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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-Aug-2018, 06:14 AM (468) Thread Starter
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The Rock

Not much to say. 28 years after going to military college with a bunch of Newfies, I finally made it to the Rock.

Pro Tip: unless you can get a berth on the ferry, book a motel in Port aux Basques or Argentia. Riding after a shit night trying to sleep in a chair is not recommended!
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Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-Aug-2018, 02:11 PM (799)
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Will keep your pro tip in mind when I head to the rock next season...how’s the riding on the Rock ?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-Aug-2018, 07:07 PM (005)
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Thanks a lot and do keep the info coming. I want to get up there this season.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-Aug-2018, 03:04 AM (336) Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Crowbar View Post
Will keep your pro tip in mind when I head to the rock next season...how’s the riding on the Rock ?
I'm loving it here, but a lot of the roads are crap. [Big island surrounded by salt water ... probably not surprising.]

The Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) / Highway 1 east of Lewisporte (more or less where I have been staying) all the way to St. John's is quite nice, both in terms of the quality of the road and in terms of the scenery. TCH west of Lewisporte to Port aux Basques is also gorgeous, but has a lot more damaged / pot-holed sections and construction.

[Edit: Just returned from Lewisporte to Port aux Basque. Looks like the construction is complete. May be my imagination but the eastbound lanes coming in from Port aux Basque seemed to be in worse shape than the westbound lanes going back.]

The road north from Lewisporte to Twillingate is pretty rough in many spots. Road North from Gander to Musgrave Harbour is pretty good (I didn't have time to complete the loop around from Musgrave Harbour).

Make sure you book plenty of time for the trip ... the island is big!

There's one Motorrad dealership on the Island, Avalon Motorrad aka "The Toy Box" in Mount Pearl (St. John's), about 11 hours of riding from the Port aux Basques ferry.

Haven't done as much riding as I'd like, partly because we're here visiting people and partly because my buddy's bike broke down and had to be taken to Mount Pearl (also home to the Island's only H-D shop) for repairs.

If you want a berth on either ferry (Port aux Basques ferry is a ~7 hour ride, Argentia is ~15 hrs) you need to book probably 2-3 months in advance. That may depend on time of the year but 2-3 weeks in advance was not enough for us to book berths on either of our Port aux Basque ferries in early and mid August.

The ferries provide tie-downs so no need to bring your own (not sure if the ferry provided tie-downs are mandatory or if you can use your own). The ferry provided tie-downs are pretty grimy, but they also provide ropes so you can loop the rope around your attachment points and then attach the tie-downs to the ropes if you like. Staff will assist if needed.

If you do end up in a chair on an overnight ferry, seriously do consider booking one of the hotels in Port aux Basques (or something in Argentia if you are going that way) and take a day off. I mean, unless you're capable of getting a decent sleep in a chair. We just rode on to our destination and we really shouldn't have. Likewise on the way back ... just stay in North Sydney / Sydney. Or find some place for a nap!

If you're coming for lobster, you'll want to be here earlier in the season. We were able to get some but you're picking over the dregs by the first week of August.

The weather can of course be all over the place, but I've been in my gore-tex Klim suit the whole time I've been here (arrived on August 6th) with a thin fleece underneath, vents usually closed up, and I was still a bit cool in places. My mesh gear has been packed.

If you are riding up through Cape Breton, and fancy a pint along the way, check out Big Spruce brewing: https://goo.gl/maps/p3scFM75MXG2

If you are doing the Cabot Trail, there is apparently a lot of construction and gravel along its norther stretch.

Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.

Last edited by fdbm17; 11-Aug-2018 at 06:02 PM (960).
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-Aug-2018, 09:21 AM (598)
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I did the TLH and NFLD in June. Worst roads I've ever seen.

Theres a great hotel/motel in Plum Point with a restaurant, right across from the gas station on the main highway.
The Comfort Inn near the St Johns airport is reasonable, good restaurant and bar there too

Make sure to get screeched in at Christians Bar, downtown St Johns, they give you a certificate claiming you as an honorary Newfie.

Can't go wrong with Quidi Vidi beer either

All kinds of moose even mid day, be careful

safe travels

brian

Riding "Sir Falls Downalot"

A wish is a desire without an attempt.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-Aug-2018, 12:29 PM (728)
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Originally Posted by Candubrain View Post
I did the TLH and NFLD in June. Worst roads I've ever seen.

Theres a great hotel/motel in Plum Point with a restaurant, right across from the gas station on the main highway.
The Comfort Inn near the St Johns airport is reasonable, good restaurant and bar there too

Make sure to get screeched in at Christians Bar, downtown St Johns, they give you a certificate claiming you as an honorary Newfie.

Can't go wrong with Quidi Vidi beer either

All kinds of moose even mid day, be careful

safe travels

brian
Great info. Thanks. How long did it take you on the TLH? Where did you enter? Quebec City?
Did you do TLH then NFLD. Would love more dets on how you connect up.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-Aug-2018, 12:30 PM (729)
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Originally Posted by fdbm17 View Post
I'm loving it here, but a lot of the roads are crap.

The Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) / Highway 1 east of Lewisporte (more or less where I have been staying) all the way to St. John's is quite nice, both in terms of the quality of the road and in terms of the scenery. TCH west of Lewisporte to Port aux Basques is also gorgeous, but has a lot more damaged / pot-holed sections and construction.

The road north from Lewisporte to Twillingate is pretty rough in many spots. Road North from Gander to Musgrave Harbour is pretty good (I didn't have time to complete the loop around from Musgrave Harbour).

Make sure you book plenty of time for the trip ... the island is big!

There's one Motorrad dealership on the Island, Avalon Motorrad aka "The Toy Box" in Mount Pearl (St. John's), about 11 hours of riding from the Port aux Basques ferry.

Haven't done as much riding as I'd like, partly because we're here visiting people and partly because my buddy's bike broke down and had to be taken to Mount Pearl (also home to the Island's only H-D shop) for repairs.

If you want a berth on either ferry (Port aux Basques ferry is a ~7 hour ride, Argentia is ~15 hrs) you need to book probably 2-3 months in advance. That may depend on time of the year but 2-3 weeks in advance was not enough for us to book berths on either of our ferries in early and mid August.

The ferries provide tie-downs so no need to bring your own (not sure if the ferry provided tie-downs are mandatory or if you can use your own). The ferry provided tie-downs are pretty grimy, but they also provide ropes so you can loop the rope around your attachment points and then attach the tie-downs to the ropes if you like.

If you do end up in a chair on an overnight ferry, seriously do consider booking one of the hotels in Port aux Basques (or something in Argentia if you are going that way) and take a day off. I mean, unless you're capable of getting a decent sleep in a chair. We just rode on to our destination and we really shouldn't have. Likewise on the way back ... just stay in North Sydney / Sydney. Or find some place for a nap!

If you're coming for lobster, you'll want to be here earlier in the season. We were able to get some but you're picking over the dregs by the first week of August.

The weather can of course be all over the place, but I've been in my gore-tex Klim suit the whole time I've been here (arrived on August 6th) with a thin fleece underneath, vents usually closed up, and still a bit cool in places. My mesh gear has been packed.

If you are riding up through Cape Breton, and fancy a pint along the way, check out Big Spruce brewing: https://goo.gl/maps/p3scFM75MXG2

If you are doing the Cabot Trail, there is apparently a lot of construction and gravel along its norther stretch.
Awesome info all around, lobster, roads, suiting up.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-Aug-2018, 06:44 AM (489)
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Originally Posted by goethe View Post
Great info. Thanks. How long did it take you on the TLH? Where did you enter? Quebec City?
Did you do TLH then NFLD. Would love more dets on how you connect up.

I did 8,500Kms round trip, starting off in Kincardine, ON, going north to Val'Dor QC, to Chapas QC down past Saguenay QC to Baei Comeau, then up past Manic Cinq Damn to Labrador City. From there the TLH's (500 and 510) to Blanc Sablon catching the ferry across to the Island.

389 from Manic Cinq to Labrador city is very rough, curvy gravel, watch out for trucks coming over the crest of hills on blind corners, they drift into your lane. You can get a t-shirt there saying your survived the 389. I stayed at a hunting camp on 389, bring your own booze but dinner and breakfast was available.
Écotourisme et recherche scientifique | Monts Groulx | Station Uapishka

Book ahead for all rooms on the TLH as this isn't much, you need to carry fuel for one stretch of the 510 from Happy Valley Goose Bay going south, its about 480Kms to the next stop. On the 510 I lost my license plate it was so rough. If the grader runs before you expect your tires to sink in about 4 inches. Lots of guys go down on that loose stuff.

I spent 5 or 6 days on the island, I don't stop to visit attractions, I just ride the whole time, I covered about 70% of the main roads. The rail lines are all gone so you can run them if you wish, I didn't but would if I ever returned, time didn't allow it.

Took the overnight ferry to North Sydney, book a bunk its worth the money.

Did the Cabot Trail, then hightailed it home from there.

If I did it again, I'd skip the TLH, absolutely nothing but rocks, trees, and water. You can ride for an hour before seeing another vehicle. The province will even provide a satellite phone for the route as there is no cell reception between towns.
Saw lots of black bears, so if you camp store your food wisely. Black flies and mosquitos are plentifully, although I didn't see much of them as it was still cold in June. Snow on the side of the road in the ditches and I hit the snow storm in Garder that dropped 1" of it in the middle of June.

Good luck
brian

Riding "Sir Falls Downalot"

A wish is a desire without an attempt.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-Aug-2018, 06:47 AM (491)
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forgot to add, I did the 8,500Km in 14 days on a KLR 650

Riding "Sir Falls Downalot"

A wish is a desire without an attempt.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-Aug-2018, 11:27 AM (685)
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thanks Candubrain
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