Category Archives: Ride Reports
UCCC- A ride done by Tim Yow
I had always wanted to ride to Alaska and when the opportunity presented itself I decided to not just do a UCC, but upon checking and finding that only 4 riders had done it up to that date, and none on a single cylinder, I decided to instead attempt a UCCC ( Iron Butt describes it as the “Ultimate Coast to Coast to Coast Insanity). I also decided that since the Ironbutt Association who certifies these rides allows plenty of time for this ride that I would stretch it out and milk it for all it was worth with many side trips & sight seeing. All the IBA rides that I had ever done were all so time intensive this was a real treat and I enjoyed it to the hilt.
Charleston motorcyclist takes riding to extremes
By Bonnie Clark, Features Writer
Life is a series of challenges, and when they don’t present themselves, Tim Yow of Charleston goes looking for them.
Yow, 66, a serious biker and businessman, completed a 17,000-mile motorcycle trip in a month this summer, with an extra week thrown in for bike maintenance. There were challenges to spare.
The journey took him from Florida to California, then up the Coastal Highway to Alaska, up to Prudhoe Bay, across Canada and into Newfoundland and Labrador, and back to Florida.
This trip actually started with a conversation with Alan Leduc Founder of the MTF in 2008. He was going to be totally tied up with his China project until 2010, so the plan was to go on June +/- of 2010. After other things interrupted Alan’s plans, I was talking to Terry Hammond about it, and it dawned on me that there was nothing preventing me from stepping the schedule up and planning a June/July 2009 run. Alan and I had discussed doing a UCCCC and throw in a bay to bay and if time permitted, also throw in a Nova Scotia, Newfoundland loop of 500 miles +/-. Terry Hammond and I got together and compared our lists of stuff that we felt it was necessary to take for a trip of this length and sometimes isolation, planned maintenance, dates, parts and tools. As the time began to roll around, Terry realized that the extremely wet spring might possibly interfere with his participation. Terry owns a few bikes including a KLR 650, but he planned to take his ST1300, which concerned me having been there and remembering the dangerous “grader berms”, and the ST-1300’s low clearance, etc. We were shooting at the week of June 21st, which I hoped would get us out of Alaska before monsoon hit too hard like it did the last time I was up there in July/August 2006. I also decided that it would be better judgment to put a new rear tire on my KLR 650 and truck to Key West, saving the chain, sprockets, and tires. I put on an Avon Gripster with the hopes of getting to Anchorage from Key West & through San Diego without the need to change tires. I had added San Diego after a conversation with Mike Kneebone about adding another coast to my ride. I already planned to ride from Key West to Prudhoe to Goose Bay, Labrador and back to Key West making it a UCCCCC which would touch five coasts including counting Key West as the start and finish coast. This made some changes in my maintenance schedule since I was adding more miles, but also included the infamous “Goose Bay Road” which had bit many riders and many bikes. I already knew how treacherous the Dalton Highway (Haul Road) could be and it always varies a lot with the weather at the time. When I rode it in 2006, it had been raining for three days and the Calcium Chloride (snot) was very difficult to ride and equally hard on the bike. I hoped for better weather. I sent extra tires to Roger Bliss in Wasilla, AK and made him and Jack Gustafson of Glenn Allen, AK aware that I was going to make another run their way. I also contacted other friends, Joe and Sandra May (Iceman) from Trapper’s Creek to let them know. I left for Key West the week of June 15th and planned to hit some National Parks for stamps on the way down to Tom and Trudee Coppedge’s place in Marathon Key before launching the ride. It was here that I learned that Terry absolutely could not go. I decided to leave Key West on June 25th, and I also learned that a couple of school classmates planned to meet me in Texas and ride to Alaska on their road bikes. I would leave them as I went north from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. Robert Thompson from Thompson’s Motor Sports in Terre Haute, Indiana riding the same Gold Wing he rode with me to Alaska in 2006 and Jim Knierem riding his new Harley. I eventually met them in San Antonio, Texas at Jim’s daughter’s house.