Anyone here doing Iditabike ?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: |brake-out|'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    86

    Anyone here doing Iditabike ?

    I have a couple of questions about the whole Iditabike (350 miles) experience and I'm wondering if you Alaskans would help me out with the answers. I'm pondering the idea of doing this race (next year), and I would like to go up this year and check out the environment, meet some people and get a general feel if I think I can do this race.

    1.) What's the nearest commercial airport to the starting place ? (Knik Lake I think)
    2.) When your race is over I think you're in McGrath. How the heck do you get back to the start ?
    3.) It would seem from some things that I've read that a SS might be the way to go for this race. Because you're never going to need that really top end speed, and you could gear it low enough where you still had some range. Has anyone rode it on a SS before ?

    Thanks in advance !

  2. #2

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    580
    Page Pat Irwin--he's the single speed winter time endurance racer type guru.

    Whaddaya mean by "commercial airport"? Depends on what you're flying.

    Ken

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: |brake-out|'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    86

    Ahh

    Well, I guess I mean anywhere you can get buying a ticket and not flying your own plane. No pilots license here...

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Queen Bee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    354

    Start with the Susitna 100.

    It's a great race, well organized and you will get a feel for the flavor of winter ultra-distance bike racing. The Susitna is great training ground for the Ultrasport 350 to McGrath which is an absolutely incredible experience if you know what you're getting into! This year's Susitna is February 19th. By the way, you'd fly into Anchorage International Airport and drive 1 hour north to the start at Knik Lake. Getting home from McGrath is also easy--there's an airport with jet service to fly you one hour back to Anchorage retracing the same rugged terrain that you rode (and pushed) your bike over. Here are the links if you don't already have them.

    Susitna 100: www.susitna100.com
    Alaska Ultrasport: www.alaskaultrasport.com

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    136
    Brake out MAKE SURE YOU DO IT.

    .Im from the UK so popping over to check it out is out the question,easier to pop over and do it which i did last year.I had no experience riding in snow,never been out in anything less then -7.I read loads about the event on the internet.It made me think how the internet has changed events.Theres so much info available today maybe it takes some of the adventure away,anyhow i find it helps to read about others experiences and mentally prepares you for what may come.the mental aspect of these events is really a big part of it.One thing you notice is how often competitors go back and do it again.Its not because they crave the 200 odd miles of pushing or being out in -20 but rather i feel because of the family structure to the event.Those volunteers living out there that open up their houses to the event promoters to the B/B in Anchorage make it feel like you are home for christmas.Folk out there are so friendly.

    I ride singlespeed on and off in the uk and was seriously thinking about one but got talked out of it.Pat Irvin is a special breed,what he can do does`nt apply to normal folk.
    I think a few gears on the back can be your friend out there.

    I rode a Fat Bike from wildfire cycles of Palmer.i ran remolino rims with 3" nokians and felt they helped me.Peter Basinger was on snow cats and won the event but it a craft form to finding good snow to ride on that peter was showing me as i followed his tracks for about 100 miles.

    Check out www.slickrock.co.uk
    Its a story written by my friend,we were both rookies in 04
    Do google searches for Mike curiak,Pat Norvil,john Stamstead..They are all prolific with the pen and and a wealth of knowledge.
    Be sure to say hello if you make Knik lake this year.I will be in the bar,another small detail i learnt last year :-)

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: |brake-out|'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    86

    Thanks

    Thanks for everyone's advice, and I probably would do the Susitna 100 before trying the iditabike. But even for the Susitna I think I need to go up and check out people's setups and see how they're dealing with everything. Currently I'm in no aerobic shape to even attempt the Susitna, and even if I were I don't have the tires / frame that could handle the tires, etc. And hey, it's a good excuse to go to alaska for a few days, something that I've been meaning to do for years.

    As far as the singlespeed thing goes, knowing who has done it, will make me not even attempt it. I like the simplicity, but I think I should try it geared first and maybe try it single some other time.

    Carl, I might try and look for you at the starting line (or area) what kind of bike are you going to be riding or some other way to identify you ?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    136
    My start will be on the 26th for the ultrasport.
    I will be the ugly one with all the scars but my bike sure is pretty.Look for a green framed bike outside the bar with a pimpy red glitter seat.Start is pretty low key.no groupies or pom pom girls,maybe a banner and a statuesque dutch lady who says GO. its part of the charm of it ,i love it.

  8. #8
    Beware of Doggerel
    Reputation: Adam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    665

    Hello

    Brake-out,

    I did the susitna 100 last year and am doing the 350 this year. There is also a little su 50k (30miles or so) that runs along with the 100 but is a shorter out and back. I think you can register right up to the day of the event for the 50K so you might want to come up and possibly run that event. Check out the susitna 100 website for more info. So starting this year you could work up to the 350. Do the 50K, then the 100 then the 350. A three year plan. Or you can keep comming up and doing the 100 until you feel confident enough to do the 350.

    I think Carl-Hutch really hit the nail on the head w/ the SS advice. Pat Irwin is one tough and strong biker. They guy rides on flat pedals and running shoes when most of us have frozen feet in super duper warm foot gear. The fact that he can ride SS in this race and others doesn't mean the rest of us can. Go with gears unless you are super strong.

    If you do come up to check out setups, post on this board to meet up w/ our Anchorage group. There is a bunch of us on this board that ride. Not everyone races but everyone has ideas about snow riding. It is a real trial and error process, not everything works for everyone. But if we do a group ride you can check out a variety of set ups.

    Adam

    Quote Originally Posted by |brake-out|
    Thanks for everyone's advice, and I probably would do the Susitna 100 before trying the iditabike. But even for the Susitna I think I need to go up and check out people's setups and see how they're dealing with everything. Currently I'm in no aerobic shape to even attempt the Susitna, and even if I were I don't have the tires / frame that could handle the tires, etc. And hey, it's a good excuse to go to alaska for a few days, something that I've been meaning to do for years.

    As far as the singlespeed thing goes, knowing who has done it, will make me not even attempt it. I like the simplicity, but I think I should try it geared first and maybe try it single some other time.

    Carl, I might try and look for you at the starting line (or area) what kind of bike are you going to be riding or some other way to identify you ?

  9. #9
    Caveman
    Reputation: Bearbait's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,002
    Good idea to come up and check out setups or do the 100 or 50k. Winter riding up here is a bit different than the lower 48. Gear choice and bike setup depends on lots of trial and error. See you then.

  10. #10
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Reputation: alphazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,941
    bearbait, would you explain what you mean by
    Winter riding up here is a bit different than the lower 48
    ?

    Anyone else have any opinions, I'm interested in hearing them.

    I know I'm new on here. I was out riding the other day and figured since I am training to ride RAAM next summer and I will be riding a lot all winter I might as well do a race in Alaska as well.

    I realize the temps have the possibility of being more extreme, but it is just the beginning of October and just a week ago I started a 100 mile ride when the temp was 10 degrees.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    334
    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    bearbait, would you explain what you mean by ?

    Anyone else have any opinions, I'm interested in hearing them.

    I know I'm new on here. I was out riding the other day and figured since I am training to ride RAAM next summer and I will be riding a lot all winter I might as well do a race in Alaska as well.

    I realize the temps have the possibility of being more extreme, but it is just the beginning of October and just a week ago I started a 100 mile ride when the temp was 10 degrees.
    It woudln't be surprising to be racing in temps of -20 to -30, if not colder. Depending on the snow conditions, you could easily be between checkpoints for 10+ hours (walking/carrying your bike the whole way). When I say between checkpoints, this means in the middle of nowhere, so there is no way to bail out if you have issues come up. No nearby roads to walk out to or houses/towns to stop at along the way.

    I have not done this race, but just based on what I have seen and heard from those who have (I follow it pretty closely each year), I would not classify this on the same grounds as RAAM except for the sleep deprivation aspect. They are two very different races.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    197
    Im glad to see this thread come back to life, its a good one.

  13. #13
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Reputation: alphazz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,941
    anchskier, thanks for the reply and I in no means wanted to compare it to RAAM other than in my preparation for RAAM I will be training through the winter in some possibly very adverse conditions. I understand that temps might be more extreme but I've seen plenty of extreme temps here that are 20-40 below zero.

    I am doing some reading and like everything except for the pushing of the bikes part. Too bad the trail couldn't be kept ridable except for the possible blizzard.

  14. #14
    is buachail foighneach me
    Reputation: sean salach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6,589
    Singlespeed is fine. I rode one to McGrath 3 times. Pushing is mandatory. There will never be a year that wont require at least a little bike pushing. Weather, snowmachine traffic, steep hills all contribute to rideability of the trail.

    Time between checkpoints is entirely dependent upon conditions. In years where the weather is terrible, it could take you 15 hours to go the 30 or so miles between Yentna Station and Skwentna Roadhouse.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    197
    Any good books or biographies about this race or snow biking in general?

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.