eBent Recumbent Cycling

A Bent Look at Self Contained Touring

Riding the Viking Trail – Newfoundland – Part 1

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If you are looking for an Adventure ride, think about Newfoundland and Labrador. It will be the experience of a life time. Go prepared for solitude, wind and savage camping. Where else can you ride in July and watch ice bergs wander by? The roads are good and there isn’t much traffic so you will be able to enjoy your ride without the stress of traffic. I have ridden the Viking Trail from the Channel – Port aux Basques Ferry Terminal to St. Anthony/ L’Anse aux Meadows and will never forget that ride.

Gros Monde

We picked the trip because we were excited by the though of bicycling to the only proven Viking Settlement in North America, L’Anse aux Meadows, and because we knew nothing of Newfoundland and Labrador. I had met some wonderfully delightful folks from Newfoundland but knew nothing about it.

Our first surprise was how big Newfound and Labrador are and how far away they are. I live in New Hampshire how far can it be to Newfoundland, it’s on the East Coast right? Well it is over 880 miles from Dover to the Channel – Port aux Basques Ferry Terminal at the Southwestern end of Newfoundland. That’s almost exactly the same distance from Dover, NH as Wilmington, NC. The ride from the Ferry Terminal to St. Anthony in Newfoundland is 681 km and St. John’s is 900 km (you will learn to love km’s in Newfoundland, riding at 20 km/hr just sounds so much better).

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Written by Roland

May 31, 2007 at 6:40 am

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for the interesting article. A few summers ago a friend & I did the ride from Port aux Basques to St. John’s, and we were astonished at the number of hills. They were never-ending! Reaching the crest of one hill was never rewarded with the praise it could have, because it would only reveal to us another upcoming hill!
    We were really lucky in that it only rained one day for us out of the 11 it took. Knowing Newfoundland, it could have rained all week.

    All in all it was a fantastic ride. The views were incredible, the people so kind (I’m Newfoundlander so this stood out more for my non-newfie companion), and if it weren’t for the hills I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

    Nancy Beaton

    March 30, 2008 at 8:10 pm

  2. Nancy, thanks for the comments about your ride. That is the route we orginally planned to ride but Rob Conroy from Atlantic Cycling convinced us to ride the Viking Trail instead.

    We also found there is a bit of climbing but thought the wind was a bigger factor for us. For the first few days most of the ride was climbing. We would have long, not very steep climbs and then reach a plateau. But after Corner Brook we descened back to sea level, and had a fair climb at Gros Monde. From there to St. Anthony things were fairly flat except in Labrador.

    Labrador was a series of steep climbs and fast descents in the rain. But everyone said we were lucky it was raining, the week before some cyclist had come by and the mosquitoes had distroyed them.

    The ride north from Gros Monde was amazing, Ice bergs rolling by and amazing quiet. We along flew with a consistent 20 MPH tail wind.

    We did learn to never eat at a resturant with a goat tied to the front door.

    Newfoundland is a ruggedly beautiful rock. The people of the west coast were very friendly but quite sad. The closing of the fisheries had torn the homes apart and the men were a 1000 miles away working heavy construction.

    Roland

    March 31, 2008 at 7:45 am


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