Sport-Touring the Dalton Highway?

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by rick3foxes, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. sgio

    sgio Been here awhile

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    Thanks for sharing the video of your trip Rick! :clap
    Great video! It really does a great job of showing the more mundane things like road construction on the Dalton, that doesn't get communicated as well in most reports and does a great job showing the road conditions you endeavored through. Of course the scenery was great as well.

    Thanks again and I guess I have one less excuse for not doing this. If a Connie can make it, I supposed an ST can as well!:D
  2. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    I'm sure it will. :D
    A LOT of Gold Wings and Electra-Glides have been photographed at the Deadhorse sign!

    The best bike for this trip may be a borrowed one. :rofl

    One of the reasons I bought a 2003 Connie is that I couldn't afford an ST1300.
    But after the Dalton highway, I was glad I didn't bring a shiny new bike.

    Someday I may spend more than $4000 on a bike, but I haven't on my first two.
  3. AkaTG

    AkaTG n00b

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    Watched all 7 videos a couple nights ago, pretty damn jealous. Even as difficult as it looked heading to Deadhorse.

    I'm curious though, how did you manage all the video you recorded while on the trip? Perhaps I missed it in a previous comment, but all I caught was you'd used a GoPro Hero2, some of the settings you used as well as vibration reduction in post. Seems like you'd need a laptop + external harddrive, or lots of SD cards, and batteries always getting charged.

    I imagine you don't leave the camera on for the entire duration, just on/off as needed?
  4. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    I tried to have the camera on while in most of the remote locations, just in case something happened. But in a lot of cases I had to reach up and turn on the (helmet-mounted) camera when I saw something in the distance.
    I ended up with a lot of short clips of tree stumps, drainage culverts, rocks, etc. that I edited out. :D

    I carried two 32GB SD cards, and a Netbook PC with a pocket-sized 1TB USB drive to transfer clips from the cards.
    I have a 12V power outlet and a short cable run into my tank bag for charging up a spare GoPro battery & phone while riding.
  5. AkaTG

    AkaTG n00b

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    Thanks for the quick reply! Figured that's how you'd have to manage it. I'll have to include those items on my checklist for long trips.
  6. dukedinner

    dukedinner Been here awhile

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    Don't apologize Rick!! Them there is fight'in words! Everyone knows a 86-2006 Connie is THE sport tourer workhorse of choice..not saying an ST1300 isn't more refined, but for "bang for the buck all out sport touring fun"..hard to beat these classic Connies as you know!! Ok, so I admit I have one too so I am just a wee bit biased,...:rofl
  7. Froggynews

    Froggynews Adventurer

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    Hi Rick, Thanks for sharing your videos and wonderful trip, I did a similar ride in 04 on an ST1100 it probably was not too different from your Connie. Given the same weight class, its all in the head the machine is secondary to my opinion. You saw a lot more wildlife than I typically see when I make my trips later in the year (Aug-Sept) maybe I should try an earlier season like you did.
  8. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    That's interesting.

    I was thinking that if I had gone later in the year, I may have been able to see more grizzlies during the salmon run... :rofl

    Oh well - I sure wasn't disappointed!
    One other benefit of May/early June: When I was returning home, I passed hordes of rental RV's headed north.
    By then I was spoiled by the lack of traffic, and glad to miss the crowds.
  9. mb289

    mb289 Adventurer

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    Hi Rick,

    Great ride report! I'm basically going to do the same trip in 2015 (55th birthday present to myself), also solo. I'll be leaving from Charleston, SC.

    I think you said you did the trip in 29 days. Was that enough time or did you feel like you were rushed all the time? I probably won't be able to get more than five weeks and I won't be trying to do a Butt Burner.

    Thanks,
    Dave
  10. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    When I left home, I had no idea how long it would take to complete the ride I had planned, so I started out riding long days with few stops. My main concern was that I would have to cut the trip short to get home for work again.

    Only after riding from Prudhoe Bay down to Fairbanks did I realize that I had some extra time in my schedule, and that's when I talked with Dan about heading down to Denali. We talked about the slim chances of being at Denali when you could actually see all of it, so he recommended that I ride to Valdez instead.

    A couple days later, I found that the Alaska Highway was closed due to flooding, and then the concerns about running out of time returned. I spent a day in Skagway and an extra day in Whitehorse waiting for the road to re-open.
    When the road finally opened, I left Whitehorse early in the morning and camped in Ft. Liard, NWT.
    A 700+ mile day. (Mostly paved)

    I think 4 weeks turned out to be OK, but a lot of people don't want to ride 10-14 hour days.
    And I also passed up a lot of local attractions that would have been nice to see.
    A 4-week camping trip, and I never had a single campfire. I tended to arrive at a campsite just in time to set up in the tent and go to bed.

    But 5 weeks should give you plenty of time to enjoy the trip and not feel pressured.

    And if you have a bike with knobby tires, you won't have to go as slow as I did on the Dalton Highway.
  11. Litespeed602

    Litespeed602 Going in Circles

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    Really enjoyed the videos:clap:clap:clap I have enjoyed many ride reports with great photos but this was unique in a very good way!! I predict a new style of ride reports with all the GoPro's out there now days.

    Did you prefer to go alone? or weren't you able to coordinate with the right partner?

    Add me to the list of people that plan to ride to Alaska soon.

    Thank you for all of your effort
  12. John Fabian

    John Fabian Fabe

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    "And the Oscar goes to..." Rick - Like many above I am in awe of your videos. Your composition, pace, and editing are superb. The image stabilization is perfect. Is that a GoPro thing or is there more to it? It doesn't matter, your wonderful story has convinced me never to ride to Alaska, the Arctic Circle, or Purdue Bay. I do not have the skill to do what you did. I am completely happy to live this dream vicariously. Thank you. - John
  13. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    Both.

    My riding friends like shorter trips, and for me a long "endurance" ride is more feasible alone.

    I had no precise schedule to follow, and started looking for a place to camp just an hour or two before stopping. I started riding early in the morning as soon as I woke up, and stopped to eat whenever I found food.

    A lot of people don't like to travel like that, and even with the ones who do, it would be rare to find 2 people who happen to get sleepy/hungry/tired/cold/thirsty/want-to-stop-for-another-photo at the same time. :D

    Riding alone added another level of freedom to the trip for me.
  14. rick3foxes

    rick3foxes Been here awhile

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    Thanks, John! :rofl
    Somebody said once, "Great adventures aren't all that much fun when you're in the middle of them."
    And I assure you, when I was sloshing through that muddy section, having a great story to tell was the LAST thing on my mind!
    I may have been willing to trade the bike for a bus ticket home.. :lol3

    The GoPro took great HD video, but there was a lot of camera shake with it attached to my helmet - especially with the rough road surface. Sometimes I would stand on the pegs with knees bent, using the extra shock absorber to smooth the video. (If you see video footage with the windscreen not visible in the frame, I'm standing on the pegs.)

    Even then, I still used a "stabilize" effect on the editing software (Avid Studio) to make it more easy on the eyes.
    I didn't want people getting seasick trying to watch it!
  15. Dragon M

    Dragon M Adventurer

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    Watched all 7 parts of your video, great job, I really enjoyed it, thanks!
  16. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

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    I'm enjoying all of these RR's that take us along in time. I'm 69 now and I'll have to admit that this is the first year that I'm finding my recliner sorta inviting more often then not. Dang, I don't like that feeling! I really enjoy sitting here doing nothing but reading about these other adventures though, so thanks for taking the time to do this for the rest of us.

    Gary "Oldone" :gerg

    Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
    Grampa’s National Monument Ride
  17. C14xTom

    C14xTom On the move!

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    Rick, Just missed you somewhere. We left York, Pa. on Memoral Day Saturay weekend. May 26th. Stayed at Fairbanks U Sunday 3rd of June. Monday to Artic Circle and back To Fairbanks U. Tuesday saw Dan at Adventure Cycle. We met the coulpe that flew from Cal to ride the Dalton while we were on the Dalton. We also talked to the man from Colorado in Fairbanks. And I agree!!!! Awsome RR Tom :D
  18. nvdesertrat

    nvdesertrat Nevada Desert Rat

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    All I can say is WOW that has got to be one of the best if not the best put together ride report video's that I have came across. BRAVO!
  19. staudio

    staudio Time for a ride...

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    just watched all 7 videos......great job:clap
  20. duckassassin1

    duckassassin1 KLR Junkie

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    Rick,

    Fantastic videos, I watched all seven. My riding buddy and I are planning a trip in 2014, and thanks to you we are even more excited. I saw the pic of the Basket, that is my home town of Newark Ohio or Nerk as the locals say. The videos made me miss my 06 connie as well. We will be riding our KLR's on our trip, which we have farkled to death to make them comfortable for the long hauls. Thanks again for the great report and videos.

    Jeff