In August, Johnny & ICON rode the Alcan 5000 on two Triumph Tiger 800XCs on an epic adventure from Seattle to the Arctic Circle and over into Alaska.
Race Day Two
We left Quesnel, British Columbia in the chill of the morning and traveled 480 miles to Hyder, Alaska. The terrain and feel were starting to get “big”. The day offered great dirt sections and we did well over 200 miles of the loose stuff. The final section of the day was definitely a highlight. The route brought us through a two-track trail in a tight forest canopy. Team Motoworks/ICON RAIDEN covered all of the stages, but also stopped to film for around 3 hours, yet we were not the last team to arrive in Hyder.
This event is very “at your own pace.” The road book is basic and easy to follow. The volunteers doing timing and scoring are also super to work with. This was starting to feel like the kind of event just about anybody could do in their own way, with just a basic level of prep. You don’t need a hard core adventure bike to do it, but it definitely didn’t hurt. So far our Motoworks/ICON RAIDEN Tiger 800XCs had been solid. I’m used to smaller bikes like my Suzuki 400, but the more I ride these Tigers, the more impressed I am with ho good they are.
Hyder and Stewart Alaska are “twin cities” of a sort with Stewart in on the Canadian side, and Hyder in Alaska. We would only have to worry about customs coming back into Canada, as it’s an open border into the US. I was glad we stayed in Hyder, as Stewart seemed much more tame and sedated. Hyder had an outlaw feel. We enjoyed some rock solid fish tacos for dinner at the Glacier Inn before rolling over to the SeaAlaska Inn and pub. The bar was rocking and full of locals out partying. I was surprised to find such great chow and such an active nightlife scene in such a remote spot. Yet we couldn’t party too hard. We had a 560 mile day the next day, including a 146 mile, extreme, special section.
Race Day Three
Day three had us leaving Hyder, Alaska and crossing over into British Columbia via Stewart. Our day started with a 240 mile pavement cruise that led us up into a 146 mile loop toward Telegraph Creek. The Telegraph Creek road was a joy. We had a spirited ride both down and back, and enjoyed some quality downtime at the riverbed.
Another 160 miles of fast gravel and pavement to the hotel and we booked over 500 miles for the day.We came into Watson lake, crossing into the Yukon Territory, in the dark. The scenery is beyond words. It’s getting bigger every day. The end of the day was cold, raining and bug splattered.
The innkeeper at The Bighorn, Ron, was a joy and very enthusiastic about the rally. The riding has been killer, but it’s been the people along way that are the best part so far. Warm, direct and authentic. They’re all up there living simple adventures of their own, so as ours rolls through their towns, they’re all about it.
To be continued…
Photo credits: ICON