In the spring of 2012 several contributors to the online forum ADVrider.com began talking about organizing a "rally" somewhere in the maritimes. A few of us rode to a meeting near Saint John in May to talk it over and came to the conclusion we should do it, decided on Labour Day weekend for the date and that we'd do some more thinking about where to host it.
A couple of my rides last season came out of this idea but one of the best was the Labour Day ride to Northern NB.
Day 1, September 1, 2012
5 Moncton area riders met up with two riders from Nova Scotia for a big send-off breakfast at Mooser's in Dieppe. Pictured below from left to right are Zaner32, C-Stain (NS), (waitress in the background), Brad F, and Kelsow(NS). Not pictured but present were myself, EngineerJohn and Brad M.
I enjoyed my usual leaving-on-a-bike-trip breakfast of eggs over easy on pancakes, bacon and coffee.
It didn't take long to get there and I believe we only stopped once to tighten a loose strap on one of the bikes. We took a quick break as we had plenty of time to reach our day's destination later in the afternoon. The weather was gorgeous!
At Rogersville, we turned off highway 126 to wind through the back-country on alternating dirt/paved roads. The roads were dry and we were kicking up quite a bit of dust so we tried to keep a bit of distance between the bikes.
Zaner32 in the lead, Kelsow following:
Your's truly (photo courtesy of Dualsport.ca (Kelsow)
As we rode further northward, the roads become narrower and get a bit rougher. Eventually we came to a section of two-track with several large water holes. When we came through here in June I lost the front end in one of those big waterholes and got pretty wet - today I got through "clean".
Unfortunately with the transition from hot dry sun to cool damp woods my video camera lens gathered some condensation. I've cleaned it up as well as I can in the lab...
|(photo courtesy of Dualsport.ca (Kelsow)|
The good news for C-Stain was that we were only a few minutes from our day's destination, Serpentine Lodge where we would meet up with the rest of the group so he rode out of the woods and on to the lodge.
We reached Serpentine Lodge about 20 minutes later
|Serpentine Lodge, Sep 1, 2012|
And were treated to a warm ADVrider welcome.
The way this group ride had come together was basically two groups. Southeastern NB and NS riders were on mostly bigger bikes. Zaner had put together a great route that while being "big-bike friendly" would still be challenging and scenic. The Southwestern NB guys had opted for more off-road riding and were generally riding bikes that were a bit smaller and much better suited to their hard-core plans. Their group planned to sleep at the lodge two nights while we had plans to move on to another location for the second night.
We enjoyed a great stew in Alyre's Serpentine Lodge dining room.
As the sun set,
the campfire discussions started up and continued late into the night.
Day 2, September 2, 2012
The next morning was clear except for the lake fog blanketing the water.
|Morning fog, Serpentine Lake Sep 2, 2012|
|All quiet in the camp|
It had gotten pretty close to zero overnight but was warming up and by the time we were up and loading the bikes the temps had skyrocketed all the way up to 3 degrees.
We packed up, loaded the bikes and headed back up to the lodge for breakfast as well as fuel for some of the bikes.
Fueling stop at Serpentine
C-Stain's knee had gotten worse in the night (he acutally ended up off work and on crutches for a bit) so he had decided to pull the pin on this ride. One of the other Southeastern riders was also heading home so they made plans to ride together as far as Miramichi.
Two Brads tweaking the load.
After breakfast the groups split up and a few riders headed home to other commitments.
The bigger bikes headed across country on some superb tracks to end up at Chalets Restigouche near Kedgwick.
As soon as we reached Chalets Restigouche and got checked in, the chain-drive guys got right to work with their chores, dusty and muddy conditions make this critical.
One nice thing about riding a shaft drive bike is you can go straight to the beer fridge upon arrival.
dinner is served
happy faces all around. Yes, very civilized
|dinner in the main cabin Sep 2, 2012|
Just as dinner was wrapping up a couple of New Hampshire riders got in. They'd been in touch through ADVrider and made plans to join us at the Lodge for the night.
The trusty steeds from Stateside
We'd left enough supper for them to refuel and it was fun to hear some of the great stories they shared from years of riding together.
Once the campfire got going they kept us all entertained with their tales of bushwacking through the interior of Gaspe, the trip they were just returning from.
Kelsow plays with fire...
Day 3, September 3, 2012
The next morning we all packed up. The New Hampshire contingent loaded up their rig to head South.
And after an embarrassing but brief delay while I couldn't find the key to my bike, (which turned up right there in my tank bag) we hit the road. It was another great ride through beautiful country.
EngineerJohn was enjoying his new 690 but the riding was taking a bit of a toll on him... maybe it was that bald back tire...
ride, ride, ride, beautiful, scenic, picturesque... I know, sounds boring right? Well it definitely wasn't
We stopped at Governor's Lodge for a break and enjoyed the manicured grounds and frosty beverages.
|(photo courtesy of Dualsport.ca (Kelsow))|
Lubed some more chains...
lingered around a bit enjoying the day...
Then hit the road home... what a great trip.