Hi! I haven’t written in a long time. A couple of years, actually. The spark to get back on this writing saddle came because Jacob and I have plans to spend the next six weeks on our bike saddles. Tonight we leave on a red-eye flight out of Salt Lake City bound for Fairbanks where we will start our journey, due South. We are entering the world of bike touring, or bikepacking, or riding for a long distance on a bike, carrying things.
This form of locomotion, not new to many and not entirely new to us, does have elements of the new. Jacob has been mountain biking for years, I have tooled around on the same single speed in various cities and towns the last few years, but carrying food and gear for multiple nights is personally unchartered terrain. We’d like to ride home (Lander, WY) in those six weeks and that means we’ll need to average 70 miles a day. That’s Plan A. If we get going and things come up and we aren’t doing that mileage we are going to be flexible and may not make it all the way home via bike. There are buses, planes, or other forms of getting home as contingency plans. Our route follows the Alaskan Highway south out of Fairbanks and into the Yukon where we will jump onto the Stewart-Cassiar Highway through some of BC’s beautiful, wild land. At the southern junction of the Cassiar, we’ll link up with Highway 16, following the road towards Calgary through BC’s gems, Jasper and Banff National Parks. This gets us to our southern junction in Canada, beyond which we’ll head into the US and bike through Montana and go via Yellowstone into Wyoming and back down to Lander.
This trip has been done many times in the past by many other people – bikepacking, and indeed touring internationally via bike, rose to the mainstream psyche in this part of the world in the 1970’s, when National Geographic published an account in the May 1973 issue of four cyclists riding a similar route that we will follow this year. Now, in the world, loads of people ride around on various iterations of a bike with various packing methods, seeing what they can see. Some go fast, some go slow. Some do it for adventure, some do it to commute. We’ll be two more bipeds on two-wheeled contraptions pedaling away.
I’m excited to ride through the wild lands of the north.
I’ll do my best to post when we get wifi to let y’all know we’re doing alright, or upload Jacob’s photos. This is intended for those of you who care about us to know that we’re okay. And I’ll try to tell a few tales along the way.