Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

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Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:30 am

I've wanted to ride the Transtaiga for a few years now - it looks like its going to happen this summer. I'm ridin' an Airhead BMW GS. There are two other riders in this "motley crew" - "the Vicar" on a Valkrie and "the Jailman" on another Airhead BMW GS. Plan on being in Radisson around July 5th. Probably only make it to Brisay due to fuel constraints. Anyone out there ride this road via M/C ? Will repost after the trip. Excellent web site - lots info to ponder.
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Postby jdmetzger » Fri Jun 01, 2007 2:58 pm

I'm riding up the James Bay road, but stopping at Radisson as my Airhead is not a GS, and I don't really have the time, this year. I plan on going back at a later date with a GS and make it all the way to the end of the Trans-Taiga road.

Regarding fuel issues, depending on your mileage (and if you have a GS-PD tank or not), you might be pushing it to make it up the JBR. I'm carrying an extra gallon or two on my way up, as I hit reserve around 200miles; just to be safe. Right now I'm considering some small fuel containers in some Aerostich tank panniers, so the weight is over the tank. I've heard of/seen others carry fuel containers on the rear seat or rear rack, though. If you're going; you might as well go all the way, right? Enjoy your ride!!
Josh Metzger
Toledo, OH
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Postby Flueger » Mon Jun 25, 2007 12:23 pm

How are the plans for the Motley Crew? Am leaving this Thursday for the area and will probably pass you on the TTR as I plan to be on the wya back about July 5, or thereabouts. Will be the one on a 640 Adventure solo.

Flueger
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and then there were two

Postby chasindaylight » Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:18 am

Nice to here from you Flueger! The ride ie still on but now its the motley two. Myself and the "Vicar" on the valkrie. There are two other riders going up from Louisiana [ridin hawgs] but they're not going to ride the TTR. The plan is to leave Radisson on the 6th for the TTR. I'll be lookin for you on the road - we'll try and stop and yak,if we don't meet up maybe you can re-post and let us know how it was . I'll do the same. If your in Radisson and see the Harley's w/ louisiana plates - have a chat , they're good ol' boys .
Terry.
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Postby Flueger » Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:51 am

Will keep an eye out for you Terry and the Harleys. When back will post on this thread my notes and routes. Not sure how far down TTR I will go, time will tell.

Safe travels.

Jim (aka Flueger)
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Postby chasindaylight » Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:23 pm

Sorry for the delay but I've had some internet server problems [ok for now] so I thought I'd put some thoughts down regarding my Baie James area motorcycle trip. I had two goals for this ride,one was to see/put my foot in Baie James -acomplished, and two, ride Transtaiga road to the Centrale Brisay area -did'nt make it. My buddy [the "vicar"] and I left Radisson on July 6 at about 4:30 am -[yes it was light] in fog and 38 deg f. He was riding a 1200 Goldwing with a sidecar and I have a 1990 BMW R100GS. The straight sections and the right hand curves were no problem [a little loose at times due to sand] but the left curves were another matter! The on coming traffic had pushed a lot of loose gravel into the right lane so at times it was 3-6" deep of very loose "stuff". I definately had trouble finding " the line" on the lefty's and almost went down a couple of times. Where I come from we would call it "B" gravel - a fair bit of sand that doesn't pack to well.The Vicar slid around a bit but overall he did well.Anyway, we made it to Nouchimi outfitters [km 286]. No one was there. The restaurant and large clubhouse was open- again no one around. Sooo... we had a "siesta" [some very comfy chairs] and waited. After 1 1/2 hrs we heard a vehicle come in. Some residents from east of Mirage were stopping in to use the washrooms - they said it was possible that we could be there a day or two before someone showed up! No sooner had he said that,another truck came in [owner,worker?] and fueled us up[$ 1.48 L] No food was available there. We decided to head back to Radisson. Going west I didn't have near as much trouble -guess I was getting used to the road and the siesta didn't hurt either. I believe I need to "brush up" on my gravel road riding. I've run the Dempster,Dalton and Trans Labrador roads on touring motorcycles in the '90's but not to much since then[south Canol in Yukon in 05.]There was not much traffic on the TTR and most on coming transport trucks slowed down -very nice. A couple of notes on Radisson -the beer was cold at Bar Boreal! Also there is a very nice art store just past the ESSO station called Arts et Tresors INOUIS-excellent carvings from the Nunavik area and also some local Cree decoys and native crafts. The owner is very kowledgeable on all her wares and will ship anything she sells. A note on Matagami also- the campground was very nice and the washrooms/showers spotless.Great french fries were found at the most unlikely place. The Shell gas station in Matagami -a teenager was operating a fast food place around the side. We walked in to the sound of ka-thunk,ka-thunk -he was fresh cutting potatoes. I gave him a good tip and told him they were the best fries in Quebec! -Big smile!
It was a great trip and have a great appreciation for the wild country up there. Almost forgot a huge highlight-The wild untamed [as yet] Rupert River - incredable. I am considering another ride up there next summer to take care of some "unfinished business". I need to make some changes to my M/C. I was to heavy [carrying way to much stuff] and would like to run different tires. We met a few riders on the way up and in Radisson but no one had plans to ride Transtaiga Rd. Anyone else ride "the road"? Fluegar -how did you make out? Would like to hear fom any one that "rode the road" That's all for now, Terry
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Re: Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:46 pm

Look out Radisson / Bar Boreal. The Vicar,The Hippee and The Pirate are on the way. July 9 /08.
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Re: Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:20 pm

July 10 – 12 2008 Transtaiga Rd Motorcycle Ride

A couple of friends and I took care of some “unfinished business” as I said last summer, and rode to Centrale Brisay on Transtaiga Rd.

The Riders.

Mike, A.K.A. “The Vicar of Immaculate Contraptions” was with me last year when we only made it to km 286 ( nouchimi outfitters). As the name suggests, he's always creating some sort of “contraption” to ride. This year it was a 1200 Goldwing with sidecar. He removed the “car” modified and reinforced the frame, added aluminum boxes for storage capacity, extra fuel cell, and of course ,a cooler. I called him our “support vehicle” as he had cold water, homemade beef jerky(two kinds) sardines (fish she is very small) crackers,old cheddar,trail mix etc. He also had campstoves pots and pans. He was camp chef,head wrench ( luckily we didn't need his services) and gave daily sermons on any thing from past m/c trips,road conditions,weather forecast or harassing the “newby” Robb.

Robb, A.K.A “The Hippee” I'm not 100 % sure why he got that handle – something about going to college in California in the '60's. You figure it out. He was the new guy or “Proby” as mike put it and was riding a Kawasaki 650 KLR.He was the resident bookworm,hardcore camper and Dee jay (Freddy J Eaglesmith at the campsite) He also was the “King of Green” sometimes getting 60 mpg (U.S.) on the KLR. Robb was a great addition to the ride and all around “crunchy granola head “ kind of guy.

Terry, A.K.A “The Pirate” That's me. I got that name in '92 ridin' the Dempster Hwy with Mike. I'm riding a 1990 BMW R100GS. As noted in last summer's post, I made some changes to the m/c. I packed light – went with soft luggage instead of the heavy duty aluminum panniers,less tools and clothes. I also bought a light weight tent (3 lbs 12 oz) . All told I shed about 50 lbs and it really made a difference. Of course the biggest source of weight is fuel. I have a 43 liter Acerbis tank which gives me a 600 + km range. I didn't need that much range this trip but it's nice to be able to pick and choose your fuel. I also went with TKC Continental tires. They worked well -lots of grip when you needed it.

Next post “The Ride”
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Re: Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:32 am

The Ride

We all met at the campground at km37 just north of Matagami.I'm from southern Ontario, Mike and Robb are from Maine.As I said last year,this is a nice campground with clean facilities -also a good sized lake for swimming, boating and fishing.
I hit a lot of rain from Temiscaming north. From Rouyn -Noranda to Matagami it was downright torrential, luckily we had a dry night at the campsite.
We continued north on James Bay Rd and stopped at Rupert River. It was easy to see the river was much higher than last year. The rocks on the north side of the river by the lookout were completely covered and also the small rocky island downstream of the main rapids was almost all covered. It was like seeing an old friend, that river. Sadly it's probably the last time we'll see it again in that state.
After an uneventful ride north , we stopped at Radisson for the night. We wanted to get a good night's rest, fuel up and ready for Transtaiga Rd in the morning.
After breakfast in Radisson, we headed out. The weather was perfect. All the rain we had the previous couple of days seemed to “pack” the road - no dust. We were “rockin” to km 59 . We had a little break (picnic tables,outhouse) and went on. The road was a lot looser, 2 – 4” of gravel so we slowed up. There was some track to ride in but caution was the word. This continued to km 203 where we stopped at Pontois River. Another nice picnic area -campground also. Next stop Nouchimi outfitters at km 286. This is where Mike and I turned around last year. We were able to have a cup of coffee and a piece of pie there. Lucy (in the sky with diamonds) was a great host . There wasn't any other food available.We continued on and stopped early at Mirage Outfitters at km358. Great place.Good food,pub,rooms,showers,free laundry etc. This was no Mirage – it was an oasis! Mike and I decided to grab a bed while Robb found a nice campsite on the beach by the lake. It gets light at 4am so it's easy to get a good start in the morning – one catch though,it was 38 F at 5am. By 6am it had warmed up to 45 F and we were on the road – destination Centrale Brisay !
The road gets narrower but better -less loose stuff . But you always need to be aware going around the next bend, the road conditions can change dramatically . I liked the road east of Mirage the best. It seemed more open,smaller trees and more rivers,streams and lakes. At km 516 there is a nice set of rapids -great photo op.If you look downstream on the left ,you'll see a giant osprey nest in the trees.Need a decent zoom lens or binoculars to get a good look. We had a nice “gift” the last 50km to Brisay (km 582) – hard packed track. I was runnin' 90 -110 km/hr on it. The road was fairly straight with big hills- kind of like a roller coaster ride , Yee Haw!
We went up to the viewpoints at Brisay and stopped for a little lunch,then turned around and headed west. We stayed overnight at Mirage again. Another note: Coffee is on at 5 am – breakfast shortly after. Fresh fruit,muffins,toast,bacon,eggs,sausage,juice etc. We continued west the next day and made it to James Bay road around 3:30 pm.

Next post: Observations of the Transtaiga Road.
Last edited by chasindaylight on Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:17 am

Observations of Transtaiga Road

This is a very remote road. If you've ever wanted to “ get away from it all” this is the road to take . You just need to stop and listen -you hear nothing, all wilderness all the time. The only thing “punctuating” the wilderness is the massive hydro towers and lines carrying power to the “hungry south”. One thing I've noticed when traveling in the north is how clear blue the skies are and the freshness of the air. We did not do any fishing, but there were many rivers, lakes and streams that you could cast a line in.
There was not a lot of traffic on TTR- mostly Hydro Quebec workers in pickups and a few Kepa transport trucks (18 wheelers). The Hydro Quebec pickups were very gracious when approaching us -they always slowed down and gave us lots of room -Thanks guys it was very much appreciated. The 18 wheelers were pretty good also. One truck slowed and flagged me down, warning me of a grader coming towards me down the middle of the road around the next bend. Now that's my kind of trucker !
On a couple of other occasions I happened to meet large trucks right in the middle of a left hand curve. On those you just have to gear down and come to a stop as a cloud of dust made it impossible to see for a few seconds .
The toughest part of the road for me was from km286 (Nouchimi outfitters) to km 59. Freshly graded road on the way back (west) made it a tough go .There was no“track” for long sections and from 2 -4” of very loose course gravel. A lot of riders can speed up and get up on top of that stuff and fly but not me this time. Sometimes there were 3-4” ridges left by the grader -hitting one of those gives a whole new meaning to”look out newt, yer headin' for the rhubarb !” Sooooo, I just slowed down. At one point I was a little bummed ,seemed to to have lots of negative thoughts due to the road conditions,which of course made it worse. For some reason I thought I'm “dancin in the dirt”. Sing it now (Van Halen) “I'm dancin............ dancin in the dirt! My mood definitely changed and things went a lot better after that. Mike with “the rig” on the other hand had no trouble in the loose stuff – his troubles came later!
As noted above , this can be a very challenging road at times. The last two years we have been up there it was in early July so I do not know what the road conditions are like at other times.
As I said last year, I have a great appreciation of the wild country up there. I highly recommend anyone looking for an adventure to “go and explore!”

Next post: Route du Nord !
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Re: Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:06 pm

Route du Nord

This was an entirely different road than the Transtaiga. It had a lot more traffic so the road was more hard packed. On about 75 % of the road I could run between 80 to 110 km /hr. We traveled this road from north to south. From km 406 (junction of James Bay Rd) to km 300 It was pretty clear sailin' for us on two wheels. You had to watch for soft or “spongy” spots from 3-10 ft long . Robb and I could maneuver around them pretty good but they give Mike on the sidecar rig fits. We took a side trip into Nemiscau -a very nice town and fuel was available.
From km 300 to km 238 the road was incredible. Hard packed and long hills - I was having a blast!
At km238 we stopped at the mighty Rupert River Gorge. Walter Muna from this web site describes it as a “seething mass of wild roaring water”. I could not describe it any better. These rapids are not near the size as the one on James Bay Rd, nevertheless I would say this was the single most part of the trip,where you could stand in one spot and truly be in awe of the power of nature. We took lots of photographs but somehow they don't do it justice .
For the next 80 km's or so the road deteriorated somewhat. Large rocks and potholes -also a lot of washboard so we slowed up a bit. After that ,the road conditions improved to km “0”. We traveled this road on a Sunday so there were no logging trucks.
As I said earlier, their was a lot more traffic – anything from construction pickups ,18 wheelers to pickups pulling campers and pleasure boats. The road was a lot wider and in better shape than the Transtaiga so none of the oncoming traffic slowed up. I believe Sunday was a good choice to ride this road judging by all the logging road signs on the southern portion of the Route du Nord.
Personally, I enjoyed this road a lot - the highlight of course being the Rupert River Gorge.

Next post: “The Grand Finale”
Last edited by chasindaylight on Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:13 am

The Grand Finale

I thought I would touch on a few things so here goes.

Wildlife: I was a little disappointed on the amount of wildlife we saw. On the Transtaiga Rd. we saw one bear,a few wolves,a grouse or ptarmigan (not sure which) and quite a few osprey. Robb was leading at one point and he got the best view of the wolves. He saw a female and six pups. I only saw one pup -I would saw it was about 16-18 inches high. He jumped out ,stopped and looked right at me then whirled around tail flying and disappeared into the alder brush. I saw a couple of other lone adult wolves later. I saw two osprey nests. One I mentioned earlier and the other on a hydro pole. On another occasion , an osprey came right out of the water with a fish in it's claws -I'd say a good 8 -10 inches and crossed right in front of me about 30 ft up. If only I had a “helmet cam”. I stopped to see if I could find their nest but could not. Robb and I almost hit a porcupine on James Bay Rd. The big fulla couldn't seem to make up his mind what way to go! They have a “ crazy” way of walking – more like a waddle.

Travel Tips: I guess some folks need a GPS to get around but to travel these roads you only need two things . One -a Quebec North map -this gives a general overlook of the area including the roads leading to the James Bay area . And Two - the most important! Print off this websites travel guide for each road (James Bay Rd , Transtaiga Rd. and Route du Nord) Walter Muna has done a great job with these guides. There are excellent tidbits of travel information which made for a very enjoyable and educational ride. I always had them handy in my tank bag to refer to. Thanks again Walter ! Also ,there are km stakes every two kilometers so you pretty well know where you are at all times.

Fuel: When traveling on Transtaiga Rd, just make sure you can make it to Mirage Outfitters at km 358.They are open 8am -8pm. You cannot always depend on Nouchimi Outfitters to be open. On the Route du Nord fuel is available in Nemiscau.

Us: A little more about us. We are not “young bucks” but we're definitely young at heart. We are 66 ,64 and 53 years young. I've known Mike for 16 years and have put on a lot of kilometers in the saddle beside him. I have also been fortunate to being on the receiving end of some of his great hospitality. It was nice riding with you again my friend. As I mentioned earlier Robb was the “new guy”. It was great meeting you and riding together. Thanks again to both of you,we've got to “hook up” again for another adventure!

I mentioned earlier about going around a bend -you had to be careful because the road conditions can change dramatically. Maybe that's why I ride -you never know what's around the next curve.

Remember,it's not how far or how fast you ride. It's the things you see and the people you meet along the way that matters most.

Terry Jarvis.
Last edited by chasindaylight on Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:21 pm

I thought I would post a few photo's of Transtaiga rd.

This is Mike"the Vicar" on his very functional "imaculate contraption" riding east at about km 45

http://i410.photobucket.com/albums/pp18 ... mes014.jpg
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Re: Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:23 pm

This is Robb "the Hippee" also around km45

http://i410.photobucket.com/albums/pp18 ... mes011.jpg
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Re: Motorcycle riding Transtaiga road

Postby chasindaylight » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:26 pm

This is me (Terry) east of Mirage Outfitters -riding east

http://i410.photobucket.com/albums/pp18 ... mes100.jpg
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