Day 1

What a fabulous riding day! The sun is shining, it is warm (for April in Fairbanks Alaska) I rode a total of about 380 miles today. The ambient temperature ranged from about 25 degrees when I left this morning to 50 (reported by NOAA) in Fairbanks. 

 I arrived in Fairbanks at 5 PM (during rush hour? and promptly rode around on the Steese bypass. I wanted to get a lay of the approach to the Elliot (leads to the Dalton) from town, and find a hotel closer to the north end for a quick "no city" departure tomorrow. I also rode north on the Elliot about 15 miles to talk to some truckers that have just come down the road. I will not tell you all what I found out until tomorrow. Suffice it to say, I am stripping all gear from my bike and leaving it in the hotel room, and make my run light. I think it will be safer, and probably way more fun that way. 

My equipment performed almost flawlessly. The bike is running great as always. accept for a strange wear pattern on my front TKC It appears that it is rubbing off the trailing edge of the center nobbies.  I am thinking it is because I was riding pretty fast (averaging over 80)  First thing tomorrow, i will check for play in the head, or bearings before I leave. I will also check the pressure. and ride a little slower. If it continues to wear at the same rate, I will be having to find a new tire before I leave Fairbanks. It is that bad.  My back tire on the other hand doesn't seem to be wearing at all. 

I must laud the virtues of my riding gear, without it, this ride would not be possible. It keeps the cold wind off me, and makes me feel a little safer.  I did not get cold today. My left hand got a little cold because I kept taking my glove off to make some adjustments, but otherwise, I was pretty comfortable considering what I am doing.

I used my Nexus One phone for all digital functions. It was plugged in or I probably would have killed the battery before I got out of Wasilla. Tomorrow, I will get a picture or two of the way I have the phone mounted on my handlebars.  It is not waterproof but that has not been a worry yet. I will however stow it if the road gets to wet tomorrow.

So, I used the media player to feed Metalica (and other motivations) directly to my brain. I also used the camera to take pictures and upload them to my picasa album and to Facebook. I also used qik to stream and upload videos
I did use the navigation feature in Fairbanks to find the hotel, Pizza, etc. I must say, for a phone, it worked every bit as good as the Zumo, I use when riding in the lower 48. 
Tomoorw, I will use Google maps on the phone and gps to tell me where I am in relation to my goal. 

As for todays ride, what can I say, it was beautiful!. Not much traffic, no real bad places on the road (no worse than normal Alaskan roads. but not as bad as i have had it later in the year. Even that long cold stretch south of Cantwell was not noticably colder than the rest of the trip. It was cold starting off this morning, Not a cloud in the sky anywhere.  The only place I had shade was behind  a nob or two north of Fairbanks. 

All the rivers except the Chena are still frozen. The ride through Denali village was astounding. I was however more than supprised to see that they installed not one, but two stoplights on the parks highway in downtown Denali village. They of course were not active but strange to see them none the less. 

That stretch of twisties between Nenana and Fairbanks was freaking wonderful! I had pretty much passed everybody on the road by then, and had some really good freedom on that stretch. I love the way it climbs to the sky as it is twisting. then drops into fairbanks over a very long banked downhill curve. I was pretty neat to feel the sun come around from my back to my side, as I followed that curve. 

Well, a little time in the hotel hot tub, a 30.00 pizza (OUCH) and I am off to bed, dreaming of what the road will show me on Saturday. 

By the way, I stopped at the truck stop north of Fox, I had no less than 3 "locals" tell me I was for sure the first adventure rider they have seen this year. 


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