The day arrived where we could pick up our new bikes. We were quite exited to see if they even existed or if our money had just gone to charity. We bought the bikes of Craigslist in Fairbanks and had them taken to Northern Powersport, a Suzuki, Yamaha & KTM dealer in town. We wired money to NP and they handled the deal for us. They also put on some extra parts on the bikes that we ordered at Happy-Trail. We had been in contact with NP on the phone and email many times and they seemed reliable, but we just didn’t know what was waiting for us.
Heather, our new friend from the hostel was a sweetheart and drove us to NP Tuesday morning to look at the bikes. And it turned out that they were pretty reliable people. Nice and service minded. The bikes were there – not quite ready yet, but the last parts had arrived that same day, so we could blame ourselves for that. The mechanic Ray was working on the DR650 as we arrived – lowering the back part of the bike. I was really nervous about the seat height as this is always an issue for me. But with the lowered gel seat and the front already lowered, the Suzi seemed really good.
Henriette, mechanic Ray, Cliff and Sales Manager Jody Littell.
Nortern Powersports is a very big store, and pretty much the store to go to if you are looking for an ATV or a snowmobile in Alaska. In fact they’re the biggest Arctic Cat dealer in the US and everyone we met, knew of the place and talked positively about them.
Our contact was the sales manager Jody Littell. A very nice guy, but also a busy guy. Let’s face it, our bikes was probably not his priority #1 and I’m not sure he read everything I wrote to him. Either way, he didn’t realize that we were going all the way to Argentina until I told him in the store, but hey as said, we were really just small customers. The guy to talk to about parts and long trips was Cliff. He seemed quite into the details and was quick to understand what we wanted. Anyways everything worked out very well and we were really happy about the work they had done. And they didn’t charge us too much either. The owner and “mother” in the store Karen was a real sweetheart. She picked up the money when we wired it through Moneytransfer and was just real nice about it.
xxxxxxNP needed an additional day to put on the last parts. This was fine with us, since we had to get the paperwork done. Heather drove us to the local DMV (Department of Motorized Vehicles) to get our paperwork done. It turned out to be quite simple. We had to fill out a form and wait for a few hours, but other than that it went pretty smooth. A total cost of just $63 and we were good to go! Pretty amazing! In Denmark this would have been an expensive visit.
The Northern Powersports doggies: Pepper, Jasmin and Lightning!
We walked from the DMV office to the store to pick up some champagne and beer to celebrate together with our new friends at the hostel.
The following day we picked up our new motorbikes and they were just beautiful. The Suzuki is so small and nimble and much more aggressive than the BMW I’m used to ride. Lars was happy with the KLR but not super exited. But then again, he rides a Honda Africa Twin back in Denmark and it does take a lot to match that one.
We met a nice Swedish/English couple. They were out to find some dirt bikes for their boys and came over as they heard we spoke Danish. The husband was working at University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
In the evening I went to a practice session with the Fairbanks Rollergirls. Their practice venue was in fact just on the other side of the road from the NP shop – and the guys at NP knew the Roller Derby girls. This was their first practice after a short break, so it was a short 1 hour session (phew!). They practice in a cool old warehouse. They put in a Sports Court click floor and covered the pillars and sides with mattresses. Angel Rood Cake, who I met a few days earlier at the 4th of July celebrations in North Pole was there and she helped me find some gear. I was a bit nervous and excited at the same time. It was not my own skates, the floor was very different from what I am used to and the girls looked pretty mean! I didn’t wanna break any bones the day before our trip up to the North!
Bladeslinger speaks Norwegian and of course we bonded immediately! We exchanged T-shirts, so she got my Crime City Rollers T-shirt and I got her FBXRG T-shirt. Gonna wear it with pride!
The training was really good and my poor legs were aching. The Sports court floor is really sticky and you have to work hard for the speed. I got through the training without any injuries and kept myself out of trouble – but had a lot of fun!
Bladeslinger showing us her new T-shirt
When I got back from the training Bruce at the hostel held a goodbye party as everyone was leaving the next day. So he got this amazing cake for all of us.
Liz and Brian was continuing their bike ride, We were going North, the scientists were going back to work, Bruce was taking Ruth and Tim up to the Artic Circle. So this was an evening of goodbyes.
It had been an amazing day: New motorcycles, Roller Derby practice and now a party!
Wednesday was the big day: the first day of our trip up North. Before we could head out we had to get all our gear on the bikes – quite a challenge! By the time we were finished they looked like two pack mules! We are gonna be riding on our back wheels the whole trip!!!
An important detail was to mount the Bunny on the Bunny Bike. Bruce has some Velcro in his well assorted camper and that did the trick.
First thing was getting insurance. We went for a Progressive agent, recommended by Esben & Mini from the Tenere Club. We spend quite some time there to do all the paper work.
So by the time we were done, it was pretty late in the afternoon, but lucky for us, the sun never sets in Alaska in summer and we finally headed North towards the Arctic Circle.