Monday, 7 August 2012 Anchorage, AK (57 miles) Total Trip Miles – 4723. 2 hour riding time
Weather - Warm temperatures in the mid 60′s with mostly sunny skies
Started the day early and met Kurt Grau at Anchorage Suzuki/Arctic Cat at 7:30 am to get the final service on the bike before air freighting to Inchon, South Korea. As you may recall, I had some real concerns about the drive chain stretching over the course of just two days; however, Kurt showed me an example of a bad chain & sprocket from a V-Strom 1000 so no more issues. Also, the sprocket does float in rubber dampners so there is some movement in the attachment. With the load I’m carrying, Kurt adjusted the chain on the high tolerance with about 1.25″ deflection – loose that is or risk snapping the chain when driving over rough roads and that ain’t good! Changed the oil & filter and just decided to take a new air cleaner with me since the one in the bike was changed back in Cool Springs just prior to me leaving on trip. New tires front and back that I hope take me the 7000 miles or so across Russia – running 3 lbs more pressure in the front and 4 lbs more in the rear due to the load.
I’ve met a few folks from Anchorage that were born & raised in the area and that’s a bit unusual – there are many, many transplants; however, Kurt & his father are native to Anchorage. Enjoyed hearing about all the changes over the years and what a great place to live if you enjoy outside activities.
Del Salyer with Alaska Scientific invited me to lunch at Jen’s – the menu was broad and I chose the pepper steak which was terrific…we discussed the state of his healthcare business in Alaska and its uniqueness given the remoteness of most of his customers – a very nice operation that’s been serving the area for over 23 years.
You may also recall I had a bit of misfortune while riding in Canada on that cold, windy & rainy day – ended up leaving the majority of my cold weather gear at a gas stop. While is was only one small bag, it contained clothing that was crucial to the trip. Well the folks at NDC got together and sent me a REI gift card as well as a care package of essentials - you know things like Cafe Francais, hot balls, gum balls, Anti Monkey Butt Powder, Bourdreaux’s Butt Paste, trail mix, breakfast bars…some of this stuff just makes me hongry! Thank you Chuck, Michele, Melissa, Laura and Natalie for the wonderfully designed card.
Well my next stop in the afternoon was, you got it…REI and I was able to pick up a few things like thermal underwear and a pair of long pants to replace some of the lost items…all is good in Rally World!
Once I completed some of my errands, I arrived back at Alaska Scientific around 4:30 and decided to go ahead and start he process of crating the bike for shipment. Since I actually had a factory Suzuki crate and had never seen a bike in one, I wasn’t quite sure how much disassembly would be required. With the crating required minimually that the front wheel be removed, the fork lift in the warehouse came in quite handy using a rope around the handle bars, removing the wheel, lowering into a bracket and finally securing. To complete the install, I had to remove the windshield and all brackets as well as the handle bars, control cables and the like. This initial phase took about 5 and I wasn’t rushed…still have a few things that will need to be secured, but the bulk of the crating is completed.
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