before we jump ahead to ‘that photo’ there is stuff in between…
@damurph lead the way out of St John’s and in the general direction of @skibum69 he showed us a few areas that a lot of locals miss
@damurph really knows Newfoundland like the back of his hand and is a definite asset to any rider who makes it all the way east, thanks again for your hospitality
@skibum69 and I have been chatting for years but never met, so over a few beers we got to know each other face to face, Mike is a Cicerone so the beer on offer was something special.
…and to put a face to the name…he’s the one in sunglasses
we planned on staying a couple of days and the only thing I really had to do was change rear tires on both bikes, the Kenda was done after 7000 miles but the Mitas looked like it had another 2-3000 left in it, but we’d been carrying the Metzeler Karoo 3 rears since Maine so I just did them both. So if you ever get to his place there’s a 17 incher to get you home if you need it…you’re welcome.
As I’m doing the swap Mike hands me a sticker that @C-Stain and @fredgreen had left for me, an honorary invite to the very secret society that is “Team Canoodia” so now I wear the badge with pride thanks, guys and it was great meeting you after all these years
Back on the floor to clean the wheels and I find a problem with my rear wheel, kinda normal for me to break spokes and this is the third bike in as many years I’ve done it too.
I thought I had spares with me but I didn’t, so a call to @warp9man and he overnighted a few replacements to me from Utah!!! Warp9 amazing customer service, thanks again Kevin.
So this is the scene…
@VTbeemer gift was not coming true in eastern NL
So what do you do, well Mike has a reasonable selection of beer, time to try a few while we wait…
Now 2 days turns into 6 and we have time to check out the local area and the natural wonders to be found
getting a little hot in the summertime here!!!
Eventually, we have to leave and we head west, we check out the trail but opt out of riding it for various reasons. If you don’t know most of the TCAT on NL is the old railbed called the T-railway, sadly for us two wheel guys it has become a haven for ATV’s, its a lot of deep ruts, river rock and closed areas to motorcycles which is no fun – we didn’t want to duck walk our bikes across the island so we took the heavily traveled route which is still amazing
and camped all the way, morning duty before packing up
and the next day on the beach
heading up to Saint Barbe there are less and less people and the locals just do their thing surrounded by amazing scenery
We hop on the ferry and get to the BIG LAND and go iceberg spotting
After a horrendous night getting attacked by the black flies we hit the Trans Labrador Highway in the rain, the prophets charm has failed!
After Red Bay, there is one gas stop at Port Hope Simpson @ $1.43 a liter then it’s a long trek to Happy Valley-Goose Bay
after the first 50km or so the surface is good and fast, really fast, we were averaging around 70mph for most of it…but as you know that will take it toll
the pavement begins around 60km from HVGB
before the pavement Egles left rack had snapped, at the two top mounts, a crazy bunch of straps to hold it together and we rode on into town arriving still in daylight, we struggled to find a place to camp as we knew we had to be close by to find a welder in the morning. A local guy gave us a tip to an abandoned campsite by a lake that is only used one day a year, yesterday!!!
if you are heading this way make a note of it as it’s not easy to find – 53.417140, -60.403941, follow the road and you’ll ride thru the campsite, we camped on the beach under the pavilion, a lot less black flies there
In the morning a local told us to go to Chubbs Machine and Welding, the owner is great guy if you break something he’ll help you out
All welded up we head out for Lab City just a quick 338 miles with a whole lot of nothing in between. Stopping for a break Egle goes to restart the bike and nothing, stone dead, I pull it apart find nothing but then we have power again from nowhere, hit the button and its dead again, rinse and repeat a few times and now we know were fuct!!!
If it were anywhere else a tow, a battery and other parts swap would be the order of the day but we are in the middle of nowhere and without risking the running bike we decided to try and hitch a ride for her and her bike.
I presumed it was the welding that had sent a strong current thru the bikes electrics and fried the lot, even though I had removed the negative battery lead…at this point, it was a guess.
We flagged down about ten vehicles but none had phone service or could help, guys in work trucks told us they weren’t allowed to pick up passengers for insurance reasons so we waited until a semi pulled over, one with a logging crane on it and this is how you end up looking like you are being attacked by a transformer or playing the worlds largest 25 cent crane game
Egle got a ride to Churchill Falls which has basically nothing, it’s a service town for the industry there for a few hundred people. Luckily we met the owner of the one hotel and he offered his truck and a driver the following day to get us to Lab City, thanks, Carvey we owe you big time
so truck number two, a little smaller this time
@skibum69 put us in contact with another Cicerone, Darren, who just happens to run Trish’s Place B&B and is a biker, one of the few here. Again if you are heading this way make note of it. Decent price and great people.
With good wifi, I researched a little and with the help of his extensive selection of tools we diagnosed the problem and a few emails back and forth with Jeff @procycle and big thanks for replying after hours – that it was just coincidence about the welding, the battery had busted internally from the Trans Lab the day before. A new battery was sourced and we are ready to again in the morning into Quebec.
8 thoughts on “Beer, Icebergs, fast dirt riding and the worlds largest crane game”
Love your photos it can tell the story without words. Glad to know it was only the battery!
300+ miles of high speed washboard will do that to a battery
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Paul, was wondering if the DR650 would run without the battery as will the Gen 1 KLR 650 for sure. I had a DR650 for awhile but never checked that out. I’ve had to a few times on my KLR with a battery just dying as her’s did.
it will but getting it started is another matter
Awesome Blog! I am very jealous of the life you live. Glad I could help out when you were in the area and happy to hear you made it safely to Saguenay!
thanks for everything you did we really appreciated it
John here, day 10 and I’m still banged up in Baie Comeau. Your visit went a long way towards keeping my sanity and the blueberries have been a life raft in a sea of hospital food. Hopefully your ride out of here wasn’t too eventful, I did take note that the rain stayed consistent after you left. Screw the weather this year!!!
On the plus side, for a trip you wrote off as a washout you have some FANTASTIC photos and I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a little jealous of your picture of the bike with “The Big Land” billboard. This trip was a big personal journey for me and I will tackle it once again! This is not the end! I will persevere!!
I am making a video of what I did complete and I will tag you once I return to Toronto and it’s finished. The TCAT is not all 6 lane speedway and it’s a shame nature refused to cooperate.
Pass on my good wishes to Egle and with any luck we can trade some stories next time over a camp fire and a few beers instead of over an open leg dressing.
Ride safe and all the best!
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