Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Visit from Dakar

During our Spring 2007 tour we met Dakar and became good friends with her. This year she is doing her big tour and we were fortunate enough to have her stay with us for a few days. Her ride report is posted in TwoWheelFemales.com under the title "Dakar's (Top Secret) Grand Tour..." She has traveled so far from Kansas City to New York, to Maine, back to New York then across the Northern U.S., up the Alcan Highway to Tok, and now she's working her way South.

I met her in Tok, abut 320 miles from where I live. It was a fun ride up even though I wasn't sure what time she would arrive. As it turns out, I had just enough time to get checked into a motel room and change out of my riding gear when she pulled up. The good news was that she had made it without any real problems. The bad news was that there was oil coming out of the final drive on her motorcycle. Uh Oh!

We didn't have internet access where we were staying so I called home and had my daughter post up a "SOS" on ADV rider. Within 7 minutes a guy called us back and said he'd be passing through Tok the following day about noon, and that he'd bring parts if we could order them in Anchorage. We immediately got on the phone and got a new seal ordered. Whew!

The next day a few people passing through on their way to D2D wished us luck and reassured us the seal replacement would fix the problem. A little after 1:00 a different guy from ADV pulled into the parking lot of our motel. He had also brought the seal, and since he's a motorcycle mechanic, he offered to do the work. As soon as he pulled the seal, however, we knew it was more than a seal as we heard chunks of metal falling into the pan we put out to catch the oil. Her final drive bearing was shot. We called Fairbanks - no bearings that would fit, sorry. We called Anchorage - same answer. Anchorage, however, said they could order the parts and have them in the next day.

I immediately got on my bike and rode back to Anchorage, hoping the parts would be in early enough to make the trip back to Tok, and still get through before road construction closed the only road back to Anchorage at midnight. We got lucky, and everything worked out, but what a way to start her time in Alaska!

We spent the next week exploring and enjoying the company. It was sad to see her leave yesterday, but her tour must go on!

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