First trip: Mechanical Engineer on a mission, Toronto to Alaska and back!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Bambooda, May 9, 2013.

  1. E-Bum

    E-Bum Been here awhile

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    Good report dude! I have to agree with the above comments: find some waterproof boot covers. I did the Alaska thing and even if it was not raining, they made a big difference in lowering the convectional heat transfer. you also may want to consider taking off a layer of socks... My time climbing mountains has taught me that there is a goldilocks zone for number of socks to keep your feet warm. Too little and you obviously have no insulation. Too many and the fabric gets compressed inside your boots and air doesn't get heated up because the material can't "loft" and reach it's insulating specs.


    okay okay. I nerded out on you there. But I'm also a 25 year old ME with a bike, so I can relate.


    Also, a note on the loneliness: Persevere. It is going to come and go, but you always get through those dark times. By going alone you also have the benefit of being more "approachable" when you stop somewhere. I've traveled alone for.... 2 years? There are some viciously dark times, but you always come out on top and there is no lack of good people out there to help you out, whether you know them or not.

    Good luck!
    #21
  2. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

    Joined:
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    Lappe, ON Coldest, wettest place...well not quite!
    It started to snow here just after you left and snowed all day sometimes heavy but didn't stay on the ground. Had you waited a bit longer to leave, you still might be in that nice warm camper :lol3

    Glad you at least made Dryden! Carry on...
    #22
  3. DrydenRider

    DrydenRider Sun Seeker

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    Just ahead of a flat line.
    Yes he stayed with us last night. Sunny here this am so he is on his way to Winnipeg. Got the obligatory photo with the moose
    [​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk. Blame spelling mistakes on autocorrect
    #23
  4. FINNDIAN

    FINNDIAN Mine goes to 11

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    Hey Jeff.

    Looks like the rest of the norhtern Ontario boys took good care of you on your way through.

    Ontario expands when it's cold out and it takes forever to get out :D

    I always carry a few of those chemical heater pouches for surprise cold weather.

    Glad you decided to start a ride report
    #24
  5. DrydenRider

    DrydenRider Sun Seeker

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    Just ahead of a flat line.
    Keep running because this is what you are running away from! Posted by nofate out of Chapleau today

    [​IMG]
    #25
  6. Lappeman

    Lappeman He's Down Again!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lappe, ON Coldest, wettest place...well not quite!

    Uhhh...Alaska might look like that too :eek1
    #26
  7. bwokentoof

    bwokentoof Pollyanna Man

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    no fixed address Ontario
    :lurk
    #27
  8. Laros

    Laros Been here awhile

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    Aurora, Ontario
    Also subscribed.

    I am planning to leave from Toronto area August 2 - go up around Lake Superior, then across the bottom of the Prairies on back roads as much as possible, then straight north through the Rockies to northern BC.


    I will be watching your thread with much interest!!!!!!:clap:clap



    .
    #28
  9. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    I plan on camping as soon as I can no longer find people to bunk with :D. Part of this trip is that I wanted to put myself out there and meet new people; so far things have been great! Once I pass Edmonton, I don't have much planned, I was also I formed of some nice places to stay from Dryden Rider and his buddy. Ill try to give updates and reviews on the places I stay when I can!
    And good on you two for doing the trip! Many might say the 450 is too small, but I think if you take your time it should be a very awesome trip! And besides, the klr probably doesn't move too much quicker.
    #29
  10. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    The leafs were just eliminated from the playoffs :(.... Screw this, I'm goin' home...
    #30
  11. pne

    pne Long timer

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    Alberta, Canada
    I'm leaving for a trip in 2 weeks but if you're in edmonton before then hit me up. I've got beer and a stocked garage. Fellow train driver but I lost my ring.
    #31
  12. where2next?

    where2next? Map guy

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    Mar 11, 2008
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    Calgary
    Stopping in Calgary???? PM me. we can go for a spin out in the mountains.
    #32
  13. kiffernathan

    kiffernathan Been here awhile

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    Jeff was here in Saskatoon last night. He had a leaky fork seal so a couple of us from the Sask Dual-Sport Club (http://www.saskatchewandualsport.com/forum/index.php, for those interested) helped him out. He managed to get the parts from Rec Supply, and after I couldn't find my KLR fork tool (2 feet of 5/8" allthread and 4 15/16" nuts) I took him to Princess Auto to get the parts for a new one. One of our other SDSC members, Brad, gave him tent space and supplied a garage and bike lift for him to work on it. We managed to find some fork oil for him too, as well as some KLR shop manuals to use.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He was headed back out on the road this morning. Hope the rest of your trip goes well, Jeff!
    #33
  14. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

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    I haven't read anything here yet but since we have two kids living in Anchorage, and having been there several times, all RR's heading in that direction perk me up. Thanks for taking the time to write about it. I'll be following along from my ole recliner!

    Gary "Oldone" :gerg

    Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
    Grampa’s National Monument Rid
    e
    #34
  15. tvbh40a

    tvbh40a PSUViking

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    Excited for you. A bit early maybe, excited to see how you fare.
    #35
  16. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

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    Dear Mother and Girlfriend,

    I am still alive.

    Yours Truly.

    J.B.

    Now that we got that out of the way...

    While in Manitoba I was fortunate enough to spend the night at TheMechanics place, and he was nice enough to take me out on a ride in the evening to see the sights around his town.
    Manitoba may be flatter than a pancake down here, but it has some beautiful spots.
    [​IMG]
    Here is TheMechanic with his DR650
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    I had the bike running through some ugly stuff, and pushed the Mefo`s to their limits, but it was a nice break from going flat out across the prairies.
    [​IMG]
    And man!!! I mean FLAT!!! I used to live in Calgary, so I had experienced the prairies before but that was over ten years ago and I had never experienced actually DRIVING myself across the prairies. Music makes the time pass a little quicker... I don`t think I had ever sang Hey Jude at the top of my lungs like that before :D.

    A note on riding with a backpack: many people ask me, "doesn't it suck riding your bike with that heavy backpack on?" (it probably weighs around 40-50lbs, 60l bag, mostly clothes but also toiletries, batteries, fuel for stove, and spare parts.)The answer: For the most part, No.
    When riding a motorcycle without a backpack, I have the tendency to slouch forward almost as much as my body will allow. I do this usually when riding on looooooooong flaaaaaaaaat rooooooooooads. When I wear the backpack, it promotes good posture by pulling back on my shoulders when I begin to slouch, and therefore, usually helps me stay more comfortable in the long run. This requires that: 1) The backpack has a frame, 2) The waist belt is tight, 3) the shoulder straps are the correct height and tight as well. When worn correctly, your hips bear the weight of the backpack, and you do not expend much energy wearing it*. Sometimes the bag does cause discomfort. This usually occurs after an extended period of time and the shoulder straps are pulling on my shoulders. This can sometimes be remedied by loosening all the straps and resting the bag on my tailbag, which is immediately behind me as I drive (it almost acts a bit as a lumbar support). Finally, I wear a kidney bet for support as well. This was recommended to me by a couple people, and it is a really cheap and easy thing I bought which has made the trip much better.

    *This is true for constant speeds, when driving in the city with a lot of stops and starts, the heavy bag takes a lot out of you. It is also necessary that the bag clears, or comfortably sits on an tail bag you may have so that it is not constantly pushing you forward onto the handlebars.
    #36
  17. Bambooda

    Bambooda Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Toronto
    OH NO! SHE'S WOUNDED!
    [​IMG]
    I noticed a leaky fork seal while returning to my bike after a pit stop in Saskatchewan. (probably due to that dusty-dirty trail riding I did with TheMechanic!!!). This was something I needed to fix, ASAP. I called up a place in Saskatoon and they had my fork seals in stock (I know, I was amazed too) and bought them for when I had to opportunity to fix them. Little did I know it would be THAT NIGHT! I was sitting at McDonalds when a man came up to me and asked "You wouldn't happen to be driving from Toronto to Alaska are you?" It turns out it was Kiffernathan! I had contacted him earlier that morning for tent space! Small world!! We talked a bit about about my trip and I had mentioned my fork seal and he had just the tool I needed! As Kiffernathan mentioned already, I ended up staying at a fellow dual sport riders house and he let me use he garage and some of his tools! I can't express how grateful I am for these two guys lending me their time and help to get me on the road again.
    [​IMG]
    The Saskatoon Saviors!!!:clap

    This was an interesting experience driving from Saskatoon to Edmonton. Road flooding! I never thought I would be getting my feet wet driving across the prairies when it was not raining!
    [​IMG]

    I thought this was funny, those Saskatchewan people are so innocent :rofl
    [​IMG]

    As I mentioned before, I lived in Calgary. I must admit, I like Ontario better; I find it more interesting. Although there is something I miss about the prairies, I can't quite put my finger on it, but in it's own way it's a cool place.
    [​IMG]

    In the next episode... Jeff CHANGES A TIRE!!!!! Will it hold up as long as the last one did, or will he have wasted his money?!?!?!?! STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT!!!
    #37
  18. Mr. Bagel

    Mr. Bagel n00b

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
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    7
    "Dear Mother and Girlfriend,

    I am still alive."

    So what am I, chopped liver?:D
    #38
  19. kiffernathan

    kiffernathan Been here awhile

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    Location:
    S'toon, Canada
    You're welcome!

    Part of it is participating in your adventure, even if it's just in our own little way. Part of it is that we know it might be us looking for help at some point in the future. Part of it is that we get to meet someone new from another part of the world who is doing cool stuff. And part of it is that I just like hanging out in someone's garage fixing bikes and drinking beer. :freakyBut it was a good experience on our end too, and I highly recommend to all AdvRiders that you should help out a fellow rider in need at some point.

    Anyway, glad it worked out and hopefully your upcoming tire change goes smoothly! Keep us in the loop!
    #39
  20. willys

    willys Long timer

    Joined:
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    2,937
    Keep going buddy.....we are only just now getting the warmer weather.....and I have a stinking cold! Bike is down and I am riding with you so to speak!.....besides the best part is almost there in front of you.....them tall spikey shaped things sticking out of the ground......you'll love it!

    I can't wait for next summer when I get to do the same ride.....all over again.

    You do know a KLR isn't a dirtbike eh....lol.:deal:freaky:lol3
    #40