Running Out of Gas and Joining a Biker Gang

Phil has dropped his bike five times. Not every time has been an accident – once it was because he ran out of gas and was trying to get the last few liters out of the tank. That was the day before we joined the biker gang.

This was Phil’s 4th drop. You can tell by his fingers.

This evening we find ourselves in Whitehorse, Yukon. We are staying with a couchsurfing host called Simon. He’s a superhero and flies for a living.

Superhero jumps really high – no surprise there!

Couchsurfing.org is a great online community where people allow you to sleep on their couch for free. Then when they travel, they stay with other couchsurfers. It’s awesome!

The old guy who took this picture didn’t know how to use digital cameras. This was the best shot he took.

When we last posted we were in Prince George. We had a slow start to the next day. We ended up having lunch with Wayne and Mae, friends of our Dad’s. We must have been distracted by lunch because we didn’t fill up with gas before we left Prince George. By the time we realised, we thought it was too far to go back and  that surely there would be a gas station soon. Then Phil hit reserve. Then I hit reserve. Then Phil ran out of gas. He laid his bike over to get at the inaccessible pocket of extra gas in the right side of the tank (a quirk of the KLR), but then ran out again. Oops. Luckily we had run out near a house, and when I went to ask for gas the guy looked at me funny and said there was a gas station two minutes down the road. Phew. Poured our campstove gas into Phil’s bike and coasted to the gas station.

We stopped at the WAC Bennett Dam on the Peace River near Hudson’s Hope. (Check out the new “Where We’ve Been” page on our blog to see our route.) While there, Phil noticed a wire hanging from his bike in a rather worrying way. By comparing the same wire on my bike, we discovered it was his fan control switch wire, which had broken right at the switch. Decided to stay there for the night, and set up our tent in the day rest area. (We decided that “no camping” signs are just a suggestion when your bike is broken.)

Camping at the dam

Finally got to try out our gasoline powered stove for the first time – it works fantastically. Boils water very quickly and is easy to put together and take apart.

Phil managed to fix his wire using a connector that our dad had thrown into one of my bags (Thanks Dad!). While he fixed his wiring, I discovered that two of the three bolts holding a front fairing on had fallen out, so I used cable ties to hold them together as I didn’t have the right size nuts spare. Nothing like a little creative mechanics!

The next day was a long ride to the Liard Hot Springs. On the way we ran into a group of four motorcyclists from Grand Prairie. We spent the day leap-frogging them after a brief chat at a gas station early on. Arriving at the campground hours later we saw them and they invited us to share their campsite. This is how we joined a biker gang for the night.

Camping with the gang – and the mosquitoes!

It is an amazing phenomena that just because we have also chosen to ride the same type of vehicle, we are instantly friends with other riders. You might not feel the same camaraderie with another car driver who you had also seen getting gas. I really like how friendly motorcyclists are.

Liard Hot Springs (imagine about a million mosquitoes in this picture)

We headed for a dip in the natural hot springs with our new friends, Jason, Claude, Alan and John. The hot springs were very hot, and kept pretty natural considering, with a boardwalk leading to them and simple change rooms as the only infrastructure. A far cry for the commercialisation of the Hot Springs at Banff!

The next morning the rest of the gang took off early (they’ve only got 10 days on the road) and Phil decided to fix his left rear indicator which had stopped working. This was made many times more difficult by the mosquitoes that were plaguing us. The bug hats came out. Not cool, but extremely effective.

We headed for Whitehorse, but didn’t quite make it. The now daily afternoon storm wore us down enough to make us both keen to stop when we got to the village of Teslin. The restaurant had wifi and the campsite was beside a beautiful lake, so we were sold on the idea.

Teslin camping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, about the drops (this is Phil writing now). The score is 5-2, and Jayne is winning. Scoring works with each drop getting you a ‘fault’. To remove any excuses or debate, if your bike ends up on it’s side: you get a fault.

Blurry, but I had to take a pic before I could help her up. We have agreed to this caveat.

Jayne’s ‘faults’ thus far:

1. Kelowna: Checking the oil, didn’t put the bike back on the side stand.

2. Camping at the dam, dropped while trying to back up on grass.

 

 

 

Ah, that’s a nice breeze

Phil’s faults: 1. Squamish, stopped for a drink and didn’t have the bike leaning with the camber of the road on the side stand. So I leaned it on the ammo can instead… 2. Stopped at a lookout, taking pictures and a big gust of wind came up. Look out! 3. Ran out of gas outside Prince George. Slow, controlled fault, to slosh dregs of gas from the right side of the tank to the left, far more useful side. 4. Near Teslin, First fault while actually riding: turning around on gravel pull-out gave it some gas and landed on my ass. 5. Teslin, Teaching myself to leap onto my bike, leaned a little too far right… up against the bench of a picnic table. unable to move my foot farther to the right to regain balance, I held for a moment before letting go and having a picnic.

Some pictures from the past few days:

Stunning scenery abounds

 

Four, four bears on the Alaska Highway AH AH AH!!!

it’s 1130pm. Do you know where your kids are?

 

(hint)