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  1. #1
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    St. John's (NFLD) to Quebec - how easy given my sitatuon? Advice also please

    I've been searching around for a while for a route and I've decided I am setting my sights on New-bec.

    The route in total is 1,916KM / 1,150miles with a 552KM / 331miles ferry ride meaning the total distance is 1,364KM / 819miles.

    So:
    Total journey - 1,916KM / 1,150miles
    Ferry - 552KM / 331miles
    Cycling - 1,364KM / 819miles

    I've worked it out that if I cycle 2 days and then rest for one day, it'll take me one month to complete when doing 60miles P/D. Is this accurate?

    I am averaging 50 miles and I'm actually quite new to cycling. I won't really have much experience with touring but I will probably take time out to do so.

    Do you think it's worth doing? How long should I train? How should I train for this?

    Thanks!

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    Buddy Ratzinger's Avatar
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    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...icycle-tourist

    THere is also a lot of information in the sticky threads for people looking for information.

    100km and day is a good pace. Maybe less if there is a lot of climbing and more if you have a wicked tailwind. You might even find that you won't want to take the rest day later on in the tour. Maybe you'll do three or fours days of cycling before you rest.

    Will you be taking the ferry from St. John's or biking to Port-Aux-Basques?

  3. #3
    mev
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    When I traveled across Canada, I came via Quebec and then took ferry via Port-Aux-Basques and then across Newfoundland to St Johns: http://www.mvermeulen.com/canada/

    I had a fair amount more tailwinds than headwinds going my direction. One other thing going that direction will allow is it gives you slightly more flexibility. If by time you reach Sydney Nova Scotia you realize you aren't proceeding as fast as you thought you can choose either ferry to Port-Aux-Basques or to Argentia (though Newfoundland itself was one of my favorite places to ride across).

    I left Quebec city July 1st and was in St John's three weeks later. However, I was doing some reasonable days and had already been riding for two months prior to that. As far as training goes, I'd concentrate more on getting some initial touring experience with a few slightly shorter trips. That will help you figure out what works for you since both preferences and styles can differ. It also helps you sort out your packing list between what is essential and what is extra weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratzinger View Post
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...icycle-tourist

    THere is also a lot of information in the sticky threads for people looking for information.

    100km and day is a good pace. Maybe less if there is a lot of climbing and more if you have a wicked tailwind. You might even find that you won't want to take the rest day later on in the tour. Maybe you'll do three or fours days of cycling before you rest.

    Will you be taking the ferry from St. John's or biking to Port-Aux-Basques?
    I took a brief look at that before posting this thread. It has a lot of great information I shall bare in mind and refer to at later dates.

    I was thinking that (about the rest days). The route seems pretty flat (correct me if wrong) so perhaps I won't need to rest as much. Hopefully it can be done in two-weeks if so?

    I'll be biking to Port-Aux-Basques as I want that extra kick to my journey. My friend lives in St. John's so I'll be writing from SJ to PAB.

    Quote Originally Posted by mev View Post
    When I traveled across Canada, I came via Quebec and then took ferry via Port-Aux-Basques and then across Newfoundland to St Johns: http://www.mvermeulen.com/canada/

    I had a fair amount more tailwinds than headwinds going my direction. One other thing going that direction will allow is it gives you slightly more flexibility. If by time you reach Sydney Nova Scotia you realize you aren't proceeding as fast as you thought you can choose either ferry to Port-Aux-Basques or to Argentia (though Newfoundland itself was one of my favorite places to ride across).

    I left Quebec city July 1st and was in St John's three weeks later. However, I was doing some reasonable days and had already been riding for two months prior to that. As far as training goes, I'd concentrate more on getting some initial touring experience with a few slightly shorter trips. That will help you figure out what works for you since both preferences and styles can differ. It also helps you sort out your packing list between what is essential and what is extra weight.
    Sounds like you did the same route I'll be doing except I'll be starting IN St. John's and heading to Quebec.

    Three weeks sounds better than the month haha. I was only judging on what I think my speed will be. I'm sure it will increase (hopefully) to around 80 miles a day by the time I come to leave.

    Do any of you have any good training plans or a way to build up to it? Thanks

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    Buddy Ratzinger's Avatar
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    Great, I've always wanted to cycle in Newfoundland. That will be awesome. Do you live there now??? I've driven on the West coast. It is RELATIVELY flat, but there are some big hills. And of course in a car you don't notice the hills like you do on a bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheyron View Post
    The route seems pretty flat (correct me if wrong) so perhaps I won't need to rest as much.
    It depends on what you mean by flat...Cape Breton is not flat!!! Even if you aren't climbing a mountain pass, you can do quite a bit of climbing on a day of hilly terrain.

    So be prepared to do some climbing. You'll need gears that are low enough to allow you to climb with the extra weight of your gear. Where will you be training? Hopefully you have some hilly routes you can try out.

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    djb
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    you do know that for the most part, you will (or very well likely) be having headwinds. Generally is west to east, so do take that into account in that a days distance might be affected--especially for the first week or so.
    Good luck reading up on touring, planning and packing.

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    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    It's a beautiful trip, but you're garanteed headwinds. I would go west to east. The wind blows from the southwest most of the time and can be very strong along the St-Lawrence and in Newfoundland. Cape Breton and Newfoundland are hilly.

    I think a nicer route would be from Halifax, around the Cabot trail clockwise, all the way the west coast of Newfoundland, then across to Labrador where you can return to Rimouski on the Relais Nordik (Google Map). The boat ride isn't cheap and a bit long but it's a nice rest. There's a train between Montreal and Halifax so you can start/finish anywhere along that line. Newfoundland's west coast is quite flat north of Gros Morne and the wind really pushes you.

    My trip around the gulf of St-Lawrence
    Another trip in Newfoundland and Labrador
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

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    mev
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheyron View Post
    The route in total is 1,916KM / 1,150miles with a 552KM / 331miles ferry ride meaning the total distance is 1,364KM / 819miles.
    I'm wondering if that is right...In my trip I traveled 1406 miles between Quebec City and St Johns. Went via PEI, but otherwise was fairly direct in my travels.

    Google maps says: Quebec City to Sydney, Nova Scotia is 1225km and Port Aux Basques to St Johns is 904km. That total is closer to 1300 miles than 819 miles.

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    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mev View Post
    Google maps says: Quebec City to Sydney, Nova Scotia is 1225km and Port Aux Basques to St Johns is 904km. That total is closer to 1300 miles than 819 miles.
    I think Cheyron is planning on taking the 552km ferry to Argentia.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratzinger View Post
    Great, I've always wanted to cycle in Newfoundland. That will be awesome. Do you live there now??? I've driven on the West coast. It is RELATIVELY flat, but there are some big hills. And of course in a car you don't notice the hills like you do on a bike.



    It depends on what you mean by flat...Cape Breton is not flat!!! Even if you aren't climbing a mountain pass, you can do quite a bit of climbing on a day of hilly terrain.

    So be prepared to do some climbing. You'll need gears that are low enough to allow you to climb with the extra weight of your gear. Where will you be training? Hopefully you have some hilly routes you can try out.
    I actually live in the United Kingdom. However, I know someone very well who lives in St. John's and what better way to meet him than to cycle to him? haha.

    Thanks for the advice. I'll be training in the Yorkshire Dales, North of England for the majority of my time before I leave.

    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    you do know that for the most part, you will (or very well likely) be having headwinds. Generally is west to east, so do take that into account in that a days distance might be affected--especially for the first week or so.
    Good luck reading up on touring, planning and packing.
    I read that about that a few times. I do have to say that it's making me wonder if the reverse in point A and B would be better to avoid these headwinds.

    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
    It's a beautiful trip, but you're garanteed headwinds. I would go west to east. The wind blows from the southwest most of the time and can be very strong along the St-Lawrence and in Newfoundland. Cape Breton and Newfoundland are hilly.

    I think a nicer route would be from Halifax, around the Cabot trail clockwise, all the way the west coast of Newfoundland, then across to Labrador where you can return to Rimouski on the Relais Nordik (Google Map). The boat ride isn't cheap and a bit long but it's a nice rest. There's a train between Montreal and Halifax so you can start/finish anywhere along that line. Newfoundland's west coast is quite flat north of Gros Morne and the wind really pushes you.

    My trip around the gulf of St-Lawrence
    Another trip in Newfoundland and Labrador
    Thank you for this! I will take into account what you've said and look/read at the articles and photographs provided!

    My main issue with this is that my friend lives in St. John's which is why I chose that was a point. Do you know any other trips I could take ending me in St. John's that are around the same mileage?

    Quote Originally Posted by mev View Post
    I'm wondering if that is right...In my trip I traveled 1406 miles between Quebec City and St Johns. Went via PEI, but otherwise was fairly direct in my travels.

    Google maps says: Quebec City to Sydney, Nova Scotia is 1225km and Port Aux Basques to St Johns is 904km. That total is closer to 1300 miles than 819 miles.
    The route planned was St. John's to Port Aux Basques to catch the Ferry that will take me to Nova Scotia. From there, head east to reach Quebec.

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    Looking for a bike buddy: August 14th, Toronto ---> St. John's, via Labrador city

    Hi guys! This is my first post so bare with me I am planning on attempting Toronto to St. John's via the looong road up Labrador city way... and I'm looking anyone interested in joining in on the adventure. I'm planning on taking off August 14th and am aiming to average about 100Km a day--- if anyone is interested in joining... even for a short stretch... please let me know! I'm easy going and flexible with respect to trip planning so if you want to stop for a hike or have your heart set on checking something out that's cool... I've heard the route can come with its share of challenges as well, so positive attidude a plus!

    I've been working in Japan for the last year and have done a few week long bike camping trips here... but Im excited to get back to Canada and do it up bike style! I've only started touring/camping this year... a newbie, I suppose... so I'd prefer to go with someone else or even a small group! If you're game, send me an email!

    I'd also love any tips from people about touring solo... especially as a woman! Thanks for your help and interest!

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    djb
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    jacqueline, Do you have a ballpark figure of the distance involved? Dont know where you are from in Canada, but your route idea is mightily remote, and by bike it is seriously remote. Logistically, bugwise, bear wise, distance wise, this is no walk in the park. When I look at a map, there seems to be all kinds of sections where towns and villages are quite a distance apart.
    I must say this is quite a daunting plan.

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    Hey Djb! Yeah, I know, this trip is pretty remote, I am from southern Ontario and I used to go to school in Halifax so Ive done the drive through NB to Halifax a lot... So once I heard that the road to Labrador city is now paved... Ive been really set on doing it and finally checking NFL off my bucketlist. To be honest, bugs are my biggest concern. I often camp in northern Ontario so bear wise... Ill just practice the same bear cautious precautions I use camping here... and as always, be as prepared as possible annnd hope for the best . I am thinking about taking the train to Montreal or Quebec... (even trois-rivieres... i used to live there) and aiming to complete the trip in about5 weeks... obviously flexible to accommodate for life's little surprises, exploring, recovery, and what not... given your tips though... Ive also checked out taking another route, through NB and omitting Labrador city... Since Im flexibile on where to depart (Barrie- Quebec City) that route could take anywhere from 3.5-5 weeks.... with maybe a hike in Gros Morne and time to check out the flower pots on the bay of fundy... ok! Sooo wheels are turning! Thanks for your input... any thoughts?

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    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacquelineashle View Post
    So once I heard that the road to Labrador city is now paved...
    The road was completed in 2009 but it is NOT paved. You're looking at 1400km of gravel between Manic 5 and Red Bay.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erick L View Post
    The road was completed in 2009 but it is NOT paved. You're looking at 1400km of gravel between Manic 5 and Red Bay.

    Really?? Thanks for the heads up! This may change my plan then Have you bike that stretch?

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    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacquelineashle View Post
    Really?? Thanks for the heads up! This may change my plan then Have you bike that stretch?
    Yes, really: http://www.borealphoto.com/Cycling/N...6_CG2bX-XL.jpg

    I biked the Labrador Coastal "Drive" up to Port-Hope-Simpson. I was going to Cartwright but the ferry was canceled due to pack ice so I turned back. There's at least one crazy guy on a bike who did the whole Trans-Labrador.

    Another thing with your planned route is the wind on Newfoundland's west coast. It's strong and constant and you would have it in your face. I think going via the maritimes is a better option, but definitely make the detour to Gros Morne.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

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    Hey, thanks for the "Yes, really" photo--- it really was worth 1000 words, and I think that was enough to make me opt for the Maritime route. That sucks about your ferry! Will you ever try to complete the route? or enough was enough?

    I was also wondering about the wind you mentioned. I know that the wind is what makes NFL an especially challenging route... and from what Ive read the prevailing wind is from the south west... so I have been planning on traversing NFL from Corner Brook side to St. John's... hoping to make it a bit easier on myself. Does anyone have an opinion on which direction is best to cross the island?

    Thanks everyone! Youve all been very helpful!!! annnnd again... those wanting to bike via the maritimes to St. John's.. even join for just a few days are welcome!

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    djb
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    Jacq, we have friends who have a summer place in Nfld, the husbands father was from there, I will ask about wind etc, although I know they generally arrive down at the west end of island and drive eastwards but are always of course in a car. The husbands father had been a sealer (passed away now) but I am sure my friend will still have good general info on regular winds.

    to reply to your earlier post, ya if you have done the NB to Halifax road, you know what sort of distances are to be expected, but I guess you wouldnt be allowed to be on the "newer" seperated 2 lane in one direction highway in NB? By car I seem to remember it being rather isolated, ie long distances between turnoffs and not much there except deer fences on either side.

    bear precautions, good that you have camping experience with how to be careful. Bug precautions....oh well, yes I know what you mean, they can be such a pain in the keester and sometimes its hit and miss for how a location is, and yes you wouldnt want to arrive at dusk to set up somewhere tired,hungry and have them at their worst.
    Thats good that you have the flexibility on taking a train to "x" spot. I second Ericks suggestion to check out crazyguyonabike for trip journals (or any other online resources) with more detailed routes, as I have never gone that way. Its always nice to get "real biker" reports of roads and general observations on a given route idea. I would think you could find some trips online of Mtl-Quebec-or where ever, out to Nfld.
    I am pretty certain that the New Brunswick couple of "Travelling two" started their multi year biking adventure from Montreal and went out east, maybe 4 years ago. You could check out their website, Im not sure they have detailed routes, but in any case, as I said, Im sure you can find one somewhere.

    all the best with your planning

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    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    The wind comes from the southwest so crossing west to east or south to north is best. There are tales of 18-wheelers being toppled over from the wind, I met a couple who rode 105km in three hours with a tailwind, another rider said the wind was so strong he was "leaning into it" and had troubling breathing. The ferry from St-Barbe to Blanc-Sablon was canceled due to wind and that couple I mentionned had trouble walking their bike. Riding up the coast, the road was clearly going up but I was still making good speed. I had to stop I wasn't hallucinating, that's when I realized the wind was pushing me. Riding down the coast against the coast, I was very difficult to even reach 10km/h. It seems everybody has a wind story in Newfoundland.

    This is on the west coast of the Northwest peninsula:
    http://www.borealphoto.com/Cycling/N...7_zJFd5nL-A-LB

    This is near South Brook, in the interror, where the Trans-Canada turns south for some distance:
    http://www.borealphoto.com/Cycling/N...327_5bCHN-A-LB

    It can be similar along the St-Lawrence.

    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  20. #20
    djb
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    you know I have always felt that I would prefer to climb mountain passes all day than battle with wind, I've mentioned before on here about doing most of the Pyrenees, from east to west, and I actually like going up mountains cuz at least the views change. Fighting an invisible, often quick changing, giant hand of wind is my version of hell....
    hence, I would definitely follow prevailing winds advice!

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    agreed! I did one trip here in Japan and I swear, event on steep descents, I still had to peddle as hard as I could in order to move an inch... headwinds are not my friend!!! West to East it is! However, Ive never ridden in high winds with my bike loaded... that should take some getting used to I guess... Especially with a high crosswind.」
    Thanks for all your help guys! You have certainly made joining this forum a very positive experience! Hopefully my ride will be the same about 7 weeks til my departure and I can't wait!!                

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    djb
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    re: this forum, the touring section I find has a lot of very helpful people, yes sometimes everyone has their own opinion on stuff, but this forum and as I mentioned, trip journals on the web, can be pretty darn helpful for either someone starting touring, or for route details, suggestions, etc.

    what sort of bike are you riding? Are you already equipped for all the stuff, panniers, tent, etc etc etc?

    as for crosswinds, funny but I dont recall too many dramas with that, perhaps as our bikes are a good 20, 30 or 40+ lbs heavier than unloaded. I could be convienently not remembering times...I do remember headwinds and how all the bags really do slow one down more than without, vis-a-vis the "sail" effect.

    We have friends who taught english in Japan about 20 years ago, down south in the Hiroshima area. They had a wonderful time, I recall them saying how they had to pretend that they were married so that they could live together, they got married soon afterwards and have four kids, but its funny how they had to pretend.

    cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacquelineashle View Post
    Hi guys! This is my first post so bare with me I am planning on attempting Toronto to St. John's via the looong road up Labrador city way... and I'm looking anyone interested in joining in on the adventure. I'm planning on taking off August 14th and am aiming to average about 100Km a day--- if anyone is interested in joining... even for a short stretch... please let me know! I'm easy going and flexible with respect to trip planning so if you want to stop for a hike or have your heart set on checking something out that's cool... I've heard the route can come with its share of challenges as well, so positive attidude a plus!

    I've been working in Japan for the last year and have done a few week long bike camping trips here... but Im excited to get back to Canada and do it up bike style! I've only started touring/camping this year... a newbie, I suppose... so I'd prefer to go with someone else or even a small group! If you're game, send me an email!

    I'd also love any tips from people about touring solo... especially as a woman! Thanks for your help and interest!
    Hi Jaquelineashle

    Your post seems very interesting! I attempted to private message you but my post count isn't high enough.

    I'd be interested in doing some sort of to with you in the future. It won't be for a while yet as I've yet to find a proper bike and the equipment haha. However, if you'd be interested in it then I'd be happy to!

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