Day 1: Ontario


08h00 Montreal (QC)

Starting mileage : 9798km
19h30 Sault St-Marie (ON)
1009 Km

And so the journey begins.

After all these months of preparation, it is finally time to leave for the Adventure!

Km 0 (yes, ZERO!): First equipment failure!

While preparing the bike last night, of course, I managed to drop it. I guess I was a little nervous!

Result: broken clutch lever. I quickly decided to live with it because it was broken at the tip but was still functional! Still, $ 100 wasted without even having left the house!

I leave at the same time than Nadine who left for work and did not seem too happy to see me go. Normal I suppose. It’s an adventure that is out of the ordinary and which includes its share of dangers and is a real risk. Also, the numbers of weeks of absence is substantial and will not be easy.

Obviously, the bike is very heavy and I must accustom myself quickly. Leaving Montreal is difficult. The traffic is dense but again, the weather is perfect. Warm and sunny …

Not for long however!

I get to the 417 leading to Ottawa and northern Ontario. A light rain moves in quickly, just to give me an idea of things to come! Nothing too serious, however. As I leave Quebec, the road quickly becomes better. It should be known to people outside Quebec, that our road conditions are abhorrent. The road conditions are simply pathetic.

There is little traffic. I drive slowly, 110 km / h, which is very conservative, economic and above all, comfortable. It’s the pace that I was aiming for and I hope to keep up. It would be so easy to go 130 – 140 km/h but I’m on holidays and I didn’t really want to stress myself with the police and above all, animals that are very present.

The landscape is rather platonic. I go thru Ottawa and Petawawa quickly and straight towards northern Ontario. Traffic flow is very good.

2008-07-10 Ontario 08


Just before Sudbury, without warning, a front weather literally knocks me out of my shoes! I get into a wall of wind that pushed the temperature from a comfortable 30 degrees celsius to a chilly 17 in a few seconds! I have to stop and put on my heated jacket almost immediately.

After a few uneventful hours, I arrive in Sault Ste-Marie. I decide to take a hotel even if I had planned to camp because it’s definitely too cold! Nice start! I realize that I will possibly not have brought enough warm clothes, not necessarily for riding but for the evenings or activities.

I also decided to totally dismantle my luggage from the motorcycle because I ‘m not comfortable with the distribution and position of my cargo. With tires attached on top box, it isn’t accessible and entrance to side panniers is difficult. I decide to move in the top box, all objects that I won’t use daily.

My strategy for luggage transportation is quite simple. Everything must enter in the boxes. I use BMW metal panniers. They’re made of solid aluminum, have good size but more importantly, they’re safe because they are locked on the bike and the doors are locked as well. The tires are attached securely to the top box and locked with a metal cable and padlock. The only thing that is on the bike and that is not secure is a small cooler, which is worthless.

While I work on the bike, I am approached by 2 retired fellows in route towards Moab. They drive a BMW R1100GS and a R1200GS. They have so much luggage, it’s incredible! They explain that it’s because they will go camping and they like to be comfortable!

Afterwards, I fire up the the stove, good homemade pasta and time for dodo comes quickly! I must be awake early for a big day tomorrow!

Did I mention that Sault Ste-Marie is a ghost town?


One Response to “Day 1: Ontario”

  1. […] Day 1 […]

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