Canada by Cub / Ride for Girls 2010
My name is Julia Robertson and I am 18 years old. This July I rode my vintage 1967 Honda Cub scooter from Brampton, Ontario to St. Anthony, Newfoundland. I am doing this to raise $10,000 for Because I am A Girl, a branch of Plan Canada (formerly Foster Parents Plan) which helps girls in developing countries to get an education and bring their whole families out of poverty along with them.
June 26th 2010, Picton, ON - 176 miles, 8 hours.
We left Brampton around 1:00pm, with my bike (Rhonda) reading 6297 miles and my dad's bike (GP) reading 15295.3 miles.
I accidentally left my dad at a gas station and he forgot to put on his gas cap before he left to catch up with me down the road.
When we stopped to ask for directions around 9:00pm, I lost my balance and fell over with the bike, but was able to catch myself on GP and did not injure myself or Rhonda.
June 27th 2010, Hawkesbury, ON - 208 miles, 10 hours. (384 miles total)
e left Picton at 9:30am and headed for the Québec border. Our plan was to take highway 2 east all the way, but when the highways 2 and 34 merged, we unknowingly continued on highway 34 north instead of taking number 2 as planned. This actually turned out to be a good thing, as it was a much simpler route east from the end of highway 34 than it would've been had we stayed farther south on number 2. Somewhere along the way I lost my foot peg rubber, I have no idea how I managed that one... We stopped at a garage, but it was closed, so dad raided the garbage and made a MacGyver replacement out of a piece of silicone hose. We eventually found a Canadian Tire, where dad bought bicycle grips to replace the hose, but he forgot his debit card in the machine.
June 28th 2010, Saint-François-du-Lac, QC - 142 miles, 7.5 hours (526 total)
When we stopped for gas, a girl drove over the curb and into a sort of ditch in the parking lot, which caused her airbags to go off, and the horn to scream. Dad disconnected the battery to quiet the horn and I lent her my cell phone so she could call her friend at work to tell them what happened.
The road we were taking to get to the ferry was closed, so we followed the detour signs, however, they led on to a 400-series type highway, so we continued on the smaller detour road, and eventually circled around and made it to the ferry. The ferry to Sorel was the smallest ferry I have ever seen.
June 29th 2010, La Pocatière, QC - 8 hours
We left Saint-Francois-du-Lac at 10:30am and arrived at La Pocatière at 6:30pm.
Before leaving, I called Honda Canada as well as the Honda dealer in Edmundston, whom we were to meet the next day around 2pm.
We had another detour due to construction, and ended up going on a 100km/hr highway (similar to the 400-series). It was fine, as there were two lanes in each direction, so people could pass us easily, without forcing us on to the shoulder.
I wasn't feeling well that evening, so we stopped early and I forgot to record the mileage for the day.
June 30th 2010, Perth-Andover, NB - (897 miles total)
We crossed the border into New Brunswick around 2pm (Atlantic Time) and arrived at Edmundston Honda at about 4pm. We took some pictures with them and answered their questions. They were all very kind, and gave us a donation for $100, as well as a $200 Ultramar gas card to get us to Newfoundland and back. They also gave me an Edmundston Honda t-shirt and let my dad use the shop to work on our bikes. Plus they gave us a chain for Rhonda, oil, and even the grips off of a display bike in the showroom free of charge, as Honda Canada would be reimbursing them for whatever we used.
We arrived in Perth-Andover at 9pm (Atlantic Time), but as I did not record the mileage in the morning, I do not know how far we rode. However, from when we left St. François-du-Lac yesterday, to when we arrived in Perth-Andover today, we had ridden 371 miles.
July 1st 2010, Saint John, NB - 207 miles, 9hours (1104 miles total)
HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!
We left at 8:30am this morning, and made it to Fredericton around 1pm for lunch. We saw some of the Canada Day festivities and then got back on our bikes and set off for St. John. We got lost in St. John on our way to Ellen and Doug Floyd's house. They are members of the St. John section of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group (CVMG) and were willing to let us stay at their place fir the night. When we finally found the right road, there was a stretch of construction gravel that we had to cross before we could get to their driveway. I hate loose gravel, but managed to do it okay. I called Ellen while sitting on their front lawn, as I wanted to make sure we had the right place. They were waiting to intercept us at a Tim Horton's down the road, but we had missed them by about 15 minutes.
Thank you Ellen and Doug for your hospitality!
July 2nd 2010, Saint John, NB
Today we didn't really do anything, as I was sick. I spent most of the day in bed, either sleeping or reading Three Cups of Tea. Ellen kept checking on me to make sure I was okay, and offered me food to try and make me feel better. Dad showed Doug how to balance rocks to make rock sculptures for the lawn while I slept.
July 3rd 2010, Sackville, NB - 150 miles, 8 hours (1254 miles total)
We left the Floyd residence at 10:30am and set off on a tour of Saint John, provided by a few of the local CVMG members. We went to the City Market, where one of the vendors gave me a lighthouse he had made from the red clay he collected from the Bay of Fundy. He said it was to help guide my way and steer me away from danger on my trip. We then went to Fort Howe, which overlooked Saint John and provided us with a view of the whole town. After snapping a couple photos, we all got back on our bikes and headed to Hampton for some ice cream. After promising to meet up on our way home, we left the CVMG members and continued on our way.
July 4th 2010, Baddeck, NS - 247 miles, 9 hours (1501 miles total)
Two people greeted us today by saying "I read about you!" One was Wayne, a CVMG member from the Saint John section, who read about us in the CVMG Newsletter, and the other we met at the Nova Scotia information office and he read about us in Motorcycle Mojo.
We arrived in Baddeck around 8:15pm and met up with Richard Herring (another CVMG member) at the Tim Horton's on the edge of town. He took us to his girlfriend, Jacinta's place where we stayed for the night. We all talked for an hour or two, then I went to bed and Richard and dad continued to talk for a bit. When we arrived at Jacinta's home, we travelled 247 miles, which is our best yet I believe.
July 5th 2010, Channel-Port-aux-Basques, NL - 42 miles + 6 hour ferry ride (1543 miles total)
Dad tells me that the air-raid siren went off during the night, but as I sleep with earplugs in to drown out his snoring, I slept right through it. The siren was to alert the volunteer fire department, most likely due to a car crash.
We left Baddeck around noon, after dad had finished giving the bikes a once-over. Rhonda was in perfect tune, she just needed a little oil, and GP needed a valve adjustment and the ignition timing needed to be tuned up (or whatever it is you do to fix it a bit). Thanks Jacinta for lending your shed as a place to work, protected from the rain.
We went to Lick-a-Chick for lunch (the chicken is not that great - kind of like badly overcooked KFC) and t-shirts. Then we went next door to visit Henry, who had helped us out four years ago on our last adventure to NL on my dad's old CB360.
We made it to the ferry at about 2:15pm, and had to wait forever to check in as their computers were down. So I grabbed my book and dad's seat pad and sat on the pavement beside Rhonda until the line finally began to move. After checking in, we had to wait to be loaded on to the ferry, and it turns out that the people in line behind us live not too far away from us back home in Brampton. The ferry (MV Caribou) set sail at 5pm and the fog set in shortly after that.
We got to Channel-Port-aux-Basques around 11:30pm and tried to get a room at the hotel, but they were fully booked, and we didn't have a reservation, so we set up our tent in the back corner of their parking lot.
July 6th 2010, Wiltondale, NL - 188 miles, 7 hours (1731 miles total)
We took down our tent and left Channel-Port-aux-Basques around 8am. There were horrible crosswinds for the first 80 miles or so, but it got better the closer we got to Corner Brook. After we got to the Old Lincoln Cabins just up the hill from Wiltondale and unloaded all of our stuff, the owner, Danny, offered us the use of his truck to go into town for dinner. At the restaurant, we asked what the moose dinner was, and our waitress replied "moosenabaahdle" (moose-in-a-bottle) which is apparently pre-cooked moose meat that has been preserved in its own gravy in a glass jar; so dad and I had moose burgers for dinner instead.
We called it an early day due to the wind and the rain, but managed to cover 188 miles anyways.
July 7th 2010, St. Anthony, NL - 253 miles, 9.5 hours (1984 miles total)
Today we travelled the final 253 miles to St. Anthony and arrived at about 7:45pm, after leaving Wiltondale around 10am. It has cost us $182.95 in gas to travel the 1981 miles to get here. That works out to four and a half cents per mile per bike.
We went through Gros Morne National Park in the morning - the twisty, winding roads were fun, and climbing the hills (very slowly) on Rhonda provided me with an excellent view of the hills/mountains, rivers, lakes, and even a few waterfalls.
The last 60 mile stretch before we got to St. Anthony was cold, but since dad and I were both wearing multiple layers plus our rain/wind gear, it wasn't too bad (I just lost feeling in my hands for a bit). We stopped to take pictures at the 'Welcome to St. Anthony' sign, and then pulled in to Tim Horton's to warm up and grab something to eat. We were there less than 10 minutes when Aaron Beswick, a reporter from the local paper, the Northern Pen, came in and asked who the crazy Ontarians on the scooters were. We told him it was us and he asked us a few questions, and then told us to drop by the office in the morning so he could take a few pictures and interview us properly.
There was nowhere to stay in town, as a few bus tours came through and booked all of the local accommodations. So we had to stay in a place 10 miles or so out of town, where dad had to pay this creepy guy $100 cash so that we could have a room.
July 8th 2010, St. Anthony, NL
This morning, we packed our stuff and headed back into St. Anthony for our interview with Aaron Beswick at Northern Pen. He took a few pictures, asked a lot of questions, and told us that the article will appear in Northern Pen's next edition (July 19th). Aaron offered us a place to sleep, but we said we'd see if there was anything in town first - there wasn’t - so dad slept at his place 4 miles out of town and I slept at my friend's house (in town).
July 9th 2010, Port-aux-Choix, NL - 133 miles, 5 hours (2117 miles total)
We left St. Anthony at 1:30pm, after looking all over for a replacement 'Schven the Viking' (my dad took him to Vancouver when he was 19, and wanted to bring him to the East Coast). We finally found a puffin in a dollar store - there were no little stuffed animals or un-breakable figurines in any of the tourist places! We don't have a name for the puffin yet, feel free to submit any ideas in the comment section =). It was nice and clear in St. Anthony when we left, but the weather slowly deteriorated as we rode. Once we had gone about 80 miles, it was incredibly windy with tons of fog. We had decided to go to Port-aux-Choix (about 150 miles from St. Anthony) to visit a few of my friends, but when we pulled into the Sea Echo Motel parking lot, I said to dad "this doesn't sound right" - Rhonda sounded like a train; her crank shaft was about to blow up. We rented the last room at the motel and called Perry Butt from Little Rapids, a very helpful CVMG member - as well as the only one in NF, to come and rescue us.
July 10th 2010, Little Rapids, NL
Perry came with his pickup truck and trailer to rescue us around 10:30am today. We strapped the bikes into the trailer - well they did, I just kind of hung around and took pictures. We left for Little Rapids at 11am, stopping at the motorcycle museum that Perry owns. It was pretty awesome - there was even a steam powered motorcycle from the 1800's!! Plus he owns three Vincents.
When we stopped for lunch and gas, we used the Ultramar gas card that Honda gave us to fill Perry's pickup, and then met up with one of Perry's friends who helped us search for an engine for Rhonda. We couldn't find anything, so we headed over to Perry's, and he let us store our bikes in his garage while dad worked on them. Cherie, his girlfriend, lent us her BMW 750 triple (from the 80's) to use for as long as we needed it! It only had about 6000km on it and Perry told us to put some miles on it to clean the carbon out of it!
July 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, Corner Brook, NL
It rained a lot... dad worked on Rhonda's engine and rotated the tires on both bikes, while I read. Cherie also let me use her computer to update this website a bit while we were there - Thank you =)
On the 12th, I hung out with a friend of mine who lives in Corner Brook.
On the 13th dad and I went zip lining over a waterfall on Marble Mountain!!! It was so much fun!!! I took tons of pictures and a video or two, while going across! (check out the Photo Gallery and Video links to see them). When we got back to the B&B, Lisa, the owner, let us use their kayaks, which was pretty fun as well. I went back to sleeping and reading on the 14th...
July 15th 2010, Corner Brook, NL - 62 miles (2179 miles total)
We left the B&B we had been staying at (The Edgewater Inn) around 11am and went for gas. Rhonda was leaking oil pretty badly, so we turned around and headed to Perry's garage (again). I sat in Perry's 1951 English Ford Prefect and read, while dad went to work on Rhonda (again). We only managed to go 62 miles today...
July 16th 2010, Boularderie East, NS - 167 miles, 5 hours + 6 hour ferry ride (2346 miles total)
We finally left Corner Brook for good this morning around 10am. Rhonda runs well now, but we have to stop every 30 miles to top off the oil. There was a very windy section of road near the Tabletop Mountains, with a sign that said something like "CAUTION! The winds in this region have been recorded at over 200km/hr" and they were crosswinds too!!! We didn’t stop to take a picture, as we figured there would be a sign on the other side, but there wasn't, as that would be one of the first things you would see as you came off of the ferry...
We travelled 143 miles to the ferry, about 50 of which had mild to moderate crosswinds, and made it there at about 2:30pm. The ferry wasn't scheduled to leave until 5:30, so we hung around for a while, then checked in an hour or so before departure. The crossing was a bit choppier than on the way to NL, but it wasn't too bad considering I got to read and watch a movie. We disembarked around midnight, and then rode for 24 miles or so, until we stopped for the night in Boularderie East, NS.
July 17th 2010, Dorchester, NB - 263 miles, 10 hours (2609 miles total)
We left at 11am and made it to Dorchester at 9:15pm, covering 263 miles, which is our best to date. It probably had something to do with the fact that we had really good weather all day - it was bright, sunny, and actually hot! Plus, Rhonda seems to have recovered, and we barely needed to top up the oil.
We stayed with Wayne and Patsy, who had just recently had open heart surgery and we truly appreciate their help and accommodation. Hope you're feeling better Patsy!!
Wayne gave us a tour of his awesome British bike collection, which he has restored personally, with Patsy's help of course, and then gave me an original sales brochure for Rhonda (a 1967 C65 Cub).
July 18th 2010, Woodstock, NB - 204 miles, 10 hours (2813 miles total)
We left Wayne and Patsy's place around 11:30am, and Wayne went with us to the Trans-Canada Highway, but we forgot our CVMG roster there - thankfully we didn't really need it anymore. We covered 204 miles by the time we reached Woodstock at 9:45pm.
Unfortunately, Rhonda is still leaking oil...
There was a door connecting our room to the adjoining one at the motel, and it was lined with shag-carpeting, which I thought was hilarious, and dad thought was 'shagadelic'...
July 19th 2010, Saint-Alexandre, QC - 213 miles, 9 hours (3026 miles total)
So this morning my shifter broke off when dad was fiddling with the bikes... Thankfully there was a repair shop 5 minutes down the road, and the guy welded it for only $5.
We made it to Edmundston Honda around 4pm and once again, they were incredible to us! They gave us 3L of oil for Rhonda, and we almost got a new engine for her as well, but it wouldn't have fit properly.
Rhonda ran out of gas shortly after we crossed the border into Quebec, but thankfully dad had some gas in the spare tank he has strapped to the back of GP...
At the gas station, I got a $20 donation for Because I am a Girl from a guy who 'heard us on the radio' - he didn't actually, it was just two guys talking about us in a Tim Horton's, but that's how he introduced himself.
There was a thunderstorm that started just as we found a place to stay for the night, and an awesome, perfect double rainbow afterwards.
July 20th 2010, Trois-Rivières, QC - 207 miles, 12 hours (3233 miles total)
We covered 207 miles in 12 hours today (10am - 10pm) and made it to Trois-Rivières, where we stayed in a very smelly inn on the outskirts of the city... We decided to stay anyways because it was late and raining, but we had to open all of the windows (aka 2 small ones) and turn on the bathroom fan to try and get rid of some of the stench (it smelled like somebody had spilt cheap aftershave or cologne). But we were warm, dry, and stationary, so I didn't care all that much.
July 21st 2010, Ottawa, ON - 193 miles, 7 hours (3426 miles total)
We left for Richard & Françoise Love's place in Ottawa around 9:45 this morning and made it here around 5pm. Dad got run off the road by a double transport truck on Highway 17, just outside of Ottawa. He did some off-roading on the shoulder and got back on the road with no problem. He says "it's great to have some motocross experience on a lightweight bike".
Shortly after we got to Richard's there was a huge thunderstorm - thankfully we weren't in it this time and could just sit inside (warm and dry) and listen to the rain pour down outside.
Thank you Richard and Françoise for your hospitality.
July 22nd 2010, Brampton, ON - 275 miles, 11 hours (3701 miles total)
We left at about 1:45pm today (I had to take a placement test at uOttawa for September) and covered the 275 miles home in just under 11 hours =) We made it HOME (finally) around midnight. I got a new bike on the way home
Rhonda's odometer turned over at a red light - perfect timing!! - just 35 miles from home.