Author Topic: Crush rides to Nova Scotia  (Read 2233 times)

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Offline cabrala

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Crush rides to Nova Scotia
« on: August 31, 2014, 07:15:38 pm »
Let's start out this little fairy tale a few Thursdays ago, right before the Saturday I left…

The 750 was clean and shiny. A new-ish set of headers and a beauty of a stock muffler installed. She was gleaming and just begging for a test-ride. The start-up was a little harsh but nothing I felt out of the ordinary, and take-off was sluggish but I figured it would clean itself out and I'd be riding into the sunset. I was practically tasting the Nova Scotia air on the back of a 40-year old bike. About a mile from home she died on me and I figured something was up and that heading toward home rather than further out would be wise.

As I spun around I could tell the old girl was laboring and so I stopped in front of a pizza spot for a rest and a defeated seat on the curb. I looked at the fuse box, the ignition and anything else I thought might magically correct my woes. Nothing was visibly wrong so I built up the courage to hop on and limp home. To my great dismay the bike didn't do a damn thing; no electrics, no nothing. I checked all fuses again to no avail and as the sun set I decided to just begin the long, slow push home. Sweaty, out of breath and tired of the taunts from women pushing strollers past me I returned home and pulled the battery. It was fully juiced but my brain utterly fried. Out of frustration I began pulling the spark plugs before calling it quits and going to bed.

On Friday morning I went out early and pulled the fuse box completely off, finding corrosion at the power prong. After a quick cleaning of the receptacle I plugged everything together and turned the key…lights on! At this point it hit me that I pulled the rookie-est mistake of all by attacking too many things in one sitting. Instead of the quick fuse box fix and start-up, I was left kicking myself in the arse while installing new plugs. It shortly came a time to start the bike and take it for the last-minute test ride it would need before relying on it up in Canada. She didn't want to start :-[ . The bike would start to turn over but just not catch. To me it sounded as though there was some air escaping and led me to question the torque of the plugs, but at this point I was out of time. I needed to pack and have a reliable piece of machinery with me on the trip. I'd live to tackle the Honda another day, but until then:



"I want you!"
-Alex

'75 CB750F
'77 CB550K
'78 CB550
'93 FZR600

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Offline cabrala

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Re: Crush rides to Nova Scotia
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2014, 07:17:52 pm »
Understandably upset that the 750 couldn't make the trip (it would've loved the temperatures up there), I was still excited to run the Yamaha through its paces. The deal going up to Canada was that my girlfriend and I would trailer our bikes into New Brunswick because her 250cc wouldn't suffice on the mostly highway ride there. While I would've preferred riding I also knew that I should volunteer as a passenger and extra driver…I think we can all sympathize with me here?? No? I'll pause for a moment to allow for jeering, the insertion of jokes and any other flaming necessary…



...We can continue now? Okay, great…

The plan was to head out from Dartmouth, MA on Saturday morning and arrive in Oakland, ME for an early dinner. From Oakland we went an hour further and spent the night at a Travel Lodge in Bangor. Sunday morning saw us up bright and early and on the road to Moncton, NB, Canada for an overnight at the local Super 8 where we would unload the trailer and leave the vehicle behind.

When the sun rose on Monday morning we were ready to roll with bags packed and bikes loaded. We were about a half hour to forty-five minutes away from the PEI bridge where our motorcycle tour of Canada would begin.



The bridge is 13k (8 mi.) long and has three levels of closure due to the high winds that gust across. On this day we had the green light but unfortunately very little view of what I assume to be a great vista. This was the rainiest of days, the one of which we needed rain gear all day.

PEI, on motorcycle, is mapped out as three different trails; a northern trail to the west, a central trail and an eastern trail. Each have nice graphic markers that keep you on course and the plan was to always stay somewhere central so we rode directly north from the bridge to a village on the northern shore called Cavendish. Rooms were not available yet (arrived before 3PM) so we went down to a local seafood spot for lunch.



At Sam's we met the lovely owner who donned Patriots gear and told us the traditional saying in Nova Scotia that, "you're not truly a local Nova Scotian unless you have relatives in Boston". She spoke with us for a while, was jealous of the trip we had planned and promised to pray for better weather. Once we left Sam's we checked the map and decided to head for the city of Summerside which is the tangent point of the northern trail and central trail. This would allow us to ride the northern trail the following day. Wet, tired and ready to crash we found a Quality Inn and a nice little restaurant adjoining where we spent the night. Good food but poor service is what we got at Brothers2 Restaurant, but Sam's hospitality at lunch would prove hard to beat.
-Alex

'75 CB750F
'77 CB550K
'78 CB550
'93 FZR600

Need a better, newer points cover gasket? How about rubber washers for the headlight bucket? Click the link below:
http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=122308.0

Offline cabrala

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Re: Crush rides to Nova Scotia
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2014, 07:18:54 pm »
Tuesday comes quickly and we are back in the saddle forging ahead in the morning mist. The forecast shows things clearing up over the next few days but staying on the cooler side, so we are all dressed appropriately with a few extra layers just in case. The scenery of PEI is beautiful and a lot like the farm land you can find in the countryside of New England. So, to experience the riding with me, close your eyes and imagine the smells of fresh air, cow manure, silage, blooming flowers and the ever persistent smell of sea salt and motorcycle fumes. As inglorious as it might seem in writing, it was incredibly glorious while riding. We stopped at many places along the way but most notable were a few churches and a complex of buildings made entirely of bottles.





 










The goal by the end of this day was to cut back across the central trail and to the city of Charlottetown at the tangent point of both the central trail and the eastern trail. Here we stopped for ice cream at the esteemed COWS.








We ended up moving past Charlottetown and further down the southern portion of the eastern trail, stopping at a great motel called Rachel's. Many of the motels here are simply little cabins built on people's land as a means to generate some income. Rachel's decor was straight from the 80's and I loved it. Due to proximity to local restaurants, dinner this night was a six-pack of beer and some farm fresh blueberries. Tomorrow we head to the Woods Island Ferry so we can begin the trip up into Cape Breton in search of the Cabot Trail...
-Alex

'75 CB750F
'77 CB550K
'78 CB550
'93 FZR600

Need a better, newer points cover gasket? How about rubber washers for the headlight bucket? Click the link below:
http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=122308.0

Offline 70CB750

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Re: Crush rides to Nova Scotia
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 03:09:21 am »
Great pictures and story, keep them coming :)

Online 754

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Re: Crush rides to Nova Scotia
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 10:04:57 am »
Very nice pics, my wife and kids just got back late last night from their PEI trip..
Maker of the WELDLESS 750 Frame Kit
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My next bike will be a ..ANFOB.....

It's All part of the ADVENTURE...

73 836cc.. Green, had it for 3 decades!!
Lost quite a few CB 750's along the way

Offline cabrala

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Re: Crush rides to Nova Scotia
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2014, 08:39:58 am »
Thanks for reading along guys. It was a beautiful place and some great riding.
-Alex

'75 CB750F
'77 CB550K
'78 CB550
'93 FZR600

Need a better, newer points cover gasket? How about rubber washers for the headlight bucket? Click the link below:
http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=122308.0

Offline cabrala

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Re: Crush rides to Nova Scotia
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2014, 08:40:44 am »
Leaving Rachel's in the morning our bikes are covered in morning dew, but the pack is ready to be warmed up and ridden down to the ferry. The weather for Wednesday shows clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70's. Each morning so far has been chilly, so we don our gear and rev up for the one hour ride to the ferry terminal.

Once we arrive ($40 per bike) we are immediately ushered to the front of the line to await our ship for the 9:30 departure. Trisha and I decide to go explore as we made good time and have some to burn. Ham and eggs were on tap at the small terminal cafe and they were pretty damn good! A short walk to the water later and we were heading back to the bikes for the second third of our journey.






As we approach our four bikes lined up in Lane #1, I hear the swoosh of a beautiful white 2013 Goldwing gliding past me and the put-put of two Royal Enfields in tow. Naturally conversation strikes up and it turns out the the Goldwing rider was from NY and enjoying a similar trip to what we've planned. A few years ago he had gone around the country on his FJ and was hooked on motorcycling ever since. The Royal Enfield Bullet Classic and Military were piloted by two women who were dear friends looking for some adventure outside of their home on PEI. The lady on the Classic had just completed her longest ride (ever) getting from home to the ferry terminal, so their Cabot Trail plans were sure to be fun-filled. I wish I had pictures of this moment, but if I find any I will update here.

As the boat docked we found ourselves disembarking amongst enormous tour busses and eighteen wheelers. We made quick work of navigating through and hit 106 until the junction east at 104 toward New Glasgow and Antigonish. We cruised this road for a while aiming straight for the Canso Causway into Port Hastings. I have found the Canadian Highways to be well maintained and easy to ride, but we did encounter minimal space for passing as the lanes move from one to two quickly to accommodate speedier drivers. Our stop at the Port Hastings visitor center and gift shop was nice as it was a break from the saddle and a chance to figure out a plan for the remaining sunlight. Our goal became to reach the southern entry of the Cabot Trail near Margaree Forks where we would find lodging and settle in. Up Rt. 19 we went along the western coastline toward Port Hood and Inverness. It was about now that I took the liberty of speeding ahead and awaiting everyone's arrival at the sign for the Cabot Trail.





 


Margaree Forks had little to offer for motels or inns so we kept riding north in a clock-wise rotation around the Cabot Trail. We were skeptical at this point as to whether or not we would have a place to stay due to high traffic and the number of people up here. The next closest village was Chetícamp and although we were forewarned at the visitor center about lodging availability, we risked it and starting going door-to-door. Trisha and I stayed at a quaint cottage on the side of the road called Fraser's. They staff was incredibly pleasant and accommodating and the rooms were perfect for what we needed…sleep and a shower. Her parents could not stay in the same place due to us taking the last reservation, so the gentleman at the front desk of Fraser's called around and found them a room a short distance further up the trail. Dinner tonight was all liquid as we hit the local tavern a few minutes past the kitchen closed. Back at our respective motels, we rested up in preparation for the Cabot Trail ride.
-Alex

'75 CB750F
'77 CB550K
'78 CB550
'93 FZR600

Need a better, newer points cover gasket? How about rubber washers for the headlight bucket? Click the link below:
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Offline cabrala

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Re: Crush rides to Nova Scotia
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2014, 08:42:09 am »
Awake, refreshed and excited we met up for a small breakfast at the local French bakery, Boulangerie Aucoin. The air inside is hot, but the smells oh-so delicious. For those who know what true bakeries smell like…this is the real deal.Excited to have a ham, butter and baguette sandwich the gentleman behind the counters gently breaks my heart and tells me the baguettes will not be done for a while. This meant that I had to settle for some other amazing pastries like chocolate croissants and assorted muffins. ::)

Outside we meet some locals as we are preparing to head onto the trail and into the mountains. They tell us to wait an hour or so as the cloud cover was intense and some rain imminent in the morning. In my opinion, the point of doing this ride is to see some of the sights so we decide to get on the road but meander slowly and stop often. Our destination is Pleasant Bay and from all accounts the views on the western side of the trail will far surpass anything else we see. I'll just let the pictures do the talking here…

 









 


As you may imagine, some of these roads may occasionally lend themselves to excessive speeds and I caught myself giddy a few times to twist the throttle and scream away from my pack. The one thing to note, and one of the things I was warned about, is that the turns are tight…like pay attention to the speed-limit and follow it tight. I was able to lean my bike through all of them without incident but there were a few that I came into hot and really had to lay over. It could've been dangerous if I was unprepared and reckless. After pulling ahead for a bit through some great hairpins down the mountainside, I stopped off at The Rusty Anchor to wait.






As you arrive into Pleasant Bay, the Cabot Trail begins its eastward cut through the mountains of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. This was all dense forestland and cool temperatures as you dip up and down through the scenery. Be wary of the moose!

 


I have never seen one and that was the closest I ever want to be. Momma and baby moose were content grazing on the side of the road, and we never saw another moose for the entire trip. Those things are huge!

As we poked out onto the eastern coast, we stopped at a small market for lunch. I had a rib sandwich while others had pizza, chicken fingers and hot dogs. At this point we met back out with our Royal Enfield ladies but they made quick work of us and were off in a flash while I enjoyed my school lunch. As we worked our way down the eastern coast, we found that the scenery was just as beautiful and some traveling with us (ahem, ladies) found every gift shop known to man.

 






We made it down into the quaint village of Baddeck where we stopped for gas and enjoyed North Conway-esque architecture. The end route of today is Whycocomagh where we will find a resting spot and begin planning the remaining third of our trip. As we ride through Whycocomagh, we find the Fair Isle Motel but pass it thinking there might just be more life beyond. At a stop, Trisha and I decide to switch bikes for the second or third time this trip. As my 6'1" frame gets comfortable on her 250 Rebel, we turn back for the Fair Isle. She blows right past it and I realize that she just didn't see the entrance, so we slow down to pull a u-turn and ohh…ohhhhhhh…dump. I watch her and the Yamaha (in slow-motion) fall over at a standstill. I immediately jump off to help her lift the bike back up and notice my mirror and a chunk of fairing don't come back up with it. It's okay though, I didn't like that mirror anyway and the previous owners had dumped it once or twice. More importantly Trisha was not hurt but her pride was bruised and she was pissed with herself for dropping a bike she knows I love. At the end of the day…it's just a bike; no big deal.




The Fair Isle turned out to be a great location and in my eagerness to find food I skipped the place that had been on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for some other mediocre joint I don't remember. This mistake still upsets me…

On Friday we took off south in search of a tidal bore location. With this goal in mind our destination was Truro, but we made detours all around, specifically up Rt. 337 to Cape George Point.









 


On my suggestion we continued further west toward Parrsboro via scenic Rt. 2. We spent the night there and had an incredible experience at the local wine bar and adjoining Black Rock Bistro. Their food was amazing, wine selection local and service fantastic. We found a great motorcycle motel called The Sunshine Inn where we were greeted by a wonderfully pleasant German woman offering her personal garage for our bikes and extra rags to wipe down the accumulated grime. The next morning her husband cooked us a great breakfast complete with stories about the area and acreage they own. We left there full and looking back toward Moncton, NB where we'd sadly load up the bikes and begin the trek home.






I'll continue again with more photos of our journey out of Parrsboro back into New Brunswick and ultimately home...
« Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 08:43:46 am by Crush »
-Alex

'75 CB750F
'77 CB550K
'78 CB550
'93 FZR600

Need a better, newer points cover gasket? How about rubber washers for the headlight bucket? Click the link below:
http://forums.sohc4.net/index.php?topic=122308.0

Offline MoMo

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Re: Crush rides to Nova Scotia
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2014, 09:00:15 am »
Cool travelog and great photos...Larry