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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All. For the past 20 years I have been dreaming o take a motorcycle ride up to James Bay. From Montreal, this is about 1400 KM ride one way. In the last month or so I posted a reply in a thread here somewhere mentioning the idea again, and received a private message from Macdoc saying "Max, I am in...any time after June 19th." WOW...nice.

I am not set on any date in particular, but would like to get a group of riders to go with. We can set a designated meeting area for a specific date and start from there. Here is what Macdoc wrote:

James Bay Road in June?? - meet here

www.domainestviateur.com

Hotel | Domaine St-Viateur
Vous cherchez une chambre ou une salle à l'écart de la ville, Le Domaine est l'endroit qu'il vous faut. 61 chambres et 11 salles de réception juste pour vous.
www.domainestviateur.com
www.domainestviateur.com
$60 a night looks okay.

I have to watch my distance because of my arm/shoulder.

It's the next step that is tricky ...I likely need to break it up into two days even tho it's only 800 km to Radisson

goo.gl

150 Chemin Saint-Viateur to Radisson

goo.gl
goo.gl

Thinking June 19th and beyond ....want to book the Power Station tour this time.
Would anyone be interested? No dates have been chosen, this is just the beginning of the planning stage. Macdoc would be leaving from Ontario, and I would be starting from the Montreal area.

This would be a leisurely ride, not a race. I do not plan things very well, I prefer to do things spur of the moment...so we need to get someone who is better at planning than I am... :-

 

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I would potentially be interested, this is the road that's all gravel right? I think you'd probably want 6 days, that's a little under 500km a day
 

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just looking at this on google maps, is it the 800km section from the hotel tor radisson thats gravel? if so we could cut this down to 4 days, i'm thinking 4-500km a day on gravel is a lot
 

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And I just pulled off my Shinko 804/805s... New set of Bridgestone BW 501/502s spooned on but they might be up to it... Now with the US border closed and other provinces not wanting to see QC plates I am looking to tour La Belle Province on two wheels this year, Thought about Gaspe but that's likely to be really crowded.

Max you just might have the beginnings of an interesting idea there.. Keep me in mind for any plans. I've always thought about heading up there just never considered it a good idea to go it alone. Cheers!
 

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If the gravel roads are like the TLA 400km/250 miles is not a lot. You can move along at highway speeds if you choose.

We went up through QC across Labrador and down in Newfoundland last August from Pennsylvania in 9 days. If we have scheduled ferries we could have easily cut out another day.

From Happy Valley Goose bay to Port Hope Simpson is 254 miles no gas or anywhere else to stop for anything and is all gravel. We had that section done by 2:00pm hypermiling at 80 KPH to get enough fuel economy to make it to the next fuel stop. If fuel wasn't and issue we could have easily sped up and made a lot better time.
 

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yeah I got this road mixed up, the james bay road is all paved sorry guys haha.

I'm still interested though! Would be a fun trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
From what I remember reading it is a well kept road. it is the road used to bring equipment to the dam, so it must be maintained well. All of Quebec depends on it...
 

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From what I remember reading it is a well kept road. it is the road used to bring equipment to the dam, so it must be maintained well. All of Quebec depends on it...
Yeah I was thinking of the Trans Tiaga, I'm in for the James Bay Road though, been reading up on it adn it looks like a lot of fun. I sent you my contact info.
 

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In my opinion, vital info from a post I made on ADV a few years ago:
In the JBR guidebook, and on the website you can get the phone numbers for all the band offices in the area. The main one that everyone goes to is Chisasibi and Longue Pointe, but the detours to the other communities are really nice too. Camping at Longue Pointe is trespassing unless you have permission from Chisasibi First Nation.
All the contacts are also here: Links & other sources of information

Basically you need to get permission to enter their land and for camping, BEFORE you enter their land. Remember that in a lot of places, you won't have cell service, so doing this in advance when you do have it is a good planning practice. I was told that you can enter Category 2 lands without permission but you can't camp, fish, hunt etc. without permission. So if you ride past the Category 2 signs to the boundary of the Category 1 territory before you call, you are not trespassing. I did find that I had cell service at the Category 1 boundaries. I think the offices are often only open during the week in smaller communities, so again, planning and preparation are important. Depending on your route, you could be too far from a gas station to turn around once you reach the Category 1 boundary, and if the office is closed, you will have to trespass just to get fuel. Likely nothing will happen and you won't get charged, but in these times of reconciliation, it's not respectful to do that.

All you have to do to get the proper permissions is to call and ask. It's really that simple. Call the band office at the numbers in the guide book or the link above and ask for the person that deals with visitors. Tell them that you would like to visit the community and you are travelling by motorcycle, and you would like to ask for permission to enter the land. If you plan to camp on their land, you can tell them where and ask them for permission. You can also ask them where there is a good spot to camp. They will probably contact the Taliman for the specific area where you want to camp. The Taliman is the person in charge of a certain area, there are a few Talimen (Im not actually sure of the actual plural form of Taliman) that cover the total of the land. They are like stewards of the land, they make sure it's not over hunted, not too many people are building cabins etc. This person will probably give you tips about wildlife to watch out for and good spots to camp. The Taliman for Longue Pointe warned me about the bears, and it possibly saved my life since they did visit our campsite. I think by now everyone has seen the photo of the giant black bear right beside my tent.

I have never been denied access, but of course if they tell you they would rather you didn't come, you should be respectful and avoid going. Everyone I met in these communities was very nice and helpful, some folks shared stories or histories of the communities with us. One even took us out on a boat to an island that is part of Nunavut, and told us stories about all the areas we passed along the way. Meeting people was honestly the best part of the trip for me. People will mostly be really nice, but if you meet someone that isn't, remember that there is over 300 years of really bad interactions between indigenous folks and non indigenous folks, so they kind of have a right to have a chip on their shoulder against visitors, even if we personally haven't done anything wrong. Just, listen to their perspective, apologize and move along. Remember it's their land and you are a visitor.
 

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I went in 2016 I think, in the end of July, two up, and camped the entire trip. We went north via Val D'Or, up the James Bay Road, detoured to Waskaganish, got half way to East Main and got chased back out by a wild storm, only stopped in Radisson for food, went out to Longue Pointe, then Chisasibi, back down and detoured via the Route De La Sarcelle, back west to Nemaska, then Route Du Nord east, and back home through Ashuapmushuan and Route 155. We did it over I think 12 or 13 days, really took our time, had really great campsites and enjoyed the people and the isolation. It's possible to do it a lot faster even half the time, but I don't like to ride like that unless I'm just trying to get to the start of my actual planned ride. We skipped the TTR because on a DL1000, even carrying 10L of extra fuel, two up we weren't sure about the fuel range.

The trip was simply awesome.
My top tips:
Bring a bug net - pretty much non negotiable. Take off your helmet, bug net immediately on.
Be prepared for any weather! It was in the 30's Celcius in Chisasibi, and about 8 a couple days later much further south. We also rode through some really heavy storms.
Carry extra fuel. You can nurse it to get through the 380km section but it's stressful. Just strap a gas can to your luggage for the piece of mind.
I think we paid for camping one night near Val D'Or and one or two nights on the end stretch after Route Du Nord. TONS of free camping out there.
Take your time, meet some people, be respectful, and have a great ride!
 

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The downside this year might be the closure of the power station tour which is the main reason I would go this time.
Been there done that but missed booking the tour. We did it in 4 days. Two legs are near 1000km ...was okay with an RDL on my Burgman Exec. cept the shocks are shite and the frost heaves epic.
5 litre gas can was security as the Burgman has no range ....the CB500x or a Vstrom should have no issue making the 380 stretch but headwinds and the urge to wind it out on the empty highway can make taking extra fuel wise.

You have to check in at the beginning of the road. I suspect Chisasabi is closed and the only reason to go there is to dip a tire in James Bay which marks the Nunavit border.

Breaking down not a good idea so make sure the bike is reliable.

You have 16 hours of daylight
 
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The power-station tour was one of the highlights of our tour. To top it off, we asked for an English guide and got a private tour, just the 2 of us. Man we were INSIDE the turbine/ generator unit while it was running. Unbelievable, very noisy but unreal!
And you are free to travel within the facility because there is a native gathering area overlooking the lake and that is open to all. I went to the spillway and dam.

Note: The road to Robert-Bourassa Generating Facility is all paved, except for the stretches they are repaving. BUT it is very frost heaved in long stretches making it real tiresome to ride. We did it in one day from Matagami and going up I made it to the gas station. Coming back I ran out of fuel about 2 miles from Matagami (2014V2).

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The power-station tour was one of the highlights of our tour. To top it off, we asked for an English guide and got a private tour, just the 2 of us. Man we were INSIDE the turbine/ generator unit while it was running. Unbelievable, very noisy but unreal!
And you are free to travel within the facility because the is a native gathering area overlooking the lake and that is open to all. I went to the spillway and dam.

Note: The road to La Grande 1 power-station is all paved, except for the stretches they are repaving. BUT it is very frost heaved in long stretches making it real tiresome to ride. We did it in one day from Matagami and going up I made it to the gas station. Coming back I ran out of fuel about 2 miles from Matagami (2014V2).
I think these pics are LG-2. LG-1 is on the river on the way to Chisasibi, you cross it when you go to Longue Pointe.
That fire lookout is extremely beautiful, and the indigenous gathering area near LG-2 is a must stop and read spot!
 

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I suspect Chisasabi is closed and the only reason to go there is to dip a tire in James Bay which marks the Nunavit border.
I disagree that is the only reason to go there. The band council office has regular tours detailing the history of the area, and the language and cultural center was excellent. Chisasibi was certainly one of the highlights of our trip. If you time it right you can take a ferry over to Fort George Island and walk around. I would not advise taking your bike across, the roads on that side were so sandy it was challenging to walk.

But I agree that it is likely closed, as are the other Cree communities up there. Which again were the highlights of the trip really. Going up north without being able to visit the communities and learning about the history of the area would be a big missed opportunity IMHO.
 

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I disagree that is the only reason to go there. The band council office has regular tours detailing the history of the area, and the language and cultural center was excellent. Chisasibi was certainly one of the highlights of our trip. If you time it right you can take a ferry over to Fort George Island and walk around. I would not advise taking your bike across, the roads on that side were so sandy it was challenging to walk.

But I agree that it is likely closed, as are the other Cree communities up there. Which again were the highlights of the trip really. Going up north without being able to visit the communities and learning about the history of the area would be a big missed opportunity IMHO.
why are they closed? coronavirus? or is it the protests?
 

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I think these pics are LG-2. LG-1 is on the river on the way to Chisasibi, you cross it when you go to Longue Pointe.
That fire lookout is extremely beautiful, and the indigenous gathering area near LG-2 is a must stop and read spot!
You are correct, its nether LG1 or LG2 (we did that on the same trip as well) its the Robert Bourassa Power Station (y)
 

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Can you even cross provincial boundaries without quarantine?
 

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I want to ride there some day, not this year, I went on a fishing trip to Chibougamau when I was a teenager, 50 years ago, at the time, it was the end of roads. Caught the, still to this day, biggest fish ever in my life, a 27lb musky
 
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