Monday, 25 February 2008

On the uses of the Newfoundland T'railway/TCT

I borrowed my Library's copy of Sue Lebrecht's Trans Canada Trail Newfoundland Official Guide this afternoon. I was curious to compare it with my Atlantic Canada Back Road Atlas. While my first analysis of the Newfoundland T'Railway as described in the guide was mostly that it wasn't very useful to my needs, I had the idea that I should nonetheless incorporate some of the information in it into my planning.

According to the Guide, only the 11 km section near Port aux Basques is suitable for bicycles (A). However, several interesting sections are rated B. The first of these is the most significant as it A. immediately follows the Port aux Basque section (hence easy comparison of grades) and B. it cross several roads so that if it turns out to be truly awful to cycle, I could easily opt out if necessary. One potentially interesting section varies in quality from C to B. I intend to inquire locally if that section has been improved since the Guide was written five years ago. Come to think of it, five years is quite a long time, so I should probably inquire directly if there has been improvements to the trail.

None of the sections of the T'Railway represent short cuts. However, they are likely to be more interesting and quieter than the Trans-Canada is frequently the only alternative.

For future reference, I penciled in the grades of the useful sections of the T'Railway into my Road Atlas. Leafing through the Guide, I also came to the conclusion that it might also be useful with regards to accommodations as bikers share certain similarities with hikers in that respect.

At some point, I should sneak a peak at Sue Lebrecht's Trans Canada Trail Nova Scotia Official Guide at Chapters' in order to take down similar information about certain sections of the Trans Canada Trail in that province. I will not be doing this for either Quebec or New Brunswick as my Route Verte guide covers the former and the Trans Canada Trail does not suit my needs in New Brunswick.

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