Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Alaska Primer

For those who are thinking of riding to Alaska, there is an excellent post on called "Alaska Primer" by Alcan Rider in the Alaska Regional section of the forum. It is entertaining, somewhat comical but does have the normal feel to it. Here is just a sample of the full post.

ALASKA PRIMER (for ADV types headed this way)

BEARS: Contrary to what you may have gleaned from various ride reports, no, there is not a bear behind every tree. We have a number of trees almost equal to the national debt, but many of those are too small for even one of our runty squirrels to hide behind, let alone a huge, ferocious grizzly. Count yourself lucky if you get to see a bruin in the wild - only a small percentage of visitors do.

BIKES: So you've been wanting to ride to Alaska for at least ten years, but you tell us the reason you haven't is that you still can't afford that awesome GS sitting on the BMW dealer's floor that you drool over every time you stop by there. To that, I say BS (in capitals, you'll notice). The reason you still spend your vacation time south of the border is because you're a wimp! You want a bike that will make the trip for you, instead of you having to learn to ride it yourself. Quit making excuses. Go out and find yourself a used bike in the $2000 - $3000 range, one that has a good reputation for reliability, that will haul you and about half the gear you think you will need for the trip (because what you think you'll need is twice what you really need), that will carry sufficient fuel in its tank for at least 150 miles, and that fits you. Spend a few hundred to ~$1000 on suspension upgrades (our roads are hard on overloaded bikes), work on the bike yourself so you know it intimately, then get some experience with it on gravel roads. Spend a little more on a good camera and a spare battery, then get your butt on the road.

And much more. For the full post and the equally entertaining comments, please visit the forums and read the full post. It's worth the trouble....


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Richard:

What a cool recommendation for a good read. It will be a long time before I ever get to ride to Alaska, but I like to think I will get there eventually. I intend to start thinking about it by reading these tips. 9I too thought there was a polar bear problem in the Suburbs.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Trobairitz said...

oooh I'll have to read that when I have more time.

That excerpt is a good read so far. I like it when they use a lot of humor.

redlegsrides said...

Nice link Richard, thanks!


Redleg's Rides

Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

RichardM said...

Jack, Brandy & Dom,
When I first read this post, I thought it was great and that others may enjoy it. If you look through the Alaska Regional forum, you see all of these questions and many more that seem to come up repeatedly. Yes, it's kind of a long ride to Alaska but it isn't like it was 40 or 50 years ago.

Conchscooter said...

THe only problem with ADVrider is there's so much content to peruse you can get lost and I frequently do. This link is just what I needed.

RichardM said...

You are right, there are too many sections and new posts to read. Lately, I've only been looking at the Alaska Regional section, And even then, only weekly.

Unknown said...


I had two groups of friends who went to Alaska during 2010. One group by car for around 6-8 weeks, and another by M/C for 4 weeks (for which there is an ADVrider RR posted) I didn't go because I only had 2 weeks. Oh, well, maybe one day.

I was really wanting to ride NS and NL but it takes a week each way just to get there

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

NS & NL? Not sure what those mean.

Yes, a month would be minimum. A post-retirement trip. Key West via Alaska...

Unknown said...


NS = Nova Scotia
NL = New Foundland

I have already researched shipping my bike to Toronto and ride from there, and then back, or buying one on Toronto. It is a motorcycle paradise in the Maritime, quaint villages & towns and little traffic

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

RichardM said...

Oh! Those two places have been added to my list of places to see after seeing photos of the area.