Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 2 - The Gaspé Peninsula (July 24, 2010)

We were quite excited for day 2 and the start of our ride to the Gaspé Peninsula. We were up quite early, loaded bikes and prepped for our journey across the bridge to Quebec.

We stopped at the Pointe-à-la-Croix tourist bureau to pick up some literature regarding the Gaspé Coast. We asked about places to stay and things to see and went on our merry old way. We had planned on stopping at a mountain top monastery, but we missed the exit; we realized this when we were 80km past, so we opted not to go back. At that point we stopped for fuel and a quick bite to eat.

Our next stop was a short distance away in the community of Paspébiac. One of the first things that caught our attention were the custom painted fire hydrants.

Originally, Paspébiac was a fishing community with codfish being the main source for the local economy. We toured a restored fishing museum called The LeBoutillier Warehouse, it was constructed between 1838 and 1855 and used for many years for drying codfish and preparing for shipping.

Below are the barrels that were used to ship dried codfish to different locations around the world. They are called "Hogsheads" and could hold up to 448 pounds of dried codfish. Apparently when they were full, they were easy to move by rolling along the ground.

The buildings at this site were restored to an immaculate condition.

After a quick visit, we hit the road and continued on our journey. The view along the coast was breathtaking and we stopped to take a few pictures such as the ones shown below.

Our next stop was the community of Percé and this was a real treat! Percé is quite a tourist destination due to it's natural geography and the famous Percé Rock; it really is quite a site!

Bonaventure Island is another popular area in Percé; it is a national historic site and is a protected bird sanctuary. 293 different species of migratory birds have been recorded on the island and it also houses a community of Northern Gannets which exceeds 100,000.

The older homes in the community were also quite fascinating to take a look at!

We had lunch in Percé and just enjoyed the afternoon. After lunch, we were not quite sure how much further we were going to ride. We decided that we would ride to the Town of Gaspé and determine our plan of action from there!

The ride between Percé and Gaspé was a blast! We rode through the hills and the twisties were so much fun! The road was a bit rough, but that was okay. Upon arrival in Gaspé we decided that we would stay there for the evening. Luc called a hotel, booked a room and we were off to check in. The room was perfect, it was huge, had three double beds and was located in the downtown core!

Once unpacked, we went for a walk around town and found a great cafe for a late evening dinner! Total riding distance for day 2 - 331km.

Stay tuned for day 3 of the ride!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 1 - The Acadian Peninsula (July 23, 2010)

Our ride this past week did not disappoint! We left Fredericton on Friday, July 23rd with a loose plan in mind, ride to the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick and then the Gaspé Coast of Quebec. We were gone 5 days and completed 2200+ kilometers.

Day 1 The Acadian Peninsula - Click on pics for a full view

Luc, Al and I met early Friday morning, first for breakfast and then to start our ride to the Acadian Peninsula. We were a little late getting away because Al got caught up in some traffic and then went to the wrong meeting location. Al lives about 140km from Luc and I.

The first 200km on Route 8 is a relatively boring ride, it goes through a few rural communities in Central New Brunswick and there is not a lot to see. We stopped for a quick coffee in Doaktown and then on to Miramichi City. The stop in Miramichi City was sentimental for me as I grew up in that community. We fueled up and then had lunch at an old Irish Pub called O'Donaghue's. Al is checking things over as we prepare to depart for the Acadian Peninsula.

The drive along the Miramichi River to the Acadian Coast was great! The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed the scenic route. Our first stop was in the de la ville de Tracadie-Sheila. It is a community that borders the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Tracadie River. We stopped at the local marina to take in the scenery. (Those who read my blog know that I like to take pics of lighthouses, wharfs, boats & bridges)

After a short visit in Tracadie-Shelia, we jumped on our bikes and headed for our next destination, Caraquet! Caraquet is the cultural capital for the Acadian region or "Capitale de l'Acadie" and is recognized for it's commitment to supporting the Acadian Arts & Culture! Like Tracadie-Sheila, it is a beautiful place to visit. And of course, we stopped at the wharf to take a few pictures of the fishing boats!

Next was a ride along the coast on NB Route 11. It too, is a very scenic drive as it borders the coast of the Bay of Chaleur. We stopped in the City of Bathurst for fuel and changed to Route 134 and continued along the coast to the City of was a beautiful evening ride! Prior to checking into our hotel, we stopped to take a look at the bridge which connects Campbellton, NB to Pointe-à-la-Croix, QC. We were quite excited with anticipation for day 2 and our ride along the Gaspe Coast of Quebec!

We logged 500+ km, while Zal was closer to 640km for the day. We checked into the hotel and then went for pizza, what a great start to our trip!

Stay tuned for day 2 of the ride! Here is a teaser of what's to come!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Next week's ride...starting July 23rd

Every summer, I take at least one long trip and this summer is no exception. For those who follow my blog, you may recall last summer's ride to the Magdalen Islands or Îles de la Madeleine. It was an excellent ride that I gave a 5 star rating!

This summer's ride will be a 1700km loop that will start in central New Brunswick, go around the Acadian Peninsula, tour the Gaspé Coast of Quebec and return home through northern New Brunswick.

Click on map for a full view

There will be two friends sharing the ride with me; Luc (Îles de la Madeleine ride), who is a friend that I regularly share the roads with and Al, AKA "Zal". I will be taking my Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic on this ride, Luc will have his Honda VTX 1300 and Zal will have his recently purchased Yamaha FJR 1300, complete with trailer.

The only thing we have planned is the route, the rest will fall into place. Since Zal is bringing his trailer, we will throw in a tent & camping gear should we have trouble finding accommodations.

Like last year, I will blog about the ride and share my experiences.

On closing note, Luc (CBR 900) & I (1125R) took our rockets to meet with Zal yesterday, it was a great 300+ KM ride through the scenic Saint John River countryside.

Stay tuned for updates and ride safe!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jardine Fender Eliminator

The last week has been one I would rather forget. I traveled to Denver, Colorado for a conference and ended up spending the better part of five days in a Denver hospital. Apparently, I picked up some kind of a virus that really did a number on me. I thought I had food poisoning, but it ended up much more serious than that. Anyway, I won't go on about it. I am back home and on the mend.

One thing that always makes me feel better is my motorcycles, whether it be riding or working on them. I am not yet feeling well enough to ride, but I figured that I was well enough to do some work on my rocket.

While I was away, the Jardine Fender Eliminator Kit that I ordered for my '09 Buell 1125R arrived. The stock rear fender on the 1125R is just plain ugly! Take a look...(click on pics for full view)

So, I decided to install the Jardine Fender Eliminator Kit. The first thing I had to do was remove the rear cowling and disconnect the wiring for the signal lights and the license plate light. After that, there were just three bolts that held the fender in came off quite easily.

Next step in the installation, connect the stock signal lights to the Jardine Fender Eliminator, feed the wiring through and install the stock rubber grommets.

The last step of the installation was to connect the Jardine Fender Eliminator to the rear mounts, connect the signal light wiring and test.

The final pic shows the Jardine Fender Eliminator with license plate installed. I am very please with the new look and happy to be rid of the stock fender, what do you think?

I am not yet back to feeling 100%, but the self prescribed medication of working on my Buell has me feeling much better.

Until next time, ride hard and ride safe!