Getting to the Rock - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 92 Old 02-01-2007, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Getting to the Rock

I am wondering how I want to get to Newfoundland.

Here is the obvious way. I am planning a Cape Breton Island circuit. From North Sydney NS I can take the ferry to eastern or western Newfoundland, ride across Newfoundland via the TransCanada, and take the other ferry back to North Sydney.

If I want to avoid the chance of running my V-Strom into the side of a moose on Newfoundland's highways, I can leave the bike in Nova Scotia and use the bus to go across the Big Island. That saves the cost of ferrying the bike to and from Newfoundland, a matter of CDN$120 or so. Colour me yellow.

But what about Labrador? If I don't mind a few hundred kilometers of rather miserable road, I can take highway 389 north from Baie Comeau QC to Goose Bay Labrador (1115 Km.). The ferry to Cartwright on Labrador's coast is not very expensive, then some more gravel (~320 Km.) and I reach pavement at Red Bay. A brief ferry ride across the Strait of Belle Isle gets me to the northern tip of Newfoundland, and I can ride south to Channel Port aux Basques and the ferry to North Sydney NS.

Please tell me of any experience you have on Labrador's highways. I do not enjoy riding on gravel, but the V-Strom and I can handle shoddy pavement and potholes and the like.

This link is interesting reading. It suggests the road from Baie Comeau to Goose Bay is truly the road through Hell! I am thinking that an old fart ought not to try this alone!
http://users.metro2000.net/~cdc/magn...%20highway.htm

And just how daunted should I be by Newfoundland's moose in late June or early July? I won't be out when it's really dark, and I am willing to follow other vehicles, as I did crossing Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Manitoba, and North Dakota last year. I saw dozens of the deer, half on the hoof and half road kill. Despite my precautions, two deer crossed the highway less than fifty feet ahead of me. Silly me, I had let my guard down because I was in a town and going about 25 Kph.

Funny thing, whenever I mention WHEN I am going to ride through moose country, somebody mentions that that time of year is when the bull moose is at his randiest and behaves most unpredictably. No matter what time of year I say, that is the response I get. Those guys must be mighty horny!

If you have any guidance for me, please respond. You don't need to tell me to visit
www.ridetherock.com
which is a great site for learning about the bikers of Newfoundland and Labrador!

One more website shows a Florida bike in Labrador. That's an excellent omen!
http://gpadventure.com/2006/07/25/fe...many-bmws.aspx
This rider completed his Labrador ride despite fracturing a foot and recuperating for a couple of weeks in Port aux Basques. Well done, Guido!

Thanks,
Keith Falkner
Sarasota Florida

Last edited by Keith Falkner; 02-01-2007 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Did some research; found a relevant link!
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post #2 of 92 Old 02-02-2007, 10:02 PM
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Keith, by all means go to NFLD. Was there in 2001 and really enjoyed the trip. Drove from West to East and back again across the Rock to see Spear Point/Spear Cove forget which it is. Furthest point East on North American continent. Rugged and beautiful. What ever you do should be an adventure, there is just so much to see.

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post #3 of 92 Old 02-04-2007, 12:45 PM
 
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Hi Keith,

That sounds like it will be a great trip. Where will you depart from and what time frame are you giving yourself. I would like to plan a similiar trip.

Joyous
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post #4 of 92 Old 02-06-2007, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Newfoundland ... so far

Thanks for the encouragement, Water Warrior and Joyous7. I have become a participant at www.ridetherock.com and learned a lot about the Big Island and Labrador.

Time frame: I expect to leave Toronto on Sunday June 24 in the afternoon and ride along familiar and unfamiliar roads to Eastern Ontario. The next day I expect to reach New Hampshire or perhaps Maine. I hope to spend four or five days in Newfoundland, going from east to west. The Newfoundlanders with whom I have conversed have suggested several places to see, some scenic, some historic, and some fun to ride.

More later, because I have some urgent work now.

Keith

Last edited by Keith Falkner; 02-06-2007 at 08:12 PM. Reason: provided starting point
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post #5 of 92 Old 02-06-2007, 07:57 PM
 
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Hi there,

Are you leaving from Florida?

Joyous7
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post #6 of 92 Old 02-06-2007, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Timing!

Hey, Joyous,

I edited my post to provide my starting point, Toronto Ontario Canada, and to correct the date to Sunday June 24, at about the time you were asking me my starting point.

Why Toronto? My wife and I lived in Toronto before moving to Florida, and we both have friends and relatives there. We visit Toronto one or two times a year, and this year we expect to hit the Big Smoke (one of Toronto's many nicknames) mid-May.

You are probably aware that Massachusetts' weather is much like Southern Ontario's. I will ride around nearby Ontario in May and June, to get myself accustomed to long days in the saddle, and to try out various bug repellents. I understand that mosquitoes in the East sometimes have two engines and sawtooth proboscises, so I want to be ready to make myself unattractive to them. If Ontario's Black Flies do not like me well enough to eat me, I think I will be OK in Newfoundland. Labrador is a whole different story, and I think I am not up to a solo jaunt on 500 miles of gravel and 100 miles of badly maintained pavement. I suspect I will leave Labrador until I can take a self-contained motor home there.

I plan to ride east through New England and back west through (mostly) Québec. I drove through Vermont in 1994 and through New Hampshire in 1978, so I know the terrain a little bit. I want to go through the less traveled parts of Maine because I greatly enjoy secondary roads, and I suspect I will find a lot of miserable roads in Newfoundland.

If you are seriously contemplating a trip to Newfoundland, you should certainly visit www.ridetherock.com, because the denizens you will meet are friendly and ready to brag about their province.

Keith
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post #7 of 92 Old 02-07-2007, 02:50 PM
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I have only drive it on four wheels but the run from St. Anthony down to Port aux Basques is fabulous and on the Strom it would be incredible. Just try not to think about the fog and moose.
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post #8 of 92 Old 02-07-2007, 10:47 PM
 
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Wow....that will be a great trip then.....If you need to hold up in New England, I have an extra little apartment not being used....you are welcome to it. I live in a very pretty part of Massachusetts.......with the band stand on the commons....very small town......Barre, Ma.
Is your wife traveling with you for the trip?

Joyous7
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post #9 of 92 Old 02-07-2007, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Let the Professionals deal with the Moose

CYKZflyer, my plan for moose is the same plan I used with success last year for deer, on my trip to BC. I wait for a huge truck to pass, then I ride in its wake. My chance of hitting a large animal is pretty small. If the truck is carrying a lot of chickens, I find out fast, and wait for another truck.

And fog, I have ridden enough in Ontario that I know fog pretty well. Of course, Newfoundland will have some things to teach me. Trepassey Newfoundland is "Where t'fog is born" as they say.

Both these hazards can be reduced if you have the time to wait them out and something to do while you wait. I think I can manage that. I do not often seek virtue, but if patience is a virtue that can save my bones and my bike, well then I can be patient.

Wiarton Willie apparently did not see his shadow on Feb 2, so I hope you get the early spring he predicts.
Keith
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post #10 of 92 Old 02-08-2007, 08:04 AM
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Keith...

Moose are far more of a problem at night, than during daylight hours. You can reduce the moose danger by a factor of about 10, by simply not riding at night on the island of Newfoundland.

If you decide to come to the island via the Argentia ferry, I may be open to personally acting as your guide through some, or possibly all, of these truly amazing Eastern Newfoundland routes...

-Port Blandford to Bonavista (Route 233 and 235)
-Whitbourne to Old Perlican to Mahers (Route 80 and Route 70)
-The Irish Loop (St. John's to St. John's Route 10 and Route 90)
-Placentia to Colinet to Holyrood (Route 100, 92, 90)

There's a very good chance I will have a new DL650 in my shed, by the time you plan to arrive here on The Rock.

P.S....

Here's a link to a handful of my photos of Newfoundland...

Photos From The Island of Newfoundland

Last edited by Newfoundlander; 02-11-2007 at 07:38 PM.
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