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Old 01-10-2009, 03:19 AM   #1
Northern Rob OP
Con Brio!
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Vancouver
Oddometer: 606
Canadian Arctic Winter Ride; Ice Roads and the Dempster Highway

Iíve been planning this ride for two years and am chomping at the bit to get going. This ride starts in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories on March 29th 2009. We ride through to Dawson City and take the Dempster Highway up to the Arctic Circle, Inuvik and the Ice Roads to Tuktoyaktuk for some kick back sun and fun on the fabulous Arctic Ocean coast.

We plan to start Mile Zero of the Dempster Highway on April 1st Ė April Fools day Ė which my wife says is very appropriate. (What does she mean by that?). I picked those dates to take advantage of the Northís unique weather and light. If you go too early in the season it can be really, really, really cold, windy and dark. After the spring equinox you get a lot more light - and with a bit of luck - less severe weather, but for a few more weeks its still cold enough to keep the ice strong and the roads open and safe.

The winter Ice road is the only road to Tuk, so if you want to ride your bike all the way to the Arctic Ocean on the Dempster, you can only do it in the winter.

If you leave later in April, you run the risk of having the ice bridges close and you canít cross the rivers on the way up to Inuvik. Or youíll get stuck up in Tuk or Inuvik and have no way to get back home other than flying and shipping your bike back later in the summer.

My goal for the trip is to have a lot of fun with a few of my buddies that are coming along, and to share the spectacular scenery of Canadaís north and its people with them and with you.

Itís as much about photography and enjoying the unique sights and people as it is about the ride.

Iím posting this because Iíve really enjoyed reading other folks ride reports and seeing their pictures. It helps me get through the winter riding season blues. And your ride reports, tips and pictures have helped me tweak my gear and think about the next rides I want to do. I appreciate it! So Iím hoping I'll have some good pictures and stories to share with you and give a bit back Ö good karma and all thatÖ Also, Iíve got a few more issues that I would like your advice on, so hoping for some more of that great ADV RIDER help.

Hereís what the ride isnít about. Iím not trying to out-macho anyone. I'm not the least bit interested in knocking off Paul Mondorís well earned crown as the Iceman or to outdo anyone. Iím not the best or toughest rider out there and I know it. I donít have anything to prove. If the weather gets really bad, and things look unsafe weíll stop or turn around.

Bottom line, Iím not waving my fist at the gods in defiance, I am requesting safe passage for my journey.

This ride has been done before on motorbikes - three times that I am aware of and probably a few more times that never got written up. But given the unique rich history and beauty of the area and its people, I think they deserve a more in depth story and photo journal being shared than I have been able to find from previous rides. I hope this trip can remedy that!

I will be riding a modestly modified 2wd Ural Gear Up sidecar bike, have a 4X4 support vehicle, emergency satellite communication and camping/survival gear that I trust I will not need. Hopefully Iíll be over-prepared and over-supplied Ė but its good to be ready in case Mr Murphy comes waving his stupid law.

Will post more soonÖ


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