Question Time – June 8

Q: How do you make sure you are going the right way and prevent from being lost? Especially if you side track to look for campsites and whatnot. Do you use an old fashioned atlas and follow a route that you mapped out beforehand? Do you look up campsites on the map or do you just find them based on signs you see on the road?

A: Luckily, up here in the far north, there is only ever one road to go down, so getting lost isn’t a problem! What we’ve been using to help guide us is The Milepost, which is an Alaska/Canada travel planner. They give mile-by-mile highlights on all the amenities and turnouts, etc., including campgrounds. Further south, in the US, we’ll use Adventure Cycling Association maps, which have turn-by-turn directions and amenities information. Further south still, we’ll probably just right down directions on paper and ask locals. I’ve read that some of the maps in South America just aren’t accurate and cannot always be trusted. At the beginning of the day we like to have an approximate destination in mind.  Also, we just ask folks along the way.  They are usually happy to help us, and sometimes even offer us a place to stay!


Silly display on side of road to Haines

Silly display on side of road to Haines

Q: How do you keep from scratching at your mosquito bites all the time? Seriously, itchy itchy! You must have a strategy. Inquiring minds want to know!

A: Daisy just scratches! Seriously! I try not to for 10 minutes, which is usually enough time for the main itchiness to subside. Mostly, though, trying not to get bitten in the first place is best. We’ve had good luck so far – since the weather has been cool at night most places the mosquitos haven’t been that bad.  At night sometimes we wear ridiculous bug hats.


The green shack near Haines Road summit.

The green shack near Haines Road summit.

Q: How far do you ride each day?

A: After asking where we are riding to and from, the next question people always ask is this one. The answer is that we aim for 60 miles on a riding day. We’ve gone as much as 79 and as few as 40 miles over the course of a full day. On previous trips we have been able to do more miles daily, but our current set-up makes more than 60 or 70 pretty difficult.  Usually, we average about 10 miles an hour and ride 6 or 7 hours.


Q: Aren’t you going the wrong way?

A: Well, yes, and no.  Up here in the far North we get asked this a lot, because we have spent time riding East, West, South, and North instead of just heading straight south.  We just have a lot to see!  There is plenty of time for dawdling and seeing some extra sights while we are here, and the wiggles in route have been well worth it.

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