Saturday, 6 September 2014

Dangerous Road No. 1

Dalton Highway
OK I was basically shitting myself. I've managed lots of riding bikes in sand, mud, rain even snow (long time ago in Scotland) but my
nerves were getting the better of me. What if I crash on the first part? That would totally screw the whole trip. The brand spanking shiny new bike would be wasted and so would most of my funds.
The ride would take 4 days. Aiming for the most northerly part of my trip, Dead Horse and in the middle, Coldfoot for over night stop.

So I leave Fairbanks Alaska and reach the start of the Dalton.

mud on a dry and sunny day
So all is going good until I reached my first Dalton Highway roadworks, nothing new there perhaps but here is how it goes. Dig up perfectly compacted although bumpy dirt road, make the surface all nice and fluffy. Its a bit flaky but manageable at normal speeds most of the time. But that's too easy, Next bring along a water truck and spread the love all over that flaky surface. Result is a lovely concoction of sloppy mud which I recommend you do not ride onto at 70 mph thinking you are a Dakar legend. As it turns out I'm a leg end and nearly lose it. When i finally slow to a stop and check there is no mud inside my pants I decide to ride like a beginner with feet out for a short distance, just in case the bike wanders. This is not dignified and I regret not changing both tyres to suit. I may as well have had slicks on the rear as this and the weight of the luggage was all over the place. At one point the bike was actually crabbing along a slope and I was crapping myself at the same time.

Is that it? Nope. lets add some more challenge. How about rain then fog. add some big trucks that cannot stop and cannot see you until they notice your arse going under the front bumper because you are moving too slow wading through the mud. Ah and the best bit, a fast moving truck in the opposite direction sprays you with road diarrhoea which renders you blind. All good fun.

Yes happy to be finished that one. To be fair, the majority of this road is really easy, long section of tarmac or gravel, (oh how pleased I was to see gravel) with the majority of the dirt sections really easy.

I'm sure the guy in the water truck has small motorcycle logo's with a diagonal red line across it to signify another rider who went on his/her arse.

 So as the first hurdle is completed, i can relax, drink beer, eat and be merry until the next one.

Next: The Road of Tears

2 comments:

  1. You descripe it very good, mate I had on day two from Coldfoot to Deadhorse all day rain, with my visir getting often blind with water and mud, and all time fog so you dont see the trucks very soon and you do not like to do any Fotos.
    CU at your HU-Meeting!
    Joerg.

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  2. So just easing into it are u Steve... just warming up the tyres ;-)

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