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Old 09-17-2004, 03:24 PM   #31
lasvegasrider
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Poor Neduro, has to go out buy a KTM950


Oh the suffering

His experience is EXACTLY why I won't test ride one I must remain strong and avoid the Force.


Great ride report Ant Ware!!
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Old 09-17-2004, 09:59 PM   #32
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Tuesday 27/07/04

I'm already losing track of days & times. All I know is that I have a boat to catch at 4PM Pacific time today.

The clock on the bike's still in central, my watch is in mountain, and the GPS is in pacific...but that's the important one so bugger it.

I'm back on IH-82 as it winds it's way along the river on the way to Yakima and it's already starting to warm up.

I stiffened up the suspension and upped the preload before leaving home to compensate for the extra weight of the load, but the bike is acting a little strange.

It's windy today and the bike feels like a kite. Climbing some long sweepers at triple digit speeds, the front end feels vague on the gas and developes a slight weave.

Under hard breaking, the weight transfer overpowers the forks and pushes the front tyre.

There's so much suspension travel that the chassis geometry changes drastically whenever you go from hard acceleration to hard braking...maybe I should slow it down a bit

I pull over at a scenic overlook somewhere IH-90 only to find out that the scenery is obscured by local forest fires.

I bump into Jay from Washington riding a 72 Triumph Bonnie.



Jay had taken a long weekend off from the family ranch/farm and rode down to visit relatives in Oregon.

We chatted for a while as he fiddled with the tempremental Triumph. The plugs were fouling due to the changes in altitude, the points needed adjusting, the carbs needed fettling, and he thought it may be a little low on tranny oil as he was having trouble shifting.



"So where you heading?"

"Alaska"

"You're gonna ride to Alaska?"

"Sure, hope to"

"You gonna do all the maintenance yourself?"

"Sure...what maintenance would that be Jay"

Jays got things covered on his end, and besides, he's in no hurry to get back to the farm. We say our farewells and I head on out.

It's cool to see a fella as young as him doing things old school





I'm back on the freeway playing with the speed wobble.
Going down a steep downhill section i'm speeding up to pass a tractor-trailer before the next twisty section. I hit tailwind the from the rig doing about 125 and the bike goes into a highspeed melodic weave, not quite as hairy as a tankslapper, but pretty hairy none the less.

I don't want to shut off and transfer all that weight to the front but i'm not sure I can make the upcoming left hander at this speed with this wobble. I maintain trailing throttle and drag the rear brake slightly to help steady the weave.

I'm weighing up my options as I finally get along side the truck and out of the dirty air, things settle down enough for me to throw it in...hell, the only other options weren't really options anyway



Later in the day I sit behind another tractor-trailer doing around 90, in and out of the vortex I can play with weave.
I try shifting my weight around but can't find anything definitive. I end up releasing my grip on the bars and it works, the best solution I can come up with is to completely release the left grip, and lightly hold the right with my finger tips.

Seems as though the dirty air, buffeting around the screen is causing an effect tantamount to being grabbed by the shoulders and shaken. That shaking is then transfered through the body to the bars causing, or at least, contributing to the weave.

This is all seat of the pants conjecture, no animals were harmed during this experiment, and...YMMV


The Good Ship Malaspina

I reach the beautiful town of Bellingham around 1pm, and head to the Alaska Marine Highway office to ensure passage for the bike & myself to the tune of $675.

The ship doesn't load until 4pm so I head back into the town to grab a bite to eat and fuel up the bike. It's a gorgeous afternoon and there's plenty of people walking through the town enjoying the day...wish I'd brought me camera.

Back at the ship it's bikes to the front yeah baby.



I strip down and change out of my skanky-arse bike gear and change into street clothes for the first time since Ouray...which seems an absolute age away.

As I'm waiting to load a few other bikes turn up and I strike up a conversation with Patrick who's on his first road trip on his first bike, a new (yeah you guessed it) harley.

We bullshit for a bit while the drug dogs sniff around the bikes. Turns out he's in the military stationed in Nebraska and is on his way to visit his folks in Anchorage...and they don't know he has a bike...yet



Well, that's it, no more riding for 3 1/2 days your on your own for a few days matey




By the time I get the bike tucked in for the night all the good accomodations are taken

Cabins are fer wankers, all misfits, bohemians, gypsies, reprobates and ADVRiders, please report to tent city



I managed to clear a spot on the right, just at the edge of the solarium...home for the next few days. I really lucked out as it happens, the solarium actually shielded my tent from some of the winds at night...and the nice warm breeze wasn't bad either



I settle down to watch Bellingham, the harbour, and Mt Baker slowly disappear behind us as we creep our way into the Inside Passage.








A sweet end to a sweet 350 mile day.

It's a good feeling knowing that all the planning is starting to take shape.



Goodnight


...and the radio played...Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash

When I was just a baby, my mama told me, "Son,
Always be a good boy; don't ever play with guns."
But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.
When I hear that whistle blowin' I hang my head and cry.

I bet there's rich folk eatin' in a fancy dining car.
They're prob'ly drinkin' coffee and smokin' big cigars,
But I know I had it comin', I know I can't be free,
But those people keep a movin', and that's what tortures me



...thanks for listening.
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nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
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I chose not to choose life, I chose something else instead.

AntWare screwed with this post 09-21-2004 at 04:04 PM
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:27 PM   #33
Komet
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Nice report so far, Ant!
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Old 09-18-2004, 03:16 AM   #34
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Getting your space on the Ferry

So, if you are with a buddy do you recommend as soon as your on board one of you going to the Tent deck and staking your spot for your tents while the other person ties down the bikes?? Suggestions are appreciated. And what seemed to be the best spots to set up
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Old 09-20-2004, 07:53 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyGhost
So, if you are with a buddy do you recommend as soon as your on board one of you going to the Tent deck and staking your spot for your tents while the other person ties down the bikes?? Suggestions are appreciated. And what seemed to be the best spots to set up

Wouldn't be a bad idea mate...not sure how it is at different times of year but it was wall to wall, barely enough room to walk between the tents. At each port it thinned out a little so you could always move later.

Along the edge of the solarium was pretty protected from the nightly winds, along the rail was the windiest but had the best view...you could lay in your tent and watch the scenery go by.

Also, the metal deck had slight waves in it that would channel and hold rain, don't place your tent in a trough DAMHIK
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Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows,
stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home,
nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.
I chose not to choose life, I chose something else instead.
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Old 09-20-2004, 08:40 PM   #36
AntWare OP
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Wednesday 28/07/04


Most nights were breezy & most mornings overcast. But each day, without fail, the sun would finally penetrate and burn off the thick coastal fogs. Then, as El Sol finally won it's battle, the whole place would light up as though someone unseen had just snuck into the room and thrown back the curtains...













...and you instincively knew all was well with the world.


Sunrise at 4:30am in the 4th different time zone and seventh US state in as many days wakens me...in Canada...after sailing up the Straight Of Georgia and past Vancouver Island during the night.

People begin to meander around their home from home, feeling out their new neighbours. I'm enjoying the solitude so I grab a cup of java and a book and find a cubby hole on a small isolated balcony down on the lower decks. It's Ouray's fault, after spending the weekend with so many kindered spirits and like minded souls I've become a bit snobbish

...or maybe I'm just not a morning person




We won't be porting anywhere today, and that suits me just fine. What could be better than sitting back, reading a book, listening to some tunes and watching beautiful scenery float by at the speed it was designed to be viewed at while somebody else takes care of the driving.








Back in the other world of dollars and deadlines it's easy to lose sight of things going on around you...tunnel vision, target fixation, call it what you will. It's a primeval driving force to be the best at what we do that leads us down a narrow slippery path of self destruction, all the while, the wide open twisting treelined highways of self discovery are on the edge of our peripheral vision.

These trips are those highways.

I'm sat here realising that I've forgotten how to relax. Surrounded by serenity, i'm doing 200 mph inside my own skin.

We work longer...faster...harder...
...longer...faster...harder...
...longer...faster...harder...
...until one day we say bollocks, and we load up the bike and bugger off.

It's our therapy, stay-at-home mums have Dr Phil, we have KTM's, BMW's and the like...sorry ladies, but you got fooked


After a standing eight count, the clouds, and with them darkness, are back for their daily assualt on the sun which is beginning to drop behind the myriad of islands casting longer and longer shadows, a sure sign of defeat. As the wind picks up and the temperature drops proportionately it's time to make a move, I need to find some kindered spirits, I need to find some like minded souls, I need a drink...to the bar







...and the radio played...Same Old Story - Pennywise

It's patience trying, when you tell me how to live
Well you don't know anything
Your expectations are wearing thin
You won't even take a look, to see another way
You aren't even listeing
Take your ideals and go away

I'm not cut from the same mold
I don't read from the same old story
I'm not cut from the same mold
Don't know who you think I should be

I'm not cut from the same mold
I don't read from the same old story
I'm not cut from the same mold
I'm done with yours I'm living life for me



...thanks for listening.
__________________
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows,
stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home,
nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.
I chose not to choose life, I chose something else instead.

AntWare screwed with this post 09-23-2004 at 08:14 PM
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Old 09-20-2004, 08:43 PM   #37
GregInBoulder
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This is awsome! Rig your tent on the deck while the captian heads north and your moto is stowed below. Very cool. Keep it coming.
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Old 09-21-2004, 06:19 AM   #38
neduro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant Ware
Back in the other world of dollars and deadlines it's easy to lose sight of things going on around you...tunnel vision, target fixation, call it what you will. It's a primeval driving force to be the best at what we do that leads us down a narrow slippery path of self destruction, all the while, the wide open twisting treelined highways of self discovery are on the edge of our peripheral vision.

These trips are those highways.

I'm sat here realising that I've forgotten how to relax. Surrounded by serenity, i'm doing 200 mph inside my own skin.
Ant- Truer words were never spoken. How, in life, can we fit all the stuff in that we feel we should, without sacrificing the value of it all by rushing through?

Fuck if I know, but damn good tale. Really enjoying it. Ned
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Old 09-21-2004, 06:46 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant Ware
WTF?!? Is this boat in India?

Keep it coming Ant
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Old 09-21-2004, 06:47 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro
Ant- Truer words were never spoken. How, in life, can we fit all the stuff in that we feel we should, without sacrificing the value of it all by rushing through?

Fuck if I know, but damn good tale. Really enjoying it. Ned
I feel your pain brother...it can be tortureous... but it feels good to jump off the hamster wheel every now and then and just start throwing shit around the cage
__________________
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows,
stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home,
nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.
I chose not to choose life, I chose something else instead.
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Old 09-21-2004, 06:51 AM   #41
AntWare OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregInBoulder
This is awsome! Rig your tent on the deck while the captian heads north and your moto is stowed below. Very cool. Keep it coming.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilmostro
WTF?!? Is this boat in India?

Keep it coming Ant
thanks fella's
__________________
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows,
stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home,
nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.
I chose not to choose life, I chose something else instead.
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:13 PM   #42
AntWare OP
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Thursday 07/29/04

Docking in Ketchikan at around 9am I go in search of a hangover cure and use the stop as an opportunity to stock up on a few small supplies There's a small store/gift shop on the ship but it's pretty hit and miss whether or not they'll have what you need.

Chances are, the answer to the question "Do you have...?" is

"No, but we will after Ketchikan"

The stop is only for an hour or so, but as usual, the port area has everything you need within walking distance, nice restaraunts, gift shops etc.

One of the first buildings I come to is the local post office, so it's postcard time. I've been trying to send a card from each state to the folks back in the UK so they can track the trip. This is somewhat of a milestone, even if everything goes to shit tomorrow at least I made it as far as Alaska.

You can just see one of the Holland America cruise ships docked to the left of the lifeboat.




Back on board it's time for the captain to thread the needle. I'm not sure what kind of draught the Malaspina needs but it's obviously way less than the cruise ships. Still, navigating these babies can't be for the faint of heart...or buggers with hangovers.





With no hangover cure found, it's back to the bar for a bit of "the hair of the dog" ...but i'm not alone... man, this could get ugly




...and the radio played...Psycho Killer - Talking Heads

I can't seem to face up to the facts
I'm tense and nervous and I
Can't relax
I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire

Psycho Killer
Qu'est Que C'est
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
Run run run run run run run away
Psycho Killer
Qu'est Que C'est
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
Run run run run run run run away



...thanks for listening.
__________________
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows,
stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home,
nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.
I chose not to choose life, I chose something else instead.

AntWare screwed with this post 09-23-2004 at 08:25 PM
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Old 09-23-2004, 09:00 PM   #43
Komet
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Ant, was wind a problem for the tents? It seems like a strong wind would make for quite a mess.
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Old 09-23-2004, 09:16 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by komet
Ant, was wind a problem for the tents? It seems like a strong wind would make for quite a mess.
Some people were having more trouble than others mate, I duct taped the tent to the deck at the peg points while the deck was still dry and it held for the whole trip. Having all my gear inside helped as well.

The ferry pretty much stays in the Inside Passage and is somewhat protected by the islands, we did do a couple of open water crossings that are rumoured to get a little rough at times but we were really lucky with the weather on this trip


__________________
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows,
stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home,
nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.
I chose not to choose life, I chose something else instead.
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Old 10-01-2004, 07:38 PM   #45
AntWare OP
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Friday 30/07/04

There's a pretty interesting group of people in tent city. School teachers on summer break, college grads taking time out to travel after graduating, a couple of girls moving to Anchorage to go to Uni, and an Alaskan native or two.



Predictably, we've been hitting the bar pretty hard once the sun go's down and it doesn't take long for the BS to start flowing freely, especially from the teachers

Do yourself a favour, if you have school age kids...home school 'em


Early next morning we pull into Petersburg, a Norwegian settled village on the north end of Mitkof Island in the heart of the Tongass National Forest. The abundance of ice from local glaciers made it an ideal location for fish canneries.
It's still an active fishing port today and the ferry docks right at the mouth of the cannery.







Here's a LINK to the full size panoramic



The big cruise ships can't dock at the small fishing port so we pretty much had the island to ourselves...




...passengers from the cruise ships can take these small shuttle boats to the town if the so wish.
It's either too early in the morning or they've opted to stay in the hot tub and sip on a mocha choca latte because the place is deserted



...oh look, a whale.




Sitka

The second stop of the day is the Russian village of Sitka, located on the north end of Baranof Island it looks out into the Pacific Ocean. Besides being the home of the beautiful St Michaels Russian Orthodox church and Totem Square, it's also home to Castle Hill, where in 1867, the official handover from Russia to the US took place for the princely sum of $7.2 mil.


Juneau



The Mendanhall Glacier at the entrance to the Gastineau Channel leading to Juneau




Juneau's the only state capital that has to be reached by either sea or air, no RV's rolling up on this puppy.
The ferry actually drops you off about 15 miles outside of town so we absconded a minivan taxi for the ride into town. There's plenty of characters in Alaska from all over the country, It's said for many of them Alaska is the end of the road, our taxi driver is one of these chaps





There's a lot to see and do but we only have a couple of hours, so after walking around the town for a while we head down to the wharf and find a restaurant over looking the bay for beer and snow crab.





After procuring some libations of the liquor variety for after hour entertainment, we shagarse back to the ship for the final run up to Haines...

Ian & Mindy with Juneau as a backdrop


...Aaron, Jim & Patrick(who could have played Tom Cruises double back in his Topgun days.) get the shit started...



...it wasn't fuzzy when I took it, honest...






...and the radio played...New Dawn Fades - Joy Division

A change of scene, a change of style
A change of hope, with no regrets
A chance to watch, admire the distance
Still occupied, though you forget
Different colours, different shades
Over each mistakes were made - I took the blame
Directionless, so plain to see
A loaded gun won't set you free - so you say


...thanks for listening.
__________________
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family.
Choose a fucking big television.
Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows,
stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home,
nothing more than an embarrasment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose your future. Choose life.
I chose not to choose life, I chose something else instead.

AntWare screwed with this post 10-02-2004 at 08:31 AM
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