Hey it’s the middle of summer, why not watch a video of mid-winter mountain biking to cool yourself down?
We’re big fans here of the frankly bonkers ultra-ultra distance race across Alaska that is the Iditarod Trail Invitational race. In the past we’ve covered the race fairly extensively from the point of view of running the thing. Now we’ve found a short video series from the guys over at Epic TV showing just how tough the race can be on a bike.
For those that don’t know, the Iditarod Invitational is probably one of the toughest endurance races on the scene. Taking place in the depths of an Alaskan winter, competitors battle their way along the route of the Iditarod Dog Sled trail from near to Anchorage to Nome, some 1000 miles away. In fact, the full race is so difficult that competitors are only allowed to take on the full 1000 mile route if they have completed the shorter 350 mile route in previous years. From 2000-2012 there have only been 36 finishers of the full 1000 mile route, on bike or foot.
The first 350 mile section of the race is really deemed as a warm-up to the main event (so to speak). The final 700 mile stretch of the course stretches out far from civilisation with no official route nor support. Racers are expected to have supplies posted in to the various check point towns along the route.
Add to that the realities of an Alaskan winter and you begin to get an idea of just how much of an undertaking the ITI really is.
Adventurer Patrick Sweeney took on the 2014 race and filmed the whole event, including his build-up and training for EpicTV. We’ve embedded all the videos below, so enjoy. Just don’t mention anything about the 2014 January in Alaska being one of the warmest on record. Ahem.