Tiny Bike to Alaska 2016 (Planning and Bike Prep)

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Tewster2, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    For those of us that travel with vitamins, the bottles the pills come in are really big and take up a lot of space. I carry my vitamins in a Zip Lock bag to save space. But....if you get stopped by Law Enforcement and for some reason they look through your stuff, it is a bad idea to have a bag full of pills without the original bottles or prescription (that used to be my job to check). So...to make it easier on the officer I photographed my vitamins with one of the pills sitting on the top of each bottle to easily identify them. I should be able to show the Officer the photos to make his job a bit easier.

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  2. simmons1

    simmons1 Long timer

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    This is an awesome idea!
  3. Higherhawk

    Higherhawk Still a n00b

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    Willy (or anyone else), do you know if there's any issue with carrying the Bear Bangers across the border from US to Canada? I've been searching for that answer and haven't yet come up with a solid result. Thanks.
  4. AdvRich

    AdvRich Long Time SmugMug Patron/Supporter

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    Bangers are a no go. That was a specific question by Canadian border agents while they were checking out my gear last year. Also, buy your bear spray up there (at Canadian tire) as the US spray doesn't have the Canadian certification. No problem bringing it back into US. I also had a mini air horn and two small canisters as well as a portable bear fence for a little more peace of mind while sleeping on a solo tour.

    Edit: US bear spray looks to be ok to take into Canada. See post below for clarification on this post.
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  5. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the info about the bear spray. I'll be getting some when I cross over the border. I've been traveling with a small hand held boat horn that will scare the daylights out of most things when it goes off.
  6. jackrabbit56

    jackrabbit56 Been here awhile

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    Have you had a chance to take a ride with your set up? I'm curious how the Wolfman outriggers affect the handling of the bike. I'm still sitting on the fence whether to buy the Expedition or Rocky panniers. You have the experience of sampling both.
    Cheers.
  7. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    I've taken a few rides around the area with bike packed to see what falls off :-). I haven't noticed any difference in handling with the new bags. At the speeds I travel (45 to 65 mph) I don't notice they are there. They measure 38.5 inches wide with the way I have them mounted. On the ride last year out west with the smaller bags I had no problems at all. On this ride I'll let everyone know if the larger ones cause any problems or if they work better (for me).

    As I putter along on the trip I'll do small reviews of all the stuff I have with me. Late next week before I leave I'll also do some better photos (closeups) of the final set up.
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  8. MoodyGS

    MoodyGS Going round the bend Supporter

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    TEW I cannot thank you enough for this uber detailed write up (& you haven't bloody left yet!). I am a rider of 39 years, but only months of experience motorcycle camping (2 up with my 13 year old son).
    I have devoured your posts much like reading a novel, learning so much.
    Looking forward to your voyage eagerly.
    God speed

    image.jpeg image.jpeg
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  9. CaptUglyDan

    CaptUglyDan Been here awhile

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    Thats not true, Bear spray bought in the US is allowed into Canada, as long as it states bear spray on the container its good to go, Pepper spray is not allowed.
    Bear bangers I have no idea since I don't carry them.
  10. AdvRich

    AdvRich Long Time SmugMug Patron/Supporter

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    That's fine. I'm not gonna go back and do the research I did last year to pull up the reference, though I think it was on the Canadian border site.
  11. Higherhawk

    Higherhawk Still a n00b

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    Thanks a bunch for the info. My impression is that if there is any doubt, don't take it across the border and avoid the hassle. Good info on the bear spray too.
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  12. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Thank you sir. Planning a trip for me is just about as enjoyable as the trip itself. I like sharing my thoughts, set up, tips I've learned from other more experienced travelers here on ADV, and getting comments about my stuff to make my ride a bit more easy and comfortable.

    My two sisters and I care for our elderly mom. As I'm retired, she spends about six months a year with me and the others with my sisters. That precludes me from traveling for many months at a time. During the time mom is with me here at the mountain house I get to plan, read, and absorb tons of info about my route and places to see. If you have any specific questions you can always PM me if you like.

    T-Minus 9 days until I go on a ride-about :-)

    BTW...I've never had children but traveled with my dad before he passed away in '92. It must be fun to ride with your son!
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  13. CaptUglyDan

    CaptUglyDan Been here awhile

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    I cross the border a few times a year with the bear spray I bought at REI years ago, Its the same bear spray they sell at Canadian Tire.
    I get the same ?'s every time about firearms etc.. and give the same answer everytime I cross, No Sir/Mame Just bear spray, with the same results.
    Welcome to Canada, Have a nice trip eh.
    By all means if it makes you feel better to wait till you cross the border, then head to the nearest Canadian tire and buy it there.
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  14. Higherhawk

    Higherhawk Still a n00b

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    Capt, I appreciate the info there as well. I am mostly concerned with the Bear Bangers as they have the potential to be considered in the "firearm" category. I'll probably take your suggestion for the bear spray prior to crossing the border. I was planning on having both anyhow. Now I'll probably just go with the spray and Tewsters little boat airhorn.

    I just figured I'd ask about it here since this thread has turned into a great little well of info for AK trips. Best of luck Tewster, ride safe and have a blast.
  15. Mastery

    Mastery Mr. Funny Man

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    When I went through Canadian customs on the way to Alaska last year, and the subsequent back into Canada after Skagway, both times I was asked if I had any weapons. Both times I said I had bear spray to use on any aggressive bears. Once I was asked to show it, the other time I was asked if it specifically stated it wear bear spray. Both times they said "no problem" and let me through. Now whether that followed Canadian law or not, I don't know. But both border agents working the Canadian entry were nothing but business so I'm guessing it follows their requirements.
  16. AdvRich

    AdvRich Long Time SmugMug Patron/Supporter

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    Sounds good and you did declare it, so it's not like all the stuff that gets across borders unknowingly simply on how one looks and presents that day. When I did the research last year, I came up with differing info and thought it best to just buy it up there. From what I recall there is a difference between Canadian bear spray and US. US has a higher percentage of capsicum and I remember reading Canadian was capped at 1% or less. So, I figured why buy a US can to possibly lose it to Johnny Zealot Border Agent on top of his game at $45 USD. Especially when the price wasn’t that much different with the exchange at that time.

    For written reference and thread integrity, my unused can of Sabre Wild bear spray bought at Canadian Tire is only .857% and has Canadian registration on the bottom. IIRC, they required my license info at time of purchase as well. US bear spray, like yours from REI is 2%. I cannot locate the document that I used for that reference last year, nor do I see it in this document from 2013 for Canadian Border Service Agency that I did reference then. Down on page 11 it talks about the spray needing to be labeled for bears, but no mention as to strength. http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d19/d19-13-2-eng.pdf

    Here’s another reference from the seller UDAP's FAQ page, who’s electric fence I have for wilderness camping. http://www.udap.com/mm5/FAQS


    So, for all reading along, I stand corrected as US bear spray looks fine for temporary import. Plus, it has more capsicum then the Canadian version. If yours is old, it'd be good to check the expiration date as useful life is stated to be three years.

    I'd like to also share that I’ve crossed a fair number of borders over the last several decades and have had no problems, but I’m always ready for the vagaries of who I’m dealing with (Johnny Relaxo, Johnny Zealot, or Johnny Bored and wants to dick with you.) and how they conduct themselves. I’ll briefly share an unusual occurrence for me with Canadian agents that I was not aware of. I was searched for all three trips into Canada last year at three different entries. On the final one while they were going through my kit, I asked what’s up with this as I’ve got a clean record in all accounts and have never experienced this in crossing other borders. The agent told me it was because when I was asked about my employment, my reply was retired and that I looked too young to be retired…. I thought quietly to myself… WTF!? I did say, “For real?!” I shit you not, that was what he told me straight up. Maybe I was just too happy to be out riding the bike, grinning like an idiot on those days. . . . go figure.
  17. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Thank you sir. And BTW...if you use the air horn make sure you point it out of your tent when you fire it off. If not you won't be able to hear for a month...ask me how i know hahaha.
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  18. CaptUglyDan

    CaptUglyDan Been here awhile

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    www.packalarm.net is what I use when camping in the wild, its a perimeter system that works without fail, and alot cheaper too, also packs easy.
    I used it when riding the Campbell and N/S Canol camping on solo rides. Simplicity at its best.
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  19. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Getting close to departure date and it's time to set the preload on the new spring. All my friends got really drunk last night and none of them will get up until mid afternoon so I've got no help at all from the bastards :-) So...I strapped the bike upright in my shop door. I weigh about 200 pounds with my riding gear on. I filled a tub with 200 pounds of rocks and set it on the seat. Simple.

    I set the preload so my rear axel, swingarm pivot, and the center of the CS sprocket are all in a line then I added a half turn more on the preload rings. I don't really do all the measuring and anal stuff...I just set it so the bike rides nice and soft. I can always go more or less if I need to.

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  20. Brian011952

    Brian011952 Been here awhile

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    That is a well set up bike. Nice work.