucked under a stair. Phew... lucky!!

I met a fellow rider at the ferry, from Quebec. He was doing roughly the same route, but started east of Montreal and was going to ride Newfoundland along the western shore to Port aux Basque.

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Once on board I had myself a 'newfie steak' (fried bologna) with eggs. yum! The crossing was pretty rough, and I was clearly lacking sea legs. Upon landing ashore, buddy and I both headed to L'Anse aux Meadows, but while he was passing through, I stayed for the day in a quaint B&B. I had the cabin all to myself.

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Day-10 (L'Anse Aux Meadows NL)

I had signed up for a guided tour of the Norse/Viking settlement just up the road. This 1,000 year old Norse landing site was the first contact between the eastern and western human migration streams out of Africa. The original settlement site was excavated for archeological stuff, and then left alone. The huts were reconstructed next to the original site footprint, based on period data from digs in Iceland.

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Had lunch and dinner at a fantastic local restaurant (The Norsman), a very unassuming place serving fantastic local dishes, prepared with gourmet quality. It was my birthday after all. I did another 20 km that day, walking the coastline and enjoying the ocean. It was a very full and satisfying day.

Day-11 (L'Anse Aux Meadows to South Brook NL)

The day started warm and sunny, but turned cool and wet right around Rocky Harbour along Route 430. The gloomy weather and the backdrop of the rocky bay was an irresistible opportunity for a photo.

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I took fuel in Deer Lake and then took the Trans Canada Hwy (Route 1) to my next hop. There was nothing spectacular to see along the highway. The restaurant attached to the motel had an interesting display of vintage snowmobiles. There were two walls of this... here's one.

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Day-12 (South Brook NL to Clarenville NL)

I left the Trans Canada to explore the shoreline and communities along Route 321, 331 and 330. This is the only way to see the island, but it takes time as the roads are slower, with lots of things to soak up. A coastal road offered yet another opportunity for a shot. I foolishly rode up onto a rocky clearing for the shot. 😬

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~TBC~

Edited by piotrek
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canada.gif.22c5f8bdb95643b878d06c336f5fe29f.gif - IBA #66956 - 2015 Yamaha FJ-09

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On 9/13/2022 at 5:03 PM, motoontheweekend said:

I'm jealous, that looks super fun!

It was super fun indeed. So many places yet to see and experience... 🤔

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canada.gif.22c5f8bdb95643b878d06c336f5fe29f.gif - IBA #66956 - 2015 Yamaha FJ-09

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Epic!! What a fantastic trip! Now I've added that area to my must-ride list. 

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’70 Yamaha 125 Enduro; ’75 Honda CB360T; ’81 Yamaha XS650SH; ’82 Honda GL650 Silver Wing Interstate; ’82 Suzuki GS650L; ’87 Yamaha Virago 535; ’87 Yamaha FJ1200; ’96 Honda ST1100; ’99 Yamaha V-Star Classic; ’00 Suzuki SV650; ’07 BMW K1200GT; ’12 Suzuki DR200; ’15 Yamaha FJ-09.  Bold = current

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