Maybe you just aren’t content with the calm rides you find in the Lower 48. Whether you’re riding a long mountain highway, or racing through the desert, it just isn’t thrilling enough.
The thrill factor — that’s why some riders set their sights on the last great American wilderness, Alaska.
But even if you’re an experienced rider, Alaska can be hard to tame. Here’s a few of the biggest hazards you’ll encounter if you dare to venture into the wild, frozen north.
Even if you’ve been a hardcore rider for thirty years, you don’t want to tangle with winters in Alaska. With sub-zero temperatures, keen wind, and tons of snow, sometimes it’s not even safe to venture out in survival vehicles. If you do want to tackle Alaska, do so in the high summer, which offers mild mid-60s for weather and colorful blooms. Even then, locals say it rains a ton.
Alaskans jokingly refer to mosquitos as their state bird, and routinely make jokes about being carried off by flocks of them. Because the mosquitos are so huge and numerous, you’re best off wearing a full-face helmet, even when you stop to take pictures. Insect repellant only helps a little when it comes to these monsters.
While the major highways are in decent condition, the side roads aren’t necessarily that great. If you venture to Alaska, be prepared for bumpy roads with random curves and pot holes. If you can pack a spare, you should — especially because the next motorist might be hundreds of miles away. Also, being comfortable with riding on gravel is a must.
Make sure to pack some fuel for the road, especially if your bike guzzles it. Gas stations are few and far between. What’s more, they often only accept cash or select credit cards, and since you don’t want to be caught with an empty tank, it makes sense to carry cash and fuel.
One of Alaska’s biggest draws is its wildlife. Majestic eagles, grizzly bears, and moose all make appearances alongside the road. While they may be cute, and it may be tempting to interact with them, it’s best to keep on riding for your safety and theirs.
If you’re dying to brave the Alaskan wilderness, consider paying for an experienced tour guide — there are professional motorcycle riders who offer tours by bike. The gorgeous scenery, lonely vistas, and open roads will make it worth it.
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