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Author [NL] [FR] [ES] [DE] [SE] [IT] [NO] [MY] Topic: My NoVM Birthday tour!  (Read 3468 times)

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Offline sullspots

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #20 on: Jul 16, 2019, 08:01 PM »
Cake,Ice cream,a puncture and fantastic scenery...this is a great looking trip Ibraz,thanks for sharing and giving me some touring mojo. :123A: :123A:

Online whiskydave

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #21 on: Jul 16, 2019, 09:07 PM »
Ibraz, you call that a "club sandwich"...….we call it a buffet.   :008: :008: :008:

Offline Shandy

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #22 on: Jul 17, 2019, 01:53 PM »
Great Stuff!  :37:

Runway shots are really nice, do you know much more about the history of the air field, why it's abandoned, etc..?

What a nice lady to offer you somewhere to nap, are you sure she just did't want to steal your cake while you slept  :1: :008:

Really long day in the saddle, good decision to go for the hotel room rather than a night camping!

Glad the puncture held, I'm hoping you get it repaired properly soon though, and nothing else goes wrong

Looking forward to the rest
A Motorcycle Is For Life, Not Just Sunny Days!

Offline Ibraz

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #23 on: Jul 19, 2019, 04:39 AM »
Thanks to you all for your comments, I'm glad some of the feel of this trip is still perceptible after being through a camera and a keyboard!

@Gustavo: Mine will go up to about 60kph on this runway (I have to admit not all of it was on both wheels). Actually I never found out the top speed of the Versys, all I can say is that loaded like it was I saw 114 on the dash during an overtake and it was still increasing before I shut it down (I'll let you use the units you prefer  :107: )

Ice cream is becoming quite a habit now even at home, guess summer finally arrived. I try to compensate with smaller "buffets" but it isn't easy.

Third leg of the trip was a loop. The real north coast starts in Baie Comeau, people who live around here are either here for (hard, manual) work or to make buisiness with the workers.
Work trucks everywhere, speed limits a faint memory of the past...

I had to rest a bit and wanted to see a good friend who lives in Baie Comeau. I had no luck contacting him on his phone so I tried social media and got out of the room around 11 AM.
I went to see the local honda/harley dealer to try and fix my left mirror that was flopping in the wind after a "slight" crash in Québec three days before departure.
Let's just say that his neighbor's Tercel got a bit dented and my mirror got loose.
Apparently asking for rubber bands in a bar can also get you the barmaid's phone number  :2:

The first stop after fixing my mirror was the local Tim Horton's. I needed sugar, caffeine and snacks for my unpredictable stops.
At this time no route was really planned for the day. A ferry was leaving towards the south shore to the Gaspé peninsula at 5PM but it seemed a bit dull to just wait for it and Baie Comeau isn't the prettiest city in the world.

12C and... Damp...

So I had this to eat while thinking about a plan:

As I was filling up with a LOT of calories my friend called, he had a new phone number and I HAD to go to the microbrewery with him later. Done deal, I'll just go up route 389 to see the biggest dam of it's kind in the world and back. 211km each way. No cities, no fuel stops, no cell reception, nothing but nature, flies, gravel in curves and people who spend their lives travelling that road.
Manic-5 (remember? name + number = dam) resulted from a pretty crazy idea. Hydro Québec decided that it could make a new path for the Manicouagan river (that's not a small river!) while building a dam that would close up a 100km wide meteorit crater and be used to produce electricity :goggle:


Of course I can now say that I'm a real canadian after this exuberant display of one of our nation's symbol on a proud Versys!
Remember the incect repellent tube? Well have two of them now. The tought of running out in this area wasn't pleasing so...

Enough procrastination, let's go!

Route 389 should't exist. Nature never called for it and it serves the only  purpose of getting work done at the Manic and Outardes dams, the miner's city of Fermont and newfoundland/labrador. It is paved for 211km to Manic-5. 211km of almost non stop medium to tight corners with a few sweepers and cool down straights trown in.
Logging trucks roll on the middle of the road and the mosquito population is groing to the point that I have to almost fully close my chin vent as they shoot up the inside of my visor.

Short stop at the Manic 2 dam:

Two other riders had warned me before i went: brim it. I can see why now. There was a lot of exiting corners in WOT 3rd and 4th gear. it was now 3 PM and I had to be back to Baie Comeau before dark as the idea of being on this road at night with all the big wildlife around wasn't appealing.
Also it was now around 10C humid and windy so my hands were freezing when not in cornering action. The heated grips didn't work at all... Too much mosquitos to try an find the problem.

Logging trucks were behaving like rally cars, diving to the apex and throwing gravel on the pavement and in the direction of my poor unprotected radiator so I learned to respect them and wait for them to give me a sign to overtake.

There's a roadwork area of 2 or 3 km. Up on the pegs, steady throttle through the potholed muddy stuff, let the bike move underneath you... All the videos on Youtube were worth it!
The other road users don't mind it if you go past them when waiting for the workers to open the road to traffic (one way traffic because of roadworks).

Just before Manic 5 there is a gas station and a motel. 87 octane only at 1,80$ per liter (1,29$ in Baie Comeau). Filled up, croutched under the front of the bike to check the heated grips switch connectors under the dash, plugged the loose wire and celebrated my mechanic skills with a deserved (and unhealthy meal)

The dam was only two kilometers further down the road. What a deception I had when arriving at the bottom... you can't see it all. The damn thing is huge!
That's when Robert arrived on his Super Tenere. He had come back from up north as 389 was closed after Fermont. (gravel almost all the way up). He knew a place where I could see the dam and take a picture.

So here I am following him on loose uphill gravel road at 40kph when the bike decided it wanted to go where it liked... Ok, slow down to 20kph, Robert understood and slowed down too.
He saw my Rolleicord and told me he had a Hasselblad, so I was pretty confident for the framing on this one:

We talked for a bit then he left me as he wanted to be back in Montreal fast.

On the way back, I could't resist to go see Manic 3 too. it's a bit hidden but I found it along a gravel road!

Road, river, dams, transformation stations, bugs, river, dams etc...

The bugs make a cloud around the bike every time I stop as the gather close to the hot vibrating machine. Gearing up to get back on the road is a strategic affair! walk a bit, go to the bike and grab the helmet, put it on while walking then go back to the bike and grab a glove, put it on then go back and put the second one and GO!

Then a sign indicates a "safe place" don't know how to nameit in english but it is basically an evacuation place where workers can regroup if things go south at the dams. The Manic 3 evacuation place is all loose gravel and when I went to take a picture of the bike next to some rocks I realised that my turning radius wasn't ideal...
The Versys has a turning radius improvement method consisting of opening the throttle and dumping the clutch:

Of course I had to get the bike out of there... And there was only one way to do it. See how the rear sinks into the ground:

Third voluntary wheelspin of the trip and still no dumping the bike!!! Do you see the smile behind the helmet?

Stopped 30km before Baie Comeau to rest a bit. Soft sand, turn, front tucks in... SAVED IT!  :38:
(same method, same results!)

It may look like a normal 422km ride but the fun I had doing it is hard to convey with words. Turn after turn after turn... That road shouldn't exist yet it is there and it's a jewel. I can't understand why people go to the "tail of the dragon" and not here. 211km of curves each way, little traffic, a bit of adventure, great great great day spent on the road!

I met Robert again at a gas station in Baie Comeau, he was with a newfie (I'll let you google that) on a ktm adventure, We talked for a bit, talked about the possibilities of the ferry not crossing the st Lawrence the next day, road conditions, all three of us had a different route but we all had an adventure and solidarity was showing!
Robert is a member of the forum and gave me stickers for the Versys. I'll put them on once I clean it.

The Baie comeau microbrewery makes GREAT beer and the second best smoked meat poutine in the country. Highly recommended.

Tomorrow we cross lines on the big map, miss a ferry, get rained on, cold but still have a beer at the end!

Offline jonnster71

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #24 on: Jul 19, 2019, 07:40 AM »
Love this RR Ibraz, such an epic ride. What a country Canada is!

For years I pondered about emigrating to Canada but a career, kids etc. parked that idea. You're making my feet itch.

PS - Safe Assembly point or Evacuation point are the usual phrases used here in the UK for places to run to if things go wrong (no doubt there are many others).

Offline uralrob

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #25 on: Jul 19, 2019, 12:58 PM »

  Yup, an epic report, Ibraz.  Who knew that concrete, gravel and bugs could make for such a great write up!!
But I do think you need more weight on that rear wheel for better traction  :whistle:

 My computer is taking an age to open your pics on this latest episode. Millimeter by millimeter they work their way down the screen. I'm holding my breath with excitement :exclamation: Is it a bear, is it a moose, is it a roadkilled porcupine, or is it the barmaid's phone # :question: No, it cruellers and choco  :008: :008:.
 Is it possible to reformat them to come up a little quicker maybe?

 Jonnster, if this great land of ours can accommodate crazy 'bar stewards' like Ibraz and good for nothing n'eer do wells like myself, just think what it could have given you. Only the sky would have been your limit  :2:.

 Looking forward to the next round, Ibraz.

Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.

Offline Oldplodder

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #26 on: Jul 19, 2019, 02:00 PM »
Yep - eagerly awaiting the next episode.

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Offline Ibraz

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #27 on: Jul 21, 2019, 01:15 AM »
@Jonster: There are enough bears, wolves and potholes to accomodate another citizen  :016:
I don't regret my move at all as this country gave me oportunities I couldn't dream of in Europe in a situation like mine was.
You know what it means, you have to go to the next IVM, it may help you come over for good!

@Uralrob: I think it's related to the number of pictures in the post, the size is the same as the previous ont (between 4 and 7mb for the non panoramic ones).
I have to admit thet looking a the screen hurts a bit so I'm kind of lazy and upload directly without taking the time to reformat.

This one will be a short one:

After an good beer and a great smoked meat poutine we headed to my friend's appartment. we talked until 2AM as it had been at least two years since we last saw each other.
Some friends are special. You never forget the guy that arrived at university in Quebec the same day as you and that you ended up grabbing coffee with just because you were equally lost in this big and different country. Ten years later, we still remember that hour we spent talking with amazement about all the things that were different here and the opportunities that seemed endless.

Woke up at 6AM the next morning, ate breakfast with my friend then went back to sleep as he was going to work.
at 3PM I woke up refreshed. Sleep is important for me and my body tells me with pretty intense symptoms that I should get some these days.

At 4:30 PM I left his place planning to catch the 5PM ferry in Godbout and go to the gaspé peninsula.

14C, humid but not raining. Low ceiling, Empty roads as everyone eats early here.

The road between Baie Comeau and Godbout is amazing! long sweepers over cliffs, bays, between hills and water. Incredible views. I followed an SUV that was turning off 138 and going down the hill thinking that they were tourists and knew a place with a great view... Ended up in their driveway... Oups, sorry... Must happen often? Apparently not.

My rear tire now has a slight bump where the soft compound wore faster than the harder center that's a good sign  :002:
It was going to change over the next 24 hours.

Missed the ferry by a minute or two, so I decided to ride all the way to sept Iles and decide there if I wanted to go to the end of the road or not (40km of gravel after Natashquan so another two or three days on route 138).

Bit of rain, bit of mists, empty road... Left the metric system behind again. This leg of the trip is mostly straight lines and goes inland a bit so no real interesting landscapes that could be worth stopping and ending up riding in the dark, BUT as my camelbak was still in use, I had to stop for yet another sanitary stop!  :034:

And of course when you take a panoramic shot with your phone next to that kind of sign on an empty road, by the time you sweep over completely to the right a car apears in the picture... Saw it only after the end of the trip... Oh well. Photoshop will fix that someday.

The Versys is a GREAT piece of machinery! Simple enough to be fixed on the side of the road with basic tools, great range, lots of fun in twisties, even loaded, riding thousands of kilometers while often seeing WOT and above 7500 RPM all that loaded with everything one could neew to survive in the woods. Heated grips are a godsend in the kind of conditions I had today. Did I tell you that I like this bike?

Again, microbrewery, nachos, and as the forecast was rain for the next morning I went to a hotel. They only had executive rooms left... What a shame, King size bed and fluffy towels!  :002:
The Gouverneur hotel is clean, comfortable, quiet, but kind of old shool. Everything looks like it is straight out of the nineties. Funny feeling.

This dam and abandonned runway trip is slowly transforming into a beer and vintage hotels trip. It's also getting expensive. I'll fix that tomorrow.
For now time to sleep and rest to be able to take a decision: continue to Natashquan and the end of the road or go back west and cross the St Laurence.

I don't know it yet but tomorrow will be a long epic day of riding where I'll the boots wet, almost die (like in really almost die), honk a boat, try a tricycle, get blood on the helmet, get stopped by the police while already stopped and sleep in a pirate's ship and a princess castle.

Offline TallTex

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #28 on: Jul 21, 2019, 06:16 AM »
Roll on, Ibraz.  :031:
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Offline uralrob

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Re: My NoVM Birthday tour!
« Reply #29 on: Jul 22, 2019, 11:36 AM »

   :008: :008: :008: Crazy bugger.
  "I don't regret my move at all as this country gave me oportunities I couldn't dream of in Europe in a situation like mine was."
 My experience too  :028:

 A few years ago my wife and I rode to Natashaquan and then took the ferry to Blanc Sablon and got back to N.S. via Newfoundland. Fabulous riding up there, and a spectacular coastline from the ferry. But pricey.

 Ride on  :biker1: :biker1:  :002: :002:



Don't take Life too serious, it's not permanent.