Fairbanks Cycle Club News

March 24 SOS Ride: Noyes Slough – Beginner level

You’ll need a little riding experience to join in on this, but it won’t be super hard, and it will take you on an “in-town” ride that only a few people experience!

When: March 24, 2024, start at 11am

Where: Meet at the back entrance to Pioneer Park (by the pedestrian bridge near the Carlson Center)

Estimated tour time: 10 mile loop; 1.5-2hrs, depending on the pace of the group.

Description: We will ride along the river to Peger Road, then take the Johansen bike path to University Avenue. Next we will take the trail next to the railroad tracks over to the slough, and then cruise along the slough back to downtown across from Morris Thompson Visitor Center. Finally, we head back along the river path through downtown to where the ride started from. There will be just a couple sections that have ice under the bridges that are super easy to deal with.

The ride is free, but you’ll need to be a member of the Fairbanks Cycle Club. Temporary memberships are available.

Temperature cut-off: The ride will be canceled if it’s 15F below or colder at 9 a.m. according to this weather station (scroll down to “latest observation”).

Helmets: Always required for FCC rides.

Dogs: No dogs please.

Leader: Matt Layral mlayral@gmail.com

March 17 SOS Ride: Two Rivers Area Trails – Intermediate level

When: March 17, 2024, start at 11am

Where: Meet at the Trailhead near Two Rivers School
https://maps.app.goo.gl/UxqJWt8Af1zStBo3A

Estimated tour time: About 3-4 hours; 12-20 miles; (adjustable based on who shows up).

Description: A bit of exploring near Two Rivers school on some trails that Travis knows and hopefully a couple new trails too. We will try not to get too lost.

The ride is free, but you’ll need to be a member of the Fairbanks Cycle Club. Two-week memberships are available for $10.

Temperature cut-off: The ride will be canceled if it’s 15F below or colder at 8 a.m. according to this weather station (scroll down to “latest observation”).
https://swingleydev.com/weather/station_plot.php?id=CHLA2

Helmets: Always required for FCC rides.

Dogs: No dogs please.

Leader: Travis Naibert (tnaibert@gmail.com)

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A Bike Day Adventure on the Yukon Quest Trail

One of our FCC members, Alex Manley, decided a few weeks ago to ride up to the infamous Rosebud Summit on the Yukon Quest Trail. At first it had been a group ride, but when it didn’t work out for others, Alex decided to tackle it as an out-and-back on her own. It ended up turning into quite an adventure. Read her Strava post below, which was “typed up on my phone in the McDonald’s drive-thrue at midnight after finishing the ride.”

Note: The leg condoms Alex refers to are Wiggy’s Waders, popular with bikepackers and wilderness ultra-endurance athletes. You can see there HERE.

Yukon Quest’s Rosebud: Leg Condoms, Butt Scooting, and Pushing

Wow! Adventuring on this trail has been a dream of mine since I was a child! 

I had a little bit of everything. The biggest obstacle was the copious and treacherous overflow. I am usually able to ride right over it, but this was a different breed entirely. I borrowed Jonathan’s waders (leg condoms) and got to use them numerous times! The first time was to wade through calf-deep creek water while carrying my bike! 

Some of the overflow was super gnarly–basically a hill of very slippery ice as far as the eye could see. For each overflow section during the warmest part of the day, I would break through the top layer of ice about two inches down. This was great! It gave me traction. I used the leg condoms to prevent my cleats and boot soles from getting iced up. They have better traction than my boots anyway.
 
This worked great during the day, but the overflow had totally frozen through into glare ice by the time I returned back from the summit. I spent probably 30 minutes on the worst section inching my way across the slanted glare ice. I fell, hitting my knee, and sliding to the bottom of the overflow. I tried a couple different attempts at getting back to where I needed to be–what felt like 1 mile straight up Everest with no climbing gear. I tried sliding my bike and crawling on the ice. That didn’t work. Eventually, I backtracked on the perimeter of the overflow to a place where I could tentatively push my bike back onto the ice upright. 

I walker-ed my way across the ice, my whole body shaking with the effort and sheer fear. I had many moments of: “Can I get through this? How?” Every time one of my feet slipped out or my bike started to fall, my whole body trembled. My upper body was already exhausted from over two miles of pushing my bike. I thought to myself: “I really need to start doing push-ups.” 

When I nearly fell and slid to the bottom a second time, I had the novel idea to let out most of the air from my tires to improve traction. I noticed that my studs were made ineffective by ice caked on each nub. I, of course, had to do this standing in the middle of this overflow landmine, my whole body shaking as I reminded myself to BREATHE. 

The last section of that overflow was slanted, steep, slippery and wet. I was in full f***-it mode and laid down my bike on the non-drive side and gave it a big push across the ice then crawled and butt-scooted across the finish line. I’m sure I looked so graceful the entire time. 😂

That  heroic effort across the overflow stands out more than pushing my bike up a literal mountain. I knew pushing it would be hard, so I was mentally prepared. I had heard about the overflow, but didn’t realize how much or how bad it was. Mad respect to dog mushers who deal with this stuff! 😲 I have no idea how. 

I felt a lot of pressure to be cautious during this ride because I saw absolutely nobody for the entire 9.5 hours I was out there. It was pretty scary and I feel like it was my most remote ride, even though the WM100 is as far as 50 miles from the nearest road.

As for my body, my left knee hurt the whole time and my left arm and shoulder felt weak when pushing my bike. I definitely worried about whether I could make it to the top and back.

Thanks to Eric for sending me a GPX so I could actually find the trailhead! And thanks to Jonathan for the leg condoms, I couldn’t have made it across the creek or over the overflow without them!

(The overflow hill described is not pictured.)

Here are some pics from Alex’s adventure.

03-03-2024 El Dorado Creek-Waterford Trails Report

Report from ride leader Dean:

Sunday was pretty low key as it was just the three of us, Matt, Glenn and myself. The original plan was to ride up Eldorado and just do an out and back to the pipeline but instead, we all agreed to do the loop back down Waterford, which I thought was a better idea and no regrets from anyone. We just had a short ride on Goldstream Road back to the cars at the end.

I said I was going to take it easy and dressed in layers since I was a little sore from riding the Chena River to Ridge 26-miler, but I felt great after the first mile or so. We all were sweating a good bit climbing Eldorado but got a little chilly coming back down. All in all, I was a very fun ride and everyone had a great time. Always takes longer climbing up and then felt like 10 mins coming back down, much shorter. Total ride was just a little over two hours.

Photos by Dean, Glenn, and Matt

March 10 SOS Ride: Isberg Recreation Area – Beginner/Intermediate, then Intermediate

The Isberg Recreation Area has some easier trails and some harder ones. Let’s go check them out!

When: March 10, 2024, start at 10am

Where: Meet at Isberg Recreation Area parking lot off Oboe Court

Estimated tour time: About 2-3 hours.

Description: This is hybrid ride. The first hour will be in the flatter parts of the Isberg Recreation Area. We will do an out-and-back on the 100-Mile Trail, maybe with a little lollipop loop thrown in. This part of the ride will be good for beginners who are OK with moderate hills. Intermediate riders can come along, too. Distance 3-5 miles.

We’ll return to the parking lot. Those who have had enough can be done. For those who want more, we’ll tackle some steeper hills and slightly trickier trails. We’ll head into the uplands of the rec area. Expect quite a bit of climbing with mostly rideable hills but some push-only hills. Intermediate skills should be fine. Another 4-5 miles or so.

The ride is free, but you’ll need to be a member of the Fairbanks Cycle Club. Two-week memberships are available for $10.

Temperature cut-off: The ride will be canceled if it’s 15F below or colder at 8:30 a.m. according to this weather station (scroll down to “latest observation”).

Dogs: No dogs please.

Leader: Eric Troyer (fbxcyclist@gmail.com)

Donation: The Interior Alaska Land Trust is working on efforts to purchase more land near the Isberg Recreation Area. If you would like to find out more about this effort and how you can donate read this POST.

FATBIKE RENTALS

If you don’t own your own fatbike, but want to try it out, there are a few places around town that rent fatbikes that we know about. (Not all are open on Sundays, so plan ahead.)

OTHER WINTER RIDES

We have other winter rides, and there are others as well. Find out more on our Winter Rides page.

SOS Report – 02-25-2024 Goldstream Sports Trails Plus

For this ride we explored the used-to-be-ski-only Goldstream Sports trails (except Vasa Loop, which wasn’t groomed), then went looking for the musher singletrack trails.

After a forehead slap by leader Eric (and unnecessarily doing the Birkie Loop again), we finally found one of the musher singletrack trails that took us to the Dredge Trail, then took the Dredge to the Boat Trail and back on the power line trail.

The Goldstream Sports and musher trails are pretty interesting. They are narrower and more winding than most of the other fatbike trails in the Fairbanks area. The GS trails also have some fun really short and steep ups and downs. What a riot!

March 3 SOS Ride: El Dorado Creek Trail – Intermediate Level

When: March 3, 2024, start at 11am

Where: Meet at the El Dorado Creek Trailhead

Estimated tour time: About 2-3 hours.

Description: This is an intermediate level ride. The trail is an out-and-back and has quite a few ups and downs as it gradually climbs up toward the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The trail will also have some areas of overflow as well as a free-flowing creek that is easy to get around. (You can ride it, but most people walk their bikes around it.)

The ride is free, but you’ll need to be a member of the Fairbanks Cycle Club. Two-week memberships are available for $10.

Temperature cut-off: The ride will be canceled if it’s 15F below or colder at 9 a.m. according to the Toboggan Lane weather station (scroll down to “latest observation”).

Dogs: No dogs please.

Leader: Dean Engelhaupt (dmengelhaupt@gmail.com)

FATBIKE RENTALS

If you don’t own your own fatbike, but want to try it out, there are a few places around town that rent fatbikes that we know about. (Not all are open on Sundays, so plan ahead.)

OTHER WINTER RIDES

We have other winter rides, and there are others as well. Find out more on our Winter Rides page.

Fat-Tired Tuesday – Rosie Creek Ruckus REMIX – 02/27/2024

This week’s Fat Tired Tuesday Night ride will be a “remix” of the fun climb-and-descend ride called the Rosie Creek Ruckus. We did this one during the cold snap in January. Should be much more pleasant this time!

WHEN AND WHERE: Meet at the pullout for the Beaver Pond Trail. (Google Maps link here.)

If the link doesn’t work, no problem, as the trailhead is easy to find: Drive down Cripple Creek Road from the Parks Highway till you see a turn on the right for Rosie Creek Trail. Go down it and after Frida Way, go on for about 1/4 of a mile, and you’ll see a pull off on the right. Look for an orange Subaru.

Meet just before 6 p.m. We’ll hit the trails as close to 6 p.m. as we can.

These are intermediate-level rides, but we try to keep up a brisk pace so that we can stay warm. These are no-drop rides, so if the group starts to split up significantly we will try to break it into two groups. We don’t want anyone waiting for long.

You need to be a member of the FCC. Temporary memberships are available, but you must sign up online.

HELMETS mandatory. If you’re used to wearing a thick hat, don’t worry. Wear a thin hat or buff. The combination of thin hat, helmet, and exertion should keep you warm.

No dogs for this ride, please.

For more info on FTTN rides see HERE.

Questions:
fbx.cycle.club@gmail.com

No Tuesday Creamer’s Refuge lunch ride this week. (Ride leader Erica is out on the Iditarod Trail Invitational!) We do have some Sundays on Snow rides coming up. More details on the SOS ride coming soon. Read about other winter rides HERE.

Feb 25 SOS Ride: Goldstream Sports Trails – Intermediate Level

Let’s go check out the Goldstream Sports trails! And maybe some other ones nearby.

When: February 25, 2024, start at 10am

Where: Meet at Goldstream Sports

Estimated tour time: About 1-2 hours.

Description: We will ride the Goldstream Sports trails. These used to be ski-only trails, but now they are open to multiple non-motorized uses. They are fun, mostly flat, singletrack-ish trails. They are windier than the typical Goldstream Valley trails. We may peel off and do some truly singletrack fatbike trails in the area, too. 

The ride is free, but you’ll need to be a member of the Fairbanks Cycle Club. Two-week memberships are available for $10.

Temperature cut-off: The ride will be canceled if it’s 15F below or colder at 9 a.m. according to Pruitt Lane weather station (scroll down to “latest observation”).

Dogs: No dogs please.

Leader: Eric Troyer (fbxcyclist@gmail.com)

Donations: Goldstream Sports accepts donations for trail grooming. Besides the trails that start from their shop, they have also been grooming the Ester Dome Singletrack Trails. Ask in the shop about how to donate.

FATBIKE RENTALS

If you don’t own your own fatbike, but want to try it out, there are a few places around town that rent fatbikes that we know about. (Not all are open on Sundays, so plan ahead.)

OTHER WINTER RIDES

We have other winter rides, and there are others as well. Find out more on our Winter Rides page.