Bigguy Rides - 2014 S10 Travels - Currently in Kyrgyzstan

Bigguy136

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Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
With a full tank of fuel, I left Ross River, took the ferry across and was on the North Canol. I mistakenly took the beginning of the road in 2017, this time I knew more about the road and wanted to ride to the end. As others have said, it was all I could ever want.
It was in the afternoon when I started and 60 miles in, I found a place to call home for the night.
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Oatmeal, coffee and a view for breakfast
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I know I carried more stuff than needed but a camp stove and fresh brewed coffee will always be with me.
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Morning riding with views of the North Canol. Can't ask for anything better in life.
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And a few of the abandoned vehicles from back in the day
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Bigguy136

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Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
Continued from above

The end of the North Canol can vary some depending on time of year, how high the rivers are and how much risk you want to take. There is a bit more of roads if you can cross some rivers. In the fall, you can get across the rivers a bit easier with them being lower from the spring mountain snow melt.

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With the water deeper than my boots, I removed my riding pants/ boots and walked first then rode across with my flip flops. Not the best footwear but I wanted to keep my boots dry.
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I made it just short of the hunting cabin. The river was much too deep. There were three people that had a summer job doing clean-up from the oil line project from years before. They had a side by side and offered to help me cross the last river, but I didn't see a reason to add the risk.
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Bigguy136

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Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
Continued from above.
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After turning back, I didn't walk the rivers as I had just rode them. One river, I knew there was a fer large rocks that I needed to stay upstream of as the backside was deeper. As I entered, I ran into the rock. I tried backing up enough but couldn't so I had to take the deeper side of the river. I was walking next to my bike with the river pushing the bike into me. I would take a few steps, get good footing, let clutch out and push hard, go another 5 feet, grab the brakes, walk forward and repeat. There was a low spot that had my exhaust exit just in the water.
Being solo, this was a bit more than scary but all worked out. After I got across and calmed some, I took a pic of what was still wet on the bike. It would be easier if crossing standing water but the river currents add more to the difficulties.
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Happy all worked out and heading back to Ross River
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Waiting for ferry to get back to Ross River
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With only one gas station in town, when they are not open, not much you can do but wait and talk with the locals....
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cyclemike4

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Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
826
Location
ky
today I got to start this addition to the forum from the first page. It is a really amazing summery of your rides. I don't think I will ever have the time to do such things but I really enjoy reading and seeing all the pictures! Thank you!
 

Bigguy136

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Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
I waited in Ross River for a few hours and the gas station never opened so I continued on to Faro for gas and breakfast. A nice treat to have something besides pancakes or oatmeal.
With a full tank and belly, it was time to ride the Dempster. The gas station at the Dempster was closed so I had to get gas in Dawson. Returning to the Dempster and get the standard photo.
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I got a few hours in on the Dempster and I found a camp spot I couldn't pass up. I had a perfect spot to relax for the evening having the river to myself.
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The Dempster was in excellent condition and was making good time.
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Crossing the Mackenzie river. This is a special spot knowing my dad had passed thru this spot in the early 70's in a small fishing boat on his way to Tuktoyaktuk.
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And I got to Inuvik for the evening.
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I stayed at a campground and got a chance to do some laundry.
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In the morning, Coffee and a pancake.
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Bigguy136

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Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
It was time to ride to Tuktoyaktuk. The first half was good but the second half sucked. They used loose rock without any binder so it didn't pack down. You can see the tracks from others prior. Fine if you have 4 wheels but I was on a heavy bike. I packed all of my gear up in case I couldn't make it back to Inuvik so I just had to slow down.
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Along the way were snowmobiles. I assumed that summer season was so short that they were left there but I heard that they are used in the summer.
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And I got to the end of the road.
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When my dad did his boat ride here in 1972, he wrote "Arctic Ocean" and took a picture. I brought some of my dad's ashes, wrote the same and added his ashes.
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The town
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I stopped at grandma's diner for some lunch. I tried some Muktuk. It was interesting....
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I rode back to Inuvik and stayed at the same campground for the evening.
The return ride, the Dempster was again in great condition. I got to Dawson and rewarded myself with an ice cream treat after the last few days.
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Better make that two after the Muktuk
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Even dogs in Dawson like to ride
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Cycledude

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Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
4,017
Location
Rib lake wi
We did Tuktoyaktuk in 2022, our ride from Inuvik was about the same as yours, thought for sure we were going to crash in the deep loose gravel several times but very luckily never did ! We left most of our gear at our cabin in Inuvik and picked it up on the way back. For what they sell that Whale meat for They must make about a million dollars per Whale LOL . Overall i believe Tuktoyaktuk was probably the most challenging trip I’ve ever been on.
 

Bigguy136

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Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
We did Tuktoyaktuk in 2022, our ride from Inuvik was about the same as yours, thought for sure we were going to crash in the deep loose gravel several times but very luckily never did ! We left most of our gear at our cabin in Inuvik and picked it up on the way back. For what they sell that Whale meat for They must make about a million dollars per Whale LOL . Overall i believe Tuktoyaktuk was probably the most challenging trip I’ve ever been on.
Congrats on the trip to Tuk!!
I wonder who thought it would be a good idea to dump 10" of loose rock without a binder to hold together for a road surface. I'm guessing it will be years before all the loose rock gets packed into the base and becomes a decent road.
Did you try any muktuk? Eat at grandma's?
 

Cycledude

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Jan 29, 2016
Messages
4,017
Location
Rib lake wi
Congrats on the trip to Tuk!!
I wonder who thought it would be a good idea to dump 10" of loose rock without a binder to hold together for a road surface. I'm guessing it will be years before all the loose rock gets packed into the base and becomes a decent road.
Did you try any muktuk? Eat at grandma's?
Yes my buddy bought a plate of Muktuk at Grandmas small pieces on paper plate each one had toothpick , basically whale fat, it’s edible but highly doubt very many people buy it more than once, it was a very interesting adventure.

I think they will be hauling a lot more gravel out there for a lot more years, hopefully better gravel with more binder in it. A few years ago all kinds of vehicles were getting stuck in the mud trying to make it to Tuktoyaktuk.
 
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Bigguy136

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Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
There is a bike rally called Dusk to Dawson that was a day later but I'm not one much for sitting around or going to rallies so I continued towards Alaska along the Top of the World highway.
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I've ridden Top of the World highway before so when I saw a small road going in the same approximate direction, I couldn't resist.
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Crossing the most northern border in USA.
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I passed going to Eagle back in 2017 so I had to go. Very enjoyable ride.
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I stopped about 1 hour from Tok, AK and put up camp. There was a restaurant in Tok (Fast Eddy's) that I wanted to have breakfast at.
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Bigguy136

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Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
With a day+ of food eaten for breakfast, it was time to get some miles in. Next stop was Prudhoe Bay, AK.
I wasn't happy with the tire wear I was seeing. I did this exact trip in 2017 and 18 with a Mitas E07 Dakar and did the entire trip plus extra milage when I was back home. With the E07 being discontinued, I used the 'new and improved' E07 Plus and it was a big disappointment.
I still had a cell signal as I was leaving Tok so I pulled over at a rest stop to contact some tire dealers in Fairbanks. As I was checking, there was a lady who pulled into the rest area. She was riding from Prudhoe Bay to the southern tip of South America on a bicycle. I thought I was tough for doing this ride solo on a motorcycle and then she pulls up doing it on a bicycle. Yep, she is way tougher.
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I stopped in Fairbanks and got a new rear tire. Nice the dealer let me remove tire and carry it in. I also stopped at Walmart and changed my oil. They will rent you a drain pan with a shop rag for $3. Nice service they offer.
With fresh oil and rear tire, it was time for the Dalton to Prudhoe Bay.

A few hours into the Dalton and found a camp spot.
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In the morning, there were a few million mosquitoes over my acceptable million mosquito limit, so I packed quick and left. I found a nice open gravel area that worked good for making breakfast without all the blood suckers. Perfect view for breakfast.
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On my way north, there were some areas that looked like I would be getting wet but the rain passed as I got to those areas.
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I rode thru Cold Foot and Atigun Pass/ Brooks Range and found a camp spot along a river.
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I got up in the morning and did the last few hours to Prudhoe Bay/ Deadhorse.
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scott123007

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Jul 27, 2012
Messages
1,472
Location
Jupiter, Florida
Besides the great stories You are an excellent photographer !
Yeah, I hope there are more on this board that are following but not commenting, because it really is a great ride report with fantastic pictures! At least on my end, your effort in putting this together is greatly appreciated.
 

Bigguy136

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Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
Fast forward to today...
New rim, spokes and tire. A bit of a story when I get to details of 2023....

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And now, back to the regular scheduled program..
 

Bigguy136

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Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
It was still early so I thought I would have breakfast but not much for a restaurant. The only place I found was more of a dining hall that was cleaned out of food. I found a stale, pre-wrapped pastry and a coffee. That will work.
Mid June and the lake was still frozen.
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The ride back was more enjoyable now knowing there wouldn't be any surprises from the road. A bit more relaxing.

The big metal tube the road follows.
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Atigun Pass was just as impressive from the north if not a bit more than from the south.
Coming up to AP, it looked like rain but as I got into the pass, the weather cleared.
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On my way up, there was a tour group all waiting to get their pic in front of the Dalton sign so I skipped and was able to get the return.
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I got to Coldfoot for dinner and saw a few other bikes that were on their way north. It was nice to talk with other bikers and give them info of road conditions.
I left Coldfoot and got about 2 hours from Fairbanks when I found a pull off area to set camp up. Being near the road, I put my earplugs in.
At 3:30AM area, I was woken up by my tent bouncing around and a really bad stink. I thought there must be a bad storm blowing in, so I removed my earplugs. Then I heard a car horn. HMMM, then a guy yelling that there was a bear on my tent and he was chasing it off.
That's a new one for me. I never saw how big or what type of bear but when I was in a tent, it didn't matter much other than it was a bear.
I packed up my camp and rode to Fairbanks, found a restaurant serving breakfast and pulled in. That gave me some time to process everything.
I decided wild camping wasn't for me the next evening so I found some areas to ride and a campground that I could stay at. When I was setting up my tent, I saw the bear claws cut my rainfly.

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I wasn't far from a small town so after setting up camp, got a few items and returned to make dinner.
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As luck (or bad luck) would have it, there was a 10 year old boy that was hanging around. I think his parents owned the campground. As I talked with him, he got all excited that someone was talking with him. He wanted to ride wheelies on his bicycle and running around for attention. As he was running around my camp area, he knocked over my pan of food that had meat and meat juice. Just what I need, meat juice in the grass not too far from my tent 12 hours after having a run-in with a bear.
I slept better than expected and realize there are probably more bears near campgrounds than wild camp areas. Decision made to go back to riding and camping wherever I was with no planning.
 

Bigguy136

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Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
With no plan, I left Delta Junction and rode south to Denali Hwy. (#8) and rode west to George Parks Hwy (#3) and then south. The Denali Hwy was a great side road worth taking if you get the chance.
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A bit south on #3 and I saw a sign for Cashe Creek that looked interesting. Being later in the day, I didn't get far and set camp up.
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In the morning, I continued on Cashe Creek.
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A general store and restaurant. Owners told me the bridges were out not much farther after some high rivers a few years prior.
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Bigguy136

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Aug 7, 2016
Messages
165
Location
Big Lake, MN
My return ride back to George Parks Hwy (#3)
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I found a few side roads that kept my interest.
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Not sure but I think the area is a seasonal ATV riding area. This place was locked mid-day. Maybe a seasonal opening?
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And final bit of road before main hwy.
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