Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finally Getting a Little Riding In

After not being able to ride for the last week, I just had to ride somewhere, anywhere. There was a church activity at the Chatanika River campground off of the Elliot Highway north of town. It wasn't the best weather for riding as shortly after I left the house, rain was coming down by the bucket. The rain started to lighten up around Fox which is a settlement about 15 miles north of town. I hadn't been up the the Chatanika River campground for over 20 years so I knew about where it was. I used to go up there in the late Fall to spear whitefish. In the dark, you wade through the river carrying a Coleman gasoline lantern. The whitefish are attracted to the light and you spear them. Much more efficient than using a fishing pole. When I was a graduate student, this was a great way to get a little more protein in the freezer. Maybe it was a bit too efficient as whitefish spearing was shut down for a while.

I passed the entrance to the campground and decided to continue north since I had plenty of time. Around Livengood, the rain had picked up again and there had been several sections of loose gravel and mud. At this point I decided to stop and take some pictures but discovered that I didn't have my phone with me. I turned around and headed back to the Chatanika River. This is near the beginning of the Dalton Highway which heads north to Deadhorse.

Wednesday afternoon - Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day and I went on the Tuesday evening ride. I had been receiving emails of these rides all summer and this was the first time I was actually able to go. It was a small group, all BMWs (R1200GSA, two F800GS's, R75/6 and my R100RT. After a short discussion we headed out on a circuitous route north of town and ended up at the Pagoda in North Pole. This is probably the best Chinese restaurant in the area and was even featured on the Food Channel (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives). I'm not sure which category this place fit in but the food is great. The company was great but I really don't like riding in groups. Most of the time, I felt "rushed". Maybe it's just me. Thank you to Justin Kleiter at The Outpost/Trail's End BMW for setting up these rides. Including the evening ride, I ended up riding 250 miles just running around or going nowhere in particular.


  1. ah, the desperation ride...the fix. Don't we all know that feeling sometimes! Too bad about the rain, but sounds like the Wednesday ride was pretty good. 250 miles is a good way to scratch that riding itch!

  2. I'm glad you had a nice evening ride after riding in the rain the day before.

    I agree about riding in groups. I don't mind it sometimes, but I always feel rushed. I feel like it isn't so much a group ride as it is a bunch of people meeting up later for a meal at the destination after riding some great roads (not necessarily together).

  3. Kari & Brandy:
    Actually, the rain doesn't bother me much except making some parts of the road a bit messier. The fairing provides quite a bit of coverage.

    The K60's are working out great. Now that I'm used to them, the handling is pretty good. I think that street tires may corner better but since I don't scrape the pegs, it doesn't really matter. No significant vibration except when leaned over. Wet weather grip seems to fine. I think that they are much heavier as you can feel it when braking. Much more force needed. I don't know if it is just in my head but they seem to confidence inspiring in the gravel. I haven't been in the mud yet but I heard that they fill up and don't do so well. So far, I am very happy with them.

    One comment from another rider is that they give the bike a "Mad Max" character...

    Thank you all for commenting.