Alaska Primer

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Alcan Rider, May 6, 2012.

  1. 1200gsceej

    1200gsceej wanabee overachiever

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    I've ridden motorcycles in South Africa and New Zealand (not by myself). One trick we used was taking two short, thick rubber bands and make an "X" across our left mirror (you'd do it to your right mirror). If we glanced there it reminded us "not this side - look the other way!"

    I found that in cities or busy roads it was 'easier' since there was traffic I could follow. And when a group of us pulled off along the road (e.g. gas station, scenic view, etc) we always talked to each other before we pulled out - to look in the correct direction.

    The biggest (and scariest) problem is when you are alone, w/o traffic, on a road w/o many signs, and you stop for 'whatever'. I found it most dangerous starting again after such a stop. There are no visual clues as to which side you should be on, and it is VERY EASY to let your autopilot take over and put you on the wrong side. It is almost better to have traffic to watch out for because it will alert you to the correct side.

    Have loads of fun!
    -ceej
  2. Kimi

    Kimi Been here awhile

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    Adelaide South Australia
    2 mates I know have come a cropper in the USA, one didn't get out of the Hawaii airport before he went the wrong way around a roundabout and the other lost it on an icy road at night and automatically went on the left hand side when he restarted.... so with those experiences in the back of my mind your comments are greatly appreciated.

    We will probably try to find someone to "stalk" for a couple of hours around Anchorage to get the hang of things... the rubber band idea is interesting too.
    Will post up our own thread when we are getting closer to your shores:clap
  3. BRUTSQD

    BRUTSQD 2 scoops of stupid

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    Hi there, I just read through the previous posts and a few others and am still scratching my head. I'm going to go ahead and risk being chewed up and spit out for what might be either a monotonous question or one with an obvious answer.. But.. How early is too early??

    I'm leaving CA April 22nd and am considering making a try for Anchorage. I'd do it later in the year but it's a now or not in the near future kind of situation.

    I've researched temperature trends and seasonal weather patterns which both seem to be across the board. I can make an educated guess on how I'd hold up with my equipment and previous experience with winter riding in both the sierras and the rockies. I'm just curious for any input on whether trying the ride in late april and early may would be doable or simply unpleasant.
    -Trevor
  4. Alaskajeff

    Alaskajeff Long timer

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    For sure it's doable:D as long as the roads are clear.
    Remember this quote and you will be fine:
    There is no inappropriate temperature to ride a motorcycleÂ…just inappropriate layers of protection. :lol3
    When you come thru Palmer give me a shout. I'm right off the highway you will be on. My garage, shower, and futon are always open for travelers.
  5. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil

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    Lemme tell ya - the first week of April can be pretty dang chilly! :vardy But it should be warming up quite a bit toward the end of the month.

    The biggest threat will be the changing weather as winter and summer fight over dominance. You can wake up to gorgeous sunshine... and ride into a howling blizzard before lunch. Or vice versa. Just be ready to hole up in some place warm and friendly for a day or two if it gets bad. The conditions change rapidly that time of year, but the Canadians do a fine job of keeping the roads open, or getting them open again soon after a storm blows through.

    As Jeff suggests - you'd better be dressed for whatever conditions you're likely to encounter. That makes a huge difference in the outcome. It will be cold somewhere along your route, that's a given. This was Muncho Lake May 10th back in '02. In case it's not obvious from the photo, that's solid ice over two feet thick -
    [​IMG]
    - and that was considerably warmer than when I'd passed it going south a month earlier.

    Roads should be clear most all the way, other than from recent snowfalls. Tourist stops and gas stations will be few and far between that early in the year, so don't pass up a chance to fuel up and grab a bite to eat.
  6. Wheeldog

    Wheeldog Long timer

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    We left Dawson Creek on May 5th and got to Wasilla on the 10th back in '01. Ran into 3 snow storms.....only 1 with enough snow to shut us down.:deal The road had enough heat in it so the snow melted pretty quick.

    Every year is different though.......can't anyone predict for sure what the weather will be on your trip. Just start riding and find out (kinda like Obama Care.....eh :huh) :rofl

    Here is a link to that particular trip you may wish to check out.

    http://home.gci.net/~wheeldog/alaska_highway.htm
  7. Solarmoose

    Solarmoose electric

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    Fairbanks
    bump this up
  8. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

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    I'll see if they can become stickies.
  9. Mooney 78865

    Mooney 78865 Been here awhile

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    Awesome sticky!:clap I'm in for July/August 2015!
  10. peanutbuttercup

    peanutbuttercup n00b

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    Great sticky! I'm planning a trip up late May into June. Are there any festivals I should try and make? I'm coming up from Seattle.
  11. Alaskajeff

    Alaskajeff Long timer

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    IF you are staying till the end of June you can hit the Dust To Dawson gathering around the Summer Solstice weekend (18-19th ) in Dawson City Yukon. It's a blast!
  12. XXMe

    XXMe Not my picture

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    I'll 2nd what Jeff said! I met a lot of great folks and the festivities were a blast! If you have the time it's a must do! :nod
  13. Shizoku

    Shizoku Been here awhile

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  14. gboswellsac

    gboswellsac Adventurer

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    I'm coming up from Texas to Homer AK. the aprox same time as I need to be in Homer 6/03/15 for a family outing. What is your time plan and what routes are you planning. Some one said not to miss the Baniff Ice Fields but I can hit that on the way back. My only schedule is to be in Anchorage June 2 so I can make Homer June 3. I noticed the Touratech outfit had a outing mid may in NW and could be in that area at that time. Just knowing others coming through at same time adds to the comfort of traveling solo. Been going to do this since 2000 and for one reason or another it has failed to happen, open heart surgery in 09 only good excuse for not being sooner for me, so going to do it. Being retired does have it's benefits.

    Boz
  15. Kankujoe

    Kankujoe Adventure Traveller

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    Missouri, west central, south of Kansas City
    Thanks for all the helpful information!

    I'm planning on riding up that way beginning May 15th from Kansas City. My trip up will be via Great Falls, Montana up through Banff & Jasper, and over to Hyder. From there I haven't firmed up my plans except to be back in Kansas City by June 15th.

    Trying to decide whether to go up to Fairbanks or over to Homer. Also considering my return via the Marine Highway from Skagway to Bellingham. I know that there is no way to see it all in a month but I would like to get a fair sampling of riding in Alaska.

    I've been twice before, (but not on a bike) drove the Alcan & Cassiar in a Jeep in April 2005 & cruised the Inside Passage in July 2010.

    Joe
    Kansas City, Missouri
  16. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

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    Joe, A suggestion on your route from MT to Banff. Get to Browning over near Glacier park, then HWY 89 north thru Babb to HWY 17 to the border. Turns into Canada HWY 6 at the border. Take HWY 6 thru Pincher Creek to HWY 3 west thru Cowly to HWY 22 north to HWY 517 west to HWY 40, them north to Canada HWY 1 and Canmore. You'll be set to hit Jasper and Banff Parks.
  17. Kankujoe

    Kankujoe Adventure Traveller

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    Thanks for the info. I'll add that to my route planning & GPS.
  18. mvelazquez

    mvelazquez http://missrider.com

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    By far, one of the best ride reports I have read about Alaska. This should be included in the Milepost. Thank you for sharing.
  19. Ironheadziggy76

    Ironheadziggy76 What the hell?

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    Jack I never get tired of reading this! I told my buddy that is coming with me in June that it's required reading, he was amazed at all the info! Thanks for all the info you shared here, and the PM's from my first trip! It was much appreciated.

    Tell Maggie I'll be heading her way about the middle of June! :lol3
  20. MaggieR

    MaggieR Morbidly Obese

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    Are you bringing Cheetos? :feelgood