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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ilmostro, May 1, 2006.
Greatest thread ever!!!!
Get on with it starfish!!!! or I'll post more pics from '07 and you don't want another can of PAM!!!
can't wait anymore...on my way to hear the story first hand
:sigh Time to get this show back on the road I suppose...
Day 11 August 14th Seattle WA - Quesnel BC
After months of planning and preparations by the organizers and participants (And approximately 2.5 hours on my part) it was show time. The official start of the 2006 Alcan 5000 Rally!
Loaded said goodbye to his beautiful LoadedWife and LoadedKids.
A shot of the odo before the start.
As Rog says his goodbyes to Honey I head off to the starting line to get ready to head out. Normally I start the bike up while it's on the center stand, climb aboard, snick the bike into gear and shove off. As the bike comes down, I release the clutch and take off without having to put my feet down. It's poetry in motion and makes me look oh so cool.
This time however, I didn't allow the bike to warm sufficiently before heading off and as the bike came down, and I let out the clutch, it stalled.
With my feet on the pegs.
By the time I could get my feet down the bike was already past the point of no return and I couldn't stop it, only slow it's decent.
I sprang into action and had the bike back up before anyone could get their cameras out. Other than a little scuff on the saddle bag and crash bar, the bike was unscathed. Sadly, the same could not be said for my pride or dignity.
We lined up in some random semblance of order and prepared to set off!
Loaded #27 Ace #28 DD #29 and Yours Truly #30 Team Mutiny!
We just had a short transfer up the interstate to a rest area before we began our first TSD. TSD stands for Time, Speed and Distance and is a way of doing a rally without focusing on blazing speed and lowest times to cover a set distance.
Essentially, each rider is set off at one minute intervals along a set course. We are given a route sheet with various distances marked on it and the speeds we are meant to maintain between these distances. If you do everything correctly, you arrive at the end exactly when the route sheet says you should. For every second you are early or late, you are penalized one point.
As I was completely oblivious to how a rally worked, I assumed that you could just time things so you crossed the finish line when you were supposed to and everything would be ok. Boy howdy, was I ever wrong.
As every one was checking their route sheets and performing calculations that would make Stephen Hawking's head explode, I was busy chasing squirrels and poking at things with a stick.
Our time drew near.
Rog prepares to head off...
A minute later it would be Jay's turn... (You can't see the worlds largest calculator strapped to his tankbag)
A minute after Jay leaves, it was my turn to go. Jay had said something about maintaining the speed that was on the route sheet but that lasted approximately 30 seconds before I got bored. I sped up and started riding my own pace. It was a beautiful day on a nice twisty road. Why not?
I passed Jay, Rog, Loaded... Hey! It's some Alcan officials on the side of the road! Hi guys!
I was passing folks left and right. This is fun! As I neared the finish line I deceided to pull over and take some snaps of the competitors. I think I made it up to bike 15 or so by the time I stopped. (In the rally world this means I was 15 minutes ahead )
Dean on his V-Strom
Rog and Jay
As everyone congregated at the end of the TSD, it finally dawned on me why there were officials all over the course. It seems I needed to maintain my speed all the way through the stage and I was being judged at all the hidden checkpoints. This means as I was at one point 15 minutes ahead, and each second is worth a point, I just maxed out the stage at 200 points.
At least it provided some comic relief for the course workers who thought they had missed 10 bikes somewhere when I came flying by.
I R dum.
Hell, I coulda tol' you that . . . and you wouldn'ta had to ride all the way to Alaska to find out.
Get to the good stuff . . . the official rally meal. :dg
Rog and I hooked up for the ride north to the border and back to the motherland for Loaded and I. As I was sitting in the line to go through customs with Rog I started wondering if partnering with a long haired California hippie would be the best idea possible.
I could see it now, the bright lights, the rubber hoses, good cop/bad cop, finally having to admit to them that I met the strange man I am traveling with on the internet
Fortunately, Rog worked his Jedi mind trick mojo and tole them he was not the Drug Captain of Fishworld they were looking for and we were through the gates with ease
We were in!
Loaded, DD and Jose made it through unscathed as well
The group got a little scattered after this and eventually I met up with Loaded at Dairy Queen for some lunch action.
As we were leaving, these two pulled up
The transfer to the next TSD was a long straight one and I stretched the legs of the GS getting a little bit ahead of the rest of the Team. I just missed riding through a really bad hail storm. The road was white and it had looked like it has snowed. I didn't bother to get any pictures though.
Everyone (except for Jay) got to the next TSD in plenty of time to do some last minute calculations and to go pee in someone's lumber yard.
The bikes were leaving at their appointed time and Jay still hadn't shown up. I was starting to worry. Finally it was my time to go and there still wasn't any sign of Jay who should have left a minute before me. I couldn't wait and I headed off.
A mile or two down the road I see a head light rapidly approaching in my rear view mirrors. It's Jay! I wave him by and hope he can make the time up before the first check point. This stage was our first foray into dirt. A nice twisty section through some farm land. Having learned my lesson, I try to keep a close eye on my speed and mileage so I don't mess up like I did earlier in the day.
Almost at the end of the stage, I come upon Jose, a old coot from FL who would prove to be a royal pain in the ass for the rest of the trip ( Hi Jose! ) and the only other 12 ADV in the event. He had taken a tumble on one of the corners and hurt his knee. I stopped to make sure he was ok and that help was coming for him. He was, and it was.
We got to the hotel, checked in and headed to the bar for some refreshments and food and to start bench racing. There was a competitors meeting set for 10 PM, to review the day and what was in store for tomorrow.
Our waitress handled us with aplomb.
Rog, Loaded, Bob (My arch nemesis) and Crankshaft
Nice salad Col
(In hind sight, the salad was a good idea. The further north we would go the worse the perishable food would become.)
When they handed out the days results, it tuned out that despite completely tanking on the 1st stage, I had beaten Loaded. He was not impressed.
The car guys bought us shots
Day one was over. Sleepy time
Heck....."Your Country" even let me in last year!
I say me, you, NM and Hedge have our own group...
BTW, forget popcorn, I got us some true snacks for this thread...
May I intrest you in some fine quality hopps?
Day 12 Aug 15th Quesnel BC - Dease Lake BC
Big day today 600+ miles, 3 TSD's with the first 100 miles of the day on gravel with a TSD in it.
The morning started out very foggy. This was going to be interesting.
The first TSD seemed to go well for me. I was cribbing notes from Rog and Jay and had the advantage that my time was 30 minutes off (bike 30) from the official start time so it was easy to do the math. The road was interesting. It varied from hard pack to loose, to wet and slimy, wide open and straight to tight and twisty. I was still getting my sea legs and wasn't very fast yet. I was taking my time and trying to be careful and safe (strange concept for me, I know) I think only one person took a spill (someone from Fekete's camp, I forget who )
Cribbed pics from Jay...
I missed breakfast and was feeling a bit peckish and had to pee. When I found a pretty spot by a lake I stopped to take a breather.
Just as I'm tucking into my gas station sammitch and cookie, Jay and Rog happen along. Rog was eying my delicacies with a lustful eye, so I gave him half a sammitch.
"Oh man, that's good"
Then half a cookie
"Oh man, that's good"
We headed off again, trying to make it to the 2nd TSD on time. When we started getting close, we were right on the bubble and Rog and I looked at each other, then at the Tim Horton's across the street. Fuck it. We went to Timmy's instead :dg
They have the BIG coffee there
Rog casually pointed out that they were hiring...
Back on the road and I was feeling great! Great roads, scenery, friends and weather!
We stopped at a roadside rest area so I could pee and Rog could burn one and we happened across this contraption. :huh
Thankfully, they were headed in the opposite direction.
Back on the road...
Shortly before the next and final TSD, we caught back up with Loaded and Jay. Except Loaded was now on Jose's 12 ADV .
It seems that Loaded's 640 had decided to sit this event out during the 2nd TSD and he swapped his bike out for Jose's on the chase truck's trailer.
While we were there, we met this ADV rider (forget his name ) who did some tasty mods to his KLR and was headed south.
The deal was that the next TSD was a long one followed by a even longer transfer to get to the hotel in Dease Lake. There was only one hotel and we had the whole thing booked. The resturaunt was going to stay open for us until 10 and if we busted ass we might make it there in time. Rog and I decided that we would skip this TSD too and head straight for the hotel and try to make it for dinner.
Pee break and add some layers as it was starting to get colder
'Nother pee break...
Chip seal. With much more to follow...
We made it to the restaurant just in time and feasted on beer and pirogies. :dg
It was a long, tiring day. 2 TSD's maxed out for a total of 3/5. Things were not looking good for me from a competition standpoint but I was having fun. I was worried about Loaded's bike and was hoping it would be something simple we could fix in the morning so we could keep him in the hunt.
When it was lights out, I was so tired, I barely noticed Jay's snoring
Day 13 Aug 16 Dease Lake BC - Whitehorse YK
Today was the first day of the rally that an optional stage was available for those who were up for the challenge. We could head off on the route as planned, or if we chose, we could head to Telegraph Creek first before starting the route. Doing this excuses you from doing the first TSD and your score will be the same as the lowest score awarded for that stage. Jay and I were in, Rog was going to pass and Loaded was working on his bike.
After draining what little oil was left in his crankcase, little gems such as this were found in the sump of his KTM. Loaded was on 4 wheels from here on in.
On the trailer...
While I waited for <strike>Princess</strike> Jay to get his shit together, I headed to forage for some brekky and found myself a taystee sammitch :dg
It had been getting colder and I think it was in the low 40's when we finally set off. The ipod was dripping with irony
The road to Telegraph Creek would be a 120 mile round trip on gravel. Most of it was fine but there were some sections that were freshly graded and wet and proved to be quite slick. I had to slow waaaaay down for this stuff as the Anakees weren't the best choice for those conditions.
(Some pics and a video stolen from Jay)
Nice section. 90 mph was no problem
The road is down there...
Proof we were there...
I was peeing when I took this
Task completed, we headed back...
Watch for the salute...
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As Jay and I headed back to Dease Lake he pulled out ahead of me. There were parts of the trip that I wanted for a lighter single with nobbies, not often, but this was one of those times. As I pulled into town I noticed a familiar KLR parked in front a RCMP with the lights on...
For once, being slow paid off
I waited at the gas station for Jay's arrival and to hear the tall tale of how he outsmarted the fuzz. As we were the last folks to leave (again ) I told Jay I would hang with him on the way to Whitehorse. The comfortable top end of the KLR was around 80 and I told him I would keep it there.
We headed off and when I noticed Jay getting smaller I realized I had crept up to 85. I slow down. He gets small again. 90. Shit. I slow down again. There is no one on this road. Jay is almost gone now. I look down and I'm running 95. :huh
Fuck it. He knows where he's going and there is no one around. I keep the GS between 100-110 for the 350 miles to get to Whitehorse. I think I ended up catching and passing all but 2 bikes on the way there
Slow down? Yeah, right
We were warned about this bridge at Teslin being very a very rough steel contraption and they weren't kidding.
I slow down to roll through town and as I break out the other side I start to pick up the pace a bit. There is some construction patches and as I stand on the pegs to traverse on of them, a Mountie comes around the corner.
I pull over and get a lecture about riding like an idiot and speeding but he let me go with a warning. Jay and I were lucky today. He wasn't as friendly as the dood in Kansas so I had to sneak a pic
Who knew Annie wore Mukluks?
I made it in to the hotel in good time and got settled in before heading down to the bar for the recap and some refreshments.
A sign for Queen
Fish and chips. The official food of Team Mutiny. :dg
Crankshaft, ever the playa, had this delightful young lady wrapped around his little finger. 26, preggers with her 3rd child from the 3rd daddy. I'm sure she's available if anyone is looking
Day 14 Aug. 17th Whitehorse YK to NWT via the Canol Road
Today was an optional day. You could either take a rest day in Whitehorse or ride 280 miles of gravel road built during WWII to the Yukon/North West Territory border and spend the night there before heading back the next day.
I chose the riding one
Rog couldn't come with us as his GS had sprung a fuel leak so we left him in Loaded's capable hands while we headed for NWT!
By this point I was really getting tired of waiting on Jay and being the last to leave while the guys in the chase truck asked us every 2 minutes if we were ready to go yet? :ddog
I headed up to the turn off for the Canol Road at Johnson's Crossing and saw a group hanging out. I stopped and went inside to pee and noticed they had a bakery inside. With BUTTER TARTS!!! :dg
I had to have some!
The start of the Canol. Next stop, Ross River 226 Km away with nothing in between
This was to turn out to be the riding highlight of the trip. 280 miles of crazy ass road with next to no one or nothing on it.
Pee break and photo opp.
A few of the boys came by...
Ken on the KLR
Bob on the KTM
Jay took and almost identical picture
Things were finally starting to click for me riding on gravel. I was coming into the corners faster and using the throttle to power my way out. Roosting was the order of the day and it wasn't just me. It was hilarious to come into a corner and see a plethora of rooster tails left in the dirt and a few tracks going off into the ditch.
I was really getting comfortable letting the bike move around beneath me and not over correcting when ever it slid. I left the ABS tuned on and found it was the morons way to back a bike in. You come flying into the corner, jump on the rear brake and start to turn in. As the rear would alternately lock and slide, I found you could point the bike easily and when you had the corner lined up roll on the throttle and release the brake steering on the way out with the throttle. I was howling in my helmet
As I approached Ross River and our lunch stop, the rear of the bike was starting to go all over the place and feeling incredibly loose. I was sure the rear tire was going flat or already was and I wasn't too interested in that. I pulled over to check the pressure and Bob stopped to see if I was ok. Turns out the tire was fine. I guess my riding had progressed to the point that the bike was constantly scrambling for traction. I shrugged and just accepted it as fact. (I was still on street pressures too )
We collected in Ross River to have a box lunch and take the ferry across the river to finish the final leg to the NWT border. Everyone filled up but with the exception of Jose and I on the Adventures no one else could make the almost 300 mile round trip on one tank. The chase truck had a 2nd tank on board and carried fuel in for everyone else.
The Ross River...
Here's where things start to get interesting. The pace up until now had been... uhh... quite "spirited" and there was an incredible amount of trash talk and bench racing taking place during lunch. It would be an understatement to say that tension was high and adrenaline was flowing freely as the ferry approached the far shore. Bikes were started, engines were revved and when the chain dropped on the front of the ferry, you would have sworn you were at the start of a MX race. Clutched were dropped, tires spun off the smooth steel deck of the ferry before throwing a roost as they dropped off into the gravel.
It was on!
Discretion being the better part of valor I pulled off to the side and let everyone go by thinking I would let the egos sort them selves out and I would just lay back and enjoy the ride.
Only a few miles and minutes down the road I come around a corner to find a tractor trailer sitting in the middle of the road pulling a low boy with a piece of equipment on the back. As I pull up the driver is climbing down from the cab, visibly shaken and muttering something about "I think I killed him".
I made my way past the truck in time to see Bob extracting his KTM from underneath the rear wheels of the trailer. He nor the bike were much the worse for wear and once the gravel was removed from the rim of the bike they were good to go.
It seems when bob rounded the corner he found himself face to face with the grill of the truck and was left with two choices, go right and probably end up in the Ross River, or go left and try to go between the truck and the cliff wall.
He chose left and almost made it, hitting the wall and rolling under the truck just as it came to a halt. :huh
With everything being ok, I saddled up and headed off!
The clouds that had been threatening us most of the day finally began to shower us making the road very slick in spots although it did cut the dust down
In a few places along the road there were vehicle dumps where during the construction of the road, vehicles that were no longer worth repairing or maintaining were left to return to the elements. These are now National Monuments and there are strict instructions posted that they are not to be molested.
That's how we roll yo!
Dean and I hooked up for a good portion of this ride
North West Territories Bitches!!!
As I'm poking around at the border I happen upon DataDaddy who is busy making a "marker" to signify our arrival in the NWT as there didn't seem to be a sign or a welcome center.
A little message for Loaded...
Having checked off another milestone, Jay and I headed back towards camp. We found this little camp but the barking dogs didn't make popping in for a spot of tea seem overly exciting.
I love this pic...
My buddy Jay
We got back to camp and found that just about everyone had arrived and the Alcan crew had done an amazing job setting up a cozy camp for us. Cook tent, potty and some shared accommodations. I had brought my own sleeping bag and pad so I would be nice and cozy.
Competitor Ffed had stopped on the Lower Canol to take a picture and lost his footing, falling over with his bike and breaking his collar bone. He managed to grit his teeth long enough to make it to Ross River where his bike was loaded and he continued on with his journey
Bob regaled us with stories of ultimate marathons and Iditerods for people. The dude is truly hard core (I really wanted to beat him ) As we are all shooting the shit, high from the incredible ride we were all so blessed to experience one day one of the crew mentions to the other "If Jerry (the organizer) had any idea what these guys on bikes do when they are unsupervised, he would freak out"
We had a hearty dinner of salad, spaghetti and bread and the stories continued to flow. I was beat form the days ride and promised to myself that I would hit the rack by 10 to be sure I was well rested to ride back out the next day. It was still light out when I realized it was 11:30 :huh Earplugs in and it was off to bed
I wanna say this inmate is Ganshert, but could be wrong.... My memory is shot...
And I nominate this one for front page!