Since deciding to do this ride a few years ago, there have been many ups and downs in life that have both changed the departure date as well as has made this ride so much more personal to me. In about thirteen hours, I will climb on the Vstrom and ride towards the Arctic Circle.
There are no illusions regarding this ride…it is not for the faint of heart. Not only have I heard, “You are going to do WHAT?” from many non-riders, but I also have heard the same statement from those that have ridden motorcycles for decades. Not happy using my bike for simple transport to a bar or around the block to get a little wind once a summer, I have always been the wanderer…the seeker…the person that wants to know what is beyond the hill over there.
Unfortunately so many people just do not understand the need to do this activity; but then again, I do not understand spending your weekends taking one of your kids to a sporting event that they are being forced to participate just so you have time to sit in the stands and gossip with your neighbors. To each, their own.
A few people I just need to thank…just in case for some reason a bear gets me on the way and I do not make it back home.
Brian. He helped me this past fall get the Vstrom road ready. And when I freaked out this morning realizing I might have to cancel the trip due to my rear suspension failing, he spent hours taking the bike apart, fixing it, double checking it, and all without a complaint or fuss. Today was one of his days off and I put him way behind spending the day the way he originally had designed. Thanks Brian.
Mitch. He helped me the year before get the Harley Ultra ready to do this ride. Although once the work was completed I nearly immediately came across the Vstrom and bought it with the intent of riding it to Alaska instead, I learned a lot about bikes in general from Mitch. Thanks Mitch; I appreciate the fact you froze out there in the garage with me just making sure that things were done properly.
My mom. Yep. Good ol’ mom. We had talked for around a decade that we would go do an Alaska cruise together since that had been her favorite vacation spot. Mom passed away almost two years ago, in September. She finally lost a fight with cancer. She had a good run…a couple decades of fights but she just got tired and decided to go out on her own terms and not from being saved a few more days by medical treatment. When the time was nearing the end, she made me promise I’d go to Alaska without her. Looks like I’m finally going, mom. Don’t worry, you are going with me.
Lastly, Bonnie. Bonnie’s my wife. The two of us have had an incredible rough journey since the day we met back in 2000…and fifteen years later, we still face the good and bad times together. I drove her nuts every day since my mom passed away with the need to go to Alaska. Bonnie said “go”. No ifs, ands, or buts. Simply “go”.
I don’t talk about my family very much in this blog…I think because it has become something personal to me outside of my daily living activities such as family and work. She knows this can be a dangerous journey but she also understands the epic adventure that awaits. I see so many spouses out there that do not support their other half; I hear the BS that people talk about their partners. Things have changed a lot in just the past six weeks; all from ridding my life of the toxicity of others. Cleanse your soul, discover the world. Love you Bonnie…thanks for being my best friend.
So…to get back on track…everything is done for the trip. Everything. Bike is aimed at the garage door waiting for sometime between 4 and 5AM to come around in which the gateway opens and the adventure begins.
Mileage currently shows 42,350. As of right now, no suspension oil leaks, proper air in the tires, and I’ll top off with gas outside the neighborhood.
If you want to follow the journey, keep an eye on that annoying map thing at the top of this blog. It will go live when I get going tomorrow morning. I would love to keep a very detailed journal going online of this trip as I have done in the past with other motorcycle vacations…but this one is a little different. I’ll throw up some random pictures and words as I go…maybe….but my focus will be on looking at the scenery, watching out for moose in the road, and the enjoyment of meeting new people along the way. When I return, I’ll be a lot more detailed about the adventure.
If you are tracking me and you see me ride by, make sure to wave.
Enjoy your day.