Nic The Intern here. Today's post is a guest post (Hooray!) from our friends Michael Scott, Wade Veazy, Andy Reimenschneider and Fred Maxwell. They grabbed an old New Belgium sprinter van, some beers and drove all the way to Alaska for this year's Singlespeed World Championship. Read up on their journey, which looks like it was a whole lot of fun:
The plan was simple, drive to Anchorage and race the Single Speed World Championship Mountain Bike Race. With four drivers and a Sprinter Van it would be no problem, right? We started the drive after loading up with some of New Belgium's finest from the brewery in Fort Collins. About the Wyoming State line somebody finally checked the route — 3,500 miles to Anchorage. It was a simple, relaxing 70-hour drive according to Google Maps.
We planned a week for the drive, but basically made three 24-hour pushes so that we could ride some of the best trails British Columbia and the Yukon can offer on our days off. We're a hard group to impress after riding single track all over Colorado, but what we found was amazing. If you ride a mountain bike make sure you checkout Rossland, British Columbia, and Whitehorse in the Yukon. They’re simply unreal, and gave us a few ideas of where we wouldn’t mind living if we had to move out of Colorado (fingers-crossed that never happens.)
Anchorage is a heck of a long way from everywhere, so everyone who made the trip for the Single Speed World Championships considers himself or herself the real deal — a single speeder. Most people will say a single speed bike takes mountain biking and just makes it harder. We say it adds more soul and passion than any other aspect of cycling. The Single Speed World Championships isn't about being the fastest; it's about embracing this fringe culture and the passion of all of the riders who flew around the world to get here. It's four days of parties, rides, and meeting cool people. First and foremost it’s about bikes.
There is a race, of course, and two days into the event still no one knew when it would actually start, where it would go or how long the course would be.
The rumors were rampant that it was going to be a 3 a.m. start after one of the bars closed. It's Alaska and never really gets dark, so why not? In the mean time, there were group rides, friends to make and, of course, beer to drink.
We grouped at the bar at 3 a.m., but the race was pushed to 7… then to 10. The course ended up being great, but ultimately the winner of the 2014 Single Speed World Championships was decided by a big game of foot-down. This is the type of event where that sort of thing can happen, so why not go with it? In the end it was decided that next year’s race will be held in Japan.
Not sure our van can get us all the way there, but it’s worth a try. Now it’s time to start the long drive home…