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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 15 Aug 2009
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Toronto to Arctic Circle

Hi All

I'm currently on a RTW and have so far travelled from Dubai to the UK with no probs. I am now flying myslef and my bike (BMW 650 Dakar) to Toronto and will be heading for the Arctic Circle, pretty much straight away!

Can anyone give me an estimate of how long this will take me? I will pretty much stick to the main highways I think. Fastest route.

Also, I am a solo female traveller and have absolutely no clue about bike maintenance (aghhh). Will I need special tyres due to the weather conditions?

If anyone is doing this route around this time, I am happy to travel together as I am slightly nervous about being on my own!!!!!!

Thanks
Louise
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Old 16 Aug 2009
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Welcome eh

Welcome to Canada, eh.

The fastest route from Toronto is to head west on Trans Canada Highway 1 to Saskatoon Sask. Then head up Hwy 16 for Edmonton in Alberta. From there Hwy 43 to Grand Prairie and onto Dawson Creek in British Columbia. That is the start of the Alsaska Highway and from there you go north west to White Horse in the Yukon Territories.

At this point you will have to make a decision about heading north on the Dempster Highway to the arctic circle and beyond – this is the Canadian side or to go further west cross into the USA and head towards Prudome bay on the American side.

As for disctance from Toronto White Horse is probably 7000 kms or so. If you go up to Dawson city and the Artic Circle on the Canadian side it is about 2000 kms return to White Horse. If you are going to the American side you it would be about 4000 kms return to White Horse. Remember quite a bit of this highway is not paved ie it is a maintained industrial gravel road. So if the weather is wet the road is very slippery. If it is dry is will just be dusty.

For bike service there is a good BMW dealer in Edmonton – sorry cant remember his name and a good one in Calgary – Blackfoot – both in the province of Alberta. You can always try getting some feed back/advise from one of the HU Communities from the larger cities on your trip as to who they would recommend using

As for tires I would change them as far north as you can an mount up a set of TKC knobbies for the dirt or a new set of Metzler Tourances and just ride a little more conservative

My wife and I will be in Dawson City probably the end of the first week of September looking to go north on the Dempster to the Arctic Circle. I am on a late model Suzuki and she is on her BMW 650 so if you are in the area keep an eye out for us

Good luck. Hope to see you on the road sometime

Kevan and Karen Ibbotson
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Old 16 Aug 2009
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Hi Guys

Thanks for your very informative information and I will definitely keep you updated.

I still can't believe that I will be arriving in 3 days and haven't even bought a map yet! I'm so looking forward to canada and its super large wilderness!

Bring it on!
Lou
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Old 17 Aug 2009
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Keep in mind that you would probably be hitting the Yukon and Alaska in early to mid Sept. It does start to get cold. Hope you have some heated gear.
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Old 17 Aug 2009
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Hi Lou and Hi Kavan, it's magic up there, just pray for good weather. As to maps, you should be able to pick up a good one free courtesy of the tourist board at Toronto airport and then at the welcome centres as you enter each state/province. With the exception of California the US ones are very good and if you have a UK AA card with you or meet someone who is in the CAA their offices also have excellent maps and accom. books for free and if you tell them you are going all the way up they will give you all the maps you need. Ride safe.
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Old 17 Aug 2009
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Hi Mike. Hi Darryl

Keep in mind the various HU Communities around North America. There are lots of us along your route willing to help or meet for a etc.

Have a look here : http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/com...tEnglish.shtml

scrool down to Canada and you will see lots of communities along your route.


Maps are nice but this is Canada. Head west to Saskatoon. Head north till you cant go no more. Head south till the weather improves.
No maps needed


Kevan
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Old 17 Aug 2009
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Shoot, this is almost as good as sharing s with (most of) those posting!

Biker Chick, you're well taken care of between Mike, Kevan and Darryl, but if in need of more information there've been a few other threads running more or less currently (or within the past few weeks) on the same subjects. And there are still a great many folks riding both directions on the few routes north once you bull your way across the Plains. You're on the sort of schedule I prefer--for the relative absence of slow RV's, "campground full" signage, and vampiric mosquitoes.

Ride safe and have fun!

Mark
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  #8  
Old 23 Aug 2009
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Hi All

I've arrived in the great wilderness of Canada. Had a mad, long flight from London which diverted to Ottawa due to weather and then delayed for ages!

Anyway, the skies are nice and clear today and I got my bike out with no problems at all. The Canadian customs were absolutely fantastic and efficient and no questions asked (I have Dubai number plates and a passport full of Iranian/Middle Eastern Stamps!)

Off tomorrow to find some heated clothing and then heading north. Thanks for all the advice and it's great to know how much support is around!

Also, I was told today that I may have just missed the mosquito season and I may be able to catch the Northern lights- hurrah!

Wish me luck
Lou
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  #9  
Old 7 Sep 2009
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In Whitehorse

FYI we are in White Horse just heading south again. We made it to the Arctic Circle 3 days ago on the Dempster Highway.

Road is in good condition with some mud and loose gravel but very doable. There was snow there earlier last week but warm and dry the two days we went up. Good luck on your trip.

See you on the road

Kevan aka Dirtpig
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  #10  
Old 14 Sep 2009
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Wanna wish you good luck on the ride, its a beautiful ride. Please due keep in mind that it will become Bitterly cold up there and snow will be flying in a short time. And after it drops below about 6deg C. you will find your tires will not adhere to the road as well. This isnt too bad, but what I did find rather annoying in the 0deg or lower was the front end shocks are not as responsive. You will need to bounce them a few times to warm them up a little before pulling out. I always hate the feel of cold forks. Anyways, watch out for wildlife on th e highways up north and enjoy your stay here in the Great White North. Its nice to have visitors coming way up north.

On a side note, around 2-4am you should try to take a look up in the sky. well, anytime at night really, its just more prominent at 2-4am and closer to the equinox. The aura borealis will amaze ya!
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