Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Alaska 600K Brevet

Where the Bread & Water 100K populaire embodied the light-hearted, fun nature of rambling on a bike from point-to-point around the city, the Alaska 600K brevet, that travels from Gakona to Delta Junction to Tok, and back to Gakona, is absolutely mammoth in scale, scope, and adventure-factor.

Seven riders, long-distance veterans as well as first-year randonneurs, left Gakona early Saturday morning, under a thick blanket of low clouds, to meet the challenge. It was more than an honest test of the randonneuring spirit...

...And a challenge it was! A tire boot and a Leatherman aside, the best tool anyone can bring to a ride like this is determination.

Weather forecasting across Alaska is never very dependable, but the predicted mid-70s temps were as fraudulent as Bernie Madoff's disclaimer statement. None of us realized that it had snowed 4" on the Tok Cut-off the week before. But Alaskans know we live in a land of extremes, and for the most part, the riders that showed came well prepared.

The beauty of this ride is absolutely remarkable. Each 200K leg has its own distinct character; quiet and intimate winding miles through lush subalpine landscapes, vast forests of spruce, birch, and aspen, the expanse of both the Alaska Range and the Wrangell Mountains...and some quirky little Alaska towns too. Its a wonderful way to experience that part of interior Alaska.

A hearty and sincere congratulations to those who finished. And to the riders who looked deep within themselves to understand their limits, be encouraged with the experience you gained. It'll be a really useful advantage next year.

Thanks so much to all the riders and volunteers who showed up for this year's 600K. It was great having that many riders show in a non-PBP year. And honestly, Kate and Susan, you were a tremendous help along the course. One of the best surprises were Sam and Max who traveled up here from Portland and Washington D.C, respectively. I hope you'll return to join us on another brevet again. In the meantime, please spread the word about all the fantastic riding and adventure there is up here. I'm grateful to you all for your support of randonneuring in Alaska!

No comments: