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Old 06-21-2014, 07:57 PM   #1
StrokedNBored
 
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Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Prologue:

Well, like all good stories this one starts in the middle... not the middle of this ride, mind you. Not in the middle of my life (hopefully). Not in the middle of a divorce (she might have because of this - but i haven't married her yet --> Win). But, in the middle of the summer in Texas when you just want to head north towards cooler weather.

After riding 48 States in 10 Days last September, I decided to do the only logical thing there was left to do... open my very own combination oil change/manicure/hair salon place in South Austin... Ok, maybe not. But, the place is weird enough for it to work...

Where was I? ... Oh yeah, I decided to ride to Alaska.

I started reading books, stories, ride reports and watching youtube videos of people's experiences while traveling through the Yukon and beyond. That'll get ya hooked quick.


This is an amazing series of videos that 2 guys shot riding from Nebraska to Deadhorse in 2011. If that doesn't make you want to go do it for yourself... I'm not sure what will. I watched the whole series through and bought a v-strom a week later.... this was going to happen.

The Plan:

Iron Butt pace out of Austin making a B-Line north. Ride across Canada and get lost in the mountains of Canada and Alaska for a week or so. Camp along the way/Hotel if needed, Tire Change in Fairbanks, Do magic and make 1/2 my seat disappear from clenching while i ride the Dalton. Check out the sights. Then B-line back home.



A. Nuthin'
B. Nuthin' Eh?
3. Moose avoidance training
q. 1000 miles of "Come to Jesus" moments
R. Recalibration as to how beautiful this world really is
&. Avoid Yogi and the boys while camping
7. Tap the rockies (coors light) - National parks, $1M highway
F. Back home through the Hairdryer-like texas heat in the summer.

Work is pretty tough to get more than a few days off at a time, but I managed to get 2 full weeks off + July 4th. So that gives me 17.5 days of riding time to get this done. I'll trim some of the stops off, I'm sure, as i go - depending on the progress i'm making, but i'm counting on a minimum of 10 hours in the saddle/day with 1 or 2 "easy" days built in.

My office for the trip:


A. Spot Tracker - The "Come quick and bring the heli-chopters button" also lets loved ones and stalkers know where i'm at.

B. Garmin GPS - Utilizes multiple geosynchronous orbiting satellites and some flavor of witch-craft called "Triangulation" to route me in the wrong direction 50% of the time.

3. Gopro - My Early Warning Device. Based on previous experience - This will record the miles of dull, un-interesting portion of the trip and then the batteries will die moments before something beautiful/dangerous/fun comes into view. Just watch for the light to go out and get ready to hold on.

D. Sped-O-Meter - No, I spelled that right. Not a speedometer. It tells me A speed. It's not my speed, the bike's speed or the crazy blue-haired ladies speed that happens to be driving next to me at the moment. The Japanese were able to make an engine that only needs a valve-shim adjustment every ice age... but they couldn't figure out to measure how fast it was going.

F. Fuel Gauge/Temp gauge/Idiot lights - The fuel gauge is full when there is 1 bar missing and the instant it clicks to 1 bar remaining, you have precisely enough time to mutter curse words under your breath and pull over as the engine dies.
I can only assume the temp gauge works because it heats up and cools down proportionally to me.
The idiot lights are all off, which worries me because it should know that i'm driving it and respond appropriately.

$. Tach - Works... spends lots of time above 6K

W. Bark-busters - for those trees I plan to hit.

T. Aux Light switch - Connected to legal(debatable) aux lights that are bright as ****.... good thing i'm heading to a place that gets 19 hours of light each day.

7. Phone - Uses the stuff I make at work to connect me (magically) to the rest of the world on a whim. Except when theres no coverage (Canada/Alaska) and where i don't want to pay for international roaming charges (Canada).... So, it's going to play music for me instead.

g. Throttle lock - The lazy button. Useful for letting you take pictures, eat something, take a drink, adjust "stuff" with your right hand and many more not-quite safe things while riding.

Z: Random parts I forgot to re-install (there's always extras) and tools (mostly hammers) that I haven't picked up yet after giving the bike a once-over

Absent from Pic:

1. Heated grip switch - 2 settings: Off and Burn
2. Powerlett outlet - Powers Camera and Gopro battery charger in my tank bag - This way, when the gopro dies and I see something interesting, I can put another one in thats charged already... and as soon as it dies, I can see something interesting again.
3. 2 Cig Outlets - Powers Phone and GPS
4. Battery LED - Lets me know when its getting close to pushing time.
5. Coax Cable - For heated vest/gloves


The bike is ready, Panniers are packed, gear is prepped... and now we play the waiting game....

The Trip kicks off July 3rd after a half-day at work.

Spotwalla
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Dang, two weeks to ride that? We did it in three weeks and looking back on it, I feel like I didn't see hardly a thing other than the pavement. And that was us trailering the bikes from DFW to Calgary and back, driving in shifts with no breaks. So that cut 2-4 days off of our travel time if we had done it by bike.

Have fun, and I hope you get to see more than just the pavement. Because truth be told, Canada and Alaska pavement looks a whole heck of a lot like the stuff we have down here.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:35 PM   #3
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

I'm jealous. Tried a trip like this 2 years ago and my motor seized 30 miles into AK.

2 weeks is gonna be tough.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:54 PM   #4
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Subscribed
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:19 PM   #5
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Awesome! Watching with jealousy.

sent from a phone, excuse typos
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:05 PM   #6
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Subscribed.
If anyone can do it, it's the guy that rode 48 states in 10 days !!
If we weren't in Texas I would ride the first couple of days with you. That part is going to suck. I'm sure you'll be burning 1000 - 1200 miles the first couple of days to get to the good stuff.
We'll live thru it via your Spot. Good luck and be safe.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:44 AM   #7
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

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Old 06-22-2014, 07:59 AM   #8
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

I'm looking forward to this one. I'll be checking in (stalking) your Spot Tracker through out your trip. Enjoy.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Stalker here

Be safe

Have fun!
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:01 PM   #10
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Have fun. Looking forward to the pictures and stories.
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:55 AM   #11
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

You write great ride reports. This one will top your last one by far. I'll be following it closely. Good luck! Are keeping the stock seat or using a custom one?
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:11 PM   #12
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Subscribed. Jealous.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:06 PM   #13
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2N2OUT View Post
+1
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Old 06-23-2014, 08:52 PM   #14
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by TX_northstar View Post
Subscribed. Jealous.
+1
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:21 PM   #15
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Sounds awesome! I can't wait till I can have an adventure like that!!
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:14 PM   #16
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Let's see...I made it to AK in 8 days, but I was not in a hurry. All the way to Prudhoe Bay and back in 17.5 days...sounds aggressive. Minimum 10000 miles round trip. Don't forget to change the oil in Fairbanks!! Have a great trip
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:14 PM   #17
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

In!!!
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:41 PM   #18
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
You write great ride reports. This one will top your last one by far. I'll be following it closely. Good luck! Are keeping the stock seat or using a custom one?
Thanks! I'm hoping to keep it updated while on the road, but it will probably just be with quick pics and check-ins due to the schedule. I'll most likely write the whole thing up after I get back again... but we'll see.

About the seat: Stock seat + Airhawk cusion - it has over 15,000 miles on it and my butt feels pretty good. I thought about buying a Corbin off of Mr2mch, but decided I wouldn't get enough time to test it before I head out.
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:31 PM   #19
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

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Old 06-24-2014, 08:45 PM   #20
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Re: Austin to Alaska ... July 2014

on the bucket list.
subscribed.
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