Photos From 600K Ride


 The Gakona Solstice 600K ride is arguably one of the best bicycle rides in Alaska, and certainly the height of the randonneuring season here.  The ride begins and ends at the Gakona Road House. The roadhouse is situated two miles from the intersection of the Richardson Highway and the Tok Cutoff Highway.  A six a.m. start takes you to the Richardson intersection and then a right, heading north to Delta Junction which is approximately 138 miles up the road.  From there you take another right on the Alaska Highway and head southeast to Tok, approximately 107 miles. This is the equivalent of a 400K brevet.  At Tok, riders usually rest for a few hours, maybe shower and have a change of clothes, a meal and are off on the last 126 miles from Tok back to Gakona. There is a forty hour time limit.

 A scene taken heading north on the Richardson, south of Paxson.  The first forty miles are a gradual but continual uphill to the first control at Meyers Lake. Between Meyers Lake and Paxson, the going is fairly level and after Paxson the road again climbs to Summit Lake.

 Summit Lake. The beauty of the scenery does not convey the ferocuios headwinds encountered.

North of Summit Lake, heading towards the Black Rapids River. We had these long downhills and should have been screaming down them and banking time like bandits. Instead, we were having to pedal downhill at around six miles per hour. But still, despite the headwinds making the going slow
and hard, it was beautiful.

Yours truly threw in the towel at the Black Rapids Lodge, slightly over 100 hundred miles into the ride. The wind wore me out and I was behind enough on time that I didn't think I could make it up. So I got a ride with our RBA who was working the controls and went onto Tok.  The next day, though I DNF'd (Did Not Finish), I rode th 126 mile leg from Tok back to Gakona. and I'm very glad I did. It was spectacular.

A photo from the Alaska Highway between Delta Junction and Tok, taken after midnight.  No traffic to speak of and just the sound of an owl hooting.

Taken along the Tok Cutoff. 

Another photo taken along the Tok Cutoff, near the Nabesna Road control. Our final control before finishing.