Sunday, September 12, 2010

Up the Elliot and Steese Highways

After getting my chores for the day out of the way, I went for a nice bike ride. I went about 30 miles up the Elliot Highway to the White Mountains before turning around heading back to Fox. From Fox, I headed north about 20 miles up the Steese Highway to the Chatanika Roadhouse, before turning around towards town. I essentially just rode around enjoying the scenery and the ride. I didn't bring my camera so this is just a phone snapshot at the Pedro Monument on the Steese Highway, my only stop for the day. There were some rough roads and the bike handled it great. Amazing what proper air pressure in the front tire will do. A couple of days ago, the bike felt "squirrelly" when the road was really uneven (frost heaves). There were some twisty downhill sections and I was trying to figure out which direction I had more problems with. At least for today, both directions were about the same assuming there was no gravel. I'm still not very comfortable when the rear tire starts to slide sideways which happened twice today but at least I managed to "keep the shinier side up" as they say and attempted to get a bit more comfortable with gravel/dirt. All in all, it was a great day for riding.

Originally, I was thinking of going up to the Arctic Circle but due to time constraints, there wasn't enough time. About this time last year, I went up the Elliot and the Dalton Highways (aka "haul road") to the Yukon River bridge before filling up and turning around. It was a long, slow trip and I don't think it would've been any faster this year. Fully faired touring bike with skinny street tires plus gravel roads isn't the best mix. At that time, it never occurred to me that the Arctic Circle was only about 60 miles further up the road. It would have made a good picture. Maybe next year.

There were a lot of bikes out today. We all probably felt like getting in another good ride before the end of the riding season. It was about 50°F and sunny. I think the full fairing and large windshield on my old R100RT has me really spoiled. Three hours on the bike and never even felt chilled. After getting home, I noticed that I still had the arm and back vents on my jacket open. Haven't even had to use the liner yet even on mornings in the low 30s (F).


  1. Oh my, that pic looks very much like fall is already there. Enjoy every bit of your riding time, because winter is already lurking around.

  2. Given that a ride to the Arctic Circle is a huge venture for someone coming from where I live, I love the non-chalant manner in which you refer to just deciding to take a ride up there. A curse and a tease all at the same time. Tease for us that aren't close. A curse for you since fall is ticking off the good days of riding for you, but is starting up the riding in earnest here. Happy riding! -Lori