Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Denali Hwy Brevet Gear List + Solstice 600K Logistics

1) Bear spray
2) Water filter
3) Camelback

This is a very remote ride (no cellphone service), checkpoints (contrôles) are far apart, and the weather outlook is telling us it'll be in the mid to high 60s up there; think "Parched!"

No doubt this will toughen you up for the upcoming Anchorage/Seward/Anchorage 400K!


It's less than a month until the Solstice 200K/400K/600K brevets up in Gakona/Delta Junction/Tok. If you're doing any of these rides, I suggest you make arrangements for accommodations in these towns as soon as possible; places are beginning to fill up rather quickly.

Last year, several riders had a good experience with Young's Motel in Tok. I have no relation to Young's, and there are other options up there, but this would be a good place to finish for the 400K, and to overnight for the 600K. They still have a few rooms open; its $94. They close their office @ 11pm but you can make arrangements for late arrivals. (Several riders got there after midnight and 1AM.)

Here’s their info:
Mile 1313 Alaska Highway. Seafood, pizza, steaks, sandwiches, salad bar & soup. 43 Motel rooms, satellite TV, phones, non-smoking available. Year-round 6 am to 11 pm. RV sites, water & electric, Wi-Fi available.
P.O. Box 482
Mile 1313 Alaska Highway
Tok, Alaska 99780
Ed and Diane Young Email: edyoung@aptalaska.net

For other options, check out the latest edition of the Milepost.

See ya up there!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Denali Highway 200K/300K May 29th

If you don't think randonneuring in the United States is taking off, then you I guess you didn't know that there has already been 68 brevets, so far just this month of May, ranging from 200K to 600K, all across this Nation.

Check out the photos from the Oregon 600K.

These are just a small example of the outrageously high-quality riding being organized from coast-to-coast in this country by the Randonneurs USA. There are a tonne of rides going on around the country and Canada. If you're traveling for business or pleasure, consider taking your bike!

The long days of summer are upon us. I hope you will get out and ride with your fellow randonneurs.


The Anchorage/Palmer/Anchorage 300K is a wonderful ride that passes through the communities of Eagle River, Peters Creek, Eklutna, Palmer, and Knik. This is about the closest thing we get to the village-to-village cycling experience.

10 riders started in the chill of a cloudless morning last Saturday, and rode some amazing roads, hills, trails, and even through a bit of road construction, to complete the 300K brevet. Congratulations to all of finishers.

Anchorage/Palmer/Anchorage 300K Results are HERE.
A few photos are HERE.


MAY 29th, Memorial Day Weekend - AEA Denali Classic + 200K/300K Brevets
The Alaska Randonneurs really believe in grassroots events. That's why this year we're teaming up with the AEA for their Memorial Day weekend Denali Classic. We really admire what Carlos has been doing over the years with Frigid Bits and Soggy Bottom, and want to show our support for his rides. Come up and join the fun and adventure. Ride one of the Denali Classic rides, or if you're looking for ACP or RUSA credit, ride the 200K or 300K brevets out-and-back on the Denali Highway. These brevets are likely the longest dirt-road randonnées in North America. Bring your 'cross bike, with extra plump tires, or your hard-tail MTB.

All rides will start at 9AM from the Brushkana campground, which is about 29 miles east of Cantwell. Make a whole weekend of it. Bring the family; there are loads of trials to explore for those not doing one of the rides.

We're planning a post-ride potluck feast, so please bring something to add to the food pile. Don't forget to bring your favorite fermented or distilled electrolyte replacement, if you're so inclined. And if that's not enough, we'll be cookin' up a giant tummy-bustin' homestyle breakfast on Sunday morning. Bring a few donation victuals for that one too. Don't forget to haul your body-weight in firewood up to the campground as well. It's still a little chilly in the evening up there, and we're gonna need lots of community flame.

Details HERE.

See you on the Denali!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Anchorage/Palmer/Anchorage 300K Brevet on 5/22

This Saturday, May 22nd, come ride the Anchorage/Palmer/Anchorage 300K brevet. If you've ridden any one of our three 200K brevets so far this season, this ride is well within your reach, and can be very rewarding.

Details for the ride have been posted on the website, along with the cue sheet for the course. Note that summer is construction season here in Alaska, and randonneurs are not immune. There's a very short section of the Old Glenn Highway at the north edge of Eagle River, along side Fire Lake, that will be closed beginning this Friday, until July. I've added an easy and logical work-around to the cue sheet.

Chapeaux à Mark, one of our riders who e-mailed me with the road closure alert! Thanks, Mark. Riders will be grateful to you come Saturday morning.

This is a rambling course with a variety of encounters ranging from local urban neighborhoods, quiet backroads, deep valleys surrounded by soaring, snowcapped peaks, a Native village, industrial zones, beaches and ocean views, rivers and railroads. Along the way, you'll pass through Anchorage, Eagle River, Chugiak/Birchwood/Peters Creek, Eklutna, Palmer, and Knik. There will be plenty of places to stop to refuel along the way in any one of these communities; lots of stores, restaurants, cafes, convenience stores, etc. There are a few hilly sections, but nothing the last three 200K brevets haven't prepared you for.

Photos from last year's version of this ride are HERE.

The weather forecast is for SUN with highs between 55-65!! Come ride with us!

Looking forward to seeing you next Saturday.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Matanuska Milestone & More

30 riders, the most ever for an Alaska brevet, stormed the backroads of the Matanuska Valley last Sunday. Thanks to all the "regulars", as well as new riders, for coming out to test yourself against Palmer's headwinds, Wasilla's pitbulls, and Houston's hailstorms. Tell all your friends how much fun you had on this ride, then bring 'em with you to the next brevet!

Mat Valley 200K photos are HERE.
Mat Valley 200K results are HERE.

Now that you have one or more 200K rides under your belt so far this season, consider riding this weekend's Anchorage/Palmer/Anchorage 300K. It's a beautiful ride that explores everything between the sandy beaches along Cook Inlet to the snow-covered peaks of the Chugach mountains. All the info is HERE.

Join us over the Memorial Day weekend as the Alaska Randonneurs team up with the Alaska Endurance Association for their annual Denali Classic. We'll be offering a 200K and 300K dirt-road brevet, as well as hosting a family-friendly pot-luck dinner, and a hearty pre-ride breakfast. There will be lots of room at the Brushkana campground, so bring your family and encourage all your friends to come up and have a good time. (There's loads of good trail riding for those not participating in the AEA rides or the brevets.) This ride offers stunning views of the Alaska Range, the second highest pass on the Alaska road system, as well as a few fun, quirky roadside lodges.

Looking for more 200K or longer brevets before the Fireweed 400? Check out the rest of the randonneuring schedule for all of our other rides HERE.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Matanuska Valley 200K - Sunday 5/16/10

Come ride the Matanuska Valley 200K brevet this Sunday, May 16th.

Roll on some new roads, meet some new riders, and have a great time! Test yourself for a personal-best, or simply come out for the views and friends!

Ride details & cue sheet available HERE.

A few photos from last year's Mat Valley 200K are HERE.

Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Homer's Odyssey

The End-of-the-Road 200K brevet was just amazing. The morning snow shower up high on East End Road added to the challenge, but the ocean scenery and warmer late-afternoon temps down at the beach in Anchor Point made it all worth while.

The other critical component making this ride so unbelievably satisfying is the people who helped put it on. Joy and Ruth spent many hours hanging out at controls and driving the course. Thanks you two. The ride wouldn't have happened without your help.

Thanks also to Pat and Kathy who have encouraged the idea and development of this ride since the beginning. Pat has literally been my eyes down in Homer as he's helped me figure out how to squeeze 200K out of the roads around the "Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea."

So, now that you've heard about, and seen the photos of, this brevet for two years, I urge you make the effort to join us in Homer next year. This ride is really gathering momentum. The roads and scenery are just amazing.

Homer 200K photos are HERE.
Homer 200K results are HERE.

Two things coming up this week:
Rando-Info Night #2 at REI-Anchorage, Thursday the 13th at 6:00PM.
The Matanuska Valley 200K, starting in Palmer on Sunday the 16th. Registration will open at 6:00AM.

Looking for something fun for the Memorial Day weekend? Grab your 'cross bike for the longest dirt road brevet in the country. AK Randonneurs and AK Endurance Assoc. are teaming up to offer both a 200K and 300K brevet on the Denali Highway. The ride will traverse the Alaska Range to the north, for breathtaking views of Deborah and Hess. There will also be a huge pre and post-ride pot-luck breakfast/dinner. Should be a blast!