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Old 02-23-2013, 12:16 PM   #331
dirtdreamer50
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"I was shocked when after just 80 miles my tank ran out of gas and I had to switch it to reserve. Riding before without all my gear I could get 120 miles on my little 3 gallon tank. But now with the extra load I realized I might have a problem in remote areas (like Alaska) with having enough gas. I ended up stopping six times total that day in 500 miles."

Rich, here's a quote from an early post she made. Seems her mpg change came after loading the bike for the trip. She got your mileage before the gear was added. tp
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:46 PM   #332
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WTF was that crazy reply posted at around 2:35? Disappeared really fast. Must have been some spam crap. tp
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:56 PM   #333
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtdreamer50 View Post
WTF was that crazy reply posted at around 2:35? Disappeared really fast. Must have been some spam crap. tp
Didn't see it. What did it say.?
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:11 PM   #334
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It was from vialfelepaY, and it was several paragraphs of nonsense about clothes, models and mannequins. I could post it from my email notification, but obviously the powers that be saw correct in deleting it as it proved no relevance to this or any thread on ADV.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:45 PM   #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtdreamer50 View Post
"I was shocked when after just 80 miles my tank ran out of gas and I had to switch it to reserve. Riding before without all my gear I could get 120 miles on my little 3 gallon tank. But now with the extra load I realized I might have a problem in remote areas (like Alaska) with having enough gas. I ended up stopping six times total that day in 500 miles."

Rich, here's a quote from an early post she made. Seems her mpg change came after loading the bike for the trip. She got your mileage before the gear was added. tp
Hmm, I missed that post...I thought I saw her write in her early riding testing days that she was only getting 80 MPG, sorry for the confusion, Carry On!

I guess all I can say is that I am as shocked as she was that she was getting such bad mileage, and I would like to understand why it happened, as my experience was different.

http://badrad600.com/radian-1webready.jpg

Perhaps she was carrying 100lbs more than me...and that is a big "Perhaps", but it still doesn't account for that huge loss of MPG.

I'm very sorry, and not trying to hijack the thread...but I am truly confused by this.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:32 PM   #336
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Think that higher altitude riding may have played a part, too? I've never loaded a bike down like she did, and made a comparison on mileage. Living in Texas, not much high altitude to ride, either... tomp dd50

I'm ready for another update. Want to know how she handled her days on the ferry... This is the BEST RR I have ever read... tp

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Old 02-23-2013, 11:57 PM   #337
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Spent the afternoon reading this fine report.

Very few riders are as tough as you.

Good job, Anna.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:06 AM   #338
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Great RR, thanks for taking us along.
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:37 AM   #339
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Just spent two mornings reading this great RR over multiple cups of jo. Very inspiring Anna.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:21 PM   #340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtdreamer50 View Post
Think that higher altitude riding may have played a part, too? I've never loaded a bike down like she did, and made a comparison on mileage. Living in Texas, not much high altitude to ride, either... tomp dd50
tp
Higher altitude riding can certainly affect the Rad's performance, as it is has carbs instead of Fuel Injection.

The highest I ever was (on a motorcycle) was when I crossed Cottonwood Pass in Colorado, at a bit over 12,000 feet. My Radian that was tuned for sea level. I definitely did notice performance issues at that height, and probably had performance issues that I didn't notice at maybe lower altitudes.

However, when Anna wrote that she "was shocked when after just 80 miles my tank ran out of gas and I had to switch it to reserve," she was in West Virgina, which, although it has "Mountains," is really only hilly, compared to the West.

The highest point in WV is only 4863 feet (according to google).

I defy you, or anyone else for that matter, to discern a difference in performance with their ass-o-meter...I grant you that there will be less fuel economy 5000 feet above the altitude that the bike is tuned for, but it's minimal.

We are talking about a 33% reduction in fuel economy (80mpT versus 120mpT) and I still think that at some point Anna will chime in to mention a mal-adjusted clutch cable, or some other gremlin was sapping the bike of its reliable 45+ MPG (Highway).

This isn't just my opinion about the Radian's MPG averages, I cite these numbers with years of experience of not only riding, but also participating in the Radian Newsgroup. There have been discussions there in the past regarding fuel consumption.

I hope I don't sound argumentative...I am certainly passionate about my bike...and I am trying to make sure that people don't assume that this great little bike get's only 80 miles to a tank...because that is completely inaccurate in my, and many other, Radian owner's experience.

I hope I explained myself in a clear and concise manner.

Best regards,

Rich
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:59 PM   #341
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thank you very much
I am moved
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:10 PM   #342
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I've got gas, if it helps.

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Old 02-25-2013, 08:58 PM   #343
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I feel your pain...try Beano?
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:23 PM   #344
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Virginia to Alaska and back on an '86 Yamaha Radian

Anna,

I know you have heard this hundreds of times already but this is by far the best RR on here. Not only am I completely jealous of your experience but I am in awe of you! You're not crazy, your determined, your strong, your hardheaded, and you Ma'am are a fighter! I would love to do something similar and for such a great reason.

This is the first RR I have read that I've been glued to and can not wait to read the rest. I'm sure it's probably very emotional but we value every single word you type. Thank you from the very depths of my soul! I hope this adventure helped you in your journey and I'm quite sure Dan was and will forever be with you.

It would be my pleasure to buy you a drink one day!

Take care,
Shannon
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:33 PM   #345
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Day 25: Alaska Marine Highway: Day 1

Day 25:
June 14, 2012
Alaska Marine Highway: Haines, AK – Prince Rupert, BC: Day 1

The ferry didn’t leave until 10:00am. But I woke early as usual, packed up, and went into town to get myself a proper breakfast before being trapped on a boat for two days.

The only place open was Bear-rittos. The place had a grand entrance with a life-size bear statue over the doorway. Fittingly to the house’s name, I had a breakfast burrito with all the heavenly grease only a bear would dare consume in one sitting; home fries, sausage, and eggs wrapped in orgasmic goodness.



With a blissful belly, I rode down to the ferry terminal four miles down Lutak road. Hardly anyone was there. Great! Maybe I’ll have the boat to myself. I checked in and still had two hours to kill, so I asked if it would be okay to leave and come back. The man there said so long as I got back five minutes before loading, it would be fine.

I decided to ride down to Chilkoot Lake, another six miles down the road. The road followed the edge of the inlet with marsh banks and rocky beaches lining a thick forest of evergreen trees. As the inlet became narrower and narrower it gradually merged with the Chilkoot River before ending at the lake.





I passed some beautiful hand-carved totem poles and spotted some bald eagles nesting in the trees. I wandered around the recreation area and saw several fishermen enjoying the peaceful quiet morning as I was.





I have never done much fishing, but I think I would enjoy it. I stood there watching them. There’s something so capturing about the stillness and patience required while waiting for that bite.

Time seems to slow down when on the water. It forces you to be in that moment, present in the surrounding natural environment with only the sounds of the water, wind, and nature. No distractions contaminate the purity between you and what swims below the water.

I realized this was exactly the same experience I felt on a motorcycle.

Maybe that’s why I couldn’t stop. I was addicted to this level of detachment I had put myself in. I had detached myself from the modern world and its dark realities, unable to cope, unable to embrace the ones that loved me.

I was afraid to allow myself to love, afraid of losing what I loved most. I couldn't allow myself to be loved. I felt I had nothing to give and therefore could not receive. So I ran away from it all, finding peace within the realness of the natural world.

As I headed back to the ferry terminal I saw three brown bears down in the marshes. They were feeding by the side of the river and I pulled over to watch them for a while. They were pretty far away, and I felt safe being on the bike with a quick departure if needed.







The bears started to migrate towards the road. Slightly concerned they were headed in my direction, I predicted if they continued in the same path they would cross just 50ft or so ahead of me. However, if I drove on, I would probably cross the road in the same spot as them at the same time. I decided to wait anxiously.

One bear came stumbling out to the pavement lifting its nose in the air and curling its lip before slowly turning its head in my direction. I could feel my heart racing. It stood still in the center of the road holding direct eye contact with me for what felt like eternity. Then it stood onto its hind legs, cocking its head to the side as if to take a better look at the strange object it was observing--me.



It was enough to almost make me panic. I was trying to read the situation. Is it just checking me out from a distance? Are those it’s babies behind it and it’s threatened? Is it about to charge me? If so, I better pull a u-turn fast and hope I don’t drop the bike. But then behind me the road just dead ends at the lake. Oh God.

I started honking my little Radian horn, which sounds more like a dog’s squeak toy. But it was enough to startle the bear, and it ran off into the woods. I had a great sigh of relief that I didn’t get eaten by a bear on my last day in Alaska. Although, if I was going to die on this journey, it would have been an appropriate ending.

When I got back to the ferry terminal the amount of cars in line had doubled. I was glad I wasn’t one of them and passed them all to the front of the bike lane. Bikes first suckers!





I was glad to see there was another biker in line on a BMW F800GS. It was fully decked out with every piece of extra fancy gear you could attach to one. I immediately felt excited to have a comrade on board and introduced myself. His name was Dennis and he was on his way back home to California after taking a month off work to tour around Alaska.

We compared gear and all the in’s-and-out’s of how we packed, what we brought, favorite pieces of equipment (mine was the throttle rocker), along with what was still on the wish list for next time. For me, it was heated gear. For him, it was a thermostat for his heated gear. Apparently he didn’t have one and the weather was so cold he never felt his heated socks blistering a sore onto his toe that he was now suffering from. Good to know.

We talked about the cold and the discouraging rain. He said he was actually going home early because he was so sick of the weather and disappointed with his time in Alaska. I understood completely and explained I was thankful to have at least one beautiful day on the Denali Highway. That was my day in Alaska that made all the suffering worth wild.

Just five minutes before boarding the ferry, Dennis and I heard the sound of another bike. We turned to see a BMW F650GS flying down the road and peel into the bike lane with a screeching halt. The look on the guys face was somewhat panicked. “Oh my God, I can’t believe I made it here in time,” he said.

After running inside to check-in he came back out with a slightly slower pace and relaxed face. He introduced himself as Billy, and he and Dennis both remembered meeting each other in Dawson City on their way into Alaska. The three of us were instant friends and the official biker gang of the Alaskan Marine Highway for the next two days.



It was the first time for all of us, loading our bikes onto a ferry to be strapped down and abandoned for longer than any of us had allowed over the last month. It made me feel a little more comfortable they were there to help me strap the bitch down, since I had no idea how to use those things. I’d just been carrying them for the last 7,100 miles.

I had heard all the horror stories already about loading bikes onto a ferry. They’re wet, they’re slick, they have weird grated ramps that grab the tire, they have bumps and lumps and cracks to avoid; you name it. I was a bit nervous, but I made it aboard without a humiliating moment. (Unless you count me having to ask Billy to help me tie down my bike because I had no idea how to use my tie downs).



What a girl, I know.



We were the first vehicles aboard, and the last people to leave the car deck. After double checking and triple checking the bikes were secure, I gave the final test to the Radian and stood on its saddle with a shit-eating grin. It was not going to budge.



We still had to unload all our crap from the bikes we would need for the next two days. Apparently we wouldn’t be allowed to come down and check on them or get anything during the course of the trip, something I was a bit sad and anxious about.

I didn’t rent a cabin like the boys did (what pussys). One, I didn’t want to pay for it, and two, I had heard sleeping on deck under the solarium gave ample opportunity to spot whales and dolphins. So, I dug out my sleeping bag, clothes and food bag, stuffed it all into my backpack, and strapped the rest of my gear down to the bike, not to be seen for two days.

The boys went to check-in to their rooms, both kindly offering to let me share with them since each cabin had two beds. I was excited to camp out on deck, however, and went up to claim my spot.







The solarium is a covered part of the top deck at the stern of the ferry with heat lamps and ample benches to sleep on like cots. Bathrooms with flushing toilets and hot showers are right there as well. Free standing tents are allowed (which mine is not), but I felt with the area already sheltered, why have a tent? I wanted to be able to look out the windows from my sleeping bag.

It looked like I was going to be the only one up there, with no tents or bags in sight, so I grabbed a bench next to the window hoping to catch a glimpse of some whales from my bed.

By the time I had my space claimed and changed into my street clothes, the ferry had departed from Haines. I decided to take a tour around the ferry and see what this boat thing was all about.

The ferry had three levels. The top deck was mostly observation areas including the solarium at the stern and another open deck at the bow. This is where those that weren’t afraid of the cold wind and scattered rain would gather in hopes of spotting a whale.





On the second level there was an enclosed observation area at the bow with comfy seats, tables, and couches. This place tended to get packed full of people claiming entire couches to themselves to sleep on. The only rule was, no backpacks were allowed. I stayed away from this place and was more than comfortable in my private solarium slightly exposed on the top deck.

Walking towards the stern I passed the bar. Unfortunately they were closed but I made a mental note of their hours. Then I passed the gift shop packed full of all the Alaskan crap you can buy including souvenirs from places where you may have forgotten to buy something, as well as warm weather gear for those unhappily unprepared for the weather.

Then I came to the cafeteria. This place was stocked full of expensive, crap food that really didn’t interest me. I did however drink their coffee, probably all their coffee. But I only paid for one cup. It was crap too. But with a little whiskey in it, it was just fine.

I found a quiet corner to sit with my coffee and write in my journal by the window of the cafeteria. Before long my two biker buddies found me and joined me for some coffee. We spotted several dolphins from there as we sat talking, and maybe even a few whales. It was hard to tell from so far away.

I educated myself with the identification pictures on the cafeteria tables illustrating different common species of cetaceans and pinnipeds seen from the Alaskan Marine Highway.

Amongst the cetaceans, whale species include Humpbacks, Orcas, Belugas, and Bowheads. As for dolphins and porpoises, the White-sided dolphin and Dall porpoise are commonly seen playfully racing at the bow of the ferry leaping gleefully in the air.

Amongst the pinnipeds, Harbor seals and Stellar sea lions are the most commonly seen close to shallow water, ports and beaches. The less commonly seen species are the Northern Fur seals, whose population was severely diminished due to heavy amounts of fur trading during the early 1900’s. Now they remain protected by the Fur Seal Act and populations are slowing growing again.

Juneau was the first port we docked at. It was only for an hour or so, which gave us no time to go into town to see anything since the ferry terminal is miles away. I was stir crazy already, however, and eager to get off the boat to stretch my legs for a little while.



Dennis decided not to join. His blistered toe was causing discomfort to walk in the slightest, so Billy and I walked down the road following the water of the inlet to see what we would find.

We walked through some residential areas along the water until we saw a path leading down some steps onto a bank next to a small cove. The ground was covered with large, round rocks blanketed with purple muscles, green kelp and barnacles. It was beautiful but I couldn’t take a step without a deadly crunching underfoot.





I felt comfortable in the company of Billy. He felt like an old buddy I could open up to and laugh with like the good old days. It was good for me to talk and nice to have a friend.

We walked back to the ferry and spotted a bald eagle perched on the fence. The massive bird seemed so quietly confident, unnerved by the ferry terminal’s industrial surroundings. It struck me as a gate keeper, patrolling its watchful eye on those that passed.



We found our other comrade and made a plan to meet in the bar later to share a pitcher, or two, or three, of beer.

I went back to my humble abode on deck and snacked on some salmon and cheese crackers before indulging in a hot shower. Soap had never smelled so good. I had never smelled so bad. Then again, I probably have.

Sadly I didn’t have any clean underwear, so it was commando style for me until my knickers dried after a long soak in the sink with some Dr. Bronners.

I met the boys in the bar lounge. The venue was next to empty, aside from a few sitting at the bar. I guess we were the drinking rebels on board. We squatted there taking turns buying pitchers of beer while telling dirty fart jokes and laughing until last call.

Pitcher of Alaskan Amber: $26
Pitcher of Alaskan Stout: $30
Pitcher of Alaskan Pale Ale: $26

Sitting with company that makes you smile: Priceless

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