Upon landing in Fairbanks, we immediately gas’d up and headed over to Adventure CycleWorks to clean up the bikes and attend to oil changes. It’s important to get the calcium chloride off the bike as soon as possible, as it will harden and do a vulcan-merge meld thing with the bike metals. Dan and Shawn run a nice shop there, highly recommended. Check out their site for more info.
We used the following day as ‘McGuyver’ Day to attend to Brady’s bike and catch up with shopping. We scored a $5 replacement fender (!) from the spare parts bin at the Trail’s End dealership, and picked up a left blinker and left mirror. I also needed a new blinker cover which was taken out by a flying rock from a truck passing on the Dalton. As we camped in the Trail’s End parking lot with our tool kits spread out, we had some wonderful exchanges with passing folks. One elderly gentleman stopped by, said he was one of the first truckers up the Dalton, had awesome stories of being stuck on the ice, helicopter coming in with food, he had to stand on top of the cab with waters rising around him, great stuff.
Another biker stopped by, mid-30s, on a 1200GSA, this was going to be his last season in Fairbanks, he was done with it. He performs MRIs for a living, been up here for seven years, it’s too cold in the winter, the local vendors are too expensive, and heating months are 7-8 months of the year. He’s single, moving back to the lower 48 next year. Okay then. (If he’s reading this, didn’t catch his name, definitely a longer riding season here in Seattle.)
TIP: always carry safety wire. We used it to keep the fender on the bike for the rest of the trip. It rocks.
Also worth a mention of two of Fairbanks finer dining establishments…
And dinner at Geraldo’s on College Ave, excellent pizza and beer, and just 10 minutes down the street from the college.