Every year the Fairbanks Cycle Club helps the Equinox Marathon by cleaning up signs and trash along the marathon route. You don’t have to get up real early and you don’t have to ride the whole route (but you can do both if you want to). You will need a mountain bike or at least a gravel bike. Here’s how it works:
(The marathon has dropped the relay, replacing it with the half marathon, but we’ll still do things as described below since it’s makes things easy to organize.)
- We meet at noon in the UAF Patty Center parking lot (usually over by Beluga Field, which is on the west side of the parking lot.)
- We break up into three groups. Each group handles one Relay leg of the marathon. (The group doing Relay Leg #3 can shuttle to the top of Ester Dome to start. The group doing Relay Leg #2 will probably pick up signs along Sheep Creek Road, which is part of the half marathon.)
- The groups ride their Relay leg, collecting signs and trash along the way. Marathon volunteers clean things up pretty good, so all we usually have to do is collect the signs.
- Carrying signs while on bikes can be tricky, so bringing a backpack and/or panniers can help a lot. We’ve found that bikepacking handlebar bags (like Revelate’s Sweetroll) work awesome. A sturdy back rack is useful. Bungee cords are helpful. (Also, bring a garbage sack in case we do find any garbage.)
- We don’t carry the signs for the whole length of the leg. We drop them at points along the way where they are easy to get to by car or truck. (We’ll have a list of good drop points.)
- One or more people drive the course picking up the piles of signs and trash bags.
That’s it! When you’re done with your leg, you can ride back to your car. (Or drive, if the group doing Relay Leg #3 shuttles to the top of Ester Dome.)
WHAT TO BRING (besides your bike)
- Backpacking handlebar bags (like Revelate Sweetroll) work great for signs!
- A fairly large backpack and/or panniers to carry stuff
- A garbage sack or two
- A couple of bungee cords
The pandemic is still happening, and the Delta variant is making things complicated. Fortunately, the Equinox Clean Up Ride is all outside. As long as we keep a good distance from each other (about 6 feet), we should be fine.