Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Good Start

We are on the road and have very little reception. Currently I am using wifi for internet access at a campground in Trapper Creek.

We got our bikes together Friday night after a long day at the UPS store and their hub. One of our packages wasn't delivered to the store, and the young lady working the UPS store offered her car to us so we could drive to the local hub to pick up the missing package. At the hub, we were told we would have to wait until Monday to get that missing package. James and I sat down and said, "Ok, we're waiting." We got the package in 5 minutes.

After we got the bikes together at 10PM, we started our ride in the pouring rain. We set up camp about 30 miles from our start at Eagle River. This was a very good test for us and we probably learned the most from it. When we got to Eagle River, I was in full rain gear, but James tested how he would do without. I was completely dry and James couldn't get warm all night. We learned that if we see any sign of rain, we are going to dress like we're in a thunderstorm. We also knew we were going to have to upgrade some supplies. I needed gloves, rope, propane, and socks. James needed a mummy sleeping bag, and some more rain gear. We would pick this up in the next few days.

Day two of the ride was very frustrating while we were in route, but when we finished, we were more than happy we traveled around 50 miles off route. We started at Eagle River and went north on route 1. There was a bike trail that followed route 1 until we got to Edmonds Lake Park. After riding on the freeway for a few miles in 2 inches of cinders and sand from previous winters, we knew we had to find some back roads. We got off at the next exit and took the Old Glenn Highway east until we got to Knik River Road. That was our best mistake of the trip. We went east on Knik River Road for 10 miles until we came to a dead end. Keep in mind, these roads don't see much traffic, but they are all 55mphs and look the same. We got the best pictures of the trip from this mistake but became very agitated. When we finally got back on track and reached Palmer, we were very hungry. We stopped at a Taco Bell at midnight and found a pavilion off the road about 500 feet and set up camp for the night. Total miles: 68.8

Day three on the road was only 20.8 miles, but we met a lot of great people and were able to stock up on supplies. James and I got our needed bags and gloves from the local shops and we stocked up on groceries as well. While getting groceries, James met Dr. Brian and Brenda who own their own veterinarian hospital in Wasilla. Brian and Brenda are very experienced cyclists and are "fitness buffs" to say the least. They run or bike to work every day and were very helpful with our biking setups. They also fed us twice and let us sleep in their home and use their showers. James and I were very inspired by their willingness to help us, complete strangers. I don't know if before that day, I would have done the same in my hometown. It's amazing how helpful some people are. James just said, "We wouldn't be able to do this trip without the people we have met who have helped us so far." We are very lucky and thankful for everyone's help so far.

Day four on the road started out to be a beautiful day for riding. We ate lunch at a local 3/8mile dirt track which felt like home to me. That lunch was just a small portion of what I ate today (Huge bowl of oatmeal, two apples, one banana, 3 slices of NY style pizza, one bacon burger with fries, a half gallon of V8, one brownie, one Hershey bar, and about 2 gallons of water.)

Trouble at mile mark 101.
We were just over 50miles into our ride for the day, when I broke a second spoke on my rear wheel. I limped the bike to Trapper Creek and we set up camp around 8PM. We traveled 70 miles for the day.

We are currently at Trapper Creek and we are waiting on some help from a local bike shop. We should be back on the road later today or first thing tomorrow. If I don't get a signal the next few days, I will give a wrap up when we get to Fairbanks.



  1. Thanks for the great update Steve! I love how you wrote, "That was our best mistake of the trip" during your first week! Classic. BTW...anyone remember when Wendel headed west rather than east coming home from EMU after I think it was the '02 Outdoor MAC meet?
    James shivering all night is reminiscent of spring break freshman year when he failed to bring warm-ups to Standford and shivered for hours b4 his race. Ohhhh, Wendel was P.O.ed. :)

  2. Oh and I am looking forward to seeing the pictures from your "best mistake".

  3. Dude, sounds great. Still so amazed you are doing this. Sounds real exciting so far. Like the posts alot. Theron and Hank told me to tell you they said hi today. Keep it up Macgruber!!!!

  4. Great update Steve. Please include any wildlife encounters/attacks, as I know brown bears are prevalent. Other than that, keep up the good work;)

  5. Enjoying reading about your adventure! I just wish somebody had been smart enough to film you guys for a reality TV show! The ratings would be through the roof simply with James' observations! If your trip somehow brings you through Central Illinois let me know. Would love to see you guys!

  6. Shanna: Standford?

    Wendel: what observations?

  7. Good Luck!!!!jimmy you know butler gang will help if you are in a bind. I still think you should have road Harleys. At least the girls would fit on the back, John in Aurora

  8. Per 5 wants to know did you and James bring your passport to go through Canada?

    Also, Whats the scariest thing you have encountered so far?

  9. Per 6 wants to know do you guys eat out at all? And when will you post your pics?

  10. Per 7. You said you at lunch at a local 3/8 mile dirt track that felt like home to you. What do mean felt like home?

  11. Mogadore Period 5:
    We will need our passports to get back into the United States. All we need to get into Canada is proof we are US citizens. (Birth Certificate)

    We really haven't had any scary encounters. I guess when we broke at 10pm on Wednesday in the rain and had to camp on a pull off on the side of the road, we were a little nervous of the wild life. We played music all night and never had a problem.

    Mogadore Period 6:
    We do eat out at times. The food is much more expensive up here than back home. When we eat out, a meal is around $10-$20 on average and we eat cheap.

    We have taken a lot of great pics. We are currently looking for a good place that will host them. Do you know of any websites that can host our pics so we can attach a link to this blog?

    Mogadore Period 7:
    I grew up spending ever Sunday at a race track. I even raced a circle track with your teacher last year. I didn't expect to see any racing in Alaska, but we found that 3/8 mile track, and for a little while, I didn't feel so far from home. It's a lot different out here in a lot of ways, and it's easy to get homesick. I was a good a good feeling to spend some time in an atmosphere where I was comfortable.