You’re Riding to Alaska?

“…all by yourself?!”

I had to repeat Tom’s statement as a question as we sat in his downtown Dallas bar and grill sipping cool pints of draft Guinness stout (Peter Egan would be proud). Tom had just informed me he was going to be gone for a while at the end of the month because he would be riding to Alaska.

Not only was he riding to Alaska, he was doing it on a used bike he would pick up in Seattle, then ride north into Alaska and eventually all the way home to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

I thought I was the only guy in these here parts crazy enough to plan an adventure like that. I don’t know how I’m going to top it. My planned iron butt trip from Grapevine, Texas to Sturgis via the Rocky Mountains was going to be an odyssey of epic proportions that my buddies (like Tom) would be impressed by.

But Tom had undoubtedly both up-staged and beaten me to the punch.

I received an email from him yesterday:

“It’s cool and cloudy in Bremerton Washington, a pleasant change from another summer in Texas. I flew in yesterday, picked up a sleeping bag at REI in downtown Seattle, caught the ferry to Bremerton, picked up the new (to me) bike, a 2006 Ducati Multistrada, and spent the rest of the day fiddling with it. The only fly in the ointment is that the GPS that came with the bike came in a box and doesn’t seem to have any maps preloaded into it. So I’ll navigate the old fashioned way, with map and compass. There’s not really that many roads in British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alberta, it really shouldn’t be a problem…

…Many people have asked why I’m taking this long ride. Many of you know that John Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors. The question is answered in the first two chapters of his book “Travels With Charley”.

So I’m going to wander for a bit…”

Hell, Tom, you’re officially in my list of heroes.
And I’m highly envious.

Below are a few pics Tom is sending as he makes his journey. Check back for updates. He’s just written from Alaska.

Somewhere way up north with a 2006 Ducati Multistrada

avatar Greybeard

Divers use “the buddy system” for a reason. It’s either very brave or stupid to make this trip solo, (choose one). There’s a lot of “there” on that road where you could find yourself needing someone to help pick up the pieces and save your life. Still, there is the strong lure of doing it like Lindbergh, isn’t there?
I don’t know a lot about Ducatis. I know they’re fast on the race course so they’ve apparently got a bulletproof engine. But I think I’d want a shaftie on that trip to minimize one “failure” variable.
My “bucket list” includes the dream of doing a lap around America…
Starting in Fall and working my way slowly across the South, then up that “Then Came Bronson” highway in CA and across the Northern States in the warmer months.
And even there I’d like to share the experience with someone I enjoy, and having once ruined a chain riding in a hurricane I’ll take a shaft-drive, thankyouverymuch.

avatar Tim Frazier

A mixture of bravery and stupidity are required ingredients for one to have a successful adventure. However, the degree of stupidity is greatly lessened when one has a firearm, training, ammo, sufficient cash and credit cards, and the electronic backup of multiple phones and carriers.

Tom is missing one thing that I would want to take along on a solo journey like this to give me the same confidence and security I have when sleeping in my own bed at home.

A good dog.

Otherwise these journeys are far less foolish these days and sometimes must be undertaken even though none will go with one. As the man said, “The question is answered in the first two chapters of his book ‘Travels With Charley’.”

I’m now over one-third of the way through.

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