I am standing on the side of a very long lonely gravel road, watching Pete with his hands in his pants desperately trying to stop his "frank and beans" from frying. Oh the burn! I feel like I should help in some way. Really a friendship only goes so far, and this is not Brokeback Biking. So instead, I decide to get it all on video, Hemmings will love it.
Friday we wake up under overcast skies in Port Hope Simpson, the forecast is calling for scattered showers in the afternoon. Not too bad. Campbell's B&B was our shelter for the last night, nice place and pretty good rate, $75 for a double room and good breakfast.
The communities on the Labrador coast are like a throwback to past, gravel roads, dogs running around, small basic homes, and a hard working people. The one thing that wasn't a throwback to the past was the price of gasoline. I filled my bike, a 10L container and another 5L container. Sticker shock was an understatement, $46. $1.59/litre.
With our tanks full of the precious liquid, known as regular gas, we started our journey to The Goose, on what Pete calls "our Road of Bones". Might be a little dramatic, but it was going to be a long day in the saddle with nothing between us and the Goose, but endless kilometers of gravel road.
Road conditions were good for the most part. The well worn sections of the road were like concrete with some loose stone on the sides. We made pretty good time to the Cartwiright junction, cruising along at 70kph, the posted speed limit. Traffic was heavy this morning, must be the start of the Labour Day weekend, and we passed about five or six other vehicles.
The road is not techincally hard by any means, however it demands almost constant attention, and can go from easy riding to sketchy marbles in a matter of meters.
When I mean marbles, I mean that's what is like to ride on. Loose stones on a hard road bed. The bike starts to dance around underneath you. Standing on the pegs helps, and despite what your intuition tells you going faster helps. Remember Dwights words of wisdom "when it gets sketchy....gas it"
Unfortunately for us, we end up on a 100km section of marbles, with gusty sidewinds, and dust. Lots and lots of dust. It was a mentally hard section of riding with a couple heart in the mouth moments.
We stopped for a few breaks and to make sure nothing was rattling loose. I notice a dark brown substance splashed all over the left sidecase of Pete's bike. Oh shit. So I'm thinking oil, and something catastrophic, it is an old KLR after all.
Remember Pete's burning genitals? Bear spray. The can of bear spray rattled around so much in his sidecase it essentially exploded. I just hope we don't run into any bears from here on in, or all we have is an empty can to throw at it.
Pete cleans out his sidecase, washes his hands in the small brook by the road, and then decides to take a leak. Shortly after zipping up and remounting his bike, a burning sensation begins to form in his nether region. Before you know it Pete has his pants open again trying desperately to wipe the residual bear spray off his junk. Thankfully he never rubbed his eyes, because we'd still be on the side of the road with a blind man.
Pete grit his teeth, ignored the pain, and with his balls on fire we tore off to finish up the rest of the road. The last 100km was good riding, hitting 80-90kph very comfortably, with some light rain showers helping to keep the dust down.
Twenty kilometers out of Goose Bay we run into some heavy construction. The workers said they are repairing the road bed because of frost heaving. Before long we are crossing the bridge over the Churchill River and back on the pavement.