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Old 01-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #211
drdubb's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Oddometer: 463
Thanks for sharing

Thanks for this ride report. I'm the father of three daughters and I told them to have adventures while young. Much easier w/o house payment, kids etc.

The youngest has already hiked Machhu Pichu, wandered Spain and France, done the RAGBRAI bicycle journey and now she wants to visit Alaska and hike to Kilimanjaro. I plan to show her this thread.

I really am enjoying the thread.
'14 NC700XD - Honda, '06 DR650 - Suzuki, '83 650 Nighthawk - Honda - for sale, '71 SL 350 - Honda
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:48 AM   #212
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Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
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Day 18: Anchorage, AK

Day 18:
June 7, 2012
Anchorage, AK

It was my first zero day. I enjoyed sleeping in with no destination in mind. I didnít have to pack up the bike in the cold. I didnít have to ride in the rain. I could just lay there. My only task of the day was to replace my chain and change my oil.

It felt a bit odd waking up in a lush featherbed warm and cozy with the smell of brewing coffee. It made me feel like a princess. Gary made some delicious gourmet oatmeal with fresh fruit. It was far better than the instant crap I had been eating the last couple weeks.

He said we should get to the Yamaha dealership soon as they were often slammed with repairs and hopefully would have time for mine. He offered to load the bike in the back of his pick-up truck since the chain was so bad. It wasnít far however to the dealership and it wasnít raining, so I decided to ride.

It was the first time I rode the bike with no gear since I left Virginia. It felt so small and light I thought I would flip it over. I remembered in comparison to the first time I ever rode it. It was just as naked as it was then but I was wobbly with my stops and wide with my turns. It felt heavy and big to me on that first ride. Now it just felt like a toy.

When we got to the dealership I spoke with the tech about the chain. It didnít look good. He said they were three weeks behind and there were 100 people ahead of me. He didnít even want to look at the bike. He had no time.

Gary and I explained to him of my trip and that I was just passing through without time to wait. With some hesitation, the tech said he would look at it but couldnít promise anything. It just wouldnít be fair to everyone else that had been waiting. I was thankful he was willing to squeeze in just a quick look.

He came out to the parking lot and glanced at the Radian. It was still covered in tracks and streaks of dirt and mud. I apologized for its condition and said I hadnít had time to clean it. He asked where I had ridden from and when I said Virginia he shook his head. That explained a lot.

He said because I was traveling he would squeeze me in but couldnít get to it until tomorrow. I couldnít believe he was willing to do it. I thanked him and went inside to buy the chain.

I was still concerned about waiting another day in Anchorage. If I was going to see Denali and ride the Denali highway before making it to my ferry in Haines, I would have to push my miles. When I mentioned this to Gary he suggested we bring the chain home and he fix it himself. He had a lot of experience and had all the tools necessary.

It sounded like a great idea to me. That way I could watch and learn.

I spoke with the tech again, and thanked him generously for his consideration, but I think he was probably relieved we decided to just take the chain home.

It was a fun afternoon working on the bike with Gary. He showed me how to file the links and push the pins out to disassemble the chain. We counted the links and removed the extra ones on the new chain before attaching it to the old one and using it to thread over the front sprocket.

Once the new chain was on the sprockets we detached the old chain and finished connecting the new one with a clip masterlink. Then Gary showed me how to put a safety wire over the clip so it wouldnít accidentally come off or get lost.

The chain was done and it was time to change the oil. I pulled out my manual for reference and Gary talked me through every step of the way. Iím so thankful he was there to support me through it. Iím always so worried Iím going to mess something up.

We relaxed for the rest of the afternoon pleased with our accomplishment of the day while loitering in Garyís garage surrounded by bikes, racks of gear, and shelves of tools. Feeling that satisfaction of achievement was so rewarding. Now I can see why people like to work on their own bikes.

A couple friends of Garyís came over that were interested in seeing the Radian. He had told them about me and said they wanted to see the vintage Japanese bike that made it all the way from Virginia. It wasnít a bike people commonly saw going through Alaska.

I insisted on taking Gary and Deb to dinner for their incredible generosity. My only request was to go somewhere I could eat fresh Alaskan salmon. They knew of just the right place.

We went to Simon and Seafortís and it was a beautiful venue with windows overlooking the Cook Inlet. The sun even started to peek through the clouds a bit and I could see the mountains on the other side of the water. I had Silver salmon (also called Coho) from Copper River near Cordova. It was the best fish I ever had.

After dinner we had some Brandy ices that were deliciously rich and smooth. Gary had been ranting about how amazing they were. I can see why.

We went back home with Buddah bellies full of food. Deb and I went for a walk to exercise a bit of it off and she told me about Geocaching, a global outdoor treasure hunt played by using a GPS device.

She carried her I-pad to get coordinates of geocaches and weíd walk to that location in search of something mysterious. It set an exhilarating goal to our walk and thereís something so captivating about finding something thatís been hidden by somebody else.

I was shocked I had never heard of such a thing and even looked up some geocaches in my hometown. I couldnít believe how many there were. I have yet to play the game on my own, however think it would be amusing to cleverly stash a cache or two in my own secret hiding place.

We walked back home after feeling our bellies go down and enjoyed some wine while looking at pictures from my trip. What a splendid day it was. I was seriously looking forward to sleeping in the feather bed again.

(Deb on her DR650. I want this to be my next adventure bike)
May the road rise up to meet you
And wind be always at your back
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:58 PM   #213
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Great post, as usual!! I never thought of attaching the new chain to the old chain to route it through the front sprocket. I always take the side cover off... Jeez I do things the hard way sometimes!
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:02 PM   #214
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More Anna Pics...

Anna showed up in the pouring rain - doing a great impersonation of a happy, drowned rat. Apparently, she had just dumped her bike a few houses down the street, thinking she had found us. Luckily, my neighbors helped out and pointed her to us.

After the Radian was unloaded (couldn't believe how much stuff she had!), Deb got Anna settled into her room and a hot shower, while I took a look at the chain.

The chain was super loose and within the clutches of rigor mortis - you can see where it has just started to saw across the swing arm. Props to the chain for getting you here!

Let me get this straight...a used 26 year old motorcycle brought you from Virginia to Alaska? And back? For the record - Yamaha Radians officially rock!

Made some more phone calls, and although my mechanic buddy Ronnie was laid up with a broken foot, he agreed to look at Anna's sprockets/tires and other wear items. At Ronnie's shop, he gave Anna's sprockets and tires a thumbs up to continue on the rest of her trip. He said a new chain and oil/filter change and Anna would be good to go. Side note - Ronnie officially rocks! Even with a broken foot, Ronnie wanted to meet Anna and check her bike over.

The next morning at the Anchorage Yamaha shop - Anna scored a new .530 chain. They offered to move Anna up in the cue because she was on the road and far from home, which was very gracious, but I convinced Anna that we could easily do this ourselves. So we thanked the service manager and headed back home for some tech time.

Anna is happy with her new chain. First thing we did was to count the links several times and then shortened the chain.

Could have riveted Anna's chain, but decided to use the clip master link with safety wire - this would make it easier if she needed to remove the chain/sprockets out on the road. Didn't have .032 safety wire, so I called my buddy Don and he soon showed up with the calvary (Hal) and some safety wire. For the record - Don and Hal officially rock.

With plenty of help on hand, we made short work of wrenching. After grinding the pins and pushing out a link, we connected the new chain to the old chain with the master link and threaded the new chain through the front sprocket housing.

Anna is actually a natural motorcycle 'wrench' - more than she lets on. We came out one link too long on the chain, so Anna used the tools to remove one link.

Finished - old school safetying the master link clip - .032 stainless steel safety wire - master link clip stays put, but easy to come off for maintenance.

Close up:

Once the new chain was squared away, new oil and filter.

Duke the wonder dog supervised while he made sticks into smaller sticks.

Anna did all the work herself - a natural wrench.

That filter housing barely fits between the pipes.

Some other cleaning and checking over Anna's Radian, and tech time was completed - Anna took a quick road test and reported everything was fine.

We went out to dinner and then Anna showed us some neat pics from her other trips. Then a geocaching adventure.

The next day, Anna was heading North to Denali Park - at Anna's invitation, Deb decided to ride with her as far as Wasilla.

Would have loved to have Anna stay and hang out with us for the summer - but the North country was calling her and this was good bye for now. For the record - Anna officially rocks!

Anna - you are first rate and welcome back anytime - I hope our paths cross again.

You have officially earned your ADV stickers.

We duly noticed that you have your passenger pegs down for Dan - way cool,

Hugs and Respect,

Gary & Deb

Alaska Triangle Trip

Alaska Triangle Trip Video

Denali Hwy Trip

Denali Hwy Trip Video

These Two Lanes Will Take Us Anywhere

GaryAK screwed with this post 01-14-2013 at 07:47 PM
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:16 PM   #215
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^^^ Very cool, nice to know there are still good people out there willing to help out those on the road - You Rock too Gary and Deb!

Anna, good job on the wrenching, its intimidating at first, but like you said there is nothing more rewarding than fixing your bike on your own.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #216
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Thanks, Gary

Gary, Thank you for posting those great pix. It makes Anna's wonderful writings even more real to me..
Anna, nice ink. Any more pix? tomp
Little Fauss: I was going faster than I ever went in my whole life, then I fell off.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:29 PM   #217
Joined: Dec 2007
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Thumb Thanks!

Love to see people helping others out there on the road! Great post, Gary!
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:43 PM   #218
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Nice job Gary....Gary & Deb are the most hospitable folks in Anchorage....they took care of us when we had an unexpected 4 day layover in the summer of 2011~nice pics and glad Anna found you guys.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:21 PM   #219
ruffntuff OP
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Thanks Gary

Thanks Gary for your wonderful response. Your pictures are great! Miss you guys and without a doubt I know our paths will cross again. Until then, may the road rise up to meet you and wind be always at your back.
May the road rise up to meet you
And wind be always at your back
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:53 AM   #220
High Road
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Anna - Truly an Epic ride and report. Thanks for sharing it with us all in such color and depth. And I agree with the ADV team here, that Dan was with you the whole way, and is very proud of your endeavors.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:43 AM   #221
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For all of you budding Radian enthusiasts, here's a link to the primordial Radian locus: Most any imaginable Radian technical issue has been covered there ad nauseam, and unlike the ADVRider search function, this one actually produces relevant results. And here's a site with pics, magazine articles, etc. dedicated to the Radian:



motolab screwed with this post 01-16-2013 at 08:52 AM
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #222
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Lebanon, Ohio
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Very enjoyable report! Derek pointed all us Radian lurkers to this thread, I'm sure I'm not the only one really enjoying following it.

I'm on the bike after the bike after the bike after the Radian (and that doesn't count the dirt bikes), but being my first "real" bike, the Radian still has a special place. Crappy brakes, jello frame, fussy petcock, flake side stand, slippy clutch, and random suspension springing included.

It actually isn't a bad choice for this trip. Low seat height, air cooled simplicity, well proven and simple powerplant de-tuned from it's racing roots. Adventure riding bikes are over rated for adventure riding (and I say that as someone who owns one). The Radian can't possibly do this ride, it doesn't even have a beak! You can have an adventure without a beak!

Thanks for sharing your adventure!
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:51 PM   #223
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Wow, just when I think I can't be more amazed, you go and throw the WOW factor down. Something to be said and enjoyed about a solo ride from VA to AK and back. Congrats and keep the posts coming.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:04 PM   #224
Stan Dalone
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Location: Wo says ya cant get thair from hair?
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We duly noticed that you have your passenger pegs down for Dan - way cool

Wow, excellent adventure, excellent writing.
It official YOU ROCK

Has anyone proposed yet?
My ride report from 8 months and 18000 miles on an old C-10
(soon to be updated)
Wish I was a headlight.

The Blog from our adventure ride
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:14 PM   #225
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Location: John Boy country
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Anna. Hal here. This is really terrific! Fantastic writing and photos.

As someone who knows and has ridden with Anna, she is the real deal, one hell of a rider and a genuinely awesome person. I remember seeing her Radian when she and Bee 1st picked it up. It's a great bike! But it's the rider, not the bike and that's why she was able to do this trip.

Your brother would definitely be proud.
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