Charlottetown PE to Alma NB and Return - 522 km, 6 hours, 42 minutes
We chatted up riding a lot harder and further on Friday night to find that we would rather set our sights a wee bit lower and enjoy the ride than to turn the one day with a decent forecast into a "Dawn to Dusk" rally as the weather just isn't quite there yet. Call me lazy, I'm alright with that. In fact, I embrace it. :)
So instead of a ten hour ride to St. Martins New Brunswick and return, we opted for a shorter ride to Alma NB for lunch, and then a bunch of highway back so we could be sitting on the couch with out feet up that evening. :D
And so it was, we woke up at 0600 and slapped the snooze bar again and again...
CLine and I making our way across the Confederation Bridge...
Stopping to strip off yet another layer...
When the day starts off below 4 degrees Celsius then climbs up to 16 degrees for a day time high, you are going to need to dress in layers, and wear everything when you start. As the day got warmer, we stopped and shed layers. This seemed to be the practice all day long.
Riding along NB 114 along Shepody Bay, Fundy
The highest tidal falls in the world take place here, and at low tide you can see a scar of mud where streams and rivers carve their way out into the bay.
The last five kilometres are a real joy to ride as you wind your way into the town of Alma proper.
Caroline heading into Alma New Brunswick (She chose the tune... :D )
CLine & RottenRonnie - Photo credit CLine
Why are we here? Oh yeah, roads and lunch.
Fundy National Park of Canada takes you up and over the hills with a few laid back switchbacks then down through Mechanic Settlement and back out to the Trans Canada 1 that could take you back to Moncton and the Island
The objective here isn't to scrape a peg, but to have a blast and refrain from grounding a peg.
The ground clearance on the 2004 Honda Shadow is quite low, and CLine has more of a problem choosing a good entry speed and line into a corner so she DOESN'T grind her pegs/floorboards mid corner.
And that's about it for the sweet corners...
New Brunswick roads are a crapshoot this time of year, especially before the road crews can get out and patch winter damage. Take it easy for some of these holes could set you back a tow truck and a damaged rim.
895 just south of TC 1 at Anagance NB
We opted to stay off the 1 as long as possible, so crossed over on 114 then took Portage Vale road as it was heading roughly North East, then 895 North until we hit the Trans Canada and hoofed it into Moncton where we had a date with a full Costco parking lot.
So does this count as "Off road"?
CLine lost me in the parking lot of Costco. My excuse is that I had to find us a spot, and I found a "pulley throughey" up close to the doors, but I'm a mere wean at 6' and she couldn't see me over all the trucks and SUV's in the lot. It was quite the conversation over the Cardo Scala G4s for a few minutes there...
"Costco on a motorcycle. Guaranteed to be a cheap stop."
CLine had a bit of a laugh at herself over on Facebook, as did her friends who asked her to pick up some cat litter on the way home. As it was, we grabbed a package of medium freezer bags, her favourite frozen chinese dumplings, a couple sets of merino wool socks for ladies, and some computer reading glasses, a his and hers set. Most of that fit nicely in my stuff sack, rok strapped to the back seat of the Versys for the trip home, while she refused to let the dumplings out of her sight and tossed them into her cargo pack. I can change dear, honest I can.
955NB on our way to Murray Corner NB
If you are coming to the Island from Moncton, skip much of 15 and 16 by jumping onto NB 955 just East of Shemogue and ride through Murray Corner and hop back onto 16 just before the bridge back to the Island. You will not only have a nice little ride down some curvy back roads, but beat much of the traffic and the 16 wheelers that hog 16, and are no doubt following someone's gran who is afraid of hitting moose out of season so drives 20 kph under the posted limit. *sigh* Yes, that is how you get to and from the Island. Either race car fast, or painfully slow, and it seems to be in direct proportion to the duration of natural light. ie, Summer vs Winter.
CLine rocking Cadman Corner on the 955
We ended up back out on 16 just seconds ahead of the conga line of trucks and tourists all bound for the Red Isle, beat them onto the bridge, then stopped for fuel and a cuppa coffee on the other side at the Borden-Carleton Esso.
The bridge awaits!
CLine has the bridge to herself for a few moments
Once back home we both agreed that we'd had a wonderful day, but tomorrow's forecast called for 100% chance of rain, and 0% chance of morning alarms.
The weather hasn't been fantastic here on the Island this spring, and we were lucky to get a day this long weekend with a bit of sun in the forecast, so when I laid my head down on my pillow on Saturday night, I was ready to roll out of bed Sunday morning with plenty of time for breakfast, then an early morning start on our unplanned trip to head somewhere (on island) for much of the day.
CLine had other plans, such as "Sunday morning sleep in!?" but we compromised and found ourselves geared up and waiting in line at Tim Hortons in Cornwall for a morning start of a coffee and breakfast of sorts to start us on our day. This was about 10am, and because we got out a bit later, the day was warmer than if we had left earlier. This proved to be a good thing, as it was brisk enough on the bikes for me to be wearing a medium thermal layer under my riding jeans, as well as my heated jacket (not plugged in). CLine opted to remove her heated vest, but was happy that she had on a long sleeve base layer under her jacket.
North Cape PE
Breakfast done, now to "Get out of Dodge". All roads seem to end up taking you to Charlottetown or into Summerside, and our ride wouldn't really start until we were on the West side of Summerside in a town called Miscouche where we would leave the Trans Canada 1 and strike north on Lady Slipper Drive North aka 12 and head out to the North coast and follow it along right up to North Cape.
Charlottetown to North Cape and Return - 426 km - 7.5 hours
Seven and a half hours to cover four hundred and twenty six kilometres... Granted, a lot of that time was used up by stuffing our faces with breakfast, lunch and an Dairy Bar stop... Totally worth it! :)
Nebraska River as seen from Route 12
We got to ride up along the coastline of Malpeque Bay, or at least the Ellis River/Grand River portion of it. (Can someone please explain to me why none of the blue water in Google Maps and OpenStreet Maps is named? I'm sourcing Hydrographic charts to name some of the rivers we crossed. )
CLine pushing it through the corner at Ellis River PE
CLine has a problem scraping her floorboards going into a corner, or rather, she has no problem scraping her floorboards at will. It's trying not to ground a peg and pivot or catapult the bike round a grounded peg that she is trying to avoid.
St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Grand River
We had just turned the corner on 12 when CLine told me that "I saw you looking, so if you want to stop and take pictures, I'll wait for you up ahead.", no sooner did she let that slip, and I managed a U-turn to head back to get the picture below. :D
Foxley River PE
Round Pond PE
Turkey on whole wheat with mayo
It was around noon when we rode into Alberton, and the signs for the Alberton Bakery & Cafe had me wondering just how good their sandwiches were. CLine and I sat down and ate an egg salad on white and a turkey sandwich on whole wheat, with a scoop of wonderful mashed potatoes shared between the pair of us. That and a cup of hot coffee, and we were set for lunch. That should hold us for the rest of the afternoon, so it was time to throw a leg back over the bike and get to it once more.
I'm falling off the edge! Save me!
Hair by Icon and Shoei.
North Cape at last! There were a few more visitors than I was expecting, but far short of the summer crowd that will visit here later on this year.
"Are those seals out there? "
"Those black dots out to your right."
"Birds I think."
"Why do they call it 'Sea Cow Pond' if there aren't any sea cows out here?"
Whoops! I got totally distracted here. ;)
North Cape - Photo Credit CLine
Ron on North Cape - Photo Credit CLine
Clearly I am having a bad hair day today. :P
The harbour at Sea Cow Pond
I stop to take pictures, and CLine takes advantage of it to adjust her gear. That's fair.
It's a cold day, so the fans have been turned off.
Another U-Turn to drag CLine back here so she can claim her very own road.
If the grass had been wet, this would have been an exciting ride for the Versys - Photo Credit CLine
The lengths to which I will go to for the perfect shot... Sadly, those shots didn't make the cut.
Photo Credit CLine
CLine finds her very own road!
I made a wee mistake here. We headed south on 14 which takes you south-west to West Cape PE, then you swing back in to the East as you reach West Point PE. I took us off of 14 and onto Beaton Road that would take us trough the wee hamlet of Brae, on on through Alaska PE, and from there back out onto the Trans Canada 2 and back towards Summerside... Completely forgetting that the road on the other side of Alaska was a few kilometres of clay road, and it had been raining much of last week. Of course there was mud on that road, but CLine didn't hesitate and kept right on trucking, trying to pick the dry line along the road.
Beaton Road East of Alaska PE
Afterwards, as I was apologizing for taking her down that bit, she said "I wasn't worried about it, so it wasn't that bad or I'm too stupid to know any better." Did I mention that she is a keeper? She was more worried about running out of fuel when she hit 215 km on her tank, and hadn't even had to flip it over to reserve.
I'll be the first to admit, when I followed her into that rut up ahead and the front decided to slide right instead of track straight, I got a bit nervous and put away the camera.
CLine had this to say... "Yeah, I hit that too. I figured throttle would get me through it or make it a whole lot worse..." Can you see why I love this girl? It's almost as if she listens to me once in a while.
She was at 250 km when we hit Richmond for the pit stop, and not even on reserve, so I figure she could have gone at least another 20 or so on reserve. One day I'll bring some extra fuel and see how far she can go til bone dry.
Running on smiles and fumes...
Double fisting the ice cream... Here, hold my ice cream and watch this!
We opted to head out of Summerside on Blue Shank Road, then bypassed most of 1A over to Kinkora where we stopped at the Somerset Ice Cream Bar for a couple of cones. CLine couldn't make up her mind, and when I offered her a taste of my strawberry soft serve, she tried to trade me for her twist. No deal!
Hey! I just want you to know that if you do ride on the island, that roundabouts can be dangerous as tourists and Sunday drivers use them too. Watch out for lane drift and try to minimize the risk when you enter them with other vehicles.
CLine showing off her impressive roundabout technique
We had a wonderful day in spite of the cool temperatures, and are already planning our next adventure, but that one is going to be off island, I think.