Cranes, Giraffes, and Cupcakes!
The MatSu 200K on Saturday, April 30 started off an exciting season for the Alaska Randonneurs. We had a great turnout with 35 riders starting from Vagabond Blues. For some, this was their first ever brevet. For others, this was a pre-qualifying ride for Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) or the Big Wild Ride. For one special rider, this was both a pre-qualifier for PBP, but also one more tick mark closer to his R5000 award. Andy Sorensen is going after the R5000 award, which entails 5000 kilometers of riding over a 4 year period, which must include the completion of PBP!Congratulations to the following riders who successfully completed their first 200K brevet with the Alaska Randonneurs: Chris Allard, Michael Braun, Bjarne Holm, Collin Machell, Jolie McGauley, Stacey Nieder, Paul Pierce, Michael Pocnop, Brij Pontis, Sharon Sell, Tom Smayda, Rachel Steer, Justin Voss,We also had three new volunteers to the course. Special thanks to Elisa who made the Motherlode control special with her famous bicycle frosted cupcakes! We were also lucky to have Joel’s support at the Church/Pittman control. This particular control is the last oasis before riders traverse a difficult dirt section between the Gunflint Trail and King Arthur Dr. We also had an honorary volunteer who was inducted on the course. Special thanks to Mike who was there supporting his family member, but also took the time out to support riders in Sutton and at the Motherlode controls.This was the first brevet that we had a pre-rider on the course. Special thanks to Tony Berberich of BackCountry Endurance Racing Team/ BackCountry Bicycles for previewing the course for us!We would also like to thank our two route ‘taggers’. Elisa and Joy who pre-drove the course to mark confusing spots. The goal was two fold: first, not to get anyone lost in the dirt section and second, not to spray paint on ourselves. We succeeded at the first one!Lastly, we would like to thank Vagabond Blues for their delicious high energy bars they baked specially for us at the start and yummy lunch/dinner at the finish! The Bird Seed bar will forever hold a special place in my heart.So, what did some of us see on the ride? We were fortunate to see 100′s of Sandhill cranes taking off from the valley field, perhaps making there way to Creamer’s Field in Fairbanks for the summer. Lots of valley dogs of various breeds, and a Giraffe (mailbox)! And, of course, beautiful Alaska scenery featuring mountains and trees. Though the day was mostly overcast, we have mother nature to thank for no rainy spots!If you’re interested in the results for the Mat Valley 200K brevet, please click here: http://www.
alaskarandonneurs.org/node/282Stay tuned for next years MatSu 200K brevet. Alaska Randonneurs is teaming up with the BackCountry Endurance Team to put on a 100K/200K event that will knock your cycling shoes off!