Sunday, May 31, 2009

Anchorage-Seward-Anchorage 400K Brevet

Bore tides, beluga whales, eagles, mountains and more are why the Seward Highway holds the All-American Roads designation. The route also holds significant historical and cultural qualities.

If you're aiming to achieve Super Randonneur status this year (check out the special jersey) by completing a full brevet series, or if you're looking to pack in some additional distance work in preparation for the Fireweed 400 or one of Rio's AEA rides, you'll not want to miss this ride to Seward and back. The views along Turnagain Arm and through the Kenai Mountains make this ride a destination of its own. The hills and distance will provide the challenge.

The start will be from Carrs Huffman on June 6th, at 6:00AM. Registration will open at 5:00AM.

All the Anch/Seward/Anch 400K ride details can be found HERE.

With our long days and short nights, randonneurs in Alaska often overlook the use of lights on the bike. However, on this long ride through the mountains, don't underestimate the need for lights. Even though you may be able to finish the ride before sundown, overcast weather conditions during the later hours can make things very dark indeed; too dark to change a flat or a broken spoke, and certainly too dark to descend Turnagain Pass safely. Bring lights on this ride.

In addition to the requirement for lights, you must have a reflective vest or sash if you're riding any time between sunset and sunrise. If you don't you will be DQ'ed. The regulations are spelled out HERE. Please be sure to read them before the start.

As usual, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to shoot me an e-mail or give me a call before the ride.

See you at the start, bright and early!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chin' an, Gu Ninyu.

"Thank you, you came here." That's the translation of the control clue found on the sign at Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church in the Native village of Eklutna, north of Anchorage.

Nine riders set off early on Saturday morning from the south end of Potter Marsh for one of six 300 Km brevets offered this weekend around the U.S. It was clear and chilly at the 7:00 AM start, but the immediate climb up Rabbit Creek Road warmed everyone up rather quickly. Alaska randonneurs were again treated to spectacular weather, and a new course that wound through every community between Anchorage and Palmer and back. It was a hard, but beautiful ride embodying the true spirit of randonneuring; seeing just how far you can go on a bike, traveling from city, to town, to village, to town, entirely self-supported and living off the land while doing it.

Congratulations to all the riders on finishing! Everyone's bikes and bodies seemed to hold up well against the distance.

Results for the Anchorage/Palmer/Anchorage 300 Km brevet, as well as the Matanuska Valley 200 Km brevet are now posted HERE.

Photos of both rides are on the AK Rando Flickr site HERE.

Our next ride will be the Anchorage/Seward/Anchorage 400 Km on June 6th. I'll have details posted soon.

Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Anchorage-Palmer-Anchorage 300K Brevet

Now that the three 200K brevets have loosened the legs up a little, let's turn it up a notch. This Saturday is the Anchorage/Palmer/Anchorage 300K brevet.

This course is designed to really give riders the feeling of traveling from community to community, and living off the land while doing it. This ride will cover some beautiful backroads (I saw a black bear while driving the course yesterday) as well as interesting urban/industrial areas. There will be a few hills, but nothing unusual, and certainly not excessive. A 300K brevet has a time limit of 20 hours. So far, all of our 200K finishers have completed those rides well within the time limit, so I don't think it will be an issue on this ride either.

Please see all the details for the Anchorage/Palmer/Anchorage 300K are HERE.

Don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail or phone if you have any questions.

I'm looking forward to seeing you at the start!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Matanuska Valley 200K: 15 Starters/15 Finishers!

Another fantastic 200K in the bag! As you can see from the photo above, the views were butt incredible!

Congratulations to all who finished!! Not one DNF this weekend! Lots of familiar faces on this ride. Thanks so much to all who came out to ride and support randonneuring in Alaska.

I really want to acknowledge the generosity of our local randonneurs. These rides do take a lot of time and energy to put together. But, honestly, I really appreciate your support and the encouragement you show! It makes it worth it.

The 7:00AM start delivered chilly head winds, pouring off of the Matanuska glacier, all the way into the King River control. The traffic was really low, and the roads very quiet being that the ride was on Sunday, though it did seem to pick up later in the afternoon.

This ride did suffer from a rash of missing street signs on the course. Is that a Valley-thing? Is that something I should call the governor about? (Note to self: always carry a can of pink spray paint in the Rando-mobile.)

The Anchorage-Palmer-Anchorage 300K will start at 07:00 next SATURDAY at the south end of Potter Marsh. I'm aiming to have details posted on the website tomorrow.

We're stepping the distance up a bit with this ride. The 300K has a 20 hour time limit, so if you think you might be out after 22:00, I expect you to have an operating front and rear light. Check your light BEFORE Saturday's ride!!! Make sure it fits, make sure it shines, make sure it won't fall off. Also, be sure to have spare batteries, and if your light isn't an LED, have an extra bulb. This isn't overkill. This is practical, safe, good advice.

Again, congratulations to all the finishers. It was great seeing you out on the course!!

I look forward to seeing you next Saturday!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Consider the Kenai!

I am amazed at the high quality of road riding available on the Kenai Peninsula. Throw any stereotypes you may have of the area out the window, and do yourself a favor. Go down and explore those roads. Some of the best road riding in Alaska can be had down in Homer and Kenai.

The Kenai 200K was another fantastic ride. The weather cooperated again, and it was a beautiful day to be on the bike; though the start was a bit crisp, and riders had to push through some afternoon winds coming off the water. The riders were great too, and they came from all over Southcentral.

I'm grateful to Judy Abrahams and Angie Nelson who helped me out at the controls all day checking riders through. I couldn't have done it with out you. Thank you two very much!

Next Sunday, May 17th, will be the Matanuska 200K; an all new course. Details are HERE. I hope you will join us on some new roads.

The few photos I managed to take during the Kenai 200K are posted on the AK Rando Flickr site HERE.

The Kenai 200K results are posted on attached pdf on the results page HERE.

See you again next weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

North Kenai Peninsula 200K Brevet on May 9th

Here are the details for next weekend's 200K brevet on the north end of the Kenai Peninsula.

It's another all new course, in an area we've never ridden before. It should be no less interesting that the now infamous Homer 200K. Plus, it will be much flatter!

Please look over the documents and course map carefully. The only real issues that came about for those who DNFed last weekend seem to be related to navigation problems. Be sure to know how to use the cue sheets along with your cyclo-computer. If you have any questions about that, please don't be afraid to ask.

Before I get to all the brevet info links, I want to emphasize the importance of riding within the traffic laws on these brevets. Part of the Homer brevet's success was that all the riders really took it upon themselves to ride as traffic. While we may have all the rights to the road, we also have all the associated responsibilities; and there are a lot of them. That means stopping at all stop signs and lights, signaling for all turns, being courteous to drivers, yielding to pedestrians, and taking the lane if you need to. As we're the new kids on the block in Kenai, I want to make a good impression.

Kenai Brevet info, printable cue sheet, and waiver are HERE.
Rider Expectations are HERE.
Regulations are HERE.
Rules for Riders are HERE.

Please e-mail me, or call me at 907-276-6299 (hm) or 907-317-6030 (mobile), if you have any questions.

I'm heading down on Friday afternoon around 4:00M-ish

Looking forward to seeing you there! It's going to be another great ride!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The End-of-the-Road Is Just The Beginning

Thanks to all the riders who showed up and rode the inaugural End-of-the-Road 200K brevet in Homer, Alaska!

I really wanted to see this ride happen, and it never would have materialized without you showing up to ride it. And, now I think we've established a new standard, as one of the riders put it. You can count on the Homer 200K happening again next year, if I have anything to do with it.

It was an incredibly hilly course, especially for the first ride of the season. It was especially tough on some of the newcomers, with navigation being the primary challenge. But, the weather was spectacular, as were the views. I hope that was enough to occasionally take your mind off of your moments of suffering.

Don't forget, next weekend will be the first ever North Kenai 200K. This course is much flatter than the Homer course, and also has some very beautiful and interesting sections of road. I really hope you'll join us.

I've posted photos of the Homer ride on the Alaska Randonneurs Flickr site. Check 'em out! Relive the moment!! If you took any photos during the ride, please post them there too.

The results are now posted on the Alaska Randonneurs' website.

Congratulations to all the finishers!