Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Where is the point of no return?


Reading Steve Abbott's blog and his trials and tribulations got me thinking of "the point of no return".

All my previous long distance trips were relatively easy to plan, shorten or abort. I could plan day-by-day, thinking about where I'll go tomorrow only after I settle for the night. I rode anywhere between 350Km and 1,350Km a day, always able to find adequate lodging within an hour ride of where I was (to be fair, Duda's long distance booking was absolutely essential there). I've been to some pretty remote places, but never went so far off the beaten path that I would have to turn back mid-day in order to avoid having to sleep under my bike.

This one is different. There will be points where I'll be facing over 200Km of unpaved road in unknown condition to reach a place suitable to spend the night at. The same distance will be behind me, with the only difference being the known road condition, for better or for worse. If my cards don't fall right I may be faced with a tough choice: to double-back where I came from with my tail between my legs or bite the bullet and press on into the unknown, accepting the consequences of not getting there on time.

So, where is that imaginary point? Depending on conditions (I don't want to list everything that can make this ride miserable in hope none will materialize), I imagine it to be somewhere on the newest section of Trans Labrador Highway, about four hours South-East of Goose Bay. To be honest, I have no idea if I can ride 600km+ of dirt in a day under the best conditions, but I will give it my best shot.

Speaking of points, the northernmost point of this trip will be at 53.6 degrees. If it was in Europe it would be just North of Liverpool or hamburg, or South of Minsk. That's not nearly as far North as I thought, but it's definitely very remote. Man, this continent is really huge.


Everything except the last few items is packed and on the bike tonight. I managed to bring everything I need, including some stuff I hope I won't need at all. Tomorrow is reserved for last minute adjustments and a good night sleep. Leaving Friday before dawn.