Self-Guided Bike Touring in Alaska
January 4, 2014 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have general advice or recommendations for a self-guided bike tour company in Alaska? I am at the very beginning of planning a 2015 Alaska adventure and need to narrow it down.

We (SO & self) are going to Alaska next year (yup, 2015)! Hooray! We want to include a short (2-4 night) bike tour and my SO and I would prefer a self-guided tour. We have not picked a city to fly into and plan for the whole trip to take a little over a week. We are aiming for late August.

Ideally the self-guided aspect would still mean that the outfitter provides bikes, some basic tools, an itinerary, and either camping gear or hotel reservations. It would also be solid if it left out of Anchorage or Juneau or somewhere with a big airport. A tour guide, scheduled stops, cruise ship passengers, and group fun do not interest us.

Neither of us has ever scheduled any sort of tour or outing or anything beyond hotel reservations prior to traveling before. I am an avid touring cyclist and he loves his bike. This will be both of our first times in Alaska and we're coming from middle America. Google has lots of ideas for tour groups and for self-supported trips but not for quite what we want. Oh, and road bike, not mountain bike, please!

What do we need to consider? Do you have experience with self-guided bike tours and want to offer advice? Have you done a self-guided bike tour in Alaska? Do you run a self-guided bike tour company in Alaska?
posted by thewestinggame to Travel & Transportation around Alaska (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've got a bit of general information, the first of which is that, while Alaska is big, there aren't many towns, the towns are far apart, and there's mostly just one road connecting the towns. That last bit means it's pretty impossible to get lost once you get out of Anchorage proper as there's practically only one way to get from Anchorage to Seward, or Talkeetna, etc.

Note that Juneau is not connected to the outside world by roads - air or sea only.

What distance are you comfortable riding in a day? Girdwood is 40 miles south and east of Anchorage along Turnagain Arm, with Seward 90 miles and a couple of mountain passes beyond that. Anchorage to Talkeetna is almost the same distance, but going north.

This sounds like a great trip. If you can spare the time try to stay a couple of weeks.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:42 PM on January 4, 2014

Seconding Anchorage down to Seward. It's pretty out there, but tame by Alaskan standards, and there will be cruise ship passengers in Seward, but if you're asking here then it will probably be about your speed.
posted by 517 at 6:33 PM on January 4, 2014

Do you know about Warm Showers? The forums would probably have info on touring in Alaska.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 8:47 PM on January 4, 2014

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