The finish will be held at the Comfort Inn, Ship Creek:
The Comfort Inn at Ship Creek was really great to us during the BWR 2011. You might want to consider staying there before and after the ride.
Please check out the website for the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau to assist you with your accommodation plans: http://www.anchorage.net
The meet-and-greet/bike check location will be at Speedway Cycles, home of the world famous Fatback Snow bike. Your best bet for a hotel or hostel is something located in Midtown or Downtown Anchorage, or near the airport.
The driving distance from Anchorage to Valdez is 300 miles. However, we will take a more direct route that combines a bus or train with an ocean going ferry. Our route will be much shorter, much more scenic, relaxing, and enjoyable. The bus or train will travel from Anchorage to Whittier, and the ferry will travel from Wittier to Valdez. It's a beautiful trip, and the BWR 2011 riders remarked how much they enjoyed the whole experience.
We will spend Saturday night in Valdez. We're working to arrange several options for reasonably priced accommodations, and will post that info here when we get it all dialed in. In the meantime, check out the website for the Valdez Convention and Visitors bureau here: http://www.valdezalaska.org
Please check with your hotel. There should be no problem with the hotel holding your luggage while you are riding. If not, we'll figure something out to help you!
We're putting together a beautiful and relaxing ride on the Alaska Railroad, and Alaska Ferry. Riders will ride the train from Downtown Anchorage to Whittier, then a ferry will take riders the rest of the way from Whittier to Valdez.
Check out this video of the ferry system. Most people who come to visit Alaska never get to see it this way:
Here's a link for the train:
You can get to Valdez yourself, which is the best thing if you're driving to the start from Fairbanks or Whitehorse or someplace like that, or if you're on a really tight time schedule.
But, for most riders coming from outside of Alaska, flying in to Anchorage, and hopping on the train and ferry for a beautiful and relaxing ride to Valdez with the other BWR riders is the best option. It'll be a great chance to see tidewater glaciers, whales, otters, puffins, and to get to know your fellow riders.
Estimated optional transportation costs to Valdez are as follows:
Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Whittier: $89.00
Alaska Marine Highway ferry from Whittier to Valdez: 1 person + 1 bike = $101.00
Estimated Total: $181.00
If you'd prefer, you can also fly from Anchorage to Valdez. The current price is $160, but there will be an extra charge for a bicycle.
There are lots of great places to stay in Anchorage. The town is pretty flat, and has a great network of bicycle and multi-use trails to get around on. That means, just about any hotel you pick in Anchorage will be fine. Riders will need to secure their own reservations for overnight stays before and after the ride. Downtown and Midtown Anchorage offer the widest variety of places. We'll be posting a list of hotels and hostels soon.
We're also working to arrange reasonably prices accommodations in Valdez. Check back for details on that.
Don't worry about overnights during the ride. We got you covered in Delta Junction, Healy, and Talkeetna. If you think you're going to overshoot any of those overnight controls, then it's up to you. Don't hesitate to ask us for advice though!
The road quality is good. For a 700c wheel, 28mm to 32mm are recommended, though many riders ride 25mm. Do not underestimate this. In 2011, some riders brought 23mm tires and later told us that it was a very big mistake. Please think twice before you bring anything smaller than 28mm.
Temperatures will be moderate and good for cycling. Expect a range of 55-65F during the day.
The NOAA website provides a graph of the normal high and low temperature ranges: http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/panctemps.php