Alaska May 27 - end of June 09

Discussion in 'Americas' started by dbarnes180, May 6, 2009.

  1. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

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    ....mmmmmmmmmmm.......pop tarts .... :dg
    #21
  2. pyoungbl

    pyoungbl Colonel Blood

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    Dbarnes,
    You are just about at what I call the 'good idea cutoff point' where you stop making changes and go with what ya' got. Before you hit that point I'd like to offer some ideas that have worked for me: Everyone here is saying to travel light....agree, but how? Well, you can start with quick dry underwear (NOT cotton). Wickers makes some great underwear that you can wash at night, hang up, and it will be dry in the morning. If you take three pair you are set. The same goes for undershirts. Leave the cotton "T" at home but pack some synthetics that you can use as a base layer when it is damn cold or as a top layer when it's hot. Get the kind that will breathe and something that dries quickly. Three is enough. Carry a fleece and something that will block the wind on your chest...under your riding jacket. As for socks, look for a synthetic that will dry quickly but carry more than just the three because your feet WILL get wet and dry socks are your best friend. Since I'm riding in a Roadcrafter one piece suit I'd only take one pair of jeans but also one pair of very light nylon pants, synthetic long johns, and a nylon belt. The one place where I go over the top is gloves. I take at least four pair so I always have a new dry pair to wear. No matter what I have done my hands eventually get wet when it rains. I have waterproof overmits (Aerostich) and they are great but somehow a day long rainstorm still gets me wet. You will need good rain gear. Once again, my Roadcrafter does double duty here. Don't scrimp because you might find yourself in rain every day for a couple weeks. Sad but true. Finally, rig your bike for electric vest or liner. Make sure you have a way to regulate the heat. www.warmnsafe.com has good stuff but others do too. Buy the vest/liner ASAP because you might need the heat at any time on your ride. If you get caught in rain on a 50 degree day it gets darn cold before you know it and hyperthermia is your enemy. One final thought, pack everything in 2 1/2 gallon zip lock bags so they are not only organized but will stay dry. If you pack a couple extra of those bags you will certainly find a use for them..such as keeping your maps dry.

    Hope any of this is helpful,
    Peter Y.
    #22
  3. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    Thin the herd. Your bike will be glad you did. Take only what you need. All other is just weight on a long ride you will not need. Everyone makes this mistake going to Alaska, I was one of them. Probably used 2/3 of what I took.

    Your biggest concern on a K bike will be wet construction areas, which you will encounter, other than that just enjoy every mile, as it goes by fast.
    #23
  4. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    Yes, much appreciated. I make a point of not wearing any cotton drawrs ...t shirts...or socks. My base layer is always a synthetic. I have plenty of riding gear....except a electric vest or liner, which I am hoping to pick up early in the trip. I want to try one on in the flesh and not buy from the web.
    Great ideas

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    #24
  5. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    I have ridden in some nasty gravel roads here in Arkansas but I'm sure I will be awed by some I see up there. But hey that is part of the fun ...... Something new, different, blood curtyling.....lol.

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    #25
  6. Snuffy

    Snuffy Long timer

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    Sounds like your starting to lighten the load. Get it down to where you will still have plenty of room for all the souvenirs for your grandson and then mail them home once your in Alaska. Don't keep adding on as you go. Use what you have.

    Whether you take the Cassiar or Alcan don't pass a gas station. Your going to have a lot of daylight to ride in, take advantage of it. Just for kicks ( i thought it was a blast ) spend an all nighter on the road once you are way up north.

    Enjoy the ride and scenery. I've been up there many times and each trip always offers something new. You will be thinking about going back up before you even get home.:lol3
    #26
  7. pyoungbl

    pyoungbl Colonel Blood

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    It is important to be able to regulate the heat. If you simply hot wire a vest into your electrical system you will either roast or freeze. Rather than try to connect all this stuff out in the parking lot of Joe's Honda and Farmall you will be wise to connect the heat control now. All the vests use coax or SAE connections, most include an adapter to go from one type to the other. Don't get SAE because it grips so tightly that it is hard to plug in or unplug. The latter is a big deal because you will forget to unplug until you have taken two steps away from the bike and are suddenly brought up short, possibly damaging your vest or pulling the bike over. Been there, done that.

    Peter Y.
    #27
  8. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    +1

    dbarnes180 - you're getting the idea, but still a ways to go. You're carrying all the equipment you would need to sit in camp for days playing with gizmos. Why not save a lot of money by riding a couple hundred miles in any direction from home, setting up camp, and doing the same? Much less gas burned, you won't wear out your tires... you might even have cell phone reception. :lol2

    Let me reiterate. When you get back home, you will wish you had seen more than what your ten days will allow. While on this trip, you will want to spend as much time as possible traveling, or off the bike visiting interesting/exciting things along the way. You won't be traveling at escape velocity - there is just too much to see as you ride along the northern highways and you'll need to slow down to take it all in, so it will take longer to get to all the sites you hope to visit.

    Another factor you will have to learn to deal with once you get into the northern latitudes - and this you will find repeated in ride report after ride report - is the long daylight hours up here. "Stop and camp? Why... it's still broad daylight and there's no reason... 11:00 PM you say? :eek1 Well, maybe for a few hours, but the sun will be back up before long and I've places to go, things to see..."

    Ditch the box. Don't take any more than you can stuff into your side bags, top case, and tank bag. If it won't fit, you don't need it. :nono
    #28
  9. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

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    Word. :nod
    A box, in this context, is unnecessary.
    Ditch the box. You can do it!
    #29
  10. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    Wow !

    Huuuuuuum.

    Sleeping bag

    Tent

    Tarp 6 x 8..........

    What the F...udge....lol.

    O.K.

    I am all in..................no box!

    I am tired of packing and repacking that thing anyway...

    take
    care
    a
    friend

    Alaska here I come .......May 27th , 2009.:clap
    #30
  11. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

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    Your life will never be the same. I know how hard that was for you but it's a brave new world. And the adventure is about to begin.:nod
    WELL DONE! :thumb
    #31
  12. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Yep, we knew you could do it. :clap :clap :clap That's what friends are for - to encourage one another. :thumb You're now well on your way to recovery. :D
    #32
  13. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    Well I feel so much better with the box being off my list. Thanks again for all the encouragement from everyone.

    I bought a tank bag Friday and within an hour of riding in town stopping here and there I am wondering how I managed to live without one....lol. I bought a small one that stands up by itself about 8 inches max, two side pockets, map pocket and rain cover. Strap type. I really like the way it looks and feels on the bike.

    I also for ease and comfort, put together one of those turn tables to park on that I have seen on the Internet in different forums. Bought everything from Lowe's. All it is , is a circular bearing lazy Susan that has a capacity of 1000 pounds. I used JB weld to attach plate on the bottom and another plate on the top. Drive across it, put the bike on the center stand and then rotate the bike back toward the gate out of the carport. No more breaking my neck backing out of the carport. I have maybe two inches clearance on each side of the Pannier,s to get out of the gate. NICE.

    17 DAYS Left ...........

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    :clap
    #33
  14. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    We're proud of you! You'll make a great touring rider with just a little more practice. Just don't weaken. :nono

    You aren't planning on bringing that with you... are you? :eek1

















    Just kidding. :poser

    Getting just as anxious as you are. :D Hurry up and get on the road. :ricky
    #34
  15. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    Nope....lol.

    I will not be bringing the lazy Susan on the trip. I will be bringing the lazy David...

    take
    care
    a
    friend
    :clap
    #35
  16. idea man

    idea man Plate Spinner

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    I had the same thought. :rofl
    Whew.
    Still will be good to go for a little ride come back and set up camp. Tent, bag, and clothes will all need to be accessed in a certain order and that order frequently guides where on the bike you put them.
    Camera is kept in the tank bag or on a lanyard around the neck if it's a point and shoot deal. Wallet is kept where I can get to it without getting off the bike. Water, the same. Rainsuit, up top so I don't have to dig when the wet stuff is coming down (not many over passes up there to hide under) Might not be a bad idea to get one of these cargo net affairs http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/Bungee-Net-p-16198.html as a way of keeping the component parts on the bike.
    Keep us posted on your progress....and of course the free and alive feeling you now have without that giant sail on the back of the bike. I almost hate to do this but there is one more thing you could add on that will give you a little protection and storage and it's this: http://www.mt-sun.com/catalog.php?type=product&id=21362

    Here is a thread about the Mtn Sun Panniers. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=440914&highlight=sally+panniers Very good stuff. Edit: I am not Mt. Sun nor do I own Mt. Sun. It's just well sorted kit.
    #36
  17. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    Naw! I have enough. Thanks for the information and links.
    If on my trip I find I just absolutely have to have something, I will stop and buy it. But right now ...... I am ready to go tomorrow. But I have commitments up through the 26th of May and then I am ready for the road.
    #37
  18. eagle357

    eagle357 Not Dead Yet

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    I've scrolled back through this thread and can confirm that everyone's giving you the correct advice for riding up here in the frozen North. Not much I'd add except to be prepared to be COLD--I've ridden in snow every month of the year and enjoyed sub-zero mornings on many August rides. Enjoy, and good luck!
    #38
  19. dbarnes180

    dbarnes180 Been here awhile

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    I am picking up a heated jacket liner this week from Cyclegagets in Eureka Springs.....lol. I have been warned by many that I will be glad I did.
    #39
  20. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

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    Don't worry, it's getting hot up here now. Clear up to 56 in the sun today - had to stop working several times to get some iced tea. And my last couple of rides, it's only gotten down to 28 degrees. So you won't need any heated gear, it's downright balmy. :jkam
    #40