Whirlwind Trip to Corner Brook

This is how it started.

Mark: (looking at online classifieds) “That’s some good deal on that Vstrom in Corner Brook”

Me: “Yeah. But it’s in CORNER BROOK.”

A little about me: I’m extremely practical, frugal, stubborn and regimented. As a rule I do not do things that don’t make sense economically or logically, which means that I don’t step outside my comfort zone much and “spur of the moment” is not in my vocabulary. Making a 1400km round trip to buy a motorcycle was – in my mind – bordering on insanity.

But the seed was set in my brain. I googled “2009 Suzuki Vstrom 650” so often that I knew every spec, every owner complaint, every pro and con of the bike. I finally contacted the seller, and after several days of email corresponding and dozens of pictures being sent he dropped the price by $500. What could I say but “yes b’y, I’ll be out this weekend”.

It was nearing the middle of September, which means shorter days and very unpredictable weather…it’s hurricane season in the Atlantic. I really wasn’t crazy about the thought of riding the bike 700kms in a day, but how else would I get it back to St. John’s cost-effectively?

By borrowing a utility trailer, of course. A four-cylinder Hyundai Sonata isn’t the ideal towing machine, but it’ll do in a pinch!

As we hit the highway shortly after dawn on a Saturday morning, I was still thinking that I had lost my mind. Driving across the island and back in a weekend, to buy a motorcycle that I had only seen pictures of? Ridiculous.

The drive across the island was pretty uneventful. The TCH is a great highway, but not very scenic or interesting. We got to our accommodations at the beautiful Marble Inn in Steady Brook shortly after 1pm, checked in and got our bearings. Then it was on to Corner Brook to get the bike.


Our hotel was right at the base of Marble Mountain, which attracts a lot of skiers during that particular season that I’m not fond of.

The scenery in the area is absolutely stunning, even from the highway. It was almost enough to take my mind off the anxiety I was feeling about the whole situation. What if the seller was lying? What if they bike wasn’t in as good a condition as he led me to believe? What if I felt it wasn’t worth the price we had agreed on?


Between Steady Brook and Corner Brook

Thankfully when we pulled into the guy’s driveway and saw the bike, it was as good as I had expected, or maybe even better. The anxiety dissipated.  We loaded the bike onto the trailer…and the trailer was too short. The anxiety returned with a vengeance.

I had visions of having to scrounge long-johns and cheap rain gear at Wal-Mart, in order to ride the bike back to St. John’s in whatever weather the north Atlantic decided to throw at me.


All smiles! This was taken just before we realized that the bike was too long for the trailer.

By a supreme stroke of luck, the front suspension compressed just enough under the ratchet straps that the rear gate of the trailer closed behind the bike. Deities were praised and we were off to enjoy the rest of the day sight-seeing in the Corner Brook area.


Getting a feel for the new bike

We returned to the hotel as darkness was falling, tired and road-weary. We enjoyed a refreshing dip in the salt water pool and headed to the hotel’s restaurant for a cold Blue Star and undoubtedly the best burger I have ever had, no exaggeration!


Tucked away for the night, with not an inch to spare.

Sunday morning began as Saturday did: hitting the highway early to do the previous day’s drive in reverse, only with much poorer fuel economy…especially when we hit the hills of the Avalon Peninsula. Poor little Sonata, I sympathized with her plight and I think I actually apologized to the car.

I felt much better than I did the day before. My anxiety was gone, there was no buyer’s remorse, just the satisfaction of getting a wicked deal on a great bike…and getting to enjoy a beautiful part of the island in the process, albeit in a rather rushed fashion. We were actually so enthralled with the west coast that we are planning to spend our vacation there next summer.

Maybe I should do “uncharacteristic” things more often. Often I lose sight of the fact that I’m only going this way once…I think I shall try to keep reminding myself of that.


Posted on November 4, 2013, in Behind the Visor and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Its hard for us to remind ourselves that sometimes it is beneficial to do things that are out of character for us. keep on ‘er b’y, you’ll love the good it does yah.

    Corner Brook is lovely, I remember going out as a child to visit my aunt. I fell in love with the theater in Corner Brook – Grenfell has some wonderful productions. I think I also fell in love with the island a little more each time I took that trip. So much beauty.

    Hows the new bike!?!?

    • Thanks for reading…I love the new bike! Even though I bought it in mid-September I still managed to get over 2000km on it before cold and darkness befell Newfoundland. I can’t wait for next spring 🙂

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