|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|02-28-2013 10:10 PM|
All i could say is Shrug had a right set up with the camera and video.
With all of this talking I wish I was going this summer.
|02-28-2013 10:39 AM|
There are 2 seasons on the AlCan highway, winter and construction.
Somewhere at some point you will be riding in what Yukoners or Alaskans refer to as gravel, those of us down south usually refer to it as pit run, before it is crushed into gravel.
You can purchase pepper spray for defense against the bears but it is like bringing a knife to a gunfight. About the only thing you want to keep with you in a tent is bottled water. Carry a couple of MRE's with you. They may just save you if you become stranded. Do not consume them in your tent even if it is raining (it will rain believe me).
One thing Shrug forgot to mention was fuel. It will be damn near impossible to find high grade fuel after you leave Fort Nelson (not even sure you can get it there). Shrug can give you better advice on what to expect for mileage but your fuel mileage will be reduced. Fuel Quality is another issue. My advice is to carry a gallon of high grade fuel in the left saddlebag, (load the heavy horse on the crown side of the road). You may not need it but it could save someone else.
In the north the unwritten rule is stop and help your fellow man when there is vehicle trouble. You may just have what they need to get going again.
The milepost is a guide only, not a gospel or bible, do not depend upon it.
You are riding into the land of the midnight sun, literally on June 20 will be your longest daylight hours. Stop when you are tired, rest.
Take a good camera and a small magnetic tripod with you. Take lots of pictures with you and the bike in them, pictures of the bike in some lonely desolate place only prove that "someone" rode it there.
Dress in layers, 3 layers or more in the early morning when it is cool and sun is in the east, 2 layers mid morning to early evening back to 3 layers if you are riding late into the evening. Hydrate well and sunscreen/chapstick on those sunny days.
The mosquitoes will about drive you insane. I recommend the highest percentage deet that you can get in a repellent, netting for over your head. You can get some fancy repellent gadgets that you wear but if you are out of cartridges they will eat you alive.
After applying high percentage deet bug repellent by hand to your exposed arms, neck, face, legs be sure to wash it from the palms of your hands before touching anything that is leather or vinyl. The deet will ruin the finish of those items very quickly (ya I know what is it doing to your live skin, let alone tanned treated leather).
That's all I can think of for now.
If you pass through Calgary before June 27th on your journey north, or after July 5th on your journey back please let me know, I will offer you a great home to stay in for the night, shower, hottub, steak for dinner and comfortable bed. Stay away from the farmer's daughter, contrary to the myth about Canucks, he owns several guns and can shoot the balls off of a gnat at 300 yards.
|02-28-2013 08:47 AM|
I get that. That's exactly the approach you need! It's easy to get sucked in to the flow and by the inexplicable need to see what's over the hill or around the corner. My bike was comfy and I was in shape, so I just wasn't tired.
You're right about food too. Bears are everywhere. I saw many coyotes and wolves too. It's not you they want. It's your food. I pretty much lived on 5 Hour Energy and beef jerky.
Read every detail of every account you can and you'll come up with a plan that works for you.
You got that right!
|02-28-2013 06:39 AM|
Thanks for the advice!
My "Wing and a Prayer" comment simply refers to daily destination stops. Although I have a basic itinerary, weather, traffic, construction, breakdowns, etc. are out of my control and therefore I think it will be difficult to pre-plan destinations. Plus, who knows where I may want to stop to see the sights, visit local attractions, eat, etc. If I can find a room, great! If not, I have all the necessary gear to set up camp for the night.
As for camping, bears are a concern so I probably won't be cooking much if anything at all. Can't bring a gun so for the most part camping will be for needed shut-eye.
I am sure it will be an experience of a lifetime!
Keep the advice coming! I'll take anything I can get!
|02-27-2013 09:48 PM|
Trust me. Neither will help you on the Dalton. Planning and experience will. With all the construction, the ALCAN ought to be in much better shape than it was when I rode it in 2011.
Don't bother booking hotels on your way up to Alaska. You'll be raped with or without a reservation. There's a deep satisfaction is finding a spot and setting up a simple camp. Moreover, you never know when you will get there or if you will want to keep riding once you arrive at your planned hotel. Remember, it doesn't get dark and you will be motivated to keep riding. Sitting in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere in the daylight would drive me crazy knowing the best way to take advantage of the scenery is to ride through more of it.
|02-27-2013 09:34 PM|
I did it in 2009. Two sons and I went to Fairbanks on the Alaskan Highway and back. Because they were on two weeks vacation from their jobs we just made it to the little park on the Dalton at the Arctic Circle.
At the end of May this year I am going back and will go to Dead Horse. However I won't be on one of my HD's as I plan to use my Ural with sidecar and 2WD. It will carry a ton of gear needed for the trip. Will do both motels and camping.
The ride up the Canadian Rockies is one magnificent ride on the AlCan.
Interesting guest on the Dalton. We stayed wayyy back until he was gone!
Found a great B&B in Fairbanks www.aaaacare.com. The owner Pat Obrist has a wealth of knowledge about palces to go and things to do in Fairbanks and the area.
Note about the Milepost. The places in it are the ones that paid the minimun $1K for the littlest add. In addition some facilities may have went under before you get there like a gas station. The area was hit extremely hard in the recession. Travel was down 80%. Get one but look on the internet for each town and add the phone numbers for the motels and what not that you do not see in the Milepost. Also, each morning decide on where you will stop next, call the motel to reserve the room. They may be full if you wait until you get there even with the reduced number of travelers as there is not that many rooms and as I have said you will find many closed ones.
The bear is on the Dalton. Notice the road and weather. It was 60, sunny and dry which I was told was a rare thing. That road that day was smooth and easy sailing. There were even bicyclists making their way back to Fairbanks. It about blew my mind. We encountered bicyclists every now and then on the AlCan also.
That leads to another suggestion. It is considered hazardous to tent camp with food stored nearby or at all. The best recommendation is eat at restaurants/Quick Marts or stores. Bears can smell food for miles and miles.
|02-27-2013 09:29 PM|
Originally Posted by akjeff View Post
The CB radio is about the last thing I need to purchase. I fully understand its need on the Dalton. I hope the weather permits me to complete my goal. Rest assured safety will be my first priority. Here's hoping for dry weather!
|02-27-2013 08:36 PM|
Hope you have a great trip! As others have suggested, the Milepost is your friend. Shrugs trip is also a great resource, of course. The Iron Butt Association web page also has some great distance riding advice.
If you travel the Haul Road(Dalton), have a functioning CB radio, listen to, and talk to the truckers, if you need to pass one; and if you have one close on you from behind, move over and let them by. When meeting one head on, slow down, move as far away from them as possible, to minimize the shower of rocks and gravel.
Most importantly, if on a big heavy bagger, let the road conditions/weather determine when/if you attempt to go all the way. Trying this road in wet/muddy conditions on a bagger, is not a good idea.
Good luck, and have fun!
|02-27-2013 08:17 PM|
I would stop at gas/convent stores they would let me fill up my small cooler with ice for my water. I also had the meals in the bag for eats at night when I stopped and camped. I have the MSR WhisperLite Universal Backpacking Stove this way you could use gas or canister fuel. You will find a lot of good people when you camp. Some offered me burgers, grilled vegs. and even fresh french fries they made in their camper. I would always talk to them because they like the open road just like us but they are in a metal can with wheels. They also had some neat places to see. One couple even was at Zion National Park when I was there and we saw each other in Colorado. Now that was odd. take a lot of pics.
Let us know the website you start up so we all keep track of a fellow biker.
|02-27-2013 07:48 PM|
Originally Posted by jrbean1 View Post
I am setting up a website for family and friends to track me. 107 days to go!
I would appreciate any advice from your experiance.
Wing and a prayer is what I like.
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