2021 AK Thread - Is There "One"?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by sgnden, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. sgnden

    sgnden Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    So, it occurs to me that it's time for me to go to AK on my bike. I've searched and have run into an enormous amount of content from guys planning trips to the region, on trips, back from trips, dreaming about trips...

    Is there one thread that you see as the "best" for me to start reading-up here? Yes, I have the 2020 Milepost. It's obvious one could spend hundreds of hours randomly reading.

    I've done plenty of touring (slab) in my more than 40 years of riding but have not gone to the NW USA, much less AK.

    Key question: I have one buddy who "says" he will go (June 2021) but he's the type who is prone to flaking though I've told him once we're 6 mos away, he cannot ditch. I want to make this trip with 1-3 fellow travelers. Question is...do you ever find guys here or is there a group who are interested in connecting for this ride? Yeah, there's most definitely some vetting required to be sure there's compatibility in a number of areas, but I'm wondering. It'd be cool to match-up with another rider or two "strangers" and make the trip after getting acquainted (very important, of course).

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. scottdc

    scottdc Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    572
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Nothing wrong with doing it solo. I had way more fun riding it by myself than the times I rode with others, I like setting my own pace.
    #2
    sgnden likes this.
  3. sgnden

    sgnden Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    I guess it all depends on the company, of course. Spending three weeks steady with anyone could quickly wear thin. It's a thought. I defintiely prefer to do my own thing. I guess it wold keep me out of too much rough terrain if I were alone...
    #3
    scottdc likes this.
  4. txbear55

    txbear55 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Rowlett TX
    Most likely you will be able to join others as you go, especially if you head up the Dawson. We saw many solo riders on our trip last year.
    #4
    sgnden likes this.
  5. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,558
    Location:
    Over the rear wheel
    My trips back and forth (South and North, if you prefer) have always been solo and I really like it that way. While I have enjoyed traveling around the South 48 with another rider, the Alcan is too different, and no matter how much advance planning you do, there will be variables that crop up that make finding an ideal riding partner for that trip mighty difficult. Just start out on your own, and if you happen to find someone going your way at about the same pace, maybe you can join up for a day or two.... and if you find your riding styles are not compatible, you just wave good-bye and you're on your own again with no hard feelings.
    #5
    sstracke, scottdc and sgnden like this.
  6. mb289

    mb289 2 Wheels Welding LLC Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    390
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    I had planned to go this year, but that didn't happen. I'm planning next year if the borders are open. I usually travel solo. Maybe I'll see you at the D2D?
    #6
  7. sgnden

    sgnden Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    D2D would be great. Looks like fun.
    #7
  8. rickj

    rickj Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    374
    Location:
    33.496960,-117.195289
    I'm not sure if there's one thread that's the "best" to start reading up for your trip, but I have seen several threads already. Rudy (@black 8 ) has a thread called Alaska 2021 Trip Planning; Post COVID-19. At this point there's still a lot of focus on the COVID issue in the thread, but as time goes on it may shift to more detailed discussions about trip planning.

    FYI, when I was planning my 2018 trip to Alaska I started a thread called Alaska 2018 - Let's Share Plans Logistics that got a lot of traction and was used by many. I was able to garner a lot of good intel from the thread that I used on our trip. It's still a good thread for information.

    Going solo is a viable option if you don't have anyone that you can ride with, and you'll always meet folks along the way to ride with if you want. I rode about half of my first trip solo and enjoyed it a lot. For the 2015 and 2018 trips we had three riders total, all close friends, and I don't think I'd want to go with any more than that. There's a good chance I'll go again in 2021 and it will be me and my friend Don (@maldos) and possibly my younger brother.

    Any which way you go, you'll have a great adventure!
    #8
  9. sgnden

    sgnden Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    211
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    Thanks very much, Rick! I really appreciate you answering my question. Super helpful.

    I’ve come across content from a couple of those threads, good to know they’re still relevant. I’ll continue to read.

    I think I’ll plan as-if I’m going solo and if one or two buddies (that I want to ride with) decide they want to go, it’s on them to prepare but there’s no need to over-think stuff. I wish my non-wife wanted to ride her own bike vs being a passenger. She just enjoys the back seat, what can I say. I’m not interested in 2-up on this bike for such a trip. On my Road Glide Ultra, sure, but not this long on the GSA, off road a bit, etc.

    Thanks again!
    #9
    rickj likes this.
  10. black 8

    black 8 motographer

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    3,780
    Location:
    33.202738 -117.384040
    If you haven't already read the "Alaska Primer" it is a must read for those that haven't ridden a motorcycle up to Alaska. The "Haul Road Primer" has info about riding to the Arctic Circle and up to Prudhoe Bay if you're interested.
    #10
    Alcan Rider and sgnden like this.
  11. BikerBerger

    BikerBerger Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    Alcan Rider knows of what he speaks (I believe he wrote the Alaska Primer). I started out to Alaska with someone and he was a great guy and a great rider, but ultimately we had different objectives. He wanted to ride every dirt/gravel rode in AK and I wanted to see as much of AK as I could in the period of time I had. We parted ways in Dawson City, YT and I spent the next several weeks riding the highways and byways of AK. It was an amazing trip and, if I can do it again (which I hope to), I will do it solo. The freedom one is afforded when riding solo is unmatched any after kindergarten. Want to camp...camp. Want to stay in a hotel...stay in a hotel. Want a down day...take a down day. No compromises.
    I have followed several AK planning threads and, it seems to me that many people over think and plan it. If you want to go to AK, pack up your bike and go, give yourself plenty of time (it is a long way up to AK), have emergency funds, and be flexible as many unexpected opportunities will arise.
    Finally, beware of the AK curse. If you go once you will be obsessed to go again. It is an amazing place... 060718 130 Seward.JPG
    #11
    knight, Alcan Rider, sgnden and 2 others like this.