For Graham and Kellie, Winter Camp was full of these “aha” moments. They saw how others pack, what they eat, and how they prepare for these long-distance rides. With Alaska, it’s hard to pin down how much time will be spent on the course, it’s all so condition dependent.
“The fastest finish to McGrath was just under two days, but people have also pushed their bikes for four days straight,” shares Graham. “Five to six days is a more realistic goal with variable weather. That’s what the next 12 months are for, to figure out those sorts of things. The logistics of it won’t be simple.”
Graham admits they are a little gear shy for Alaska. Over the next year, they’ll be learning their gear inside and out, understanding the pieces and how it all works, and making sure they have the right apparel for the conditions they will face. It will be colder, longer, and darker than anything they have done before. But, there’s light ahead.
“The guides’ confidence in us was a huge step in preparation for Alaska,” says Kellie. “Knowing that they were confident that we would be successful or even okay, that was a big takeaway.”
If anyone is giving you the green light, these would be the people. And while a lot of preparation is in order, Graham and Kellie are still riding the high from Idaho.
“I think I’m still in Idaho,” says Kellie with a smile. “I haven’t quite closed that door yet, and I think when I close that door I’ll do the next steps. But I’m not ready to be done.”