Every year the Arctic Bicycle Club Road Division hosts a variety of events and races which are open to men, women, and juniors.
Last year ABC-road hosted competitors 12 years and up, in events ranging from 15 to 600 participants.
ABC-road hosts several series races as well as weekly stand-alone races in the Anchorage-Eagle River area. When I got started with ABC-road, one thing that really appealed to me was the ability to participate in races depending on my availability and what interested me at the time.
Moose Run Time Trial
In late April, the ABC-road season will kick off with the Moose Run Time Trial series. Moose Run is a 10 mile out and back course full of rollers and false flats. It’s great for all levels and abilities and because it overlaps with a considerable portion of the Gold Nugget Triathlon (GNT) course, it’s great practice!
There are two Moose Run Time Trials before the GNT which is scheduled for Sunday, May 20. This should give everyone a great chance to access a lot of the course before triathlon day.
Spring Stage Series
This year May 10-12 will bring us the Spring Stage series. Held in Anchorage and Palmer over the course of three days, the Spring Stage is a series of four races.
While biking four events in three days might be intimidating, there are a few really big benefits to participation in the Spring Stage.
First, while you may feel rusty after the winter, you can relax a little knowing that pretty much everybody is rusty and that the group is incredibly supportive of newbies.
Second, it is a great way to set a benchmark for your summer season. Many of the races within the Spring Series are repeated later in the summer, and so you have a great idea of your improvement when you compare your first ride time with your later one.
Third, and maybe most importantly, nothing feels better than getting out at the beginning of the season and waving goodbye to winter with some invigorating bicycle riding.
Bicycle Tour of Anchorage
At the end of the summer, ABC-road will host the Bicycle Tour of Anchorage, a similarly structured event of multiple races over the course of a few days. The Spring Stage and the Tour effectively “bookend” our racing season and the fun and fanfare at the two events are a great way to begin and end the season with high spirits.
Bike for Women
Sign up early for the popular Bike for Women held in early May. The Bike for Women is limited to 600 participants and has sold out consistently for years.
Pocketful of Posies Series
The Pocketful of Posies series takes place over the course of four days, June 12, 14, 19, and 21 this year. If you are a fan of Anchorage’s amazing all-women events, then definitely put these dates on your calendar. I cannot stress how much fun it was and how encouraging the more experienced riders were of the beginners. My first Pocketful of Posies series, I didn’t even realize we were racing initially. I was so excited to be biking with so many strong, neat, varied women, I just thought we were having a great time!
Maybe some of you are like I was and are already listing the reasons you aren’t going to come ride. I’d like to talk you out of some of those.
First, I’ve heard some say that they won’t come because they’re too slow. This group is great for supporting every participant. If you keep coming, you won’t stay the slowest. If you come ride, you will definitely be going faster than the folks at home on the couch!
Second, I’ve had friends decline because they love biking, but they have the “wrong” bike. Let me tell you, we’ve seen it all, and they’re all welcome. Some folks show up with fancy carbon-fiber sleekness, and some come with baskets on the front and a bell. We aren’t worried about the fanciness of your bike or gear, and you shouldn’t be either (other than a helmet – you have to have a brain cage!).
Third, maybe you’re worried that it’s too hard. And sometimes riding is hard. But, you are in control of your own bike ride, and nobody can make you ride harder than you want to. Plus, it gets easier, and many times you’ll be having enough fun you won’t notice or mind if it’s hard.
The ABC-road’s commitment to bringing new riders into the sport is captured by Justin Neff, the current lead of the ABC-road division.
“My goal has always been to grow the club from the bottom up. If you acknowledge new racers and encourage them, they will grow. I have watched it happen time and time again with my team (Beadedstream). I believe there is a ton of potential for the road division to grow by building a sense of community and remembering that this is all just for fun.”
So, join for a race or two, and have some fun with us!
The Arctic Bicycle Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting bicycling safety, education, and competition. Originally founded in Anchorage in the 1970s as a road cycling club, the Arctic Bicycle Club now offer riding and racing opportunities for all levels in the following divisions: Road Racing, Mountain Racing, Cyclocross Racing, and Touring.