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Two Moto Kiwis Arctic To Antarctic May 2012 On...
Heya fellow Hubber's.
After discussion with Susan and Grant and my apparent lack of skill we are copying out Ride Report here for fello Hubbers to (hopefully) enjoy.
Welcome to our trip of a life time, we are Two Moto Kiwis, our blog is Two Moto Kiwis
We are Andi & Ellen Delis from Wanaka in Central Otago New Zealand, see here. Wanaka, New Zealand
I have been owned by 37 bike over 33 years, Ellen has only been riding the last two years.
We left New Zealand May 3rd leaving behind friends and family, our jobs and most of our responsibilities to come see America from top To Bottom, we have started in Anchorage AK and we are setting up here, Barb and Victor from Alaska Leather Alaska Leather have been absolutely instrumental in seeing TMK get off the ground so our heart found thanks goes to these guys.
Our plan is to travel around in Alaska first off then go to Prudhoe Bay, catch up with fello ADVers in Dawson at the D2D gathering, head north to Inuvik, fly up to Tuktayuktuk then head south taking in the middle and west side of Canada, USA, Mexico, Central then South America down to Ushuaia ... then decide where to go from there money and time dependent.
We are riding two DR 650s, Ellen has a 2011 White one, mine is a 2012 Grey one, both new through Alaska Leather, we decided given the distance we will travel and cost to ship my bike from NZ we both will start on new machinery.
We are running Safari 30 L Tanks, screens from Screens For Bikes in Australia, Sargent seats, Bark Buster Storm, AME heated grips, Garmin 660 GPS and my bike has a YSS damping, both bike have Intiminators.
In the next post we will show the gear we have chosen, we have to wait until Ellens trousers arrive
We have some acknowledgments to make first off to the people and businesses that been been of great help and sponsored us with product, I no particular order they are
ARAI Helmets USA - Have sponsored us with the new XD4 Adventure helmets, Ellens in White, mine in Fluro Yellow, these things rock, I have an ARAI Chaser for my road helmet and these have met all the expectations for teh same quality fit and finish.
Klim Adventure Gear - Have sponsored my Adventure Rally Jacket and Badland Pro pants as well as the Inferno warm layer top and bottom, this is the best gear I have ever worn in my life and I am very grateful to be wearing the best gear to cover all conditions.
Kevin and Keiko from Te Anau New Zealand - Keiko designed and drew our cards and logos, seriously cool given I don't have an arty bone in my body.
Delis Tools from Kaiapoi in New Zealand - sponsored our Kincrome luggage cases.
Icebreaker Clothing from New Zealand - sponsored our Merino gruds, socks and longs johns, we love Merino clothing and Icebreaker as it tolerates smelly stinky adventure bikers without stinking like cotton does and it is very warm to layer up with.
Alaska Leather - Barb and Victor, I simply can't say enough so I won't even try. Legends they are getting two foreigners of the ground in style.
Bark Busters- sponsored our Barkbuster Storms which Ellen has already crash tested and saved our first set of levers.
Sargent Seats - sponsored our low height comfort seats, they have saved our arse from one end of the planet to the other as the factory DR seats or shockers.
Mike and Mei Dawson in New Zealand for sponsoring a good contribution to riding to to make sure we make it safe back to New Zealand
Screens for Bikes from Australia, these screens are mint taking the wind blast off our chest and taking the load off our helmets, who says you can't have a few home comforts
So the next post we will put up gear and pics, just got the lappy and camera so learning quickly how to use them so please be patient
After 10 days of intense working, chopping, grinding, soldering, drilling, bashing, scraping and knuckle bashing Chiwi and Hobbit are finally ready to race. (we are STILL married) :evil
We learnt a lot about the bikes, everything we had prepared fitted like glove and we established that if we couldn't fix it with a big hammer it was an electrical problem.
We were going to take both bikes to Amy's - an ADV (adventure rider ) who rides Suzuki DR650 invited us a few other guys for a salmon feed on Saturday night (12th May), Andi took them both out on the drive way and got them started. Some how Chiwi took herself out off the stand and fell over, on the way down Chiwi blatantly attacked Hobbit and knocked Hobbit off his*perch*as well. Ellen rushed over turned both of them off. well, Andi's crash board on the side panniers took the hit and the left rear case took a beating where Chiwi bit him. Anyway, Chiwi seemed not liking the fall and wouldn't start when we picked her up!!. With the time pressure, we had to both jump on Hobbit and went to Amys.
The dinner party (our first official engagement) was wonderful, we meet some local ADVs as well. Amy cooked up a storm for us, Jack, Paul, Rodger and Katey all gave us some good advice on riding. It was the second time people asked us if we have heated vest, they said we would need them going up to the North. We think we will try what we have now - which is three layers of Icebreaker, see how it goes.
Sunday 13th May, we left Anchorage to Homer, which is 210 miles west of Anchorage. Andi gave Chiwi a blow job (per Amy) to get it started (remember it wouldn't start after falling over the night before, must have been an air lock in the fuel tube and stopped the fuel get into the carb).
We knew it would be cold, so two layers of Icebreaker long Johns and three layers for the upper body. Only just out of city on the highway a bitterly cold wind hit us, then came down with rain. With heated grips on full, our hands still cold.
We stopped at a service station, wanted some hot food to warm us up. The hot soup was nothing like the one we imagined, clear water with a few slice of noodles and chicken strips served with crackers! Not stopping here again.
After the luke warm clear water soup, we hit the road again. It's getting colder and colder, the rain turned to snow! We had to keep wiping our visor to be able to see through it. Ellen was thinking:"what the hell is it? Is not the same as what Amy said the night before." She couldn't see through her visor, and kind of lost the sense of balance. She was almost in tears, *just as well Andi found a bypass and we can pull over.
Fortunately, the snow turned to rain again after we came down a bit. The road was getting drier and the Sun almost came out. "It was lucky, " Ellen thought. However, she spoke too soon. The road turned wet again and this time, came down with hale! Ellen visor was fogged up inside, so she could not see through again. She tried to pull the visor up, then the hale hit her face like cutting knives. So she shut the visor, can't see the road. It was getting really dangerous now. She slowed down, kept the bike up straight, until finally passed the hale zone. "That was a ride in hell, I wasn't prepare for that."she thought.
After about 3 hour riding through wind, rain, snow and hale, it was still 95 miles away from Homer. The sky came to clear, the road was dry and it getting warmer. We were on boarder of thinking heated vest might be on the shopping list for next ride, but also understand we only need them here in Alaska, then carry them around the rest of the trip. Maybe we try 4 layers of Icebreaker on the way back.
There was no drama for the last leg of our trip, we started to see muse on the side of the road. GPS took us to Charlie's - another ADV rider. Homer welcomed us with sun shine and beautiful snow mountain and a Moose grazing in front of Charlie's front yard. The four seasons ( cold, very cold, very very cold and freezing ) we had gone through to get here - it worth it.
Greetings Hubbers, well today (Tuesday 15th May) was very cool, beautiful day to play with greeted us through the curtains, we are lucky enough to be staying with Charlie at his home in Homer so 5 star.
We set off for a ride to Anchor Point the Western most point you can drive to, we were greeted with breathtaking views and a nice still day.
A total thrashing with the camera and poses galore we recorded our stop at Anchor Point, from there we went up to Nickolaevsk a Russian settlement with a beautiful church.
We headed back to Homer again to record our “been there done that and got the T shirt” in front of the Homer sign .... as ya do!!
Back for a quick lunch then off to See Dean at Full Power then out to Voznesenka however Ellen decided it was time to lay Chiwi down for a rest .. but she did this at a busy intersection much to the interest of other traffic., kids do not try this at home!!!
I went back to rescue the stricken maiden and her lovely stead, my “kiwi made” crash boards have paid their way and the Barkbuster storms have probably saved us a hundy on levers already!
Only two minutes later .... take two, we pull up to Deans shop and bang down she goes again from car park on an angle and some bad estimating, this time Dean had the honours of righting Chiwi back to rubber side down.
After recomposing our fair maiden again and standing round in the sun having a chat we set off to Barb and Victors cabin then headed out to Voznesenka, at the end of the road is a groovy track down to the sea.
With Charlie on his Wing and Ellen learning her skills the hard way I was the only one to go down, it was worth it and pretty easy but it woulda been a little more than Ellen’s current skill level.
After looking around we headed back for home where Ellen redeemed herself with a great feed of tempurad Hallibut.
We survived Homer and the Homer-roids, we joined in a ride from Homer through to Hope, the rest of the team continued back to Seward to stay the night, sink some toxic lemonade and talk shit as you do.
Ellen and I already topping our milage limit for our first service continued on to Anchorage, we are booked in on Wednesday :clap, on the way in we were able to pick up our bank card and open our Smugmug account for photos and activate our SPOT.
Good news is my tank should be here on Friday so I can finally ditch the factory DR peanut tank and ride with something less to think about as far as fuel planning goes.
So these are the last of the Homer Photos, we will be in Anchorage for the week so not too many picture to come this week, this is our service and finish the bike week.
Charlie Ellen and I
Our new car ... plenty of room for playing chasing :evil
Andi met Charlie on the ADV forum. When we got to Anchorage, we realize he is a friend of Barb and Amy - and other ADV riders. What a surprise.
We arrived Charles' house in Homer in the brilliant sunshine, a moose was grazing in front of the front yard, with the snow mountain and ocean in the full view of the lounge, it felt just like at home in Wanaka - except the moose.
Charlie took us down to the Homer spit and showed us around. Most importantly, he told us about his passion - the city food pantry.
With Charlie at food pantry
The food pantry is similar to the food bank in NZ. They collect donations of food and distribute to the people who have the need. There are a few volunteers working at the food pantry. Charlie picks up food from local grocery shop most days and is also on call 24 -7. They have a system, people who registered in the system pick up their food parsel every Monday afternoon. So on Monday morning, we joined Charlie and his mates sorting out all the food.
There are donuts, muffins, cakes, tin food and also lots of fruit and veges. Although the fruit and veges are not in their best condition - that's why they are donated but they are still very good. In NZ, that would be thrown out but the people in Homer sorted them out, then give to the people in need.
While we were taking the rotting part of the veges out, a lady told me to put them in a seperate box, because "people will pick it up for animals, nothing is going to waste from here." I was wonder how does that work because the US for me is a country people suing for anything and everything. Charlie said they do have permission from govt to do so. What a great thing to do for the community. I think if our NZ could do the same, first will help lots of people, second will reduce lots of waste.
"Is there any who people abuse this system?" "Of course there is." Charlie said. The food pantry also has limited finance to support people. Charlie went and met a woman while we stayed with him, he came back not very happy. I asked how was the woman, Charlie said:"I told her not to come back to us." The woman who claimed was abused by her partner was driving a brand new rental car, but no money for fuel. Charlie went and paid for the fuel, she also wanted the receipt. Charlie said no and told her to change an affordable car as well.
Most people come to food pantry are genuinly in need of help. Charlie has been working for the food pantry for 3 years, and seeing the number of people coming to the panty is growing - this is his main concern. He believes America is in a bad shape.
Charlie also told us his romance with a Chinese lady he met on the Internet. He even sold all his belongings and moved to China to be with her. Unfortunately the hot weather there and cultural difference curtailed the romance. Charlie had to return to Alaska after a few months in China. Although he didn't make his life in China, they still remain very good friends. I even talked to the lady on Skype in Chinese - Charlie asked me to tell her in Chinese that riding motorcycle is not dangerous!
Andi spent couple of days help Charlie to fix his Honda 1979 Gold Wings so he can go riding with us on Sunday - actually the ride was on Saturday, Charlie messed up the day which he was most embarrassed.
Our stay in Homer had a shorter ending due to leaving on the Saturday rather than the Sunday but we don't mind at all as we met a few more riders and enjoyed the trip to Hope Cafe with them. We were so lucky to be able to stay with Charlie and get to know him and his passion. He made us feel at Home(r) as our own home. We can not thank him enough. All the best for Charlie, we wish you find a good company to share your love and passion.
Greetings, we have been away from wifi etc for a week and half ish so have not been able to get back to here prior, hopefully the following will enlighten you to the hard work and torment we have had to go thru JUST so we can come back and tell you
Friday 25th May
We were originally planning to go to Prudhue Bay with Amy and Jack however with the bike 600 mile service needing to be done, my bike still not running right and no big tank there was too much hanging in the air to confirm.
So in the events that followed, my Safari tank arrived, our bikes were serviced however my bike was still not running right, after a scrap with Suzuki and some stern words from Barb into appropriate ears they “found” some time to take serious look at it to sort it out and that was Thursday night then Friday morning, I am pleased to say my bike now runs like Ellens does and finally acts (almost) like it should.
With not being able to go to Prudhoe we took off to Valdez on Friday avo to camp at King Mountain reserve, great place and great scenery, Dicon and Leslie left after work and soon caught us up at camp.
Ellens new PINK Chair arrived so that seemed to be the camp fire fun for the evening ... weird people.
Leslie had a go...
Dicon sorta had a go...
Then the camera had a go
We were also generously donated 4 Goose eggs to have for breaky as a New Zealanders welcoming present by Nancy the camp host...too cool.
Greta night really without TV .... Food, wine, fire, photos, sleep.
Saturday morning dawned gray, we packed up almost dry and continued on our way toward Valdez .... mum nature decided we all needed a shower .... boy did it rain and it dropped to 32 f or ZERO in the metric world, at that time I thought we had better take off our shorts and carry on in our riding trousers.
On the way Kiwi decided it was too fookin cold behind the screen and jumped off, dumb idea at 70 miles an hour, I turned round went back and picked him up, he was breathing but was hyperthermic, things were serious :cry
So a stop at Glenellen for bike and human fuel, hot coffee and food ... life saver... and time for Kiwi to dry out ... see the stain he left on the seat
We also turned off to Cooper Centre to the newly burnt down building, that was not a good thing to see and sad for the owners who ARE rebuilding.
As we headed to Valdez the weather came and went, this time with mum nature offering views of snowy mountains and beautiful glaciers, it was still fookin cold but looking out the window made it very worth while Thompsons pass being quite spectacular.
Upon arriving at Valdez we were greeted by heavy rain and just above freezing so the weather had improved quite a bit, we faffed around looking at a camp site at which the cost seemed more comparable to purchasing the site rather than just staying there the night so we went outa town to the Airport camp ground.
We got to the camp, it was a matter of finding a site with the LEAST amount of snow on it, we won. We set up and leslie organized snacks fit for a King so snacks, food, wine fire etc, great night.
Sunday morning Ellen went for a run and was confronted by a brown bear, she stood still, the bear eyed her up and down for about 20 seconds and musta decided he didn’t wonna eat Chinese for breakfast and took off into the bushes, I am grateful for that as I don’t know how to change our ride report to “One Moto Kiwi”
The day started as a gray day (surprise) and was not wet then turned to shit BIG time as we were packing up so everything got wet (again), we shot back to town to tank up and go to a shop which was closed so we left Valdez, a little disappointing we could see Valdez in all her glory because of the weather but that is the way the cookie crumbles.
The assault on Thompsons pass turned out to be an assault on us, as we climbed to the summit the rain turned to snow (again) ... this is now becoming the norm for us so we stopped to take photos, saweeet .. met another BMW rider at the summit with an unhappy wife as she did not see the funny side of the snow or freezing temperatures, just as well we were not wearing our shorts or she mighta thought we were weird.
So what is a man to do but indulge in the locale
So from here the weather started to turn in our favour and we found the roads drying and the cloud lifting enough to expose some of Alaskas beautiful mountain sides so we were lucky, we arrived at destination Pippin Lake where Dicon and Leslie carried on back to Anchorage and Ellen and I were heading to Kennicott Copper mine.
We continued to Chitina for a bite of lunch and tank up then carried on to McCarthy on 60 miles of shingle roads with more potholes and corrugations than you can poke a stick at.
We arrived safe and sound and set up camp dry WOHHOH, we some dinner we went into McCarthy township ... this place is a step back in time.
This outstanding property took our interest as it is for sale :evil
Dawned a fine day, couldn’t believe it, the weather Gods had finally taken pity on us and gave us a break and the bears had not flogged our fud
We packed up camp and rode into Kennicott Copper mine, WOW what a place and the history behind it is amazing, we took heaps of pics and sifted around, we met up with Klaus again, a German adventure biker living in Australia and touring for a month in Alaska, hard case and nice guy so that is three of us I know of now.
After we finished at the mine we piled back onto our trusty steads and rode out, Ellen made it in and out of Kennicott without biffing her bike once, I think she will be ready for world moto x champs next week.
We also stopped at the famous Kuskalana Bridge .. it is slightly high!
Then .. .she left me!!! :eek1
On stopping at the Salmon wheels on the Copper river I had to execute our first field repair, I noticed the tank was wobbling and the left hand bolt had vibrated almost out, so I RTVed the bolt and screwed it back in ... sweetas.
We ran outa cash and only had a 5er left so it was time to find a dutchie camp which we did, well the camp turned out to be the best site we have had thus far and it was gratis. We met a dude from Anchorage on a CT 90 who was looking around so we ended up camping together and borrowing his fire as we had an epic fail on our Coleman cooker which we have to fix.
This is his trusty steed a less than 1000 mile old CT90, what a weapon, I suggested he keep it under the covers so the Russians don't see it
We woke to a nice warm morning, Ellens good weather mojo had kicked in and life was good, we packed up and proceeded to head back to Anchorage to what was an uneventful trip with a combo of sun and a few clouds a bit windy in a few places but nothing team TMK couldn’t handle.
Liberty Falls on the way out to the main road ... vary noice
Check it out what a day :clap :clap
Some mirror art
And that concludes the Anchorage to Valdez and back again trip, there will be no more reports until the next one.:huh
Finally we can catch up on some writing, been too busy looking out the window and riding around.
We stayed with Gary and Deb for two nights after leaving Lesleys, the first idea was to go for the Friday evening ride stay then carry on Saturday but with the D2D bar b q on it was established that we were so close we may as well stay the Saturday night as well, easy as. So Friday evening and Gary, Ellen and I went for a ride to Girdwood, Deb did come and meet us later for the return leg, neat ride and great views given we had not seen it on our Homer trip due to the snow and fog.
Saturday morning was a fix it and sort it morning and the avo was a pre D2D safety meeting with all the ADVers at Legions house, n o i c e view from there I might add, we organised to get Ellen’s side stand done after Greg offered to take care of it which meant we could get on the road a day earlier.Sunday morning was leisurely pack up and go to Gregs and time to say goodbyes.
Only one minute from leaving Gary and Debs Ellen took a turn too wide go onto the ball bearings did a tank slapper and derailed off into the veges, I saw it from my mirror, my heart slumped but all was ok luckily, a quick chat on wheel placement and we were on our way (again).
Quiet day and only a small 40 mile ride, we had been offered lodgings and a welder on Sunday to chop Ellen’s stand down another 10 mm, Beezer was going to do it Monday morning but had his hands full fixing a KLR with head problems, Beezer thanks for the offer to help mate, we really appreciated it.
We stayed with Greg and Len at their home in Chugiak, very nice place and a man cave enough to turn every petrolhead green with envy.
Greg cut another10 mm off Ellens stand and fizzed the base plate back on, (thanks dude), after that Greg took me out for private sitting on his treasured TT 500 and let me take if for a quick spin, without showing my age it took me back to the good old days of kick start and manual decompressor, for non petrolheads reading this that is Cool!!!
Big thanks to Greg and Len for having us for the night, getting the side stand sorted and providing us with a beautiful tea with huge kabarb with half a chicken on each one.
Monday (4th June) we went to Wasilla to catch up with John and Brenda and Lina who we met while camping in McCarthy.
John and Brenda went to New Zealand 1982, they had great time and always think highly for Kiwis. They said if we come up their way they’d like to host us. We got to Wasilla around lunch time, had time to get a few things sorted for Chiwi and Hobbit (they are not high maintenance we hope).
We had great service in the motorbike shop in Wasilla at Team CC, these guys were great and looked after us, Alaska Cycle Center could learn a LOT from these guys, big thanks to Team CC.
Brenda and daughter Lina both working for a road construction company and John has his own surveying business.
Monday night, Brenda cooked us smoked Cooper River Salmon with pasta, now we know why Cooper Rive red salmon are so famous. It has the rich flavour which none of other salmon we tasted have.
On Tuesday, Brenda was taking us to Lazy Mountain for a walk. Unfortunately, just we were driving out, she got a phone call from her boss, has to turned around and back to walk. She lent us a spare car so we went for a hike.
Having had so much bad weather since we got to Anchorage, it finally cleared up and come to sunny and hot in Wasilla. We can even see the mountains now.
Brenda cooked us Moose Quesidie that night, so it added more wild food we have tried in Alaska. The next morning, we said goodbye twice to Brenda and Lina, they were both working on the road from Wasilla to Talkeetna, so they even saw us on the road this time.
We had wonderful time in Wasilla, great people, great bike service and nice weather made it as a gem of Alaska.
Wednesday morning (6th June), we set off to Talkeetna to meet up with a couch surfer Gwen we met in New Zealand, we hosted her at our home in Wanaka, we also met her boyfriend Steve and went for a walk into town and bought a yummy icecream then wondered back for a relaxing avo and evening, drank wine and chatted about life for while.
Thursday (7th June) We said goodbyes to Gwen and Steve after helping fix Steves new truck and carried on towards Fairbanks, a mostly uneventful trip which saw Chiwi get tired and lay down at a Mount Denali lookout, I thought it was funny however someone that I was riding with didn’t, I did snap a pic but under protest .
As we carried on we met a cyclist doing a road ride trip to Ushuaia and starting at the top like us, dude is a machine!!!
The rest of the trip was uneventful and the first time we took off layers due to being too hot, the only real addition to the fun factor was the 2 x KTM 990 Adventure and 1 x F800GS that went passed and waved at the Two Slojoe Kiwis.
On arriving at Fairbanks we found the Uni accommodation however prices had basically doubled so that counted out Team TMK, we met the owners of the 990s and 800, they had paid it despite being told the same pricing structure that we had been told prior, on inspection of the rooms there where words spoken and the manager to be involved..we left :lol3.
Ellen and I left them and went to Adventure Cycle Works to meet Dan, good bastid, very helpful, great chat and we picked up our SENA SMH10 headsets that he had kindly taken delivery of for us, we headed off to the camp ground only to get snookered by roadworks and Mrs Garmin getting very upset not being able to tell us where to go, by this time it was mid evening and we where both hungry, we spotted a McDees and headed straight for that only to find the two 990s and the 800 parked outside, the gathering began!!
We orderer the healthy salad option, go McDees as it was very nice, we discussed a game plan with the guys who were heading to Prudhoe the following morning, we decided to stay another day and get sorted with food and supplies before riding to the end of the world.
Klaus the German adventure biker living in Ozzie touring in Alaska for a month turned up as well, same dude from Valdez and Kennicott .. we were not sure who was stalking who!, so discussions all round.
We interrupt this bulletin to say giddy to the JATZs, Nordie, ADVGD, eddieb, Shrek, Rosie and Clint and all the other Kiwbiker dudes, missin you fellas .. ok as you were! :wave
We ended up camping with the guys that night, it was 11.00pm by the time we all cashed it in, still daylight of course.
The following morning we meet up with Carol a couch surfer from Fairbanks, lovely lady who took in Two Dodgy Kiwis, we left Chiwi at her house and both piled onto Hobbit then headed to the Chena Hot Springs ... HELL YEAH ... earned, they were great, big smiles relaxing and NO mozzies WOH HOH... coupla pics for you guys to show the torment we are going through just for you.
Check out Puffs bro, pretty well built and flame do come outa his nostrils
We returned later that avo to Carols, sorted out our food, bear horn, WD40 etc and got ready for the Dalton Highway assault.
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10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.