Remnants of the oily surface of the Alaskan highways were still stuck to Dan Maxey’s motorcycle when he got back to Oklahoma City.
Maxey had washed the motorcycle three times but the signs of the trip were still fresh and tough to get off the cycle.
"The roads are made of oil there and gets harder and harder as you go and cakes on the cycle," said Maxey, 59, of Oklahoma City, who rode to northern Alaska and back on a summer jaunt.
Maxey, owner of Maxey’s Motorsports on NW 39 Expressway, changed the oil in his Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 and took off July 5 with another motorcyclist, Kevin Waldschmidt, 51, of Choctaw. They rode about 350 miles a day for five weeks, logging about 11,800 miles to northern Alaska and back.
It wasn’t Maxey’s first time to see Alaska on a motorcycle. His first try resulted in a horrible crash on a one-lane highway across the border in Canada.
In 2002, on the narrow Dempster Highway in the Yukon Territory, Canada, Maxey saw a tractor-trailer barreling downhill at him at about 90 mph. The truck driver didn’t see Maxey. Maxey’s motorcycle was sucked in the wind as the tractor-trailer passed. He lost control of his motorcycle and overturned, sliding across a rocky surface.
The crash broke his wrist, a vertebrae in his back and his helmet. A doctor later said his heart had dropped two inches. He was sore from other internal injuries, but not too sore to ride back home.