FAR – Mike’s story

Ultimately we resorted to old technology to show us were each team was located toward the end of the rally.

Mike Layton and his wife Sandra Arsenault are keen riders, going out on regular tours on their 250 dual sports. I was very happy to see that they had both signed up for the Fundy Adventure Rally and that they posted a photo essay of the weekend too.

Mike kindly agreed to let us repost the essay here. Enjoy.

We had Friday off and left home from Salisbury NB, heading towards Sussex NB. We were soon on dirt roads and taking in a side trail along the way.

We quickly signed up and headed out to pick a prime camp site for the next 2 nights.

There weren’t a lot of people camping when we arrived so we just sat back and relaxed with a beer in our wooded site.

It didn’t take long for the dual-sport hoard to arrive.

and the campsite quickly filled.

The rest of the evening consisted of a meal and rider meeting. Once completed we headed back to our camp and stayed up for a very short time as an early start the next morning was in the offing. Set the alarm for 5:30 as breakfast was scheduled for 5:45.

When setting an alarm it is important to make sure that you verify that you correctly put AM if you desire to wake up early in the morning vs selecting PM.

Woken up by the revving of a motorcycle we quickly got up and geared up. Scarfed a breakfast as fast as humanly possible. Get a ram mount for the SPOT device (required for teams and provided by the organizers). Hunt down an 11 mm wrench. Install the mount, take a couple of pics and get in line.

A quick rest on the first leg in St Martins.

And then another after the climb from the option B part of the first leg.

The first leg returned to Adairs for check-in.

We stopped along the way to take a breather and some pics.

My plan was to stop quite a bit along the way and take lots of pics as the fog cleared up but as we were there, we did a bit of quick math and realized that we were never going to be able to complete the route at the pace we were going.

In Alma we hooked up with Shereef who was riding a BMW 1200GSA with a TW200 . Sadly the rider of said TW took a bit of a tumble and injured her hand and couldn’t continue. Luckily the injury wasn’t too severe but continuing on rugged roads and trails would prove a bit too painful. 

Wish I had been able to take more pics but … My own fault for taking too long a break after the 1st leg. 

We were getting closer to running out of time to reach the next leg. The organizers had set a minimum departure time for the 7th leg of 3:30pm. Any later we’d have to take a bailout route. We hadn’t had lunch yet but Shiny was intent on making the cutoff. 

A quick check of the clock proved that we weren’t going to make the cutoff. Shiny was a bit disappointed but it did allow me to take my camera out again and start taking more pics.

As expected, we were way short of the cutoff. While Shiny and I checked maps to see if we could beeline it to the 8th leg before that cutoff happened, Shereef indicated that he was heading back, so we parted ways. And we would see him later at the lodge. 

We did find the start of the last leg and completed it though I wasn’t able to or too tired to take any pictures. While on a rutted section of trail, I looked in the rear view mirror to see lights approaching fast. I pulled over to one side riding slowly to allow them to pass when a group on 650’s and a 1200 roared on by at speed. It was impressive to say the least seeing them easily handle the rutted trail. 

In the end, the only leg we missed was the 7th which was among the shorter ones at about 34 kms. Sadly I was told afterwards that it was among the most scenic.

After some Guinness at our tent we headed to the main hall for supper and the closing ceremonies. After the closing, a few of us stuck around for a fun evening of beverages and joking around. Had a lot of good laughs and was feeling that good kind of tired. They closed the bar early in the convention room and that suited me fine because I was looking forward to a good sleep. We made our way to the tent with rain coming down.

I was in a pretty deep sleep when a sudden noise woke me up. Shiny says, “is someone yelling fire?” we look out the front window of the tent and see what looks like a bonfire, but then we heard someone yell “get out of your tent”. It turns out that there was no one in the tent when it caught fire. The person who owned the tent was with friends at the time. Sadly, he lost all his stuff that was in the tent. 

What had been this the day before….

…was now this

We eventually drift back to sleep till the next morning.

A good breakfast later at the lodge we slowly pack up our gear till we are ready to go.

Just a few of the great folks we hung out with pre and post rally

While waiting to fuel up.

We said our goodbyes and as we’re about to leave, Shiny’s bike wouldn’t start. I turned my bike around to go see what was going on when some of the guys had already push started it, but the display was blinking so something was wrong.

A quick diagnosis of a loose battery wire was made and a quick side panel removal and tightening of the wire by (hope I got the name right) Jesse? And we were good to go.

We weren’t the only ones making adjustments before departure.

We then said our final goodbyes and headed out the same way we came, with a few extra dirt options thrown in for fun along the way.

In closing I can say that we had a really great time. The ride fit our riding styles well as we kept mostly to the easier A option loops. Others may prefer the more difficult option B loops. The great thing about the individual loops is that you can tailor your ride to fit your preference and can do as many A or B loops as you go.

Organizers and volunteers were top notch. And the participants made the event fun with great attitudes and great conversation. Had a lot of fun chatting with NBDSC members throughout the weekend. We’d go back in a heartbeat.


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