2015 Fundy Adventure Rally - Versys KLE650 style

CMGOnline.com has hosted a rally that I fell in love with, the Dawn 2 Dusk. Sadly it was discontinued in 2014 so they could focus on a new venture, the FundyAdventureRally.com

I decided that my adventure bike, a 2009 Kawasaki Versys KLE650 was good enough to do this, especially as some insiders said that I shouldn't have any problems with street tires for a large portion of the routing, so I signed up, and managed to convince some family members that they needed to sign on the dotted line as well, and Team "RedDirtRiders.com" was formed.

Day 1 - Borden-Carleton PE to Adair's Wilderness Lodge, Shepody NB

Day 1 - Borden-Carleton PE to Adair's Wilderness Lodge, Shepody NB
I opted to ride to the rally, while the remainder of my team decided to trailer in, but we did stop at Riverview NB for a lunch at the Homestead restaurant.

French onion soup at the Homesteader
I got onto the road ahead of the truck and trailer and left them in my dust as I took the scenic route along the Fundy Bay, and down into Alma. I was almost there when it began to rain, and I was forced to stop and get my rain gear on.

Once out of Alma NB the road winds it's way up and over the Fundy National Park, which is normally an exiting little rip, but due to the rain and fog, and the behaviour of my new Arai-XD, I was having extreme difficulty seeing, and the ride was not all that it could be. I managed to ride right past the sign announcing the entrance to Adair's at the junction of Shepody Road and Route 114, and had to circle back to it, to find that it was a gravel and clay road, that with my Versys should be something of a challenge in this wet. I wasn't really expecting such a difficult road, and my GPS didn't show the road at all, so I was navigating using the fixed waypoint, essentially a blip with an arrow pointing to it. I made a turn onto what I thought was a decent road but it changed direction and headed away from the Lodge and I had to turn back and try again. It's a good 15km as the crow flies from 114 in Adair's, and most of it was gravel, with some areas having grass growing up in the middle to add extra fun and excitement. The 120/70/17 front tire of mine was washing out in repeatedly, and keeping that bike underneath me as I stood on the pegs was a chore, exhausting in fact. I was breathing so deeply that I had to raise the face shield completely. 

When I hit pavement about 3/4 of the way to the Lodge, I breathed a sigh of relief and sat down on the seat  again for the first time in ages or so it seemed, then back on more gravel and another three kilometres into the Lodge, where as I turned into the entrance, the newly laid fresh gravel slid the front tire of the back out and to my right, and the full weight of the bike came down on my left leg as I struggled not to drop the darned thing right there in the driveway in front of all the other adventure riders! 

I'd made it!
I was pretty happy not to have had to pitch a tent at this point, but Captain Kirk's enclosed trailer would have made a nice home away from home if we didn't have a room booked already. 

Nathan's KTM 530XC
I think of all of us, Nathan had the most rally appropriate bike, a KTM 530xc

Day 2 - The Rally! 

The rally map...
I was determined to try starting with my team, but with Michelin Pilot Road 4's and all that rain yesterday I was fairly certain that riding on grass would see me face plant into the mud. Ah well.

Rob and Courtney decide if they should let me go... 

And it's a close run thing. 

I followed the boys out on the first B route, and felt my tires slipping on the grassy dual track roadway. I chose to turn back rather than break expensive bits off of my bike trying to keep up to Nathan's KTM, Ryan's KLR650 and Kirk's F800GS. Durn, but that freed my day to go touring the area, and I was totally down with that.

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