I generally do at least one group ride a year with some buddies who live in Portland, Oregon [I live in Oakland, Calif.]. The group has morphed and changed over the years, but these are the guys that got me excited about motorcycle touring in the first place - who showed me the ropes and inspired me to pursue this crazy passion. As we all get older and life happens, the number of people who actually come out for these trips is getting smaller and smaller. Regardless, I look forward to these rides all year long. They're usually 7-14 day affairs - with the longest one to date being 3+ weeks coast to coast in the summer of 2009. When I started talking about an Alaska ride, response was lukewarm. CJ was down, for sure - but he had somewhat limited vacation time. Rob was definitely into riding but had no desire to log the kind of straight highway miles that'd be necessary to get all the way North. Fred and Winson had babies. Pesky babies. My wife was also interested in being a part of the adventure, if it worked out - and she too had limited vacation time. So... what to do. I was bummed at first about not sharing the whole trip with at least one person. I considered just doing the ride solo - maybe doing a different ride with my Portland crew and something else with my wife. In the end, I came to the conclusion that I really wanted to share this adventure with my friends. The struggles, the triumphs, the debauchery, the inside jokes .... motorcycle adventures are just more fun when shared, IMHO. So, I decided to figure out a way to stitch together my various riding companions so I'd be able to share parts of this big adventure with all of them. The Arctic Relay is born. I love it when a plan comes together... <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OKp8mYzsQzo" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" width="420"></iframe> It worked out that I'd switch riding companions every week or so - with about a week solo at the very apex of the journey. I logged just shy of 9k miles over 5 weeks. It was an adventure of a lifetime - one I'll never forget. This is a story of ... Sunrises... ... and sunsets. Waterfalls... ... and wildfires. Challenges... ... triumphs... ... and the midnight sun. It's a story of... Troubles at the border. Killer campsites. Challenging roads. Unbelievable scenery. Getting away from it all. Five-star dining. Wildlife. Water crossings. And the occasional roll in the hay.