Author Topic: ACA Denali route?  (Read 2983 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline hirundo

ACA Denali route?
« on: August 09, 2012, 09:03:21 pm »
We plan on riding tandem in Alaska next summer and are interested in using the route laid out by ACA.  Is this route published? We have in mind doing the same route, but not camping, if possible.

Offline CMajernik

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2012, 11:49:36 am »
No, we don't have published maps for the trip that Tours offers. Alaska publishes a book/ebook/app called the Milepost, which is updated yearly and has info about services along all the Alaska highways which should be helpful in planning.
http://milepost.com/
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline 45B30

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2012, 08:56:15 pm »
If you have never been to AK before, the Milepost is the place to start.  just keep in mind that hotels are very expensive in AK and there are some long stretches between Anchorage and the Denali park without hotels or services. 

Be sure to stop at Cubby's, mile 99 on the Parks highway, its on the corner of the Parks and Talkeetna spur road.  this is the last place to get groceries at good prices.  their deli is great and the broccoli salad is awesome.  once you get past here, prices go up quickly. 
 
hope you make it to AK next summer.

you can also check out the BLM site: http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en.html¬

Offline hirundo

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2012, 12:24:02 pm »
Okay, so the ACA Denali trip route is not published.  Why not?  Why make members plow through the Milepost ( I have the 2005 edition) in order to build a route along what are probably the same sets of roads?  I could build a route using the Alaska Randonneurs web site or pester the friend of a friend for route suggestions.  Or I could simply buy the ACA route map just as I did for the ADK maps and I'd get the benefits of ACA experience.  I'm not interested in an 11 day self contained tour in July, but I would like to be able to ride for five days, camp or not, take advantage of cool places without sticking to a rigid schedule, ride in June or August, mix the ride with the Alaska Railroad, etc.  Still a lot of planning, but the ACA route is a great starting point.
Thanks

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2012, 12:41:29 pm »
Okay, so the ACA Denali trip route is not published.  Why not? 

Carla may write the definitive answer, but I will hazard a guess: expense. I know there is a lot of work going from an informal map and cue sheet used by a ride leader who has been there before to the professional quality we buy in the published maps. Like every manager, she has to allocate scarce resources among all the worthwhile projects out there, and she has to judge whether a Denali trip map would pay its way.

Fred

Offline indyfabz

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 09:29:21 am »
I did ACA's Cycle Vermont organized tour back in '10 which primarily followed parts of the Green Mountains Loop. We were provided with cues and maps for each day, but they were not the official Green Mountains Loop maps you can buy. I suspect that since the shorter ACA tours have a pretty set itinerary, there is no need for maps like those you can buy for "roll your own" rides which show all the various services along the route. And as Fred notes, the time and expense required to create such maps is very significant. They also require maintenance going forward.

Offline CMajernik

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 05:51:12 pm »
Even though we run a tour in Alaska, we don't provide the tour with a route map that ACA has produced. Fred and indyfabr are correct about allocating resources and with all we have to do it's not cost effective to produce a map for 14 cyclists which is offered every other year.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline hirundo

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 08:48:02 pm »
Thanks for the responses.  I get it. So here is how I might begin planning a route: go to the Tour Itinerary for the Denali Adventure, read the description of start and mileage for each day, read Milepost for area, go online to see what there is to do...

Offline briwasson

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2012, 03:40:22 pm »
The "not camping" part is what may prove challenging as you plan your trip. A lot of the lodging infrastructure now in Alaska is built by and for the big tour/cruise companies, and tends to cluster around sights or stopping points convenient to their buses. They also can fill up quickly based on what tours are there.

That leaves you basically with lodges and b&bs. Lodges can be very "rustic" or great, it depends which ones you are at. Also, don't judge a lodge by the outside. I've seen ones that look great outside be kind of dismal inside, and vice versa. B&Bs can be anything from a room in a mobile home (seriously) to a "normal" b&b. When researching options, be sure to ask probing questions!

The general lack of lots of lodging options makes it important to pre-book if you want to be assured of a bed each night. This is challenging, though, to do on a bike trip, especially in a place like Alaska where the weather can impact a day's plans to such a great degree. With long distances between services, you don't have too many options if a place you were planning on staying is filled up.

I don't say this to discourage you at all. Alaska is beautiful! Just be aware that you probably will have to prebook most every night and lose some flexibility that camping might otherwise allow.

Offline hirundo

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2012, 10:45:29 am »
You are very right about being limited to a schedule defind by the availability of lodging. We learned that doing the ADK loop on out own this summer and had great weather and well-spaced choice of lodging. We would not have wanted to meet our schedule in driving rain storms. But such events are part of the game. We have mapped out a route from Valdez to Denali that has 60 mile legs between lodging. Very reasonable for experienced riders. We have found the availability of lodging to be less of a problem than suggested. Good long range planning is a must. So we are already contacting motels. B&Bs.etc. and choosing our gear for weather more like our early Spring Virginia weather. Likewise, we routinely contact bike clubs or friends of friends to get the low down.

Offline briwasson

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 03:28:29 pm »
What route are you taking from Valdez to Denali? I assume up the Richardson and then over the Denali Hwy at Paxson? Or will you cut across the Glenn Hwy from Glennallen to the Parks Hwy then to Denali? If you aren't including the Glenn Hwy, you might want to consider it. It's a very pretty road, especially riding west to east (Anchorage to Glennallen). If you aren't stuck on seeing Denali, a great route would be Anchorage to Glennallen along the Glenn Hwy, then take the Richardson south to Valdez.

60 miles is certainly doable for experienced riders, but don't underestimate the climbing on the route. There aren't any huge climbs, but lots of rolling hills, especially out of Valdez. If you are doing the ride self-contained (even w/o camping gear), that might be optimistic on a tandem (I say this as a person who has done bike tours on a tandem - and triplet - since 1999). I'm pretty familiar with that area as I lived in Glennallen, Alaska, for several summers and regular drove and rode all the roads around there. If you've never been to Alaska, budget in lots of time to stop and take photos! Of course, the good think is you have nearly unlimited daylight in case you need more time to ride.

If you are riding the Denali Hwy from Paxson to Cantwell, then 60 miles is VERY optimistic, as it is all gravel and rolling terrain.


Offline hirundo

Re: ACA Denali route?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2012, 08:58:55 pm »
Hi, Good info. We plan on taking the train from Anchorage, the ferry to Valdez, Richardson Hwy, Denali Hwy, Parks to Denali, train back to Anchorage. Mileage may vary, as they say. This is a once in a lifetime tour so we have to do Denali and I have been drooling over the Denali hwy since reading of the AK Randonneurs brevet on that road. Mileage on the Denali would be in the forties, or inn to inn distances. We ride in the mountains of Virginia and know rollers and long climbs. Your detailed knowledge of the terrain and local areas would be invaluable. Can I contact you off-line?