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Old 07-03-2009, 03:29 PM   #1
Alcan Rider OP
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Talking I'm Buying Lunch

Enough of this sitting at home, reading about everyone else going hither and yon, enjoying all three days of summer on their bikes. So I'm gonna see if I can wear out another TKC80 rear tire this weekend.

Figure if I leave here at 9:00 PM I should be in Deadhorse in time for lunch tomorrow. Then 750 miles back home before 9:00 AM on Sunday and I'll have bagged an Iron Butt BB1500. If anyone wants to ride from Fairbanks to Deadhorse with me, I'll spring for lunch. You won't hear of me making an offer like that but once in a lifetime.

However, if I break down or go down, and you leave me sitting beside the road - you buy your own damn lunch!

Regardless if I get any takers, it looks like I'll be waving at quite a few fellow FF's along the way. Everybody ride safe, and have a good time.
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:22 PM   #2
One Eye Mike
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Jack, you are an animal. If I wasn't busted up, I'd go with you........
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Old 07-03-2009, 04:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Eye Mike
Jack, you are an animal. If I wasn't busted up, I'd go with you........
Excuses, excuses. I was even thinking of buying ice cream at Hot Spot.

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Old 07-03-2009, 04:51 PM   #4
vegasphotog
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DAMN JACK....that sounds awesome......have a safe ride...and, yes, YOU ARE AN ANIMAL.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:09 PM   #5
One Eye Mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcan Rider
Excuses, excuses. I was even thinking of buying ice cream at Hot Spot.

Now you're killing me.........................
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:29 AM   #6
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Eh? Every Trip Is A Little Different

Had some chores and errands to complete before I could take off, and forgot that the windshield on the KLR needed some attention before another trip. As a result it was after 7:00 PM before I was able to lay down and take a little nap. Grab some vitamins and a Melatonin tablet to help me drift off to sleep, and now to dreamland. Except I wasn't sleepy. So... back up and take a cool shower to overcome the heat. Down again, and 20 minutes later, back up. Just too dang early to go to sleep yet. Might as well load the bike and head out. While packing, I noticed the Melatonin laying on top of the range. No wonder it was so difficult to nod off!

Had to go down to Copper Center to make sure I would be doing the minimum 750 miles plus a little "insurance" mileage. Got my witness forms signed and pulled out at 10:03 PM. Thanks to good ol' CRS, I had to swing by the apartment to grab a couple of things I'd forgotten, then on up through Isabel Pass. Kinda chilly around Paxson Lake around midnight, and between 202 and 203 miles on the Richardson, there was still quite a bit of ice - maybe 1 or 2 feet thick - on the Delta River flood plain. Through Delta Jct, North Pole, and fueled in Fairbanks at 2:45 AM. Then on to Coldfoot for breakfast at 8:00 AM. Right on target, and on track to make it to Deadhorse in 14 hours or so. Mentally, I was gloating over doing the whole 1500+ in about 30 hours overall.

Around Mile 29 there is a good crop of fireweed blooming, and the colors are brighter and more vibrant even than last year's crop. The same at Mile 82, and I can't go by without taking a quick photo, even knowing that a camera will never be able to capture the view as the naked eye can -


Finished with breakfast and fueling in Coldfoot by 8:30 and on up and over Atigun Pass before 10:00. A little loose gravel as the road climbs from the Galbraith Lake turn-off, but not bad overall... for the Haul Road.

About then the Fickle Finger of Fate decided to give me the ADV salute. Cruising along, minding my own business, when the KLR seems to run out of gas and the engine quits. Whatthe?? Only 168 miles since filling up, haven't been pushing it that hard... Open the aux fuel valve, give it a little time to get flowing, give it some choke. Starts, but under protest. Get going again... about 100 feet at the most, and it quits again. Time to do some serious diagnostics. After checking everything else, found that it was low on oil, even though it had been topped off before starting this trip. Took my full quart of Rotella without even showing in the sightglass window. Not good! Finally got moving again, but taking it easier now because the engine is making loud tick-tick-tick noise.

Just a little while later, shortly after getting on the loose gravel at Mile 362.5, I came up behind 3 BMW riders taking it slow and cautious. There are just 3 useable tracks at this point, and they are occupying all three. While I've been holding it down to 40 or 45, these guys are doing no more than 25. Get around the rear two on the far right track, but the front rider is in the middle one, and is too close to the righthand track, so I cut across and start around him on the far left. About then, that track narrows down and I find myself in some deep gravel, and the front end wallows. About 5 or 6 cycles and I'm on my side, plowing a furrow in the piled up rocks. Damn! But neither bike or rider are damaged, and one of the two rear riders comes over to help me get the bike up and away I go again, as I watch the lead rider pull over to the far right and light up a cigarette. He's not happy with the road conditions, I can tell. Shot this photo on the way south, with the furrow still apparent -

On the way north, the sun had been behind me, so there was little shadow detail. The only clue to where the tracks were was a very slight difference in color. By the time I was heading south, the sun was casting some shadows on the tracks, making them much more apparent.

Get into Deadhorse and head straight for NAPA to pick up a gallon of oil. Then off to Colville, Inc to pour some unleaded into the tank, and back out onto the Dalton by 4:30 PM. The wind had been brutal on the way north, coming from the Northeast, blowing the bike across the loose gravel, threatening to toss it onto its side again. Going south, it was a little better, as there is now a tailwind component.

Back to Coldfoot around 8:45, fueled, fed, and out of there by 9:40 PM. Off the Dalton around 1:30 AM to air the tires back up for the rest of the trip. By now it's obvious the 30 hours projection is out the window, and it will be a little tighter than originally figured. Even contemplated just calling this a Saddlesore 1000, as I was over 1000 miles and just under 24 hours. But I've done plenty of those already and don't need another piece of the same paper.

Get to Hilltop, which is still closed at 4 AM and, feeling a little sleepy after being up for 44 hours with no sleep, riding for around 30 hours of that, I set the Screaming Meanie for 30 minutes and doze off... for all of 45 minutes, as I had forgotten to start the countdown on the Meanie.

Starting to look like I might not make the 36 hour deadline if I have any more problems, so I do a quick fuel-up at the Fred Meyer in Fairbanks and get back on the road. Doing fine until I get down to around Mile 222 when the drowsies hit me... hard. It's obvious that if I don't take a nap I'll fall asleep on the bike, so I park and sit down, leaning on the bike. Must have slept for 1/2 an hour or so, and the gravel where the bike was parked was making a painful indentation in my butt when I woke up. Doing some quick calculations shortly after we were moving again, I could see that I had to make 115 miles in 108 minutes, with the Summit Lake shoreline, Paxson Lake shoreline, and the Richardson south of Paxson Lake still to come. Add in some slow RV's and a sick KLR, making the outcome of this attempt a real question.

KLR is a lot like driving an 18-wheeler in that knowing the road helps a lot against the competition other traffic. Following one 50 mph class-C for a few miles, we came to one curve that I recalled was followed by a short straight, and fell back enough for a good run to build speed before pulling out to pass. Luckily there was no oncoming traffic and the pass was successful. As the miles whizzed by, the calculations were showing that we might make it yet. Ninety-eight miles in 95 minutes, 87 in 85, and finally! 65 in 65. Going past the Glenn Hwy intersection it looked like I was 6 minutes to the good so I eased off a bit. It would really kill me to be sitting on the shoulder, talking to one of our finest for 10 minutes, so close to the end.

Got back to Copper Center a couple of minutes before 10, and my final receipt shows I made it in just 5 minutes under the full 36 hours. Closer even than a Saddlesore attempt from Michigan to Wyoming back in '02 when I was just 15 minutes to the good... and my starting receipt that time didn't have a time stamped on it, so the run across the Midwest was wasted.

Another great trip - even managed to shoot a few photos along the way - but it looks like the KLR is out of service until I find out what is wrong with it internally. Might even have to put the ol' Suzuki back into service this summer and let it take me to Deadhorse a fifth time.
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The Lure of the Dalton, The Lure of the Dempster, Haul Road Chronicles, My Evening Rides, Alaska Primer
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Alcan Rider screwed with this post 12-28-2009 at 08:13 AM
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:08 AM   #7
One Eye Mike
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Awesome.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:48 AM   #8
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Quite the hard won journey... thanks for sharing it.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
AKDuc
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WOW!

You are amazing. I can't even imagine doing that.

Sorry to hear about no time stamp but glad you made it thru ok and had a pretty good trip.

Strange about the KLR. I'm curious about what the problem is.

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Old 07-06-2009, 03:23 PM   #10
One Eye Mike
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We know it's not the final drive..............
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:56 PM   #11
One Eye Mike
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Jack,
How many miles are on the KLR?
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:29 PM   #12
KHuddy
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It's that F-ing 8 million candle-power light he puts on the front of that thing; it has sucked all the mojo out of the poor little bike.
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:22 PM   #13
AKtracks
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Congrats Jack! akwerf and I were south bound from Galbraith Lake and had apparently passed you on your north bound leg (I didn't recognize you with the change to the KLR windscreen).
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Old 07-06-2009, 05:22 PM   #14
KHuddy
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Looking at this picture I have an observation and some questions:

First, this bit of road is an indication that ADOT is just plane mean. They are doing this just to make life miserable. Second, from the picture it would appear that riding the shoulder might be a faster route... true? And, lastly, Jack are you out of your ever loving mind? And, did you not notice the lack of time stamp before you rode 1500 miles?

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Old 07-07-2009, 12:56 AM   #15
Alcan Rider OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKBeemer
Looking at this picture I have an observation and some questions:
First, this bit of road is an indication that ADOT is just plane mean. They are doing this just to make life miserable.
And they are doing it quite successfully, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKBeemer
Second, from the picture it would appear that riding the shoulder might be a faster route... true?
Faster out into the tundra. In fact, there are a few tracks leading out there along that stretch of road. Several riders have ended up losing it by getting sucked onto the edge. Since there is no traffic there, it is even looser than where trucks pack it down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKBeemer
And, lastly, Jack are you out of your ever loving mind?
That's a given.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKBeemer
And, did you not notice the lack of time stamp before you rode 1500 miles?
Sorry, guess I didn't make it clear that that happened on the run across the Midwest in '02, not this ride. After that fiasco I check the receipts very carefully... even if I have to dig out my reading spectacles.
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"I am in the prime of senility." Ben Franklin
I'm so old I remember when the gallons rose faster than the dollars on gas pumps.
The Lure of the Dalton, The Lure of the Dempster, Haul Road Chronicles, My Evening Rides, Alaska Primer
Haul Road Primer
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