For the last couple days, I have been enjoying the hospitality of Richard Machida and his family in Fairbanks. It has been fun to spent time with them. I’ve been relaxing and playing the tourist. There have been lots of visits to local cafés for chai and other tasty treats.
Since Fairbanks is close to North Pole, AK, I couldn’t resist going to get a picture of the place. The main area of the town is decorated like Christmas with candy-cane lamp posts and bus stops.
There is a giant Santa statue and even reindeer.
They kind of look like caribou to me
In Fairbanks, I found this mural. I like how the paint seems to drip into the scene
It is just near a little park in the downtown area:
Richard also took me out to see the pipeline. I saw a little bit of it along the road from Delta Junction. It is impressive when you think how long it is. Alaska is big!
Notice how there are bumpers along the support posts and a rail for the pipe to move back and forth.
A clever system. The pipeline runs the length of the state from north to south.
My first day in Fairbanks, I went to Julia’s Solstice Café after I had my new tire installed.
Just as I pulled in, a car did as well. The driver was named Ken and he was from MN. He noticed my license plates and wanted to chat. He was also a motorcycle rider; he has a K75. We chatted for a bit and then both enjoyed our lunch.
The food was so good, I went back the next day and ran into him again. We had lunch together and chatted about travelling and motorcycles some more. He also introduced me to some of his friends at the café. Everyone was friendly and the food was great. Before he left, he recommended I visit another café on Sunday since this one was closed. He said some BMW riders would meet up there in the morning, and that I should look for a guy name George. Richard knew the place, so we went there this morning.
We chatted with George and a couple other folks while enjoying a hot beverage. It was a good time. George owned a local shop in Fairbanks and has been selling motorcycles for a long time. He told me a lot about his Enfield with a Cozy sidecar. Ken was right, he was fun to talk to. George was impressed that I rode up the Alaska highway without a windshield on my SV650. He said he’d done it more than 13 times, but never on a bike without a windshield. A cool compliment.
After, Richard took me on a ride of his favorite regular commute route. It was a nice road whose twists and turns quickly made you forget you were near Fairbanks. A short clip of the ride is below.
My SV parked next to Richard’s BMW R100RT.
Richard is planning to ride his R100RT down from Alaska to California later this year along the coast. Hopefully, he’ll write about his trip on his blog. You can see more on his site: http://blog.machida.us/
I’d like to say a big thanks to Richard and his family for letting me stay with them for these last few days. They were warm and friendly, and made me feel very welcome. I wish they were 3,000 miles closer, so we could visit more often.
Video: Riding with Richard Machida