Checking in with the Big Land expedition …

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Peter and Terry have added Oliver to the team. Photo: Big Land ADV Films
Day 2 started on the island of Newfoundland. Photo: Big Land ADV Films
Day 2 started on the island of Newfoundland. Photo: Big Land ADV Films

On Tuesday, we told you about a couple of average Joes, Peter Oxley and Terry Burt, who are going on the trip of a lifetime across Newfoundland and Labrador, and blogging about it.When they get back, they’re going to publish video footage of their trip.

Here’s a summary of what they’ve been up to so far (check out their blog for more details and more pictures).

They made a stop near Shediac on Day 1 to get some advice from an adventure riding friend, Peter says, who told them ” “On the loose stuff give it gas. On the looser stuff give it more gas and if you feel like your going to loose it give it even more gas.” …  The last thing he said before we left was, “Have fun and if you get killed it was nice knowing you”.

Peter and Terry reconsider how adventurous their trip is when they meet this bicyclist. Photo: Big Land ADV Films
Peter and Terry reconsider how adventurous their trip is when they meet this bicyclist. Photo: Big Land ADV Films

… The drive from Moncton to Sydney is both very long and very boring. The Sydney Highlands are the terrorist training ground for moose. They hide in the woods of the narrow highway and spring out on motorists …

We loaded onto the ferry at 9:45 promptly and being on motorcycles we were loaded first. When we parked in the belly of the ferry we had to put various straps on the bikes to keep them from tipping over. As I was putting the tie downs on El Diablo a fellow biker suggested I use rope. When I enquired why I should use rope over the beefy steel hooked nylon tie down, he said so I don’t scratch the paint. I wondered if he really was listening when we said we were doing the Trans Lab.

… The ferry was very nice but had a slight Miami Vice feel to it. Terry and I missed the cafeteria but managed to get some chilli and a couple beers. Terry also scored a private state room with port holes and a queen bed, while I slept in a room similar to the kennels that house passengers pets … (He’s not far off on this one: Zac)

Peter takes his KLR up Newfoundland's west coast. Photo: Big Land ADV Films
Peter takes his KLR up Newfoundland’s west coast. Photo: Big Land ADV Films

By Monday, they were riding Newfoundland. Pete continues: “We disembarked from the ferry and popped into the Irving for a coffee and a muffin. At this point I was feeling like a great explorer. I was Magellan circumnavigating or Polo finding gunpowder and noodles in the orient .Then I met the Man from Lyon. This guy was riding his bicycle into Newfoundland via Japan and the USA. Wow did that ever deflate my adventure balloon.”

They headed up the west coast of Newfoundland, through Stephenville and the Humber Valley towards Gros Morne. Says Terry, “Everywhere you look is one amazing view after another. If we stopped everywhere to get videos and photos, we’d still be there now. I’d be riding along saying “that’ll be a good shot, need to get that for Hemmings, oh wait what about that one” before long I realized we had only gone two kilometers.”

Want to go fishing? Photo: Big Land ADV Films
Want to go fishing? Photo: Big Land ADV Films

By Tuesday, they’d worked their way to L’Anse aux Meadows, the Viking archaeological site on the northwest coast of Newfoundland. They had to battle their way through rain, which taught them the first rule of waterproof gear – it often isn’t … Pete’s Icon boots didn’t dry out after a whole night over a heater.

Wednesday, the boys worked their way down towards the ferry that would take them across to northern Quebec, where they could work their way north a couple miles to Labrador’s border.

Peter says, “The Ride from Raleigh (Once known as Ha Ha Bay) to St Barbe was anything but Ha Ha. It was blowing 60KM per hour off the sea with rain. At points I was literally leaning into the wind at 20 degrees just to keep moving. My visor was always fogged up and my “water proof” boots ironically branded as Reign leaked like a holed dory. Some how on this hour and a half hell ride the wind managed to change direction 180 degrees and reek havoc from the other side. When we finally arrived at the ferry terminal I was spent.”

Peter and Terry have added Oliver to the team. Photo: Big Land ADV Films
Peter and Terry have added Oliver to the team. Photo: Big Land ADV Films

By the sounds of it, the ferry ride was a bit sloppy, and the rain didn’t quit when they got to Blanc Sablon But as with any good Labrador adventure, Peter and Terry made some new biker friends along the way, and one of them, a German named Oliver riding a BMW, joined up with them for the trip.

Then, they hit the dirt.

Peter: “When we finally made it to the dirt road (AKA Highway 510) at Red Bay we hit the real Trans Lab. None of this tarmac crap for us. We are adventure bikers and we crave dirt. The ride to Port Hope Simpson from Red Bay is really no more than a dirt road with marble sized gravel and basketball sized pot holes for 130 plus KM … The thing that struck me was how expansive the vistas were  …  You would look down a valley for what would seem 20 KM and not see anything but scrub brush, rock and water. It really is awe inspiring. “


GALLERY

Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.

2 COMMENTS

  1. hey guys enjoy the trip! did it last September on my 1200gs, came in from Baie-Comoux.
    funny, it rained all the time I was on gravel…sunny when I hit pavement. broke a few things…luckily bike was still under warranty! it is amazing up there in a self abusive sort of way…black flies! potholes that swallow entire cars! great views, and expensive everything.
    have fun and keep us posted, I have some great pics to share if you want.

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