Fairbanks Cycle Club News
We picked up a few reports and photos from Facebook and Strava about the Nenana-Rama held yesterday. Have you got any more to share? Send them to Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to Black Spruce Brewing Company for sponsoring this race!
From Corrine Leistikow, Facebook, 50-miler
Bonus WOW report – NENANA RAMA!
3 WOW’s came out to race the Nenana Rama, Jordan, Hannah, and me. The rest of you should have joined us. It was a perfect day. Nice temperature. Only a couple of sprinkles, a nice little tailwind on the way out and a little more headwind on the way back. It didn’t rain and the pavement was dry! And we didn’t overheat on the climbs.
50 riders started the 50-mile race at a fairly sedate pace. Hannah was having none of that. Up the first little climb, she moved out to the left and picked up the pace, leading the race for a bit. I tried to catch her wheel but was boxed in by riders and the rumble strip. Oh well, I never caught her and Jordan again as they are faster hill climbers. But I did work a little with Dean, a long- distance cycler, and another woman, Becca, who I’m trying to recruit to ride with WOW although she is only here for a year.
With that little tailwind on the way out, I was able to get a QOM on Strava – although once the others load their rides, I’ll lose it! It pays to be fast when downloading your rides!
I was just behind Dean at the turnaround point. He stopped but I saw no reason for stopping so I just turned around and headed back. I didn’t know until the finish but once Dean saw I hadn’t stopped, he immediately jumped back on his bike to try and catch me. He never did, though! I might have been faster on the way back if I knew he was right behind me.
The way back was a bit harder with a headwind and nobody to work with but there is more downhill which helped. And once we passed the 25-mile turnaround, I was able to start trying to pick off 25 mile riders which gave me incentive to push the pace. My goal was to finish in under 3 hours and my Strava time was 3:57 so I made my goal!
Alisabeth won the women’s race and Hannah and Jordan finished together a few minutes later to round out the podium. I was 4th, just a few minutes behind them but was happy about feeling good and making my own personal goal. Although I love when this is a century ride (and I hope they can bring that back next year), it was super fun to do a 50-mile race because you can actually race and push for that amount of time.
Hope more WOW come out next year!
Distance: 48 miles
Avg speed: 16.9 mph for Jordan and Hannah. 16.3 for me
Elevation gain: 4100 feet
Fastest speed: 43.4 mph
Corrine Leistikow photo captions from left: Hannah and Jordan aren’t paying attention to the camera! Too busy talking to other riders!; WOW riders at the finish; Women’s Podium: Alisabeth, Jordan and Hannah
From R. Jensen, Strava, 25-miler
2023 Nenana-Rama Bike Race-25 miler
First ever IRL road race. Partnered with Mark, an experienced racer, and kept up a good pace, gapping the rest of a small field (most racers opted for the 50-miler but I was too chicken).
Mark was a bit ahead of me when I noticed we blew right by the turnaround point, which was only a cone with no flaggers. Went an extra mile before I was able to catch up to Mark and tell him we went too far.
I stopped for a longer drink while Mark forged ahead. One rider caught me but I left them behind at the first hill. Never caught Mark, though. He got first and I took second out of a field of about 16.
From Ginny Kinne, Strava, 25-miler
Signed up for the 50 miler but did the 25. Perfect weather. Hard hills but overall awesome time. Finished 10th apparently. Not sure how many total did the 25 miler.
The WOW Butterfly Ride has been postponed until Wednesday, August 23, due to thunderstorms on August 16.
Message from WOW co-leader Corrine Leistikow:
Yes, it’s almost time for the annual WOW BUTTERFLY RIDE! I know you all have been anxiously waiting.
Meet Wed. August 23
August 16, at the Musher’s Hall, ready to fly up Summit at 6:00 pm.
What is it, you ask? It consists of climbing and descending 4 hills. Since butterflies have 4 wings it’s called the Butterfly Ride. You fly up and then you fly down. About 25 miles, approx. 2 hours, 2,960 ft. elevation gain, and a whole lot of FUN!
This ride is not just for WOW (Women on Wheels) riders. SCOW (SCUM on Wheels), SOW (Spouses on Wheels), COW (Children on Wheels) and any other FCC members are encouraged to join us. This event is a ride, not a race, which means you ride at the pace you want. Helmets are mandatory.
Meet at the bottom of Summit for the first hill and ready to conquer all 4 ascents and descents of Summit, Skyline, McGrath, and Skyridge.
- Up Summit, down Skyline
- Up McGrath, partway down Old Steese
- Up Skyridge, down Summit
- Up Skyline, down Skyridge
- Up Old Steese, down McGrath
BUTTERFLY RIDE—25 mi. ride time-approx 1 hr, 45 min to 2 hrs, 30 min.
Bring snacks; we’re going to need them after this ride. I’ll bring cookies. It’ll be AWESOME!
Don’t feel like you can fly up and down all 4 hills? Then do as many as you can. You are going to LOVE this ride! Don’t miss out, see you there.
NenanaRama is on for August 26, 2023! The race starts and ends at Ester Community Park just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. You’ll bicycle along the Parks Highway and enjoy the forested rolling hills of interior Alaska. Aid stations at miles 12.5, and 25 with water and snacks. Award ceremony and party at Black Spruce Brewing after the race. All skill levels welcome! The 50-mile race starts at 10 am and the cutoff is 5pm. The 25-mile race starts at 11 am and the cutoff is 5 pm.
(The 100-mile race is not being held this year due to lack of support. While the FCC is not running this event, we really want to see it happen and would love to see the 100-mile option come back. If you would like to see the 100-mile option for next year and are willing to help, send an email to email@example.com.)
The race will start at Ester Community Park (3566 Old Nenana Highway, Fairbanks, AK 99709). Racers will head east on the Old Nenana Highway and make a right onto the Parks Highway. The ride goes along the shoulder of the Parks Highway. The 25-mile racers will turn around at 12.5 miles and the 50-mile racers will turn around at 25 miles. Both races are an out-and-back.
There will be an aid station at race mile 12.5 for the 25-mile racers. The aid station is located at a pullout located between Parks Highway milepost 335 and 336. The pullout is located on the north side of the highway. This is the turnaround for the 25-mile racers. (50-mile racers may stop at this location, but it is not required.) 25-mile racers do not have to stop at this location but must ride around the orange traffic cone before returning to Ester.
There will be an aid station at race mile 25 for the 50-mile racers. The aid station is located at a pullout at Parks Highway milepost 325. The pullout is located on the north side of the highway. This is the turn around location for 50-mile racers. (Please note that the 50-mile race is actually 48 miles due to safe turnaround locations required for the event.) Please note this is a different location than last year. 50-mile racers must stop at this location.
Both aid stations will have water and snacks. There will be a porta-potty at the 25-mile aid station. There is not a porta-potty at the 12.5 mile aid station.
Report by Corrine
Just 3 of us were in town and available this week, Hannah, Maria, and me. I asked them if they wanted to do the listed ride or something different. They were both ready to do something different, so we decided to do the ride out by the airport, a ride that the LOL do early in the season. It would be a flat ride, but we could go hard and fast. And we knew the three of us work well in a pace line together with similar speeds.
We had Maria lead out as she knew how to navigate the neighborhood and bike paths to get out to the airport. We should have just had her lead all night. She was by far the strongest. Every time she got out front, our pace picked up by a couple of miles per hour. It was all I could do to hang on her wheel!
The roads by the airport have been repaved and they were smooth and fast. And there was almost no traffic. It was so fun to keep a tight paceline, taking turns pulling. When we turned on to Peger, I asked if we wanted to make a loop or just turn around and head back. We decided that we were having so much fun, we should just turn and ride back the way we came. No traffic and smooth roads, what’s not to like about that.
A plane took off right over our heads as we headed back past the airport. Then Maria went even more rogue and took us right by the front of the airport, and right by the airport police. No sirens went off, and nobody was in pursuit, so we continued our fast paceline by the cell phone lot and back past Pike’s and over the Chena River.
I missed the sharp turn after the river but what did it matter? This was a rogue ride. So I took us back on the bumpy bike path across Geist Road and back on Sheep Creek to the University. We really turned it up at the end and got up to 30 mph with the final sprint.
It was a fun and glorious ride.
22 miles in 1:06 with average speed of 20 mph
And just 170 feet of total elevation gain
It looks as if everybody will be gone next week so we will all miss the Chatanika valley ride. I guess tonight’s ride will have to be our fast paceline ride for the season.
Report by Corrine
It was a small but mighty group tonight with just Maria, Jordan, and me. Others were sick, working, or out of town. It seems like we had already done this ride this year. How many times do we go up the Parks to Cripple Creek to Isberg? Maybe the ride leaders need to mix it up a bit more. Oh wait, that would be me. Okay, maybe we will try to think of something different for next year! Like ride this route in reverse. That might be kind of fun, especially climbing up the steep part of Chena Ridge. Hmmm. I’ll have to remember that when planning for next year.
Anyway, we headed out and up Gold Hill, taking turns leading, surging and falling behind. Once we got out on the Parks, we once again each took turns surging ahead to be overtaken by somebody else. It was fun and we made it to Cripple Creek pretty much all together, so we didn’t even stop but just kept going. Jordan was behind on one downhill and I think a dog ran out and barked at her but she said she was okay so we didn’t stop.
I surged ahead on Isberg and decided to just go for it. I kept looking back, expecting Maria to catch me but I managed to stay ahead of her for the whole climb. It never gets any easier. We then bombed down Chena Ridge to Chena Pump and regrouped on the bike path. We decided to try the bike path this time instead of the road but there was too much gravel, and it wasn’t any fun so back out to the road we went. We had a nice paceline all the way back on Chena Pump and then turned right on Palo Verde to ride through the subdivision before heading back to campus.
We all decided that 21 miles was enough for tonight (28 for Jordan since she biked to and from the ride) so we skipped the loop up Miller Hill to Yankovich. I’m sure if Erica was here, she would have convinced us to do that. But she wasn’t so we ended early.
Distance: 21 miles
Avg speed: 17.9 mph
We have one more ride starting at UAF next week. Hope to see you there.
Report by Erica
The weather was ominous with dark clouds to the south and northwest. As we gathered at Mushers Hall they shifted some to the northeast. Corrine, Mallory, Olivia, Maria, Jordan, Heidi and I showed up to ride. We packed rain gear and headed off, hoping for no rain!
Heidi led the charge at the start, by the time we got to Skyline we split up for the climb. Mallory and Olivia powered up in the lead. Maria and I trying to chase, those ladies are tough hill climbers! I felt a few light sprinkles but no significant rain. We paused at the top and when Heidi and Corrine caught up they blasted down Skyridge. At the bottom we stopped, and Heidi was troubleshooting her front wheel, which had been wobbling on the down (scary)! She opted out of the group ride at that point and based on Strava rode 15 miles.
The rest of us lined up and pacelined our way to Pedro Monument. The winds were strong but we are tough WOW! We took short pulls to prevent the fatigue. Made it to Pedro, still no rain! We zipped back, rode Steese up to Hagelbarger. There was junk in the shoulder of the Steese but I thought it was clearer than it has been. We regrouped at Hagelbarger before blasting down to Farmers Loop taking McGrath.
On McGrath, Maria, Mallory and Olivia all blasted by, I grabbed on to Olivia’s wheel and we all whizzed by Corrine who thought she was going fast, but not fast enough! Corrine was able to catch back up before Farmers Loop. We got into a “who can push the hardest” battle, which was a lot of fun!
We regrouped on Farmers Loop before the final push back to Mushers. And still, no rain! We lucked out with our route! I heard it rained and got the roads wet on Gilmore. It was a bummer to lose Heidi a few miles in.
Distance: 28 miles, Speed: 17-18 mph.
Another excellent ride with awesome company!
(Photos by Corrine).
Report by Corrine
It was a small but well-matched group of WOW women tonight. Just Mallory, Hannah and I showed up ready to ride. We were all a little tired. Hannah had just gotten in from the field, Mallory was just back from a big vacation and hadn’t ridden in 3 weeks, and I was still recovering from my Unbound XL experience. But we decided we would give it our best effort and go hard and we did!
There were dark clouds all around, so I took my rain jacket (not just my wind jacket) along and it worked. Since I had it with me, we had no rain on our ride! Yay! I did have a few sprinkles on my way home in the car, though.
We were able to ride in a pace line for almost the entire ride, even halfway out to the Parks Monument. Hannah led the charge on the second half and I got dropped but only a little ways.
We regrouped at the monument and took an obligatory selfie then bombed back down to Cripple Creek.
Amazingly, I led the charge up Isberg. My legs felt better than I expected, although the other two were right behind me. We bombed down Chena Ridge on the steep side and then pace lined it back on Chena Pump.
Chena Pump was pretty bumpy. We kept looking over at the smoother bike path but going 20 mph, we didn’t want to run into walkers. We did finally jump on the bike path for about a mile and it was so much nicer! We wound back through the neighborhood and made our way back to campus, finishing another fast and fun ride!
Avg speed 17.2 mph
Fastest speed 41.1 mph on the steep downhill by Mallory
Tuesday Night MTB Ride Report – Eva Creek Event
This ride started in the morning at Fred Meyer.
Co-leaders Dave and Eric ran into each other at the store. Dave said his Old Man back was acting up and he wasn’t sure he was going to make the ride. Since Dave was bringing the snacks and drinks, he told Eric that Malcolm would cover for him. But by the time Eric got home, his Old Man brain couldn’t remember who Dave said would cover him. No matter. Eric was going to be there.
Later that day, right before Eric was supposed to leave for the ride, Eric got a call from the director of Borough Community Planning. Eric needed to talk to him before the upcoming borough meeting next Tuesday when the still-unpassed Borough Trails Plan was on the agenda, and the director was getting ready to go out of town. Eric chose talking to the director instead of leaving on time to make the ride. No worries. Dave hadn’t texted Eric about his back. He was still going, right?
Eric let Dave know he was running behind. But on the way to the Ester area ride, Dave texted Eric that he had gone to Birch Hill, the site of the 6/20 TNR, the NEXT week’s ride. No worries. Malcolm was filling in for Dave, right? But at the Ester Community Park, Malcolm had heard from Dave that he was on the other side of town, but where was Eric? See, Malcolm didn’t exactly know where to go on this ride.
The ride is supposed to start at 6. At Ester Community Park, Malcolm was desperately hoping one of the ride leaders would show up. Otherwise he knew he would get everyone lost. Eric is perfectly comfortable with that idea, but Malcolm is not so comfortable with incompetence. Malcolm didn’t start the ride right away. Fortunately, Eric pulled up at almost 6:30, and everyone was still there. A few minutes later Dave drove up. The ride was ready to start!
Eight of us rode over toward Gold Hill Road and took one of the side trails up to the Intertie trail. From there we took the “easiest” climb on the back side of the inactive mine on the side of Ester Dome. When we broke out onto an old open mining area, the skies darkened and the wind started howling. We looked around for the Son of Satan, but all we saw were our un-threatening selves, so we decided to get into the trees before the lightning started.
The lightning never did come, but the rain did. It was light at first, but it was also cold. Like low 50s F cold. With wind. Brrrr.
We got to where the Equinox Marathon Trail breaks out onto Henderson Road. Dave was considering bailing, but Eric suggested going just a little farther. Someone — maybe Kurt — said it looked like the clearer skies were coming. Dave decided to go a bit farther.
We rode just a ways up Henderson to the End of Maintenance, where it’s a bit cleared of trees. Dave looked out and said, “It’s not getting any clearer, I’m bailing.” He turned back toward the Equinox Trail. Ben, Garrett, and Malcolm followed him.
Eric and the other three headed up Henderson. The rain continued. And the cold. Along that section of road there are a couple of places to head west over toward the Equinox Trail. At the second, Kurt and Tony waited. Eric said we could bail there, with only on short uphill, or head uphill farther. Kurt was ready to bail: “This isn’t fun anymore.” Tony, Dean, and Eric didn’t argue. In fact, shivering Dean, who had felt he had brought too much gear on earlier rides, happily accepted Eric’s spare windbreaker. (Eric had earlier donned his raincoat in a failed attempt to ward off the rain.)
We headed up the old mining road and then down. Amazingly, Eric knew his way in this maze-of-an-area and led everyone back to Four Corners, the intersection of the Equinox and Eva Creek trails.
From there it was a blast of a ride back to Ester. Well, if you consider a “blast of a ride” being wet, shivering your arse off, and having to climb over four downed trees. Ah well, we got back to the cars in one piece.
Fortunately, Dave had left behind the snacks and drinks. Unfortunately, he had iced the drinks. And, unfortunately, the until-then-non-existent mosquitoes quickly became existent. But we survived nonetheless. Even Tony survived his bike attacking him when he tried to put it on his roof rack. And Dean, who had ridden to the ride start, decided to take Kurt up on a ride home in his pickup. That way he could return Eric’s soggy windbreaker.
If all that sounds like fun, come join us! We ride every Tuesday night until fall. Next week is the Birch Hill Bombing. Check out our schedule HERE. (The rides are free, but you’ll need to be a Fairbanks Cycle Club member.)
Report by Erica
Gorgeous summer evening with temperatures in the upper 70s. There were 5 of us, Olivia, Maria, Heidi, Jordan and I. Corrine stopped by at the beginning and rode with us until Ballaine (she took the photo). I could tell it was windy but didn’t realize how windy until we got to Farmers Loop. We parted ways with Corrine and greeted Jordan who joined us there. The group pace was ‘slow’ and whoever took the lead was pedaling hard, and fast. We tried to switch things around often so one person wasn’t in front too long.
On McGrath we separated for the hill climb. A lot of us were reluctant to leave the comfort of the pace line to ride fast AND pedal through headwinds. I finally was faced with taking a charge up second half of McGrath (strong headwinds on a hill are tough)! We paused at Hagelbarger to make sure we all grouped up. Heidi led the charge down Old Steese. As we got near the intersection with Goldstream, we had to pull off to let a fire truck go by, their sirens were blaring. Apparently there was a fire in Goldstream somewhere (found this out after).
On Goldstream, the winds persisted, and so we persevered! We dropped Heidi on the first big climb, then Jordan pulled us to the second climb after the fire station, only to also get dropped. However somewhere before the fire station Olivia’s front tire hit something (thinking Jordan’s rear tire) and her bike went sideways then she was riding in the gravel off the road. It all happened so fast but so grateful nothing bad happened from that incident! After we dropped both Jordan and Heidi, it was Maria, Olivia and I pace lining all the way back to UAF riding hard, speeding. Heidi and Jordan were not too far behind us.
Throughout the ride we went from super sun to stormy skies. Jordan got poured on biking home, the rest of us were done biking before UAF got hit! Great ride. About 30 miles with an average pace of 17.5 to 18.3 mph.