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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings Canadien Stromtroopers,

Stromette is planning on running from ME to WA thru Canada in August as part of a "Four Corner" ride. In the process of doing some preliminary planning and this seems like a good place to ask a few questions...

* What recommendations do you have for travel East of Quebec City and West of Ottawa re road conditions, lodging, etc?

* Of course we all know how reliable our Stroms are but just in case repairs are needed how easy/difficult will it be to find service?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Stromette
 

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West of Ottawa puts you in Ontario. Being the province in Canada with the most population (10 million of us) you'll find that at any given time you are really not too far from "civilization". We are no different than say....Ohio.

Road conditions are also the same though some states in the US have really nice roads while many of Ontarios are around the same level as Michigans.....tar snakes galore.

The bigger cities will all have various motel / hotel chains that you'll be familiar with as well at the standard Mom and Pop overnight type of motels, while smaller places will have only the latter. Same with food, big cities = McDonalds, small places = local greasy spoon.

As for bike dealerships the same in the States applies here. Big cities will have all the brands, smaller places might have one or two under the same roof. Go to www.suzuki.ca and you can type in the bigger places you are travelling through and write down the name, number and address of the Suzuki dealerships in Ontario....or anywhere else in Canada.

I'm not sure if AAA covers Canada or not, my CAA membership works in the US so I would imagine that you could get towed if needs be on an AAA card but it would be worth looking up.

Here is a map to help you possibly pick a route through my backyard, http://www.noinfo.com/ontario_bikeroads.jpg

Enjoy your trip.
 

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Are you looking to just "pass through" on the hghways or are you looking to get off the direct route and explore a little?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Heavy said:
Are you looking to just "pass through" on the hghways or are you looking to get off the direct route and explore a little?
Unfortunately, no flower sniffin' on this jaunt. It's a "go ride" - the "Four Corners" run is based on riding the 4 corners of the country... San Ysidro, CA --> Key West, FL --> Madawaska, ME --> Blaine, WA (they may be done in any order but this is my route) and doing so in less than 21 days. That said, plan is to push fairly hard the first 75% of trip b/c I'd reeeeally like to somehow get your Rockies in. As long as I hit the corner in Blaine, WA from ME it doesn't matter which route is taken.

This type of ride is unusual for Stromette as superslabs are usually avoided whenever possible and it's the journey not the destination that's the goal. This is the exact opposite and thus the challenge... it IS the destination (the corners) that counts and to do so w/in the time frame the slab will be used (hopefully to a lesser degree as possible though).

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions! :)

Stromette
 

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Slab it is then. You'll ride highway 401 through most of Ontario. Its pretty straight and moves pretty well. The big bottleneck is Toronto, specially around rush hour. Like The Shepherd said, you've not far from civilization along that route. Probably want to peel off, just past London, and take the 402 so you cross the border at Sarnia/ Port Huron and avoid Detroit.



This might be interesting for you:

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/traveller/compass/camera/camhome.htm
 

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Cross at Quebec city, stay north and avoid Montreal, enjoy the ride into Ottawa.



From Ottawa head towards Thunder Bay, avoid the 401(boring) and Toronto. Travelling thru Montreal and Toronto can eat a lot of time, depending on time of day. Jeez - travel all this way and not see Gaspe.
Pick up MS Streets and Trips and play with routes. should only be about $25.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, fantastic! :D

Are radar detectors illegal in certain places in Canada? How common is "Instant On" used by LEO radar there? Any unusual laws I need to be aware of? What about safety in terms of leaving bike outside while at hotels (especially vandelism)? I reckon you guys don't have lane-splitting do you? :p

Any particular areas to be highly concerned with involving animals/big game on road that might be best to travel in daylight?
 

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No radar detectors allowed (our cops aren't very smart and they need all the advantages they can get :lol: ).

No lane splitting.

Stay on the Southern route, 401 & 402, and there is very little concern about wildlife. Head North and the situation changes. Depending on the season, deer, moose, bears and all those other, smaller, creatures are possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
geralds34 said:
Pick up MS Streets and Trips and play with routes. should only be about $25.[/img]

Thanks for the tips. We've decided to take a more traditional approach to the planning and have opted to research and plot our path by talking to people and using paper maps. My riding partner and I think meeting and interacting w/ people will be much more rewarding and memorable than strengthening a relationship (dependency?) with electronics. Aside from pre-ride planning, at this point I doubt either one of us will carry a GPS. Yes, run a 21 day jaunt covering over 10,500mi w/no GPS. We've reconsidered the flower sniff'n part and have decided to do a National Parks tour (collecting stamps from obscure places) simultaneously w/the 4C part. My riding partner is twice my age so he has MUCH more experience w/this "classic" approach than I do but since it was my idea I can't rag him too much! :wink: I was busy last wkend and will be on a BBG1500mi this wkend but as soon as he and I can get together and go over your recommendations I'd like to get back to you w/add'tl questions if that's copasetic w/you. Thanks again for your help.

Stromette
 

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The looping northern route may be quicker.

If you are going north of Lake Superior, you can choose the route that hugs the north shore of Lake Superior because it looks shorter than the looping route farther north, but I drove both by van in 2002 and I verified for myself that the route through Hearst and "Keep-us-cussing" is quicker than the shore-hugging route.

For scenery, follow the lake, but that will cost you a couple of hours.

Either way you go, you will pass through Ignace, ON. Try to do this at lunchtime, and stop at Captain Ron's for some delicious fish and chips. It's on the south side of the road, across from the IGA supermarket ... at least that is how it was in 2002.

Get a map from the government of Ontario, and study it. The little picnic tables denote rest areas, such as they are: some outhouses, some tables, and generally a stream that may or may not have water safe for drinking.

You will see little cairns made of stone atop every rock cut you pass through. Each of these is called an INUKSHUK and is a model of what you can find on some hilltops MUCH farther north, where one hilltop looks pretty much like another unless it is topped by one of these helpful sentinels. The temptation to stop and build another inukshuk is just about overwhelming. Succumb if you like; nobody will know unless you tell.

My trip starts and ends in Toronto, after visiting eight states and Vancouver BC, but I will go south of Superior both ways.

Good luck!
Keith Falkner
Sarasota FL
 

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Canada

Radar detectors are VERY illegal in all of Canada. The ticket is approx. $1200, plus we (I'm law Enforcement) will rip your vehicle apart to find it. Sorry, but it's the law! We do use radar detector-detectors. You've been warned!

Aside from Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal, you can pretty much expect your bike to be safe outside at Hotels throughout most of the country. You will want to bring in your luggage. As far as roads are concerned, Quebec's Roads are much worse than any other in Canada. Bad pavement and lots of potholes. You may find sand in some rural roads, always in corners of course. In the northern regions of each Province, or anywhere not in a city, be careful of deer/racoon/skunk traffic, especially at night.

Carry good clothing, as the nights do get cool all the way up until the end of June. Especially in the sticks.

If you come near the Kingston-Ottawa axis, please drop me a PM and I'll give you details on hotels/shops/food etc....

Cheers!
 

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Re: Canada

Can't speak for Montreal or Cancouver but the Strom is safe in Toronto. The thing is too ugly to worry about it being stolen :shock: Luggage yes should be taken inside and don't forget Handguns on your person or bike are ILLEGAL too

Vordak said:
Aside from Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal, you can pretty much expect your bike to be safe outside at Hotels throughout most of the country. You will want to bring in your luggage.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
WaterWarrior was kind enough to post this for me in another thread. I'm moving it here to put it more on topic as well as hopefully get more feedback. The trip is indeed a bit away but any and all comments or suggestions are appreciated.
Stromette
===========================
re-posted from another thread:
water warrior said:
Stromette, before anything else here is a warning. The Sept 4th Monday is a statutory holiday here and the last long weekend of the summer. That means everyone is trying to get out and have fun. Lots of traffic, lots of dummies out there making up for lost time. One last weekend before the kids go back to school.
If I remember correctly you will be travelling east to west in the GWN and assuming you will be on the Trans Canada Hiway ( # 1 ) coming across the prairies. That will put you in Calgary Alberta and headed to the Rockies and Banff Alberta, (Banff National Park). From there you could go north to Jasper (Jasper National Park) on hiway #93. It is a beautiful drive and an even better ride. About 200 miles of paved road and terrific scenery. From there you could ride west to British Columbia. Follow # 16 to Tete Jaune Cache, follow # 5 to Kamloops. From there I travel west on #97 to Cashe Creek and then head north about 8 miles to a junction for # 99 and head west again. From there it gets better and better. #99 will lead you to Vancouver eventually, after visiting Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish(home). Stomette, get a good road map and take a look at the route, it is all paved and a great trip to my thinking but you may want to travel an entirely different road(there are many choices overall). There are also great routes travelling across the Rockies farther south by just riding southwest from Banff on # 93.
I envy you doing the 4 C's, sounds great. Get maps and surf the net a bit. Hopefully other riders will kick in and make suggestions too. But these are some of my favorite roads and there are still many I need to explore. Ride On, Ride Safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: Canada

Vordak said:
Radar detectors are VERY illegal in all of Canada. The ticket is approx. $1200, plus we (I'm law Enforcement) will rip your vehicle apart to find it. Sorry, but it's the law! We do use radar detector-detectors. You've been warned!
Hmmm, not exactly sure how to respond to this but to say it's one of the strangest things I've heard. Here in the US we have "legal" and "illegal" and there is no such thing as "VERY illegal" or "Kindof illegal" or the like. By saying something is "VERY illegal" that implies other actions which are not quite as illegal or that there are varying degrees of legal. So, I guess my questions is what behavior in Canada is "somewhat illegal?" With all due respect to you, Vordak, I find it equally strange that you come across with such energy about radar detectors (the "ripping apart" implies this). My only guess is that this must be a language/word useage issue. LEO's here "rip vehicles apart" when they are looking for drugs or weapons or other contraband. I personally don't know another LEO here in the US that would be willing to face a judge and justify that a radar detector qualify as contraband and that the warrantless ripping apart of a a vehicle for said radar is acceptable under US 4th Amendment and valid search and seizure laws. If what you are saying is that in Canada you don't have issues w/drugs and weapons so radar detectors are the top issues on your roadways then maybe I should consider relocating to such a safe place. I just can't think of what else could explain such a fervent response to my question of radar detectors and a "you've been warned" reply. By the way, perhaps if speeding is such an issue Canada could always consider what's happened around here with the fixed site photo enforcement program (yes, you read that correctly, go here for more:http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/photoradar/default.asp) that way the issue of radar detectors is mute (no pun intended). I'm actually very surprised that it was my question of radar detectors, not lane-splitting, that generated such an energetic response since lane-spiltting is viewed by most as a traffic & safety issue. This kinda makes more sense now:
Heavy said:
No radar detectors allowed (our cops aren't very smart and they need all the advantages they can get :lol: ).
 

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Hey guys and gals, Stromette needs suggestions about Eastern Canada and what not. Is the Trans Canada the most logical piece of road with some variations thrown in for good measure ? Also, any roads to avoid ?
 

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Stromette, I think Vordak was just trying to emphasize how seriously the Ministry of Transport looks at RADAR detectors by using the words "Very illegal". Bottom line is that they are illegal in Canada. In Ontario, and other provinces, the Highway Traffic Act is very powerful. So much so, that if, for example, a police officer using a RADAR detector detector, detects a RADAR in your vehicle, he/she can actually search to the point of disassembly till it is found. NO WARRANT REQUIRED. Or if it is on the dash and hardwired/built-in the RADAR detector can be removed by said officer using whatever tools he/she has at hand. That is why he said "Be warned" because if for some reason your vehicle happens to not run after the RADAR detector is removed it is YOUR problem.

Now that is the extreme case scenario, of course, and I think a pretty hard core police officer to go to that extreme. A person would probably just be asked to hand it over and be charged for using it. Generally I think most people would have the RADAR detector mounted on the dash or somewhere where it has a clear view of the road, so removing it is pretty easy and at worst probably just a matter of snipping a few wires, and not stripping your vehicle down at the side of the road.

You do forfeit the RADAR detector though and don't get it back.

I know the laws are weird and wacky, and not only in Canada either.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
gbart951 said:
Bottom line is that they are illegal in Canada.
Thanks, gbart951. When I asked my original question that reply (which Heavy gave) was sufficient. I could have done without a LEO attitude of "you've been warned" and ripping apart vehicles. I'm a law abiding visitor and will respect what customs are in your country (when in Rome does as the Romans do, rt?). As with most people (at least the Americans I know!) I don't respond well to threats or intimidation, especially when I
'm the one who asked the question so I could indeed do the right thing. Now, if we may get back to the actual topic of Stromette visting Canada, of course, that'd be visting Canada w/her V1 turned off .....

Can someone give me more specific info on the Canadian Rockies as far as what is a "must do"? Like Water Warrior mentioned above, traffic is a concern since time is an issue.

BTW, how easy/difficult is it to get a tire for my Strom in Canada should I run into real problems?

Yes, we'll be coming from east though the route has not been decided.

Thanks again for the help. Any of you planning trips this direction I've got your back. You're welcome to bring your radar detectors too. :wink:

Stromette
 

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STROMETTE said:
gbart951 said:
Bottom line is that they are illegal in Canada.

BTW, how easy/difficult is it to get a tire for my Strom in Canada should I run into real problems?



Stromette
Well it matters where you find yourself when you need the tire. If you shredded a tire in any decent sized city you can be fairly confident of finding one somewhere. If you are in the sticks well off of the beaten path you can call a bikeshop and have it sent to you via courier I suppose.
 
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