by Sue Deyoe ~ August 26th, 2011
The Alaska Randonneurs’ Big Wild Ride bicyclists rode from Valdez to Fairbanks to Talkeetna and Anchorage and all finished by noon Thursday.
The first three riders were into Talkeetna before noon on Wednesday. A total of 31 riders showed up for the event, with nine not finishing the event.
The Big Wild Ride was a 1200K ride – the first of its kind in Alaska. Various checkpoints along the way included the Swiss Alaska Inn in east Talkeetna, Mary’s McKinley View Lodge, Healys’ 49th State Brewing Company, the Midway Lodge in Salcha, and Paxon Lodge.
Three of the cyclists did all 750 miles in less than 80 hours. The goal was to finish the tour in less than 90 hours, although they did not call the event a race.
According to the Randonneur website, the unofficial first place winner was Richard McCaw of California with a time of 72 hours and 30 minutes. And second place finishers, just a few hours behind him, were Richard Carpenter of Pennsylvania and Catherine Shenk of Colorado, both coming across the line in 76 hours and 40 minutes.
Cyclists came from as far as Japan and Sweden to compete in the event.