5 weeks to go... The Arctic Ride Alaska Route
Welcome back to The Arctic Rider blog!
5 weeks today I'll be setting off once again for the Arctic Circle on my motorbike to raise money for charity.
I wanted to do a quick blog to share my route with you all. Its been chopping and changing due to different flights, not knowing what bike I was going to be riding, and where I needed to start from but now that it is all sorted I can share with you my plans.
Now I'm going to be honest, this route looks tough... very tough for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the mileage. I've got around 5,800 miles to ride in 18 days... but 2 of those days the bike and I will be flying, so its actually 16 days.. meaning I have to average 360 miles per day.. I've also included 2x contingency days into my plans, so its actually more like 400 miles per day with a few 500+ mile days thrown in there for good measure. Now I might have completed the UK end to end Iron Butt which was an 875 mile day but that just about killed me. Its good to know if push came to show I could do a mega day, but I'm not counting on it.
Secondly, the logistics. I'm starting my ride in the UK, then I'm flying to Canada, then I'm clearing my bike through Canadian customs, then I need to enter the US, then I need to re-enter Canada, and finally fly the bike and I home... thats a whole lot of admin I could do without which will no doubt cost me time.
Thirdly... jet lag. I've got an 8 hour time difference between days 1 and 2 which I'll need to recover from fast to get the mileage in.
Finally, I've got 800 miles of one of the worlds most dangerous roads, The Dalton Highway, thrown in there for good measure... wow, this is going to be one hell of a trip.
Right, so what does each days look like? Here is a quick break down and a short animation:
Day 1 - 300 miles - A nice warm up day from my house in Newcastle to Heathrow airport in London, via Suzuki HQ and meeting a few of my biker buddies along the way (get in touch if you want to meet up and ride some with me.. my route is very simple.. (A1 -- M1 -- M25)
Day 2 - 60 miles - The bike and I fly out on a 9 hour flights from London to Calgary in Canada. I'll then check the bike out of customs, pick up some supplies and get out of Calgary towards the Rockies (hopefully)
|Banff National Park|
Day 4 - 438miles - Another long day riding through the forests of Canada arriving at the start of the Alcan Highway (Alaska-Canada) by the end of the day
|The Alcan Highway|
Day 5 - 403 miles - A full day on the Alcan and back into the Canadian Rockies for some great views.
Day 6 - 503 miles - Biggest planned day of the trip. Carrying along the Alaska Highway and finally entering Alaska and riding through the Alaska Range mountains.
|Yukon River Bridge - The Dalton Highway|
Day 7 - 341 miles - From Tok up to Fairbanks, my last touch point with civilization and a stop for supplies, before starting on the Dalton and setting up camp at Yukon River Bridge.
Day 8 - 219 miles - What seems like a shorter day in miles will actually be longer in hours. 200+ miles of dirt road on The Dalton will be where I test my riding skills. I'll cross the Arctic Circle and aim to stop at Galbraith Lake just over the Brookes Range, the last mountains in North America and home to the Anaktuvuk Pass, 2,200ft slope I'll have to navigate.
|Galbraith Lake Campground|
From here, depending on my progress, I'll have another 8 days to get back the 2,445 miles to Vancouver (including my 2 spare days). If I'm on track or ahead of schedule, I'm going to try and make it down into Alaska, passing mount McKinley and on to Anchorage, before heading back to Canada. If I'm behind, I'll be taking the most direct route back to Vancouver so I don't miss my flights and freight home... Then the last leg is a 300 ride back home from London to Newcastle after another 9 hours fight... easy right?
If you have any comments about my route or local knowledge, please get in touch! I certainly don't know it all.
Thanks for reading. Please keep up with my preparations and the ride on my Facebook and Twitter pages.
You can donate to my cause will all the funds going direct to the charities at www.virginmoneygiving.com/thearcticrider