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Old 07-21-2007, 12:45 PM   #8
H-Jay OP
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401

Today is prep day for the trip up the Dalton Highway to Deadhorse. First order of business was Tires at Outpost Harley.

We were a couple of days late for our appointment so we didnít know what to expect at the dealership. When we got there, we discovered what looked like at least 50 out of state Harleys in line for service. My first reaction was... we are soooo screwed. We found that the row of motorcycles were there for the start of an Iron Butt Charity ride. Whew! We got right in, got our tires and oil changes completed and were all set.

We did have an issue with the tire price. Scooter, who is handling the BMW/George transition told me they would charge list for the TKC80s. Well when the bill was added up the Scooter charged us way over Continentalís MSRP. Thanks to Jerry, the dealerís service manage, we were able to get the pricing straightened out.

My Motorcycle all set with new meat posing with Jerry, the service manage.

We met the guy with the beard later at the campground. Heís from Australia and has an incredible story Iíll get to later.

Scooter was just getting the BMW dealership set up. They had only one new BMW motorcycle on the floor.

Prudhoe Bay? 50 Harleyís? Let the carnage begin! And it did!
Here is the row of Charity Ride Motorcycles. From my count there were 46 in all. I saw a couple GSs and a Honda Sport Touring Bike. The rest Harleys dripping with perfect chrome and paint jobs. Its an interesting story with a personal surprise for me.

The Charity Group's plan was to ride up to Prudhoe Bay on June 19 and then down to Key West by July 7. They were raising money for the Special Olympics. The motorcycles were all shipped up from Georgia and Tennessee and delivered to the Outpost Dealership for the start of the ride. Jerry, the service manager told me that the company unloading the bikes dropped one. I spit coffee out laughing when he told me about the riders closely combing over their motorcycles looking for scratches after the word got around. Jerry, and other local Harley riders tried to dicourage them.

I later talked to the ride organizer. He seemed unaware of what was ahead of him. For those not familiar with BMW GSs, they are off road/road motorcycles that were made to fall over and not get damaged .. and we know that from experience. I couldnít image taking a chrome beauty cruiser on to the Haul Road.

Fortunately they have a chase vehicle and trailer to collect up the pieces.

AKDuc posted an article from the Fairbanks paper. Here is the headline and the first paragraph.

Bikes take a beating on the Haul Road

By Robinson Duffy
Staff Writer
Published June 22, 2007

The group of Lower 48 motorcyclists was told again and again that the Dalton Highway would be murder on bikes and bodies. Truck drivers experienced with the Haul Roadís merciless gravel surface urged the group not to make the trip. Local Harley-Davidson owners warned of the damage that bikes would take from flying rocks and the unavoidable spills.

The naysayers were right.

A big surprise was the female rider from Atlanta interviewed in the article is an old childhood friend. We grew up on the same street. I had not seen her in 20+ years and didnít know she was riding. Weíve since connected. Found out she made it to Key West and we plan to connect up in Atlanta this fall.

Big congratulations to her for the accomplishment!

OK, more pictures from Rivers Edge Campground.

Here is the Australianís Motorcycle and the tent. Interesting tent. Sort of looks like a catherdral? Donít recall his name but he had the familiar story, had a dream, quit the job and took off to do it.

Heís got a Paris Dakar and 1150 GS back in Australia. However he wanted to experience North America on a Harley. So he flew to the states and bought himself a big bagger and trailer. The Harley had a cool custom paint job complete, of course, with Kangaroos. Since October of last year he has put over 40,000 miles on his rig as he has traveled throughout the lower 48, Canada, Mexico and now Alaska. I later found out he took a number of prizes at the local Fairbanks Harley Rally over the weekend.

Another interesting couple we met was from Zanesville, Ohio. His name is Van and he left his big RV back in Zanesville and drove his CJ Jeep with a trailer up from Zanesville. We first met them at a construction delay at Kluane Park. Then ran in to them at a gas stop/restaurant. Then they showed up at the same campground in Fairbanks. What a coincidence?

Van use to live in Fairbanks. He and his wife won some real estate in a state lottery some time ago. So now he and his wife have convinced some friends to join him for the summer to help them build a summer home on the lot out in the suburbs of Fairbanks.

Here is Van his wife and their attack dog we dubbed ďkillerĒ. I hope to get an update on the house he is building. (Van---hint, hint!)

Here is Van his wife and another couple we met at the campground. I think they were from Iowa.

Never been to a city where the classic car's cruise the local campgrounds. Quite a show. Maybe 20 cars came through.

While in Fairbanks we picked up a few things we needed for the trip to the Arctic including 1 gallon gas cans from Home Depot to use as an additional reserve. Darn Chinese gas cans! Had to return it for one that didnít leak.

The Rivers Edge Campground let us store our excess luggage in their store room. I left my 2 side cases and compression bags since we did not plan to camp. The reduced weight made a big difference as I got use to handling the road conditions. A very good tip from others AdvRider ride reports.

After being done with the dealership, I rode around Fairbanks a bit. Disappointing to see how the big box stores, including Walmart and Home Depot, have decimated old downtown Fairbanks. You have to look at old black and white photos to get a sense of what it use to look like just 25 years ago.

OK so we got to Alaska in one piece. Now the trick is to stay in one piece Ė us and the motorcycles.

Next: On to the Haul Road (Dalton Highway) to Prudhoe Bay and the Dumpster (Dempster Highway) to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada.
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