Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cape Pine: Riding with Ghosts

My roots are on the southern-most tip of the Avalon, in a tiny community called St. Shott’s. As a child, I frequently heard older people talking very casually about encounters with ghosts or “spirits”, both in St. Shott’s and especially in neighbouring Cape Pine. I emphasize the word “casually”, because these ghost stories were not meant to frighten, just to teach that there is but a thin veil between this world and the next, and encounters with the other side should not scare you, as such occurrences are simply the result of “some poor soul in need of a prayer”.

Myself and Mark stayed in St. Shott’s last night to visit with some of my family members, and decided that it would be a good opportunity to ride out to Cape Pine, a National Historic Site. It’s the most southerly point in Newfoundland, at about the same latitude as the northern border of Italy. Part of the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, the number of shipwrecks in the area in the early 1800’s led to the construction of the lighthouse in 1851.

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Cape Pine lighthouse

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Bay de Verde: September 22, 2013

It is now officially fall in Newfoundland, and because our seasons are roughly one month behind the calender we can still luck out on good weather for a day-trip. This past Sunday was quite breezy but warm (20ish Celcius) so we headed out to ride the Baccalieu Trail on the north-west Avalon. Read the rest of this entry

Baycation 2013, Part IV: Eastport

We left Musgrave Harbour on the morning of August 12, under a beautiful blue sky. We took Route 330 along the “straight shore”, a stretch of road that hugs the coastline from Musgrave Harbour to Lumsden. It’s a picturesque ride, especially with the sun gleaming off the water. Route 330 becomes Route 320 at New-Wes-Valley, and continues on through several small communities before reaching the TCH at Gambo.

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Beautiful morning on the Straight Shore

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First Off-Road Experience!

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I have very little off-road experience, so I’m taking *baby steps* with my Vstrom! This evening was my first time off pavement, exploring what is to be a new subdivision. It was so much fun! 😀

Adventure Touring Bikes: Jack of All Trades but Master of None?

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Mark’s Versys 650, being all adventurous!

The genre of “adventure touring” has experienced huge gains in popularity over the past several years. This category of motorcycles was once occupied almost exclusively by the BMW GS and Triumph Tiger, but is now seeing competition from almost all mainstream manufacturers (aside from Harley-Davidson), with more and more people choosing to take the road less traveled, so to speak.

I’ve heard a snippet of motorcycle lore that goes something like this: “think back to when you were a kid, sliding down a hill on your toboggan. Did you go down feet first? You belong on a cruiser. Head first? You belong on a sportbike.” Hmmmm. What about adventure touring riders? They must have been the kids that packed a lunch and hiked off to some far-flung hill that no one else even knew about.

What exactly is an adventure touring bike? Read the rest of this entry

Choosing the Right Starter Bike

The other day I watched as a VERY new rider cast a leg over her bike (a middleweight, physically large cruiser), cautiously uprighted it from the side stand, and wobbled off down the road. I don’t mean to judge, but I couldn’t help but think that she may have made a poor decision in choosing her first bike. Why do I care? Because a newbie rider on a bike that they’re not comfortable on is HAZARDOUS, both to themselves and to the people they’re riding with. Picking a starter bike is a hard decision, and depends on many factors: previous experience with dirtbikes/motorcycles, physical stature and strength, overall confidence on two wheels, and personal taste. Read the rest of this entry

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