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Thursday, 30 May 2013

Possible Plans for Next Year and Why Doesn't Honda Sponsor Me

Where do we go next year? Continuing across Canada is a no brainer, but what route do we take? A big part of me wants to continue on the TCAT (Trans Canada Adventure Trail). That would be something to film, and really be an adventure. Imagine riding dirt, logging road, ATV trails all the way across Canada. I know I am getting a little ahead of myself because we are still 3 months away from leaving on our current trip.

It would take another 4 weeks to complete from Baie Comeau. Maybe we could do a combination of TCAT, and main roads. Two weeks at time of course, because sometimes I just get carried away, and forget that I have a full time job, wife, kids, dog, cat, lots of bills, and only five weeks of vacation a year.

Another possibility is that we won't be finished with Newfoundland and will have to go back to do the whole railway trail. The Rock has a way of dragging you back.

Depending on our plan, I may dualsport the XR250. Be pretty cool to work my way across the country an 11 year old 250. It is a simple reliable bike that I wouldn't mind using to ride down through Mexico too.



Last years Breast Cancer Enduro race in Sussex


But me being the dumbass that I can be, bought the bike with no registration papers. "Why the hell did you do that" you ask. Brain fart..... I saw this bike on Kijiji, and when I went to go look at it, it was mint, and I had to have it. With lust in my eyes I bought it. It was a dirt bike, who registers a dirt bike? Well alot of people I guess. The previous owner bought it in Maine and imported into Canada, paid the GST. However he did not register it with the province and pay the PST. He rode it on private land only. 

So now it has become a major pain in the arse for me to get this thing legally registered. I hate this province in the fact that they tax us to death. But that is a whole other rant. I have to get the previous owner to register it in the province, and pay the PST, remember the GST was paid at the border. Then he has to sign it over to me so, get this, I can pay HST (GST & PST) on what I paid for the bike and register the bike in my name. Goat fuck, a royal one. And this is just to get an offroad plate. 

To make it legal for the road, I have to put a dualsport kit on it, and re-register it again, I think, or maybe I can get it road plated right from the beginning, who knows. Anyone from Honda Canada out there want to give me a CRF250L. I can be a really good spokesman for Honda, I really can, really. I mean who can sell more bikes, a 40-something year old, wannabe part-time adventure rider, or a 20-something year old professional MX rider launching huge jumps, and dating Monster Energy Rockstar models. Twenty year olds have no money, its the my age demographic that has the cash.....ah shit, wait a minute.......I don't have any money either, but I know a lot of people my age do, or at least have a good line of credit.

Yooohooo, Honda......are you out there, call me, email is good too. I'm waiting. (the sound of crickets)


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Getting Geared Up - Olympia Motosports Gear Arrives

So, like I said in the previous post, it's raining, actually looking out the window its pouring, rivers of water are running down the street. I may as well be productive and start going over what we have, and what we will need for this trip.

My bike as it sits, is almost ready to go. I've decided that I'm going to install some Continental TKC80's right before we leave. Out of everything I've read they are the best ones for gravel and asphalt. The VStrom is such a big bike I don't want to be fighting it too much on the TLH. I have some Metzeler Tourances being installed soon for everyday riding and easy gravel road riding.

I have a good luggage set, but would like to get some soft saddle bags, like Wolfman ones, and a big duffel bag. I just don't know how the GIVI cases will hold up in the event of a tip over or crash. They are great for around town and trips on the road, the TLH is another story. I have a Wolfman tankbag and love it. It's been with me for 5 years. The Wolfman gear will also work really well on the KLR.





I also need a tire repair kit, air compressor, some heated handgrips and a new helmet.

For the heated handgrips I'll probably go with Oxford, they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. My helmet is on it's last legs, and I am really agonizing over what to replace it with. I'd love to have an Arai XD4, but they are just too expensive for me.

I then thought about going to an open faced helmet, might be better for talking to people on camera, but then again it won't hide my ugly mug either, plus it won't give me as much protection. Oh the decisions. Maybe a module helmet?
Stop the presses.................FEDEX is here with a big box.


Hurray, our new gear from Olympia Motosports is here. Kevin Rhea has kindly donated 2 sets of X-Moto riding gear for Peter and I.



Terry's jacket and pants

This stuff is awesome, best gear I have ever had, and some of the nicest I've seen. We won't be cold, wet or hot with this on. The built in drinking bladder is awesome, since I tend to get thirsty and dehydrated on long rides. Both the jacket and pants look very well made, almost bomb proof.

 Peter's coat 

The other items we need, is some camping gear. I have a tent already, a nice one-man. But my sleeping bag is close to 40 years old, no lie. My Aunt Donna gave it to me when we lived in our first house, which I moved out of in third grade. So for the sake of not freezing to death I might splurge and get a newer model. Plus I need an inflatable sleeping pad, and we will both need some cooking pots, utensils, stove, and small axe. Plus probably a few more things I either haven't thought of, or I'm forgetting. 


Video Dairy #1

video
Hey everyone, I figured I'd start a video diary of sorts to post on here, for those of you don't like to read, or can't read.  Although if you couldn't read, how the hell would you even find this? Maybe you just want to hear the soothing sound of my voice? Anyway the first one is about my bike, a 2006 Suzuki VStrom 1000.

I know it was filmed in the garage. I would have liked to have done it outside on a sunny day, but the Saint John monsoon season is upon us and all it has done is rain for the last 7 days.

If anyone has comments, suggestions, ideas, please send them in.

We'll cover Peter's bike, a 2007 KLR650 at a later time.

Friday, 24 May 2013

I Just Want To Go..........Now

I've been on vacation for the last week, and other than our trip to meet Dwight in Shediac it's more or less been a bust. My wife Kim has been away on a cruise to Bermuda with her sister and brother, having fun (cruises aren't my thing, a food and booze excursion with 3000 other people I'm not particularly fond of isn't fun to me) So I have been home parenting solo for the week. I don't mind that at all, it's actually kinda nice to be home with kids by myself to see what Kim goes through when I'm away.

The problem this week has been the weather, it just plain sucks. Will it ever stop raining, I think we had one evening of sun where we got 2 hours before the damn thing hid behind the horizon again, never to return. I was optimistic for the weekend but then this appeared along with a heavy rainfall warning. Almost 100mm of fuckin' rain, seriously, there's mold growing on me from all the rain. So the weekend is rain filled, and then it's back to work all next week. I think the fact I'm only going to see Kim part of one day in over two weeks is adding to my grumpiness.

I don't mind riding in the rain, but enough is enough. So being house bound for the last week and with the kids in school I have been busy planning and re-planning this trip of ours. I have also been trying to figure out different approaches for selling this thing to OLN, stuff that they would be really interested in without selling ourselves out and turning this into some corny reality show. Hemmings must be drove nuts with the emails I've been sending him. 

One thought was to ditch the big bikes, and do this whole thing on old Honda CT90's and/or 110's
or see if Honda Canada (anyone have any friends or connections) loan us a couple of their new CRF250L's. I am a sucker for small bikes. Plus anyone can do it on a big bike. Honda Canada if you're reading this, we promise to give them back when we're finished.


I'm really starting to get impatient and desperately to get away on a bike trip. I think I have a free week the first week of June, and I'm gone for a couple of days. Be a good time for Pete and I to get a couple of days of riding and camping in.





Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Meeting Dwight aka Kedgi on ADVRider.com

This morning Peter and I drove up to the town of Shediac, located just outside of Moncton. It is known for it's nice beaches, warmish water (in the summer and it is the maritimes) and it's French flair. However most people do not know of it being the home of man who rode his motorbike all the way to Buenos Aires, Argentina in South America.

Dwight, better known to the world on www.advrider.com as Kedgi agreed to meet up with Peter and I this morning to talk about his trip(s) over the TLH last year, and his 5 month journey to South America.

Dwight is from Saint John, NB, and is a retired air traffic controller. He has lived in various places across Canada, and has settled down in Shediac with his wife Angele to be close to her family. There is probably a very good chance that he has told me where to go on more than one occasion in the past........ as he most likely handled the airplane I was flying.

If any of you have read his ride report http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=832336&highlight=lobsters+llamas Lobsters to Llamas, Maritimes to Argentina(it's a must read), you can pretty much figure out that Dwight is very humble, and down to earth guy, who just returned from an adventure of a lifetime. We spent the morning looking at the many pictures from his trips, and sat mesmerized by the stories of his adventures. I never thought I'd be wishing for my retirement years so I can go on biking journeys that went on for months. An OLN film crew should have been with him for the five months.

Both he and his wife were gracious hosts and have invited us up again later in the summer for an evening of BBQ, beers, story telling and listening to Jimmy Buffett. We cannot wait for that.





Parody Video

I was bored this morning, so after going for coffee with my buddy Pudge I decided to have some fun with the camera, GoPro and iMovie on my iPad.







Monday, 20 May 2013

Ok, who doesn't like the King of Cool, Steve Mcqueen, and vintage bikes. I know it has absolutely nothing to do with the trip, other than when I was a kid I watched the movie "On Any Sunday" and it was another reason for loving dirt bikes.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Comments

I just realized that it was a pain in the arse to post comments on the blog. So if anyone tried in the past, it is now fixed to make it easier.

Thanks to Pat McGinley for making me aware of this.

Everyone have a great May 2-4 weekend. Or Victoria Day if you are not on The Rock.

The Home Support Team

In my first post I wrote mostly about Peter and I and mentioned the kids and our pets, but I left out the most important people in our lives...........our wives. I did this on purpose because they deserve their own post.


This is my wife Kim. She's an amazing woman, an expert at multitasking and loves being busy, which is good because with two daughters 9 and 12 years old it can be a crazy house. On top of that, she works 5 days a week. The best part, she tolerates my crazy ideas, doesn't give me any grief when I take off on bike trips, surf trips, or whatever hair brained plan I have come up with. Plus, she is now used to me being gone for long periods of time at work and is able to keep the household running without me. Actually she really doesn't need me at all, she's pretty handy with a mitre saw, nail gun and drill, and is generally more handy around the house than I'll ever be. She is the Cheech to my Chong.

Kim is from Fredericton and was a former flight attendant (guess how we met?) She understands the reasons for my trip, and why I need to do this now rather than later. Kim lost both her parents at a young age. Her mom Joan passed from cancer at the age of 54, and her father Tom at 61. That's pretty damn young in my opinion. Right around the retirement age........the age people are waiting to do their "thing" So maybe part of my trip is for Joan and Tom too.

Friday, 17 May 2013

The Make Believe World of Television and My Old Friend Gerard.

Today we shot a bunch of film to put together our promo video that is going to be sent to OLN, so they can decide on whether or not we are worthy of being given a TV show. After today I think it's a long shot, but then again The Housewives of Vancouver made it to the screen. Maybe Pete and I need to bitch about each other more and complain about our badly performed plastic surgery.

Steve Foster and Lauchlan Ough from Hemmings House showed up in my driveway at 9am this morning. Lauchlan and I had met before when we did some filming during Pete's bike test a couple of weeks ago, he's the main videographer and editor. Steve is a producer, and helped both Pete and I with what to say, how to say it, where to look, basically coached us through the whole thing. Both guys seem pretty laid back, and were easy to work with. I can only imagine what they thought of us after it was all over.

Before we knew it, Steve, Lauchlan and their assistant Victoria had my garage all set up with lights, and cameras, and I set the bikes up in the background. I think I need a smaller bike.......because by the time I had the damn thing set up in just the right position I was starting to break a sweat from pushing and pulling it all over the garage. We need it here, no here, no the other way around, no wait Pete's bike goes there, yours goes here, can you switch them around again. Christ don't we have people to this, I thought we are supposed be sipping lattes while everything was set up, and why am I getting coffee for all these people, damn it I'm the star. WHERE'S MY AGENT!!! Oh right I don't have one and I'm not a star.

Pete getting ready for his turn in front of the camera


Shooting B roll


They start off by interviewing the both of us separately, Pete goes first and sets the bar pretty high, damn it again. The interview goes like this, who are we, what are we doing, why, any fears, reservations, what do hope to accomplish by this, etc.
El Diablo 

Then it is my turn........I have had a lot of anxiety about this, I'm a pretty quiet guy for the most part, put me behind a keyboard and I can do pretty well, but public speaking is another thing. I'm not very well spoken and get nervous because I don't feel I express myself very well at times. So put a camera in my face and it's an OH SHIT moment for me. The good thing is, Steve and Lauchlan made me feel as comfortable as I'm going to get being put on the spot. They both coached me through it well. Lauchlan brought up something that I had not really considered or thought of in years, that changed, or should I say further highlighted the reason for this trip. Gerard Kennedy.

Remember folks this is for TV, so some embellishment on the truth, or what is perceived as truthful is required at times for entertainment purposes. Lauchlan asked me about including in my interview a line about one of the reasons for doing this trip being a death of a friend. Well the first thing that popped into my mind was my friend and fellow pilot Gerard Kennedy. Gerard was one of the first guys I flew with at Lab Air, he was the old guy at 30 years of age, compared to my 21. He was from Holyrood, just outside of St. John's. Gerard was as rough around the edges as you could get, I remember the first time I laid eyes on him, he was wearing the typical pilot uniform, but had an old black, cheap assed leather jacket, no tie, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and to compliment his navy dress pants, were white socks and brown deck shoes. He was probably the poorest looking example of an airline pilot that you could get. But he could fly an airplane, was a great driver, and great guy. Well Gerard was diagnosed with cancer, underwent treatment, went into remission for about a year. It came back with a vengeance, and before he got too sick, he pulled his 3 young boys out of school and took his family across Canada for one last hurrah and to share this great country with his kids. Gerard passed away shortly after his return home at the age of 33.




That was a bad time at Lab Air, one of our most senior pilots Harold Oake also passed away from cancer the year before. Damn it's been awhile since I thought of those guys. Two great guys taken at an early age.

Maybe their passing had an affect on me that I never realized until Lauchlan brought it up. Maybe they were the driving force behind me completing an Ironman, a marathon, trying my hand a small business, living outside my comfort zone at times, and for wanting to do this trip before I find myself withering away on my deathbed wishing I had done it.

So, if any of you out there reading this are putting off doing something you love to a later date or when you retire, use the phrase fuck it and do it now, there maybe no later.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Project Sponsors

The good news for today is that Olympia Motosports has agreed to be one of the leading sponsors for our project. They have kindly donated two X-Moto all weather riding suits for Pete and I to use. We are really excited about this, Olympia riding gear is one of the best out there. Their owner Kevin Rhea was really excited about our trip and reached out to help us.

If you are looking for great riding gear for your next adventure checkout http://olympiamotosports.com/


Damn, Pete and I are gonna look killer in these




How this crazy idea started

Tomorrow morning a film crew from Hemmings House Pictures is showing up in my garage to film myself and Peter Oxley discussing our upcoming motorcycle trip to Newfoundland and Labrador. The garage is a total mess and I'm sitting here at a computer procrastinating instead of cleaning up.

So how did all this come about, who the hell are we and why should you care?

Who are we........I'm Terry Burt, 44 years old, married with two daughters, Maggie and Katie, a dog Molly and a cat Buddy. I live in Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada and I make my living flying corporate jets. I'm a Taurus, enjoy slow walks on the beach...........shit, sorry wrong blog.

I love motorcycles, always have, always will. It started with my neighbour, Stuart Oak, this guys brother,
Scott Oak. Anyway, they were my neighbours when I was a very young lad growing up in St. John's Newfoundland, and they had minibikes. Honda CT70's, and Stuart would let me ride around with him on it. From then on it was love at first kickstart.

My first bike was a Honda Z50
I bugged the crap out of my parents to get me this, I'd ride my bicycle down to Fun'n Fast, the local Honda dealer, sit on it and drool over it. After agreeing to go to church every Sunday for a year (you have no idea how much I hated church) and do my chores, I finally had one. I rode the crap out of that thing, loved it, and if I could find another one now, it would be in my garage for the kids.
Over the next 30 years I've had various bikes, a Honda Elite 125 scooter (yes I am man enough to admit I owned, rode and had a ridiculous amount of fun on that scooter). Sure as hell beat waiting for the bus.

 A couple of CBR600's, BMW G650, Kawasaki Ninja, and my current rides a 2006 VStrom 1000 nicknamed "The Grey Goose" and a XR250R, to get my woods, trail riding fix.

Then in 2006 my sister gave me the book Long Way Round
I have been fascinated, no, make that obsessed with adventure riding since then. At the time it was just a dream. Then I discovered this website,
 and a whole new world has open before me. I never really thought of doing any major travel on a motorcycle, I thought that was reserved for rich movie actors that were sponsored by BMW (not that there is anything wrong with that). Shit, the more I read the more I realized a lot of people were doing some pretty amazing rides to some really cool remote places.

Having lived in Labrador in the 90's flying bush planes, I thought that riding to Labrador would be my equivalent to say the "Road of Bones" in Siberia. I mean I am a regular working guy with a family, bills to pay and a mortgage, I can't take off for 3 months. But.....a trek through the Labrador wilderness and the island of Newfoundland was doable.

So finally 6 years later I finally committed to doing the trip. This was going to be my biggest, and most difficult trip to date. I have done a few 2 and 3 day trips, but they have all been pretty easy with my Harley friends.




Now, this is where the plan gets more complicated,  Peter Oxley, and Greg Hemmings enter the picture. Peter is a friend of mine, we paddle surf, and cycle together, and are more or less in the same stage of life. Peter is in medical equipment sale, so if you need a plastic replacement testicle, he's your man. He's also married with three kids, Tegan, Lainy, Gregor and dog Saphie. Pete is a bit of a mad man too, one of New Brunswick top rowers, he has rowed across the Bay of Fundy (over 75km of what can be some nasty water, ie 40ft tides) and a crazy assed row from Fredericton to Saint John on the Saint John River. So he's a little tweaked like me.
Pete's old XS650

Pete, the purple Beiber jacket and El Diablo, the KLR650


 We are out for a bicycle ride one day and I mention to him my plans to ride to Newfoundland and do the Trans Labrador Highway. Pete's response was "you mean like a mini Long Way Round, that's awesome, you should call Greg Hemmings and film it" Greg is also a friend, I sold him a paddleboard and helped get him hooked on the sport. Greg also owns Hemmings House Pictures and makes films, TV shows and commercials. 



Greg is this larger than life character, and he is always in, not a good mood, a great mood. The guy radiates energy and lights up a room. He is the man with a vision.

Before you know it, emails, texts and phone calls are traded, a meeting is set up, and a loose plan is set. Mind you the plan has changed several times, and almost come full circle again. That was last fall

It's now May. Peter who hasn't ridden a bike since his teens, and has never had a bike license, has since passed the motorcycle course, bought a used 2007 KLR650 and is learning to ride again. Let's hope he learns enough before we tackle the Trans Lab Highway.

Greg has put together a pitch to sell to the TV networks, and OLN has taken the bait. So we are in the process of putting together some footage of Peter and I so they can see our chemistry on camera. Sounds lame, but its TV. So if, and it's a giant IF OLN gives us the nod, this trip could turn into a multi year trip to far off destinations. I say multi-year because two working stiffs can only do so much with 5 weeks vacation a year and families at home.

So why should you care? Maybe you don't. Maybe you are a middle aged guy like us, that cannot or will not sacrifice golf time for some adventure and just wants to see what the world is like from the comfort of your lazyboy recliner. Or maybe you are a lonely housewife or divorcee that wants to see two studly guys on TV. (Ok that last part was completely sarcastic)

Since all the other adventure travel shows on TV revolve around races, or young people just barely past the legal drinking age, this just may bring a new perspective and cater to what is probably the largest age demographic on the planet, 35-55 years of age. 

Regardless of whether or not we get an OLN deal, we are still going to do the trip (because it's on my bucketlist) and we'll get some awesome video and photos and make our own web series. We are in a new era where people now get their viewing entertainment from the web, and YouTube has become a free to view TV network with more selection and better content.

So that's it in a nutshell so far.