We woke up to another bright sunny Alaska morning today. Don’t know why we thought it was going to rain every day. We packed up and were pulling out of the site when the old man freaks out and rips his gloves off. Apparently something had made it’s way into his gloves overnight and was now using the back of his hand for breakfast. We never found the bug…I think he just made it up.
Now, his gloves are inside out. He wrestles with them for about 10 minutes and we hit the road again. He goes about 10 feet and decides that the gloves still weren’t fixed, and were impeding his riding. So we pull over in a nice safe spot – or so we thought. The ground was sloped the wrong way and over my bike went…thought I had finally gotten all of those out of my system. My pannier came off again and was all dented up, I managed to jam it back on and we were on our way.
We rode the Glenn Highway today. By far the best “motorcycle road” of the trip. Lots of twists and turns and some spectacular views. We lucked out and caught up to very few cars. We took a quick rest break at the parking lot for an ATV area.
We were off, and then it happened! Remember the pannier that came off? Well it decided to come off again while I was going 60mph down the road. The Zega Pro 2 has this spring mechanism that you use to detach the pannier from your bike. Well, I think I neglected to lock it when I put it back on in the morning, so it launched off the side of my bike. I was fortunate to hear it go because the bike did not perform any differently, and I could have gone a long ways before I figured it out. Well, it was my right pannier, so it launched itself toward the shoulder and skidded to a stop. I found a parking pull out about 100 yards down the road and then walked back to pick up the pannier. The pannier itself is in great shape. I had a water bladder on top that had sprung a leak, but other than that everything was ok. When I get home, I’m going to design a safety strap to prevent this from happening in the future.
Spent the next little bit, banging my pannier straight again (from the fall this morning) and reattaching it to the bike. I added a couple of zip ties as a fail safe – you can’t get the pannier off without scissors now. The view from the repair site was pretty sweet!
We cruised along for a bit and a moose ran out in front of me! The shoulders of the road were cut back pretty far, so I had plenty of warning, but I still had to put on the brakes a bit. I was a little worried that it was going to stop in the middle of the road. I wouldn’t have hit it, but I don’t think I want to be stopped on my motorcycle that close to a moose.
Shortly afterwards we stopped for a quick rest break and my dad took the time to clean up his windscreen and lights.
We finally got to the gas station at Glennallen and it was a total zoo. There is an intersection of two major highways there and it was a Sunday afternoon. Cars coming into the station lined up in both directions. I thought a brawl was going to break out at any time. We decided to grab some lunch to see if the lines would get a bit shorter. They did, but not by much.
Next was a little zigzag up to the Tok cutoff road. Not quite as interesting as Glenn Highway, but still not a bad road. We stopped at a campground just before Tok, and decided to keep going a bit farther. We ended up staying at Tok River Recreation Area right near the river.