#alaska

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Lael Rides Alaska: Touring the Dalton Highway and Gear Breakdown

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Lael Rides Alaska: Touring the Dalton Highway and Gear Breakdown

Dalton Highway

We land in Deadhorse on the North Slope of Alaska in the evening under sunny skies and drag our cardboard bike boxes out of the single gate terminal. We’re the only passengers on the flight not starting a two-week work shift on the oil fields. The wind is ripping so fast, it’s hard to put the bikes together. We help each other. We velcro bags to our bikes and load up our camping gear. It’s cold enough that we put on all of our clothing layers. We cram days’ worth of food into every pack. The workers at the airport are kind and helpful. A woman gives us directions to the shop where we can buy a camping stove canister and a can of bear spray that we couldn’t bring on the plane. She asks us to leave our bike boxes in storage. They always save the big ones for hunters.

Lael Wilcox’s Kenai 250 2021 Specialized Epic Evo Pro with Hope Tech

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Lael Wilcox’s Kenai 250 2021 Specialized Epic Evo Pro with Hope Tech

The Kenai 250 is a 257-mile, self-supported mountain bike race in the Kenai peninsula, the only area in Alaska with a large network of singletrack trails maintained by the forest service. The race organizer, Michael Braun, stitched together a route that connects the trails with highway miles. It’s 60% singletrack and 40% pavement. The race has been going on since at least 2013. This year, with 36 starters, it’s a record setting year for participation. This will be my first time racing it. I grew up in Alaska. It’s amazing to have the opportunity to ride and race in my home state. A couple weeks ago, Rue and I went out to tour the trails– several of which I’d never ridden. In a single day, from my bike seat, I saw a moose cooling off in a pond and both a lynx and a grizzly bear crossed my path. Alaska is still very wild. I’m really looking forward to riding through the night and experiencing this full route in one go. It would make a great multi-day tour as well.

Back In Alaska to Share the Story of the Roads: Lael Wilcox Rides Alaska

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Back In Alaska to Share the Story of the Roads: Lael Wilcox Rides Alaska

My dream was to ride all of the major roads in Alaska and I did in 2017. I’m fourth-generation Alaskan. It’s where I got into endurance riding on my mom’s Specialized Ruby in between bartending shifts in 2014. Examining the map and fitting in the biggest rides I could on my two days off led me to the goal of riding them all, imagining what the 2D map could look like in real life and why the roads existed in the first place. Three years later, I had a wide open summer and I was ready for an open-ended adventure. Four thousand five hundred miles took me past Wiseman to the north slope at Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean, through Chicken to Eagle on the Yukon River, to the three hot springs north of Fairbanks, into Denali National Park and across the Denali Highway to Paxson. I used The Milepost, the local guidebook that chronicles every mile of Alaskan road with conditions and services. If the road is listed in The Milepost, I had to ride it. About two-thirds were paved and a third, high-quality dirt.

Readers’ Rides: Matt’s Ol’ Gary Fish tASSaJARa

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Readers’ Rides: Matt’s Ol’ Gary Fish tASSaJARa

Matt bought this classic Fisher MTB frame for $50 with the hopes of having a good ’round towner. Like all bikes, it’s going through various iterations over the years, with what you’re seeing now being the most current and arguably the best. I guess it depends how the parts bin and jewelry box are lookin’ ya know? 

Anchorage GRIT: Girls Riding Into Tomorrow

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Anchorage GRIT: Girls Riding Into Tomorrow

Traveling by bike is inspiring and stimulating. From the saddle, you have time to think and dream. It’s dynamic. Pushing the pedals pumps blood. You breathe more air. you are enveloped in nature. There is so much to experience and interpret. If you’re riding with friends, you share ideas and maybe you build dreams together– layers of big ideas, feelings, details, reality, time, reflection and how you can really pull it all off. A great idea is very different from execution. You don’t have to be the best or the most organized to do something good. And you don’t have to know every possible outcome from the start. Adventure is stepping into the unknown. It’s scary and exciting and always requires more work than you really want to put in, but you follow through anyway because you have guts and you care.

In the spring of 2017, while riding the Baja Divide, Cait Rodriguez and I hatched the idea for Anchorage GRIT.

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The Friendly Arctic Trailer

In the summer of 2019, Bjørn Olson and Kim McNett completed a fat-bike and packraft route, entirely above the Arctic Circle of Alaska – Kotzebue to Point Hope. Enjoy the trailer for the upcoming film about this human-powered expedition.

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Bjørn Olson: Iglaak

The latest video from Bjørn Olson is not to be missed!

“Alaska’s Seward Peninsula lies just below the Arctic Circle. The protuberant peninsula is the millennia old home to the Inupiat Eskimo, situated in the northwest of Alaska – a land that stirs the adventurer’s spirit and kindles the insatiable. Visions of paleo-Arctic ancestors, sweeping tundra, rugged mountains, winding rivers, compacted beaches, intact ecosystems, and a land before contemporary time excite the Iglaak – the traveler, stranger, and visitor.

This three-minute film is a snapshot of a fat-bike and packraft tour through the Imuruk Basin, the villages of Mary’s Igloo, Brevig Mission, Teller, and Nome.”

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PMA in Alaska

Keeping your head in check on a trip like this is of the utmost importance, because… you want to have a good time!

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Bikepacking through Alaska

Five friends traverse a large swath of southern Alaska by sea kayak, fat-bike, and packraft. Through interviews and footage, shot underway, the adventurers share their experiences and reflections about their journey.