Think you’ve got what it takes?

Story by Costa Mouzouris// Photos by Costa Mouzouris
August 1 2015

Whether you’re a hard-core adventurist or you just like to dabble on dirt roads, this rally has something for everyone

If you’re into adventure or dual-sport riding, and you happen to be in New Brunswick in September, the Fundy Adventure Rally is a great diversion that will get you into the wilderness, as well as test your riding skills and perseverance.

The Fundy Adventure Rally is open to teams of two to five riders, and it takes you on a 500 km trek through some of the province’s most picturesque trails. It’s headquartered at Adair’s Wilderness Lodge, located just south of Sussex, where you can rent a room or a cabin, or pitch a tent.

You’ll Need the Proper Bike

Motorcycle RallyI teamed up with former Toronto Star Wheels editor Mark Richardson last year and can attest that it is both fun and challenging. But preparation is key, as the rally starts at 7 a.m. and wraps up 12 hours later. We each rode a BMW F800GS, and the bikes, which were provided by BMW Motorrad Canada, were equipped with Continental TKC80 dual-sport tires. Aggressive tires, like the TKCs, are recommended, because the conditions can get rough and rocky.

Although the organizer,’s Rob Harris, claims that the route is easy enough for novice riders, its length makes it challenging even for veteran off-road riders. Weather conditions can also affect the difficulty, and last year’s early morning departure was in thick fog, which unfortunately blocked the otherwise glorious view along the Fundy Trail Parkway, the only paved portion of the route aside from when we entered towns.

Some Experience Needed

motorcycle repair Navigation is by GPS, and the routes are handed out during the morning briefing. Because some of the areas you ride through are quite remote, the organizer provides the use of SPOT satellite tracking devices – one per team – to keep a watchful eye on competitors throughout the day. The rally is not a race, so speed is not a factor, but there are points to be gathered, and there are optional skill-testing routes meant for seasoned off-road riders. Early in the rally, Mark and I decided to take some of the optional routes to gauge their difficulty before deciding if we’d do them all, mostly because it had been several years since my teammate had ridden off-road.

The most difficult option, we were told, was a long, steep, rocky downhill, which we had decided to forgo. A wrong turn, however, pointed us down that long, rocky hill, much to Mark’s chagrin. Fortunately, we made it without incident, and as a reward for surviving our miscue, we stopped at Kelly’s Bake Shop, in Alma, for a couple of its thick, and almost criminally delicious sticky buns.

Blame It on the Sticky Buns

Although the rally focuses more on fun than competition, you’ve got to plan your day well, keep moving and keep the stops short. Of the 15 teams entered in the 2014 event, only six finished all the options within the allotted time; the others had chosen the bail-out routes, which offer a more direct route back to Adair’s. My advice is that you don’t make the same mistake Mark and I made. Thanks to our extended stop to weigh down on Kelly’s sticky buns, we had to bail.


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