Calais, ME to Sydney, Nova Scotia

Prev Index Next

I crossed the St. Croix River into Canada from Calais, ME to St. Stephen, New Brunswick, so I could continue along route 1 in Canada. It took about an hour, part of which was taken up by having to unpack my luggage so it could be inspected.

While I had my tools out in customs, I adjusted my clutch cable. I had noticed that lately I had to pull the clutch lever all the way before it finally disengaged, and even then it felt like it was still engaged a little bit. I left customs and tried to find a place to exchange my currency. Not only had they closed by Eastern Time, but crossing the border I had moved into Atlantic Time, so it was even later than I thought it was. I decided to just ride and worry about the currency thing later ($1 USD was worth a little bit more than $1 CDN, and I had heard most places would take USD in place of CDN). I got about a mile down the road and was approaching a light, pulled in the clutch and instead felt a pop followed by the clutch lever going slack. I pulled over and killed the engine to play with the lever a bit. Although the clutch cable wasn't the only possibility, I figured that was the problem. I coasted down a hill and into a parking lot to inspect the bike. I unpacked my tools and pulled the front sprocket cover off and saw the broken cable end. I then remembered that when I had first bought the bike and taken the sprocket cover off, I had seen that the clutch cable was frayed a bit right about where it snapped. Doh!

Luck was with me though. Another guy on a Honda cruiser (VTX?) parked near by, and I told him about my problem and asked if he knew where I could pick up Suzuki parts. He didn't know of any places in the area (it was a pretty small town), but said there was a guy less than a block away sitting out on a patio that might have some Suzuki parts. I walked down the street and talked to the guy about getting Suzuki parts. He was riding a GS550, and had an old Suzuki 650 he was parting out. I talked him into going to get a clutch cable off the bike (it was some distance away), and a little over an hour later he came back with the cable. It was longer than the existing cable, but that didn't matter as it fit. I paid him $40 for his time and the part, and was back on the road!

By this time it was getting late, so I rode down Route 1 and took the first campsite I could find. The place was still not fully open, but was letting people camp if they didn't need much. All I needed was spot to pitch a tent, so I set up for the night and looked forward to my ride through Canada.

Tuesday morning I went back to St. Stephen and waited for the currency exchange place to open. I planned on using my credit card most of the time, so I only exchanged about $200. I then set out to reach Sydney, NS. Every time I mentioned this destination to someone who knew about the area, they said to ride the Cabot Trail along the coast. I was already planning on doing so, so I was excited to get there.

It had been foggy and drizzly all morning until shortly before I reached Sussex, NB. Finally, clear blue skies! I ate breakfast at McDonald's and met a couple who were riding to Sydney as well, IIRC on a Honda Shadow and a Harley. They were taking a long scenic route there. Coincidentally, I would see them again at a gas station I was filling up at the next day as I was coming back from Sydney.

I was getting close to Sydney when I hit some construction, and traffic was stopped. Not wanting to sit around in parked traffic, I started looking for a way around it.

Prev Index Next

Copyright (c) 2009 Paul Miner <$firstname.$>