My 2010 Coast to Coast and Back Canadian Winter Ride into History
To Be the First can never be taken away, Rat's Winter Run
After a year of preparation and gear accumulation sleepless nights working on wiring studding tires, trials and errors I was ready for a simply incredible ride
January 1st.2010 the day had arrived after a week of sleep deprivation caused from an over active mind that wanted to hit the road. I caught the first B.C. Ferry off of Vancouver Island destination ... Goose Bay Labrador.
It was 6:00 AM Friday Morning I said my farewell to my three sons gave them my behave, look after each other while I’m gone story went outside to the preloaded BMW F650GS through my leg over the saddle and pushed the little red ignition button and off down our street I went. When I reached the main road I was greeted with an escort to the Ferry Terminal from two other riders one of which I was to meet up with in Baie Comeau Quebec a few weeks later. Even though there are allot of riders here on Vancouver Island that ride year round because of our mild winters, people still find it to be unusual to see motorcycles in the waiting lines at B.C.Ferries in January. I was approached by an elderly couple on their way over to visit family to exchange some gifts with their grand kids, they were very impressed to here of the journey I was embarking on but not nearly as impressed as the story that they told me over breakfast in the buffet on the Ferry.
It was to be the last holiday that Mariam would be spending with family because she had been diagnosed with a quick form of Leukemia so in part I dedicated the ride to her but the ride was mainly dedicated to the memory of the North Vancouver Rebels MC Club that my Father was the VP of.
So an hour and a half boat ride and I was on the Mainland wanting to just put the hammer down and get the hell out of there I knew that I had to say goodbye to my mother in the city of Richmond because if I had not stopped in then there would be more danger in returning home than I would find crossing Canada’s Hiways in the winter, so hugs and kisses a few tears from mother and off I went again but I would not survive getting out of the mainland if I did not stop in at my brother’s place on the outskirts of the Fraser Valley, It turned out to be a very good move in a way because I was not sitting for more than five to ten minutes on his couch and all of those sleepless nights caught up to me and like a light had been switched off I was blowing ZZ’s.I awoke about Five thirty in the PM great snooze said my good bye’s to my older Brother and off on a very late run up the darkening skies of the Number 1 Hiway I went. My goal was to have made it to Kamloops B.C. bye around Seven Thirty PM but MN aka Mother Nature had a better plan for the dumbass on the Motorcycle. When I stopped in Hope B.C. to top off the fuel tank the Snow was coming down pretty good but my over confidence and lack of experience on the #1 Hwy in the winter caught up to me just a few Kilometers outside of Lytton I found myself riding in the grooves in the snow made from the big trucks and my first introduction to Ice rain, oh my it got ugly quickly. The ice was accumulating on my visor at a rate that was quicker than I could keep up with, I would wait for a little bit of a straight section in the grooves to pull my left hand out of the Hippo ear and scrape as fast as I could and then put my hand back into the Hippo Ear and grab the hand grip before the next corner well MN said enough of this and took away my only groove to follow and boom I went down on my side spinning in circle’s off the road and into the little ditch at the side of the hi way that was of course already filled up with snow from a earlier snow plow. Now if you can imagine trying to pull a loaded bike out of a deep snow bank while standing on ice with rubber soled boots onto a major hi way in close but not quite white out visibility and the adrenaline pumping through the veins I was loosing the fight and then out of the whiter shade of Grey there was a set of headlights that came sliding to a stop and the driver jumped from his car and grabbed the back of the bike all in one motion while I was pulling the front wheel out of the hole it was in the driver said hell of a night don’t you think ? I’m sure he could see my face inside of my helmet ,the sweat pouring down my face almost totally gassed I said to him “Your My Hero!” we chuckled for a moment while we stood the bike up and back to his car he went. I got the bike fired up and noticed a sharp pain in my right ankle about the same time I noticed that the cold had made my brand new CBaily’s windshield turned very brittle and had a large piece missing and a large crack across to the mounting screws,
Crap! I was pissed right off at myself now. I drained about 10 PSI out of the tires down to about 16 PSI and away I went. There was next to no traffic out at all so no one saw the slipping and sliding I was going through all the way into Cache Creek, I arrived at about nine thirty grabbed a motel room and fell into a nice hot tub of water when I got out I was dead tired and hobbling around on a fat ankle I put my riding gear on the furniture in front of the heaters to dry and collapsed onto the bed with the lights in the room still on, I woke up at ten AM checked out and went across the street to an automotive shop where I bought a roll of duct tape and Red Greened the windshield.
The Hi way crews really did an outstanding job while I was asleep because the road surface was clear and very well sanded so much sand that the spray coming off of the tires of the traffic in front of me and going past me made it almost impossible to see out my visor again. I thought to myself as I rolled into Kamloops around noon WTF have I gotten myself into? I answered myself with It’s not to late to turn back but at that moment a new friend that I would become very close to during the rest of my ride came into view Timmy’s oh yeah just what I needed Tim Horton’s would become my rest stops for the rest of the ride. I was back on the road after a smoke and coffee and made great time up to Rogers Pass where I found myself in the middle of a line up of cars and trucks, It turned out that the big snow storm that went across northern B.C. brought out the avalanche crews, It started to snow again while we waited for the crews to clear the way and in the two hours of waiting I developed quite a crowd of people all were amazed that I had rode through the storm the previous night I did not have to much to say because while unknown to them but I had my layering of my gear all wrong and was two degrees off from being a popcycle.when the line of vehicles started moving again it was getting pretty late again and I did not have any intentions to ride through another possible storm so I humped my way into Golden where I grabbed another motel room and another real hot bath. Nice thing about riding off season is the great prices you pay for rooms and most places even gave a rider discount on top of the off season rates ( Always ask for a riders discount ! )
The average price for a night with unlimited hot water and total control with the heaters was around 30 to 40 dollars and some were as low as 15 dollars. My next stop was Medicine Hat Alberta the Hi way was pretty much clear the whole way mainly cold and overcast with large grey snow clouds, It seemed as though the gods were with me because I kept missing the storms that crossed over the Prairie Provinces and the only times I worried were during the late afternoons or evenings when the temperatures dropped quickly and so did the snow. Something else that I should note is not all motels have a large selection of TV channels but there is on that I began to watch with great attention and that’s the Weather Channel, the Satellite images gave me a very good understanding of when to start riding and when to leave late. So my next planned stop was to be Regina Saskatchewan the Hiway was clear but very cold I had made a fuel stop in Moose Jaw where I experienced something that I find hard to discribe, When I had finished filling the gas tank a pickup truck pulled up beside me and the inquisitive occupants one man and one woman, turns out it was a father and daughter and they were very enlightened about my road trip, they were so impressed that they wanted me to accept a fifty dollar bill as a gift. I declined because I am not the type of person and my ride was not for a charity and i felt quite embarrassed so much so that after they left i went inside and paid for my fuel and when i was about to leave i lifted the side stand,my left pant leg got cought on my foot peg now it's hard to type or even imagine but things got all herky jerky and umph on my side in the liqifyed snow goop next to the fuel pumps.How embarrassing can that be? Sorry no Smilely Faces, Laughing My Ass Off !
I rolled into Regina late in the evening the warmer afternoon changed to a very snowy evening I searched for a motel that would be cheap but because everyone on the Hiway had the same intentions as I did and that was to get off the roads that the prices seemed to escalate to almost fifty dollars ( Hmmmm me thinks to myself ) so I rode around and found a hotel that all of the Big Trucks were at and the receptionist felt a little pity for me and gave me a room that was booked for someone else that had not arrived on time, riders discount forty dollars. The next morning I woke up and made a coffee from the packets that were in the room (Save these packages they come in handy)
I went outside and started to put my gear on the bike when I noticed that the windshield was in a sad state, the tape was no longer holding the cracked windshield in place two screws on the right side were not even attached so I went back into the room and got on the phone to locate a new one and I was only able to find a DAKAR version in Winnipeg Manitoba. Well this is going to be a long hard day of riding because the night before left a lot of snow on the Hiway, the road crews did a great job keeping one lane in either direction open but there was a lot of course sand / rocks being thrown at me from the other vehicles tires. Seven hours of riding and I rolled in to Winnipeg and I spent another half an hour or so finding a motel close to the Bike shop Wilwood Motorsports and I found a very um hmm I will be very honest here Fugly room at a dump of a motel but the price was right thirty dollars a night and it included blood splatters above the bed on the ceiling that I could play connect the splatter dots with my pencil OMG!!! But what can you do other than sleep in your riding gear and hope to wake up in the morning.
So I was obviosly able to wake up and I went down to the bike shop and had a new winshield put on however the new one was far to short and never gave me much in the way of protection so I got the old windshield cut above the cracks and went to a hardware store to get some heavy duty double sided tape and attached the old one on top of the new one, this was not as easy as you might think at – 35 I had to take the two windshields and put them in the bathtub filled with hot water and quickly dry the water off and then stick on the tape and attach the two together and it worked.
Now the weather was not the greatest that day but the day was very short and I really could not justify heading out late in the afternoon so I had to take the room for one more night.sad sad sad buit not as sad as I was the next morning because the temperature crashed to a well Winterpeg -43 low and when I tried to fire up my bike the battery said no.The oil had turned into a mollasis form and there was no getting her going even with a jumpstart from another motel resident so I called up the bike shop and explained to them what I was dealing with and they said no problem we will be right over with a truck when they got there we loaded the bike up and took it into a nice warm dry shop to thaw it out we changed the oil to a thinner weight in hopes of preventing this from ever happening again.The oil that the mechanic suggested was a Skidoo oil 0 weight and well at the time it made sence it took about two hours to get the cranckcase to warm up enough to drain the old oil out and then by the time I was out of the shop it was late again so again I was TRAPPED IN WINTERPEG for another night Dam Dam Dam.the only good thing that became of all of this was a rested body with a full belly,In the morning the bike fired up with no problem and on the Hiway I was a rolling oh for about two hours when I had noticed that the oil had heated up to the point that it’s viscosity had turnd into water and was pouring out the valve couver past the spagehtti gasket and down my leg…#%*!...Were some very coulorfull words passing my lips.I found a gas station and dumped as much 10w 20 into the resivoir as I could get in and down the road I went, replacing most of what had been leaking out onto my leg and boot.
So my next stop was to be in Kenora Ontario where I expected much colder tempeatures but I was surprised that it was quite mild at - 20 with clear skies and high clouds in the distance.I found myself at a very cozy little motel right on a lake that is mainly for fisherman and i thought i was quite fortunate to get a room right next to the lake however like the first portion of the ride i discovered that i had failed to think of the night time conditions next to a lake,yes it got very cold and again my bike wore the brunt of it with little to no protection.I woke up feeling warm and rested my gear had dried well next to the heaters so i got all ready for the days adventures and went outside and removed my bike cover and tried to fire the bike up ahahaha not a chance rrumph click click click damm it here i go again i thought to myself i sure as hell hope that this is not going to be a dailly occurance.I looked across the way over at the other little motel rooms and there was a couple of contracters doing some reno work on a few of the rooms ,I walked over and asked them if they could lend me one of thier trucks to jump start my bike and they were very willing to help me out with this request.
This is where the inevitable happens.
The time was around Ten Thirty or so when we had the bike hooked up to one of the guy’s pickup truck,I watched one of the two fellows connect the cables to his battery to make sure there was no mistake made and i saw he got the right set up e.g. red to red black to black and i made the connections to my my bike the very same way.After ten or so minutes i tried to start it up and nothing not a dam fart out of it,Coffee time the boss said he had to return home to piuck up some more materials for the job and he said he had a kerosine heater that he would bring back with him so we could try thawing the bike out with.
while he was gone the other chap started talking to me about this that and the next thing so to speak and during the idle chat he made mention of the discount price he got on the jumper cables and how he had pain nothing for them because he picked them up along the side of the Hiway last summer and how they have sat in the box of the truck ever since and that they have never been used up to now.Hmmmm ? I thought to myself that maybe i should make sure that these are even making a connection from his battery so i removed the two ends from my bike and brushed the two ends together ... No Spark *%#/@ BAS..*$! things. Son Of A***** Time to investigate this negative spark problem. Connections to battery Good brush the ends together still nothing,Ok check for breaks in the cables FAIL! Just as i found the problem with the jumper cables the boss returns with one of the biggest kerosine heaters i have ever seen in the back of his truck,this is probably one that you would find at an airforce base heating up the turbine engines of a fighter plane.So while the two fellows were setting the heater up next to my bike i noticed that the hard to see flame from this monster of a heater was the same size as what comes off the back of one of those fighter planes is touching the side of the crankcase...Ohh No no no this is not going to happen i jumped to my feet and moved it back four feet and felt a little bit better for having seen it in time.Now i get back to the cables ,it seems as though there was a breakin the cable next to one of the clamps,the only thing that connected the clamp to the cable was the insulation.OK it’s a quick repair,a short three minutes of proper connection to the bike and Varoom off she starts...Time now is about eleven o clock ish.
I thanked the two fellows that i felt so indebited to and got the bike back together and reloaded with my gear, now i was back on the road, through the nice afternoon winter air on my bike still buzzing with thoughts of how the morning was a sort of de’javu from the previous day.I started thinking about how i allow myself to keep making the small mistakes that lead me to little problems that could probably be avoided and a better start to the days riding.The answer that i came up with were from some simularitys between the rough starts of the previous days,Thgis is what simple little practices that changed the rest of the ride.Take my time there is no need to be in a race,Organized oh sure i had bugger all for gear stored in two drysacks and my tools in the hard bag that i left locked on the bike and the other important but simple solution was a big problem solver,I had to go shopping for a short extension cord and a magnetick block heater that when in the mornings before I went for breakfast i would plug in and unplug when i was ready to get on the road again.I also needed to get an upgrade on the long underwear that i was using,I was finding that at the end of the days i was quite chilled and i could not afford to get sick so while at a TimHorton’s i was talking with a local that works on the oil rigs and the mention of the cold conditions and the poor grade of layering i had.He told me of a expensive but worth the price underwear gear that the rig workers wear made from HelyHanssen.He told me where the Workworld store was and luckly a Canadian Tire store was right beside it and i could get the magnetic block heater there.This little bit of shopping changed the rest of the ride for me,all hotels back east have electrical outlets next to the rooms so one could plug into during the winter season at no charge.
So from Kenora my next stop would be Thunder Bay Ontario however Mother Nature said no i ended up at Drydon Ontario where i stoped in at a Sears wharehouse where i asked the owner if i could store my bike inside somewhere, i did not want to get stuck with another late start.The owner was gratious enough to let me do this and i grabbed a room across the street,it was early enough for me to get some good eats at a pizza shop with my full belly and a clean room and having a nice warm bath i fell into a deep sleep so deep that i woke up at noon the next day OMG so much for an early start.,I arrived late in the evening In Thunder Bay where i found a Wendy’s Burger and had a late supper rode down the road and grabbed a room,thirty five dollars a night and there was no coffee next to the coffee maker hmm good thing i collected some along the way.I stoed my gear got the bike plugged in got back in my room and watched the sattalite images on the Weather Network and it did not look all that promissing for the next few days ohh well it’s winter what does one expect.
In the morning i had no problem getting on the road and how sweat it was,Before i left Thunder Bay I needed my Timmy’s Fix so while i was drinking my coffee next to my bike and let me tell you that was quite a specticle for the locals a smaller SUV pulls into the parking space next to me and a large younger Native gets out and starts to chat with me ,He told me how he was on his way to a gathering for a dance and that he was of Mohawk origin,he showed the Huge headdress of feathers that he wore to these events and i have to be honest he seemed to me to be more friendly than the already friendly people that i had met along the way.So after all of the BSing with interested people my cup was empty and i had to get going the next stop would be Scheiber Ontario that I had been told had a motel that i am expected to stop in at and so i did
.I wanted to slow down a bit and this was as good a place as any to spend a couple of nights at,so it turns out that the owners of the motel and gas bar were very nice and kind people the husband was the former mayor and his wife a very lovely person invited me to a BBq at thier home so i put on the freshest smelling clothes i had and went for a fantasticly cooked steak supper,had a beverage met thier son,I enjoyed some great conversation and made some new friends,it was a good day.
Don and Brigit Voyager Motel and Resteraunt Schriber Ontario
When I returned back to the motel for a nice warm bed I wanted to have a smoke outside of my room enjoy the silence of the area but that was not to be.While i was away a little league hocky team rolled in for the night for a tournament the next day,I don’t really have much to say about what the evening was like other than a mention about a small group of the boy’s wanting me to buy a pack of smokes for them to which i said no because i diden’t want to have any problems with thier coach or parrents.The next day i went on a little walk about and a little ride with no gear on the bike took some photo’s went back for supper in the restaurant at the motel and got ready for the next days expierence.
I woke up to overcast light snowy conditions but the Hiway was somewhat clear.Unfortunatly i was not able to say good bye to my hosts but it really was not that important because i would probably see them on my return trip if i survived the first half of it getting to Goose Bay Labrador.Well it’s the getting past the great lakes part of the ride where the weather changes faster than a snow flake on the cylinfer head.next planned stop was to be Sudbury Ontario,A fuel stop was to be at Sault St Marie and a little bit of food for the belly at the Husky truck stop.I arrived mid afternoon and the Hiway was pretty good however i was not holding up so well,I had a bit of a chill in me but mainly cold feet Litteraly my boots were one size to small but it was to late to do anything about it i was no into a system now and my priority was to keep on moving.The weather had changed and so had the temperature and with the changes came the snow the Hiway changed to slushy conditions as i was going through Sudbury and i was getting desperate for some heat in my bones so I started looking for a motel.It was now late in the evening and i saw a vacancy light on at the Budget inn well the name should have been my first clue to maybe find another one but my mind said it would do just fine now the second clue that should have made me bolt out of there was the price twenty five dollars wow what a score so i thought.I parked the bike and covered it up the temperature was around -18 deg. so i was not to worried about the morning start up so into my room i went.I dropped the riding gear off as fast as i could and went to the bath room to turn the water on for a Hot Bath well let me tell you somthing when the pipes gurgle and groan followed by a fart like sound Stand Back it is going to blow!When the farting sound stopped the water like substance that came out was a 1940’s ish red brown mud complete with the stink and i thought to myself this just will not do,I was about to put my gear back on but the shivvers of nakedness said give it five minutes and i’m glad that i did wait.The spuge had stopped comming out and then the water came a flowing the steam in the bathroom became a comfortable sauna and like the U49 sub i dove right in.A few words of advice Budget means just that!When i emerged back to the surface the eyelids said sleep but the mind said not on that bed will i lay without some sort of protection and the driping process of my gear hanging over the heaters had stopped so back into my gear i climbed followed buy my body falling onto the bed.I draped my bath towwels over the pillows just for added security to avoid any micro bugs that wanted to make a home in my hair.
Now i might have made a couple of mistakes as to stop locations but i am pretty close,The morning brought me an easy start with the bike so it seems as though I have that part worked out,It’s seems -25 or colder and i need to use tthe block heater to get the bike to fire up but not on this day wow nice weather very little traffic and bound to get through Qubec city before the real rush hour starts up.As it worked out in my favor i rode into Saint Anne de Beaupre’
A great days ride with no incedents other than very few spoke english here. I found a room but was so far ahead of schedule i had to spend some time here so i booked in for three days i planned after this stop i would spend a week and a half in Baie Comeau waiting for some other riders that i was going to ride into Labrador together with.I found that Saint Anne was a beutiful little city on the outskirts of Quebec,Friendly nice people that were willing to help me strugle through our shared language barrier.The room cost one hundred and twenty five for the three days partly because i was next to a ski mountain and there was alot of Weekend vacationers that jacked the prices up a little bit.
When i was on my way over to the Tadoussac ferry i was pulled over from a local police officer
who spoke no english but wanted to see that my papers were in order and that i was on a safe set of tires.The tire story at the time that i was in Quebec was under a legal litigation of some sort that was to be explained to me a little later on in the ride.After all was ok with the officer i asked if i could take a picture of him next to his cruiser and he was ok with this but he stood beside his car on the road and coming towards us was a loaded logging truck on the same side of the street and the officer had no idea what was storming up behind him.My camera was taking it’s time focussing in on the officer and by the time i had a picture the truck was on us i motioned to the police officer to get off of the road so he would not get hit from the wall of water and road gew that comming off the tires of this truck but he never made it i’m sad to say and when the truck had passed us the officer had a new hair dew that was like something you would see outside of a punk rock night club.I could see that he found some humor in this and i felt terrible for not being able to warn him in his native tounge but it all blew over and i was on the ferry heading over to Baie Comeau.Now from where i was pulled over to Baie Comeau is not a large distance and no sooner was i in this city i was pulled over again from and officer on the same force as the previous one so you would think the same radio channel but this officer had a been up his ass for some reason or another and he sure was unhapy that i spoke no french,to bad for him because i just kept smilling at him knodding my head and taking a picture of his cruiser while he was doing a papper check on me.I had a good time pissing in this guys cornflakes .
So after going almost broke waitng for the Paul Mondor FBT (Frozen Butt tour) group i got to see alot of the city and while i was in what felt like a hotel lockup/jail, I was surprised to have a knock on my door where i met a fellow that wanted to meet the crazy bastard riding across Canada on a Motorcycle.He was on his coffee break and felt he needed to buy me one,His name is Rene’ after he droped me off back at the motel he said in broken english that was sixty times better than my broken French that he would come by tommorow as well.The next day Rene’ dropped in around coffee time again but this time he takes me to where all of his workmates go for coffee and introduces me to this gang of people who at the most part spoke no english.After coffeee he dropped me back at the motel and my phone rings and it’s another fan who invites me out for lunch so as we get talking about my ride that i’m on i find out he is quite the adventurer as well but his work has him bogged down.He calls me the next day and we go have lunch and BS some more but this time he shows me around the town and where he works that is down at the shipping docks it turns out he works for the Port Athority and gets wined and dined from the shipping companies,So back at the hotel the other riders begin to show up we do the introductions ect... and get together at supper time to go over the plans for the next leg up to Goose Bay Labrador. So the next morning we all get geared up and do a little talking with some editor of a motocycle magazine and say goodbye to the people that came to see us off.Now while in Paul Mondor’s hotel room Paul makes me a bet in front of the riders and the editor that if i can make the ride to Goose Bay and all the way back home he would buy what ever Bike i wanted and then shook my hand to finalize the bet.To save space and time waiting to find out the results of this bet see the Blog Chump or not a Chump.
The people on this leg of my ride were starting from my assighned roomy Gerry Malone who was the suport vehicle driver and Video/photo person then there is Patrice Roux whom i had alot of fun riding beside he was my Burm bustin buddy then there was Kieth Herve
a retired US Airforce COL. that came out from Florida to ride with us.I rally don’t want to mention but should Paul buy my book Mondor aka Iceman ya as if.I have no good feelings toward this guy for many reasons, the most important reason is he has no honesty he lives only for the allmighty dollar and he is a LIAR !.He scammed all of the people in his 2010 Frozen Butt Tour and will probably continue to do so to others as well.We could have replaced this guy with a road map and would have been alot better off for it as well.
So the peeon Mondor wants everyone to sighn a waiver before we ride together and i figure why the hell should i,I mean i have just rode across Canada already but to make the dickhead happy i put some ink on his paper and want to get on with my ride because i have been cooped up in this hotel far to long and i need to get moving.Well the ride starts off great a nice sunny day tanks are full and like a heard of turtles we were off at breakneck speeds of no more than 60kms an hour OMG cmon boys lets pick it up a little.Patrice and Keith were pretty fresh to the ice and in the ice patches that we came apon they went into reverse it seemed all timid afraid to get into the throttle putting thier feet down on the slightest of corners but having me along with them they seemed to get the hang of the ice after the first day almost.Our suport vehicle dropped a fan belt a few hours out of Baie Comeau so we had a un-schedualed stop overnight but we were fortunate enough to have a truck driver pick up a belt in back in Baie Comeau and stop in at the motel that we were in on his way past us so early in the morning myself and Patrice were in a Quansit hut
that the Hiway crew used to repair the hiway trucks.
We arrived late in the evening at Labrador City just before we reached the town i had some issues with my Visor on my BVS 2 Helmet,She froze up more and more with each breath i took,I believe that it was caused form moister that it took on during a smoke break earlier in the day.What ever it was it was not good because the temperatures had dropped there was total blackness other than the Headlights on the road surface and i could not see through the ice on the inside of my visor,so to keep up with the group i would flip open the visor and exhale a breath and then rub a clear spot through the ice and take a breath and quickly close the visor again untill i needed to breath again.All bad no good in this,all saftey was gone i got frostbite on my cheak bone,it was the only exposed part of the skin that my Balaclava did not cover and SonofaBiatch it bloodywell hurt,We go through a few quick turns and into a hotel parking lot whew made it,Barely.
Do you remeber the earlier mention of a Chump well this is the second point that old Paul Mondor the Chump begins to carry out his plot of deciet,The first was when we were back at Manic Hydro Dam he tells us that he can only pay for a part of the meals that were supposed to be covered in the deposit money that each of us gave him,Here in Lab City after we get booked into our rooms he tells all of us that he can no longer pay for any meals and this caused quite alot of dicontentment between the group.Gerry our support vehicle Driver took this on as a volenteer but his rooms food and fuel would be payed for from the chump and now he has to fork out money from his own pocket,Patrice and Kieth were roomies so i did not get to hear thier feelings about having to pay for thier own food but i know that Gerry and i were a little pissed off.
In the morning i found a Skidoo Dealer
that sold parts for my Helmet so i quickly rode over at first light to buy an electric Visor because i had no choice really i could not take another fight with frost bite as well the Chump wanted to get everyone interviewed from the CBC radio back at the hotel and this is not what i was there for so if i could avoid that type of thing then getting away from it fit my itinerary perfectly,hell i was still trying to get used to riding with others.Sadly when i got back everyone had done thier interview and they wanted me inside the hotel to do one as well so i did a quick short little question answer period and was back outside with the others.I wanted to top up my fuel tank before we left but the chup was still doing his publicity thing inside so i told the boys where i was going and that i would be right back if Mondor wanted to know,Gerry said that he needed to do the same and well he had been here before so i said i would follow him over to get some fuel.Now it was early and Gerry brainfarted instead of going straight across the main intersection he made a right hand turn and down the road we went ,I looked in my mirrors and there was Patrice and Keith following right behind us.It did not take very long for gerry to realize his brain fart due to lack of coffee i think but i had a good chuckle over iot as we wheeled ourselves back around and heading back to the correct gas station,no sooner were we all heading back when our illustrious starlet rides past us at warp speed cursing and waving his arms at us.We pulled over to the side of the road and i told the boys i would go fetch mondor and meet up back at the gas station,so around i turn again and go after the Chump.
Now when i catch up to Mondor he is in a fit all pissed off and not one nice thing to say about anything i managed to get in enough few words to tell him what was up and i turned back around again and went to the gas station where i found everyone fueled up almost.I get my bike filled up and mondor gets back and begins to try to rip a strip off of me,Now i don’t exspect anyone to know me but those who do know very well i am the wrong person to try this crap with,After about the third line of shit that poured out of his mouth i let him have it verbally but soon to quickly become physical.I told him he could stick his little wanabe outfit up his ass and that i was on my way alone again I began removing my gear off the back of Gerry’s truck and Patrice my Burm Bustin Buddy starts to grab my gear and talk me out of leaving,Gerry pulls his truck away from the pumps and over to the side of the parking lot as i am stapping my gear to my bike and i looked over towards Gerry and Mondor was trying to do the same shit to Gerry,OOps wrong move ,Never under any circumstance does anyone ever try to crap on a Newfy before he has coffee.My little roomy unloads on Mondor from top to bottom it looked awsome If Mondor had of been standing in bare feet you would have seen piss running all over the ground beneath him.It turned out that the Chump was trying to get out of paying for the fuel for our support vehicle.Gerry had mondor by the balls because if there was no support vehicle than Mondors ideas of Stardom would fail.In my books it already had.I got calmed down and talked into putting my gear back on Gerry’s truck Mondor does some ass kissing and we get back on the road again bound for Goose Bay.
Now the big issue that the Chump had was the fact that we did not stay together as a group when we headed for gas ,that we had left him behind.Well about an hour out of Labrador city the Chumps Visor starts doing what mine had done the previous evening,He could not see where he was going and it was causing some issues with the ride ,Keith had gone down on a large hill and it was well groomed ice but he slid down quite a ways so while we were making sure that he was ok and his bike was fine Mondor decides that he needs to get back to Lab City to get a electric visor.Ummm “we did not stay together as a group” was his rant earlier go figure .It gets decided that because Patrice and Keith were pretty green at riding on the Ice that the two of them would follow the chase vehicle and that Mondor and i would race back and get a visor install the wiring and race back and meet up with the others.So we put the hammer down so to speak and make great time back to Lab City get what we needed to get done get on the road to catch up with the others ,now we were bookin it i was at some points hitting 110kms and flat tracking the corners but with all fun things the inevitable happens.We had a Big Commercial truck in front of us and we waited iuntill a good straight stretch came along and made our move to pass it,The poor truck driver in the middle of winter driving on an Ice road gets passed by two motorcycles do you see the irony of this because i had a good chuckle out of it,we continued to ride at break neck speed until we are coming out of a long flat left hand corner and the grooves in the ice that are plowed into the ice get pretty deep,my front tire catches into a groove and i could not power my way out of it,I knew that i was going to go down but i had no idea that it would become one of the smoothest funniest crashes i could have ever done.The combination of my one leg out in front of the bike and having pouring the coals to get some rear wheel spin to help pull me out of the pickle that i was in failed ... the front wheel jumps out of the rut and cranks to one side and one of the greatest high sides i could ever do hapened.I landed on my flat on my back at 100 Kms sliding along the Ice slowly turning in a clockwise direction i decided to sit up to try to see where my bike was at and i discovered that not far behind me it to was slowly spinning in a clockwise direction and coming to a slow stop much like i did.I was laughing so bloody hard that when The Chump got back to where i was he could hear the laughter going on inside my helmet.I got up and went back to my bike that was still in gear and running the back tire was not on the ground so i figured that i would grab the clutch and stand it up however the idea failed due to the fact that the lever was broken off so when i stood the bike up the back tire spins and stalls the engine.
Well as i was telling the Chump what had gone wrong that Big Rig blows past us tooting his horn as though he had regained the lead but we quickly fixed that problem,I of course had to get my bike moving first before i slammed it into gear that turned out to be so much easier than trying to do it on asfault or dirt because of the tire spinng on the Ice,Anyways not once but twice the Big Rig driver gets passed on an Ice road by two motorcycles in the middle of winter in Labrador how sad is that LMAO.Now we cought up to the others at Chuchhill Falls i think it was and went into the place and had a small lunch.
After a nice lunch we made our run to Happy Valley Goose Bay along the way after it became dark we were on a long down hill right hand turn ,A Hiway truck came around the corner and cought Mondor off guard i guess because he had to swerve over to the right quickly to avoid becoming a piece of the bumper however up until this day i never spoke about what transpired from this move.I had no clutch lever due to the carnival ride crash that i had where i was spinning down the road on my butt well when Mondor made his quick move it was right in front of me and all i could due to slow down was to role off of the throttle to avoid his rear tire and my front tire from locking up together.My Surprise of the lack of thought from Mondor’s actions were of little concerne to me because what followed was very quick and almost cost me my life.
Going down hill on ice the only speed control is from your Clutch Lever Gear selection and your throttle NO BRAKES can be used,when the clutch is taken out of this you are left with a throttle as i was already in second gear when i rolled off of the throttle the traction is broken from the rear wheel thus going down a steep grade on a corner well the bike washed out from underneath me as fast as you can blink your eye.I found myself sliding towards the rear of the truck with one leg trapped under my bike.My winter boot had cought on the mounting bracket for my luggage and the only thing i could do was to start kicking my seat with my free leg as fast and hard as i could to try to get the bike to bounce up high enough to get my leg out,well after several kicks i was staring at some very large trailer tires and suddenly my last kick was enough to cause the handle bars to flip to the other side and this left enough room for me to free my leg and roll to my right and miss the trailer in time to be able to tell others like i am now.
We never spoke of that crash again i am not sure why my guess is that Mondor was not willing to expose any responceability for it and the others i have no idea why it happened other than it was just another crazy moment riding on ice.So we make it into Goose Bay a very old Airforce Base and now a comercial Airport,We arrived
late and very dark and getting pretty cold ,approx -55c we stopped at the gas station to fill up our bikes before checking into our hotel.When i pulled up to the pumps i had a oil fire on the skid plate just a little candle light size one kinda cute but the attendent came a runnig yelling and then screeching get your bike away from the pumps your bikes on fire i giggled and bent down and blew it out with one breath and told him to relax.We get to the hotel that we were supposed to have rooms booked altogether but for some reason our Illustrious leader failed to get what he wanted or was prommised.We all had a celebration drinks in one of the rooms even Mondor had some with us. The next day we had a glitch with our support vehicle ,it was so frozen that we could not even get the doors opened and Gerry had a friend that worked at the Goose Bay Airport and they towed Gerry’s truck there and put it into a hanger to thaw out it got late so we were moved to a different hotel and this is where the history part of my ride comes into the story.We were informed of the completion of the Third and final stage of the Trans Lab Hiway and that if we rode it out to Cartright Labrador we would be the first motorcycles to have travelled it,so the group decision was yes lets do it.Now what is considered to be completed in my books is much more different to what we encountered,Imagine a path the width of a bulldozer throgh the forest with Baily briges over streams lots and lots of switchbacks all covered in snow and ice yep thats it WOW.
It would have been great fun on a dirt bike in the summer but the winter it was crazy fun,along the way we came across a bunch of Natives
that were doing a walk for Diabetis across Labrador to Quebec through the forest like thier ancestores would have travelled complete with the Traditional Clothing and a very large TP that they slept in,a real great bunch of people wlaking for a great cause.I diden’t care much for all of the Tim Hortons cups and garbadge that they left along the roadside but i am sure that there were a group that did the cleanup as they resupplied the walkers.We rode like the wind to get to Cartwright before dark we had a slight navigational problem at one point but we were able to see the mistake before it was out of hand and made it to Alices Hotel and Resteraunt
as it was getting dark.We got the bikes parked Gerry’s truck and trailer parked and his truck plugged in went inside and the cook who was finnished for the day stayed on to feed us all a fantastic meal.
The Morning came and i woke up to my Room mate saying “I wunder when that came in?”and he left for breakfast so i rubbed the eyes and rolled out of bed ,the sun was shinning through the curtain so i looked out the window to see what kind of day we had before us and much to my surprise i was looking at a Helicopter about fiffty or so feet from the hotel room window.I did not even hear it come in omg! talk about a dead sleep.We all finnished up our food and got started on a quick tour of Cartwright complete with a ride on the frozen ocean that was not a good thing to do if you have no clutch lever,I was told that this harbor is where the Ferry from Nova Scotia comes into when it is clear of the ice but all i know is that this was a very nice small and quiet place very beautiful all covered in snow.Kieth had a little oops out on the ice when we all came back to shore and we were watching him trying to stand his bike back up for about five minutes or so,each time he tried to lift it it would slide right back out ond down again.Now it should have been somthing to laugh at but you have to understand that he was starting to sweat and this is not a good thing to happen,he was fortunate to get it up and he got moving before he started to freeze his skin.We became the talk of the town when we were refulling at the gas station,some of the towns folk were giving us some pretty funny looks and comments that were delivered with strong accents of Newfy,very fun moment for me trying to understand what was being said.We finnished our little ride about the town
and went back to Alices i went straight to the bar and began to have a self made party with some of the worlds best Rum in the world “London Dock” Nector of the Gods two drinks = 1 eye open three drinks and the english language becomes optional and if your like me four drinks and you wake up late for supper.
We had a good start in the morning all of the bikes fired up real quickly with the jumper cables and no unforseen surprises.We had a great ride back to Goose Bay across the Third stage,Patrice and i were riding our bike as if we were in a moto race,flat tracking the corners getting great air off of the rolling bumps and the day just zoomed by to quickly.I was having so much fun that i managed to have the rear taillight assembly break off from the bike and thanks to the creater of the Bungee cord it stilll holds the whole taillight assembly on the bike today.The rest of the return ride was pretty uneventfull other than some unusally large road clearing equipment
and a pick up truck that had left the road and was being recovered
I would estimate that the driver had lost control about one quarter mile from the recovery spot,we had stopped to assist but it was under control.We were told that the driver was ok and that she was airlifted out from a Helicopter the night before (so that explains where the one at Alices came from.) She had minor injurys and would be alright and the pickup had one broken window on the passenger side that allowed the inside of the cab to fill completly up with snow while it was slidding through the snow on it’s roof.Just imagine a ¼ mile upside down sleigh ride.
Before i knew it we were back in BaieComeau Quebec I was about to continue the last leg of my ride.I said my fairwells to Patrice and Kieth and Mondor confirmed that he would keep to his bet after offering me the chance to load my bike and catch a ride back home with him but this would have killed the bet and that would not work for me so i was then offered a bed and rest at Gerrys house as a guest to get my bike fixed up and me rested up for the last leg ,This appealed greatly to me because of the friendship that Gerry and i made,We got started on our way to his place at hammer down speeds and before i knew it we had been running for 24 hours straight Gerry needed a old man snooze at a Flying J truck stop so while he snoozed i repaired the broken wires on my tailight.Gerry and i got back to his place next to Niagra Falls (Canada Side) I spent a few days there getting to know his wunderfull wife
and crazy little dog,Gerry gave me an escort to the hiway and we said good bye to each other and down the road i went.
Well here I was on my way back home where I was sure I would feel the temperature change, my persona was in a great state I figured I would find a Tim Horton’s and have a good lunch before putting some miles behind me how ever i found my great navigational skills failed me for the first time here i was right back at the same dam spot i said good bye to Gerry at...DAM!. So off i go to try again and I find a Tim Horton right along the Hiway,i pull in and feel the stress level getting bigger when i watch the coffee time rush of idiots that followed me off the hiway into the parking lot,what an amazing thing to watch i took my time taking off some of my gear before entering the Tim Hortons so i could see the eastern human species turn into animals for parking spots,Crazy. I then get allot of stares while waiting for my turn in line inside Tim Hortons, well I have never been one for crowds and lineups so after getting some food and a coffee I went out to where I felt safe, you guessed it at my bike and while I was enjoying some sunshine on the face what pulls up but OPP ( Ontario Provincial Police )
I think, here I go with another 40 questions but instead this officer was the exact opposite, He stops his cruiser in the middle of the street section of this large parking lot so this made all traffic single lane past the cruiser and comes over to me shacking his head side to side and all I could think is It wasn’t me would be my answer. He says “You are one brave or one crazy idiot but I’m impressed.” All I could do was smile and take another bite of the presto log sandwich and wait for his punch line “I would like to see your insurance and registration and your drivers license please!” but nope he walks past to a car that had just parked in the spot in front of my bike. An Asian woman was getting out of her car and the officer asked her a question and she followed him back over to me and my bike, then he asked me to stand next to him I normally only do this when I am wearing handcuffs but what have I got to lose so I join him and when I turned around to see what had happened to the woman there she was with camera in hand and click she starts taking pictures of us. He thanked the lady and started chatting me up as if I was his neighbor. A nice cop very unusual, we talked about this that and the next thing and he suddenly stops talking and stairs down the parking lot and speaks up after a pause Watch this guy...he isn’t.. No... He can’t be going.. and I looked over to see what he was yammering on about and Blam two mini vans both backed up from opposite side of the parking lot right into each other rear bumper to rear bumper they became one. The officer shakes his head and all I could say was well it looks like you have to go to work now been nice talking with you and back over to suck back a cold coffee and now even harder to chew sandwich and get the hell out of there From then on i just wanted to ride and ride some more.