For concerned…

… friends and family, here’s a rough outline of our route for you peace of mind. We shan’t bore you with details of how remote the stretch to Prudoe Bay is said to be, or the various tactics we’ve been gleaning to avoid its hungry grizzly bears…

So. First we ride up to Prudoe Bay, via Fairbanks, perhaps taking the Glenn and Denali Highway to get there. This whole stretch is a good 900 miles long, and much of it is along a gravelly, corrugated road that parallels the oil pipeline, with a mountain or two in the way. Even cooler, we’ll be crossing the 66 degrees latitude mark – the point where the sun arcs across the sky, rather than dropping over the horizon. Literally, the place where the sun never sets; how fairytale-like is that. Unfortunately we’re a little off the Summer Solstice, but it’s still said to have an unearthly light till 2 or 3am. Stopping just long enough to take in this natural phenomena (before the legions of non fairytale-like mozzies drive us on) we’ll trundle on up to the evocatively-titled Deadhorse. The very last stretch is private, so we might have to hop onto one of the organised tours put on by the evil oil field to get to dip our toes in the Arctic Sea itself.

From there, we’ll hitch or pick up the shuttle bus back to Anchorage, and begin the journey south. The Kenai peninsula is home to some of the best singletrack in the area (and I do love my singletrack), so we’ll explore a little, before catching the ferry from Whittier to Valdez (of Exon fame). From Valdez, there’s Thompson Pass and Mentassa Pass en route to Tok, before we pick up the Alaska Highway to Whitehorse, also home to some fine  mountain biking.

From Whitehorse, we’ll ride to Skagway and pick up the ferry to Sitka, where Alexei lives, a guy I met on the Bristol-Bath cycleway, of all places. Then it’s another series of ferries through whale watching country to Prince Rupert, in British Colombia. Turning east, we’ll ride to Banff via Prince George. That’s Phase 1 (Phase 2 is the Great Divide Ride), and more than enough for parents to worry for about for now (or look forward to, depending on your point of view)…

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