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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Cool Summer 2015 Alaska Arctic Circle Ride

Hello. I just formally announced to family and friends, via FB, of my intentions to ride from the great state of Virginia to the Arctic Circle in Alaska, and back, the summer of 2015.
Precisely which route is not yet determined, and may be influenced by the desires of other riders that join the ride - if any. The most direct route, through Minneapolis/Edmonton/Whitehorse, is 4,432 miles one way.
Scott (Shrug) Wilson made the ride from Texas in 2011 (www.alaskapade.com). I met Scott at Shark Week III in St George, UT. I'm hopeful Scott will help me prepare by sharing his knowledge of the route; dangers, cool things to see/do, and options for food, fuel, and sleep.
As this type of ride requires much planning and preparation, I thought I would post a notification early, hoping that some other sharks might be game for such an adventure.
I'm planning on long days in the saddle. The ride could take as few as 14 days, but I'm planning for 17. Hoping to average 650 miles/day (~12 hours in the saddle); some will be longer, others shorter, depending on road conditions, terrain, stops, etc.. Mr. Murphy likes to make his appearance now and again, and sometimes you just need to take a detour, so best to add a few days into the plan to cover for such pursuits.
I'm figuring the following basic ride costs (round trip):
Gas - $700
Oil Change & misc maint in Fairbanks - $500
Lodging (hotel/camping fees) - $1K
Food - $500
Misc - $300
Total = $3K
There are various other items I'll need to acquire before the trip, such as a satellite transponder, better action video camera, sleeping bag, tent, etc... But I'll have a year and a half from now to acquire those things.
Let me know if you're interested in joining the ride, or if have suggestions from your experience/knowledge that would make the ride safer or more enjoyable.
As with all things in life, this plan is subject to change or cancellation. However, by making this public declaration of my intention, I'm thinking the chances are good, if I'm healthy and gainfully employed, the trip will be made.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 01:57 PM
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I'm always interested ..

As you recall , me and Scott as well as a few others had planned a trip this past year ( 2013 Alaskapalooza ) and Mr Murphy interrupted everyone I believe ..

I think 3 grand is a reasonable expectation , just remember gas in Alaska and Canadia makes what we're paying now look real sweet ..

If ya aint in shape ( I know round is a shape ) that will help a lot ..

Will keep an eye on this

JtB

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 02:27 PM
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Hard to commit 100% this far out for me... but this is VERY high on my list.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 04:11 PM
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That sounds like a fun trip. Not sure it will be in the cards for me, but I would love to join you. I'll keep an eye on this thread and see how things go. The state of the economy 18-months from now will determine things for me.

You could certainly lower your lodging budget some by focusing on camping. On my trip last summer I found some places that were only $15 a night for a tent. They were not as nice as the KOA, but had showers and toilets. A lot of state and national parks also allow camping.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 04:20 PM
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OH MAN!!! Thats sounds awesome. Im like the others, kinda far out, but i would love to join you when you make it this way. (NV)
GK

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-05-2014, 06:31 PM
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My home is available in Calgary for a pitstop/overnighter for anyone making this trip. HD dealer is only minutes away, good indy up the road 12 miles.

A couple things to adjust your budget. Fuel in Canada is $4.15/US gallon (1.099/liter, 3.78L/US gallon) at the moment in Calgary (some of the cheapest in Canada). As you go farther north into Northern BC, Yukon, premium fuel is rare to find. 87-89 octane is what will be available.

Round trip at say 9000mi / 40mpg = 225 gallons at $4.15/gallon = $933.75 for fuel.

Adjust your hotel charges upward as well. June, July are high season for tourism for hotels. Good campsites are easy to find but I would suggest some route planning and reservations at major centers along the way. A good tent that will withstand wind and rain, and both at the same time. June can be a wet month in Northern BC, Yukon.

It is the land of the midnight sun so daylight hours are the longest in late June. This can fool you into driving longer than you should or past fuel when you shouldn't. You should carry 1 gas can per 2 bikes. Those 1 gallon ones that fit in a saddlebag would work the best. I have one you can borrow if you come through Calgary.

Budget for a set of tires. If you can, start out with new ones, you'll be glad you did. The roads are paved for the most part but there will be some gravel/mud along the Alaska highway from Dawson to the Alaska border. we have next to no concrete highways, they are all blacktop. It is inevitable. Summer is construction season in the north. There are 4 good months of construction and 8 months of winter of everything frozen solid. Every winter the frost damages the road and every summer it is in need of repair.

Make sure you know how to adjust your suspension and have it setup so will not bottom out on big bumps, there are big bumps and big potholes to look out for.

Wildlife. You will come across some for sure, most likely deer and antelope on the prairies, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and possibly black and grizzly bears as you travel north of Edmonton or go through the National Parks west of Calgary. They are all wild and unpredictable.

Come on up we'd love to have you travel through and depending on the time frame I may be able to travel with you from Calgary up to Mile 0 of the Alaska hwy

Calgaryglide


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 02:55 PM
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Alaska ride sounds great. I was planning to ride out to Sturgis 2015, but looks like I might make that trip this year (and of course head from there to Maine for SWIV). Like others, can't say I could commit right now, but I am subscribed to the thread and love the idea of trekking north.

Any idea when the trip would take place? August?

I look forward to learning more about the trip!

Cheers,
G

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-06-2014, 02:58 PM
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First hurdle cleared for me.... I got my permission slip signed by my wife

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 08:59 AM
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This interests me greatly. After traveling to all 50 states when I was working my next goal is to ride in all 50 states. Already mentioned this to the wife and she knows that once I mention something I usually do it. Subscribing to this thread and as soon as I can confirm I will let you know.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 09:28 AM
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I admire the hell out of anyone who could make the commitment and courage to take a ride like this. Someday I hope to join some of you to Alaska. BADASS man...And good luck.

"A zest for living must include a willingness to die."
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