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This little adventure group is purely due to Yamaha’s goofy little TW200. Peter and I met summer of 2015 when we actually traded motorcycles. See I wanted a small bike to teach my sister and possibly wife to ride and had given up off roading due to the injuries years ago to my legs. So I had a DR650 up for trade and Peter wanted a do it all bike, and had a spare TW200. Well the plan didn’t really work out for either of us as Peter found the bike too much of a compromise both on and off road, and my sister and wife decided riding was not for them. So Peter sold the DR650. And I decided to give off roading one more go on this comically small for a fat guy TW200. The rest is history and I decided to keep the TW and make it work for my larger size. In my quest to do so I asked lots questions on the TW forum where to my surprise Peter answered many and we became friends. We set up a annual ride together with Peter hosting.

This particular trip Peter had thought up back in 2017 and we decided we would do it in spring or summer of 2018. But sadly in late 2017 I had to change jobs and could no longer get the time off so I wasn’t able to make it. But I promised him next year I would do this if he was still interested and we set a date so he could spend his 59 Bday on the James bay.

In the beginning of 2019 Peter notified me about a bunch of French guys trying to organize a team of TW200 riders to ride Le Classic even in La Chute Quebec. It sounded fun and new so I was all in. And this is where Peter and I met Guy the leader of our mostly TW team. And it was here we invited Guy to join us on our northern trip as hey he seemed really cool and we seemed get along well. Besides he made really good chicken wings and spoke French and English, A skill both Peter and I lacked lol.

And so the group was formed, the planning done and the date set.


On July 26 2019

With the bike all loaded up I was off to work at 6am itching to leave right after. As the clock struck noon I was running out the door faster than my crippled ass ever should. I took the back roads from Guelph to Orangeville threw Hockley Valley to highway 27. Then began the trek north. Stopped for fuel at Innisville and then hit the 400 for the long boring trek to Northbay. Got stuck in traffic three times along the way. Arrived in Northbay at peters house around 5pm. Went for a quick swim in beautiful lake Nippising. After a quick change it was off to take a awesome tour of peters work at the rail road shop were I discovered my trade of fixing trucks and busses is small potato’s. Then it was back to peters for a yummy BBQ dinner and off to bed after way too long talking.

July 27 2019

With a earlyish start and a ruff planing a route it was off to the Tim Horton’s for a nice hot cup of coffee or tea like any good Canadian road trip starts. Peter and I took turns leading and stopping for pee breaks. We made one stop for the Yamaha to get fuel while I wanted to test my fuel range before doing the James bay. We rolled into Amos at around 11:30 to meet up with our final fellow rider, Guy. Again we stopped for that great Canadian coffee were Guy told us of his recent incident with a cop resulting in a ticket , what a bummer way to start. So clearly he was the one to lead so we all jumped on the bikes topped up our fuel tanks at the shell gas station and began heading north towards Matagami and some very unfriendly looking skies. It was those skies that had us mulling on donning our rain gear. I decided hell with it better safe than sorry and geared up and the rest followed. Shortly there after the rain began. It was during this stretch I learned how NOT weather proof my riding boots really are and it was here that was the last time my feet were dry for this trip lol. We rolled into Matagami around 2ish and with confusion found the information building to get info on the local camp ground and then grabbed gas at the last gas stop before KM 381 mid way stop on the James Bay highway. We headed onto the James bay highway heading for the camp ground and KM 34. At 3:30pm The rain seemed to break perfectly for us to be able to set up our little camp and even make our dinners. It was here both Guy and I got to try our dehydrated camp food for the first time, while peter Laughingly watched us and made his non camp food rice. Turns out the dehydrated rice dishes were not too bad and surprisingly filling. By 7:00 the skis looked grim again and we all retreaded to our tents for the night having conversations tent to tent on our extreme comfort Accommodations thanks to the rocky camp sight older ages or prior injuries. We also discussed the impending storm rolling in with threats of extreme wind and chances of large Hail. Was going to be a long night.

July 28, 2018

Happy birthday Peter. It was an early morning and very damp but the rain had died and the hail hadn’t shown its might and none of us ended up in OZ so over all it was good. We prepared our breakfasts, myself with more dehydrated camp food of scrambled eggs with peppers and Peter and Guy going for more traditional options with peanut butter on bread and oatmeal respectively. Turns out the egg dehydrated foods are rather NASTY but got the job done and filled me up. It was then out to the James bay highway with realization that we had to take it easy if we were going to make it to the 381 stop without resorting to our jerry cans of fuel. We also soon discovered that the “whole road is paved from one end to the other” statement is only true when its not under construction and were soon faced with the first of two 75km sections of gravel. And 4 sections of construction requiring an escort truck to lead us. It was at one of these points we met two fellow riders on a Yamaha Tennere and KTM adventure that were from Southern Ontario like myself. We would be seeing them a few times today.
We made many stops along the way to see the scenery and took many pictures at the mighty Rupert River. At 9kms away from the 381 fuel stop Peters bike sputtered off and died running out of fuel. I turned back to give him a hand with my bike showing 20-30kms more range while Guy couldn’t risk it and continued on. When we got to the fuel stop we all fuelled up the bikes and ourselves at the surprisingly GOOD restaurant, before heading out again north. All the bikes were thirsty with mine taking 18.2l of its 20l tank. Peter took on over 20l including refilling his jerry can. And Guy miraculously got 20.1l of fuel in his 20l tank (how did his Strom stay running). Along the way we met up with one those fellow riders again as the Tennere had lost a piece of his kit. After waiting for his buddy to return and taking a short break it was back on the road. Peter was leading as we had “lots of fuel now” with only 350ish Kms to Chisasibi. So we wicked up the speed and enjoyed the many sweeping turns and sights. It was mostly paved from here on in but it was also pretty ruff so really couldn’t go any faster than 120km/hr. We rolled into Chisasibi around 5:30 running on fumes (Peter wasent aloud to lead anymore lol) and found a open gas stop. It was 8*c here, we were freezing. So we all hung out at the warm gas station and made calls home to family. It was here I found that my mother was back in hospital due to complications with infection from her heart bypass weeks earlier. I felt horrible and helpless as I couldn’t go back fuel stop would likely be closed and riding that road in the dark was dangerous. So it was decided we would stay the night and head back in morning and I would likely split from the group and miss the Labrador portion of our trip. Being as we were sooo cold we decided to find a restaurant to grab some grub or something to warm us up. But everything seemed to be closed. One local told us we may have luck at the “Retro Daze” cafe. And luck we did. Didn’t look like much more than a portable but inside was warm and they had COFFEEE. The owner was at a mic and told us stories and played music. It was a quirky place but really kinda cool in its own right. We then set the bay on our GPS and headed back into the cold and now FOG to reach the James Bay and maybe even hike to part of Nunavut. Well we got there and did our best to do the hike but our quest was not possible with all the marshland and such and only really possible by boat in the summer. BUT we could see it so we counting it anyways lol. We set up camp and were join by some very friendly locals offering us beer and rides out to the island in the morning but we had to head back in the morning. It was Peters b day today so I pulled out my dehydrated apple crisp dessert and we all shared that, along with the locals supplied beer as a little celebration. At around 11:00pm we were off to bed. The ground was far less rocky. And far less rainy and windy so it was a good night until I got hit in the head by something out side Around 1am. My flash light scared what ever off but I didn’t get much sleep after that.

July 29, 2019

We woke at 6am to a very chilly morning at 6*c, all of us wearing most of the layers we packed. The view from our tents was great though sadly with the fog no sun rise was seen. That being said it was slightly clearer today so we could start too see some islands. It was decided this morning to pack up camp and worry about breakfast while we waited for the bus for the hydro dam tour. As we headed out of town we noticed a car crashed in the bushes and pulled over to see if any one was there and or hurt, but it turns out no one there so we continued onto the dam. We got to the dam with over an 1hr to spare and made our selves some breakfast in the parking lot. Come 9am when the bus was to be here we all started to worry if we were in the correct places. 10 after there was still no bus and we debated that we were in wrong place and that we should just head off. But after asking a lady sitting in a car (happened to be one of the guides) it was confirmed we were in the correct place and that the bus was just a bit late. Shortly there after it arrived. And we were let into the building to use facilities and wash up. We were then asked to follow the bus on our bikes to a different parking area so bus didn’t have to come back to the residents parking. Once there we boarded the bus got our hard hats and earplug radio things and off to the dam we went. The tour was interesting and would have likely been really informative if I had spoke French, thankfully Guy was nice enuff to translate some of the more interesting facts for us. After the tour it was back to the bikes and time to start heading south. It was decided we would stop more for pictures on the way back and that we did. Peter taking most of them. That is until of course he sent his go pro bouncing down the highway after a particularly large frost heave. So we spent 30mins or so searching for the bits but sadly only were able to recover the camera and battery. The memory card and case were gone along with all those pictures. We continued on to the mid way stop just as the skies started to look pretty gloomy. We all made it this time though peters bike started stumbling as he rolled up to the pumps. We decided to duck in for a late lunch/early dinner and see if the storm passed by. We discussed our options for the night as it was now 4:30. We could stay for there for the night or maybe camp by the Rupert river, but eventually we decided to push on and try to make it too Matagami and get a hotel room before dark. So we hit the road locked the throttles at 100km/hr as again it’s 381kms till fuel. The next 4 hours were LONG, boring and eventually got too boring and Peter decided to open the throttle a bit and have some fun. While Guy and I decided boredom beat having to use our spare fuel and continued on at the sedate pace thinking the slow and steady method would win the race. We rolled into Matagami around 9:00 grabbed fuel and a couple rooms at the “Hotel Matagami”. It was decided I got the solo room cause I snore too loud and I was happy to pay the extra to enjoy the comfort. After a nice hot shower it was off to bed with a planned later start the next morning.

July 30, 2019

With a bit later of a start we decided to meet at the hotel restaurant for 8am. We enjoyed a great breakfast and solidified our plans now to all be heading for home today. Myself to Waterloo 990kms away, Peter to Northbay 580kms away and Guy to Montreal 780kms away. After breakfast we decided to all ride together to Amos and stop at the Tim’s for a hot beverage where this trip together all started. Peter and I would now go a different direction from Guy. It was a amazing trip together that seemed so short but we had to get rolling as it was now around noon and we all had a lot of mileage to put down still.
Peter and I continued riding together for a while longer grabbing fuel one more time before we decided on different routes and went our separate ways. I pushed on threw to New Liskard taking a short detour in Notre Dame Du Nord to do a run up the truck rodeo hill (have been and watched the races there myself many times) as it was taking place the coming weekend. In new Liskeard I decided to grab some grub for lunch/dinner at Gilli’s truck stop for a great hot turkey sandwich and Poutine. From here on in for me it was hammer down to get home before dark. I contemplated stopping in Huntsville for the night but decided I’d rather save the money and push on for home to my comfy bed and warm shower. I hit the road Only stopping twice for fuel once in North bay and again in Barrie. After passing threw Barrie I decided to take some of my favourite routes home rather than continuing the drone of the highway. I arrived home just after sundown at 9:15pm covering almost exactly 1050kms today.

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