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Thread: [YEAR 5!] Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    No fixed address

    Default [YEAR 5!] Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

    Hi all, just discovered this wonderful forum and thought I'd share our In Progress Adventure!

    My wife and I left on our trip in June 2012 from our home in Toronto. We strapped pretty much everything we owned onto two motorcycles and just rode out into the sunset (actually, it was a sunrise that day ) and we haven't stopped since.

    We're keeping a blog here: , but I'll post some entries on here to get you all caught up.

    Look forward to having you all join us on our ride!

    Gene & Neda
    Last edited by lightcycle; 06-14-2016 at 09:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    No fixed address
    Updated from on June 14th, 2012:

    Neda and I got our motorcycle licenses together in spring of 2004, as an engagement present to ourselves. We thought it would be a neat thing to do.

    We took day trips, hung out at motorcycle meets, rode on group rides, did track days, took longer motorcycle trips, rode dirt bikes, became motorcycle instructors, took even longer trips, and then dealt with the aftermath, the ensuing ennui of "real life" - the anchor of a home, the jobs and the bills; the maintenance of everything we've accumulated in our collective seven decades on earth.

    So the solution seemed logical to us: quit the jobs, sell our home and everything in it, and set out on THE motorcycle journey with no route planned, no end in sight and no return date in mind.

    Here are some pics from our blog:

    It all starts with a bike... Actually, this was one of the last things we did to prepare for our trip!

    This is what's left of our earthly possessions after a few rounds of Keep, Sell, Throw Away, Give Away. Now to get it all on our bikes...!

    The preparations were long and tedious, possibly the content of another blog entry, and we did manage to finally leave Toronto two days later than we had planned - See! We're already sticking to our "No Plan" resolution.

    Our early Sunday morning ride out of Ontario was a breath of fresh air, after the stifling, hectic bustle of the previous few weeks. No responsibility but to ride and ride and ride. A few things still lingered on my mind, one motorcycle, one SUV still left to sell, and the turnover of keys for the condo when we returned in 2 1/2 weeks. And the weather was beautiful! So unlike all of our other motorcycle trips.

    I've left just enough space for myself between the tank bag and the stuff piled on the rear seat. Hopefully I don't gain any weight on this trip...

    'm taking my trusty R1200GS. It does handle like a pig now with all the weight in the back, the front end feels so light and I have to push the bars a lot harder so I don't run wide in turns. Ack!

    First day's ride

    Picked up some yummy strawberries at Flynn's Corners before hitting the 507

    We rode all our favorite back roads out of Ontario and knocked on the door of our very good friends in Ottawa, Kevin and Manon, who generously fed us with ice cream in the garage and let us set up our tent in their back yard. Just in case you are thinking they aren't very good friends at all, I am deathly allergic to their two cats who glared at me with knowing malintent through the screen door of the back porch.

    Coming off the R1200ST's shaft drive, Neda has to get used to lubing her chain drive every evening now. Haha!

    Cooling off with a little ice cream in the garage

    Easing me into camping, backyard-style. Just like a kid.

    I'm not a camping-kinda guy. My idea of roughing it means no fluffy white robe hanging on the back of the bathroom door and no mints on the pillow. Neda, on the other hand, is NatureGirl, so she was really looking forward to getting a lot of outdoor-time.

    Neda and Manon prepare breakfast, while I watch from the back porch.

    Leaving Kevin and Manon's place, I accidentally left my GPS case lying on the top of one of my saddlebags. The rear is so crowded with all the dry bags, extra fuel tank, toolkit and backpack that it's easy to misplace something back there. By the time I had realized it was missing, it had already been sacrificed to the highway gods.

    Kevin: "The only thing this driveway needs is more GSes...!"

    GS convention in Kevin and Manon's driveway

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    No fixed address
    Update from from on June 16, 2012

    Not too much to say about the ride to Quebec, we've done these roads tons of times, and we've decided to superslab it to see some new sights. We stopped off in Montreal to get a new rear tire fitted on my GS, something I could have done at home, but just didn't have enough time with all the preparations, had a quick grocery store lunch and then off to Quebec City, our first campsite (KOA!)

    Streets were deserted during the morning ride through old Quebec City

    More old city scenes from the back of a motorcycle.

    I've always wanted to ride through the narrow streets of the old city, soaking up the European atmosphere. We passed through the city walls, remnants of the military presence in the 1600s and found the streets were soaked from the rains the night before. After a quick spin, the bikes were parked and we toured the rest of the town on foot, taking lots of pictures.

    Owl watches over the Saint Lawrence River at Quebec City

    This fiddler was very photogenic! Playing old Quebecois tunes.

    Getting busier in the old city.

    These cut-outs were hung above the old city streets.

    Taking a break from walking around.

    The Tour de Beauce runs in Quebec City today. We waited about 20 minutes for the bicycles to come running by in the old city. They were preceded by a police escort on motorcycles.

    These guys were dragging their floorboards around the corners!

    Waiting for the bicycles to run by

    There they go! there must have been over 100 bicycles,
    this was their first lap so they were bunched up coming up the hill

    They would go on to do thirteen laps around the old city

    We did a bit of vagabonding today by hiding out in the lobby of a swanky Quebec hotel, stealing their wi-fi, electric outlets and air-conditioning! We had to share it with a bachelorette party though, and at the end, we got to sign the bride's T-shirt. Sorry, no pix!

    Posefest in Quebec City

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    No fixed address
    Update from: on June 17, 2012

    The Gaspe peninsula lies on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River. It's kind of a pain to get to for most Torontonians because of the sheer distance to get to the start of the peninsula - about 1,000 kms by slab - definitely more than a long weekend trip. But since we didn't have anything to do for the next two and half weeks...

    Riding around the Gaspe Peninsula

    There are a lot of Can-Am Spyders riding around the area. I counted, and every third motorcycle we passed was a Spyder. Maybe Bombardier was having a sale for the locals? It got so ridiculous, that when Neda passed a Spyder, instead of waving, she would do the Incey Wincey Spider motion with her hand. Got some puzzled looks from that one!

    Souvenir shop on the shores of Gaspe

    We stopped in Rimouski to eat our lunch in a parking lot of a grocery store and we saw what looked to be a motorcycle school. We thought it was just a basic licensing course until they started doing stunts!

    I like their stunting gear...

    Highway 132 winds its way on the south shore, passing through many picturesque seaside towns. The weather here is cool, low 20s, and my Weather app on my iPhone is still defaulting to Toronto's heat wave. I've got a sliding window of three cities on my app now - where we are, where we're going to be tomorrow, and some mid-way destination. Nomad 21st-century style...

    Someone painted the rock in the waters outside Saint-Flavie like an Egyptian Pharoah
    Aptly named, "Pharoah Rock"

    As we reached closer to the tip of the peninsula, the roads got tighter and tighter and we had a bit of fun twisting the throttle as we rolled into Forillon National Park. We arrived too late to go hiking and had to pitch our tent in the dark. Thank god it wasn't raining, as it usually does on our trips!

    Big rock at Perce. We would ride around the coast and walk around the strait in about 20 minutes.

    The next morning we set off south towards New Brunswick, still hugging the coastline past Perce to Chaleur Bay where we caught the highway south. We did stop to visit the big rock at Perce, as it's one of the famous landmarks in the Gaspe region.

    Cormorants dive-bombing the water for fish

    It was close to low tide, as the waters were low enough for you to walk to the rock.
    If you waited there till high tide, you'd be stranded!

    Walking around Perce

    Neda and Kim Jong-Il posing in front of the big rock at Perce

    Coastline at the Gaspe peninsula.

    Big stretch break for the GS and Neda
    Last edited by lightcycle; 12-10-2013 at 06:45 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Ridgway, CO

    Default Nice!

    Great blog, I'll be keeping up with you guys to see how it goes. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    San Francisco
    I'm totally in.
    Bookmarking your blog now.
    2011 FJ NSSE | 2007 KTM 990 Adventure | 2002 XR400 (Plated) | 2000 KLR650 (Semi Retired)
    Spotwalla tip logs

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Stuck in Kentucky

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    San Fernando Valley, CA
    Subscribed! The life is so short, so go and enjoy it!

    Good luck and keep posting and let us go with you in this adventure.
    Tundra CrewCab 4x4. God Bless America

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Where Ever My Line Is Wet!!!!
    Subscribed!! Thank you for taking the time to inform us all.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    No fixed address
    Updated from on June 20, 2012

    Neda's take on a PB&J sandwich in Forrilon National Park, in Gaspe

    Found a great campsite in St-Louis-de-Kent, NB!

    These two pictures above typify our experience so far - camping and eating groceries. We're trying to stretch our travel dollar, since technically we're both unemployed and homeless!

    We dawdled quite a bit on the Gaspe peninsula, so trying to budget time as well, we decided to boot it across New Brunswick and Nova Scotia - all the while feeling continually rushed to see as much of the Maritimes as possible before we had to make it back to Toronto by the end of the month to close our condo and sell the remaining vehicles before our next leg. Having to shop for groceries everyday and find a campsite before nightfall didn't help matters any!

    So.. not a lot of pictures from this segment...

    Our first taste of seafood in the Maritimes!

    As we passed Antigonish, NS, we saw a sign for McLobster. It was more like McRobster - didn't taste very good and robbed us of $6.89! We met Sean at the McDonald's, who happened to be the city planner for Antigonish, and he urged us to ride around town, so we did. Nice town, shame about their McDonald's...

    We did keep in contact with Sean a few times over e-mail as he had invited us to his cottage in Halifax, but the timing was off and we never did meet up.

    Neda catches up on some light reading while waiting for the ferry

    The ferry to Newfoundland departs from North Sydney, which is on the eastern coast of Nova Scotia. We arrived early and took our place in line with a lot of other Newfoundlanders waiting to go home. I had a long discussion with Robert, a francophone from St-Pierre-et-Miqeulon, a little island off the south coast of Newfoundland that is actually a part of France! He had a Goldwing and we were both talking in broken Franglais about motorcycles and riding. How I wished I learned more French in high school, he was a really great guy!

    Waiting to board the ferry for Newfoundland

    Our bikes get to travel across the Gulf of St Lawrence in the underbelly of the ferry, comforted by the weight of dozens of 18-wheelers above our heads.

    While we were waiting in line, some locals told us that the winds on the coast of Newfoundland got so high, they blew 18-wheelers off the road. We tied our bikes down real good after hearing that, but it was pretty smooth sailing all the way to The Rock.

    In the hold of the ferry

    It's a 6.5 hour overnight trip from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to the west coast of Newfoundland at Port-Aux-Basques. There were a lot of people on the ferry on their way to St John's on the east coast, but because it's so costly to ferry all the way there, most people choose just to drive across the island instead.

    Trying to get comfortable on the ferry

    Being unemployed and homeless, we opted for the cheap seats on the ferry instead of a cabin. We weren't allowed to lie down on the floor or across several seats and if the crew found you, they would kick at you until you woke up...

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