Alaska to Mexico on a Wabi—The Journal Entries, Part 1

It’s been two months since we first introduced you to Gordon Scott, who rode his Wabi Classic on a cross-country bike trip from Alaska to Mexico.

In our last post, we provided a detailed packing list of his trip. Now it’s time to share some highlights and journal entries from Gordon’s 76-day experience.

Gordon—along with his friend, Mohammed, and father, Phil—pedaled off from Anchorage, Alaska on September 7th, 2013.

The first couple weeks of riding, Gordon got two flat tires, it rained and snowed, the riding conditions weren’t always safe, and Mohammed started to have knee problems. But that didn’t stop Gordon from enjoying the first days of the journey.

©Gordon Scott

September 7th, Day 1
51 miles.

When we started off, city riding was horrible. Bad roads, scary people, and we got lost a few times. It was great to get out of Anchorage. I am starting to feel like I don’t have a home, although I’m sure it will sink in more as time goes on. There was one time today, at about mile 17, when I was feeling really tired. A quick snack and rest cured me, and I was great the rest of the day. I did get a flat tire, though.

September 8th, Day 2
39 miles.

It was raining almost all day, the road narrowed, and there was no shoulder. This was most of the stretch of road I was very worried about. We will have about another 20 miles of nasty road tomorrow before we get to the easier things.It’s good to have this behind us. We know we can put up with some hard stuff, bad weather, and horrible riding conditions. I think this will be one of the days we will look back on and say, “we did that so we can do this.” And we even had fun today. We saw a moose about five feet away, as we were zipping down a hill—it scared the snickers out of me! We are still getting used to all our gear, and tonight was the first time we used most of it. I am sure we will get a lot quicker as we progress in our journey.

September 9th, Day 3
29 miles.

Some of the hardest miles I’ve ever ridden in my life. Today was harder than the first two by far. The scenery looks incredible with everything changing colors. We all did great work today, despite the minimal progress. I have learned that not all miles are created equal. We have made a great campsite just up from the highway, where nobody can see us, and we have a clean creek running through camp. I hope the weather stays sunny.

September 10th, Day 4
56 miles.

I got my second flat tire. Mohammed kept talking about how sore his butt was and saying he was going to bonk. I laughed hard enough to make it hard to ride. It is interesting how the time passes. It would seem that time would drag on when all you’re doing is biking and camping, but it just flows past like a river. It is as if we are in a different, zen-like state of mind, and the days are just starting to pass us by. Each night we are more tired than bears who forgot to hibernate.

September 11th, Day 5
40 miles.

Easy miles, either downhill or tailwind most of the day. We made it to Glennallen and did some shopping there and other errands, then got on the Richardson Highway for 15 miles and went right on the Tok Cutoff for 3 miles. We ended up at this beautiful bed and breakfast called Riverview. The people here provided an unforgettable experience! The place is immaculate, and they have been unbelievably kind to us. As a man who wants to start his own business one day, I can learn a lot from people like this—they provide something that I want to be able to provide with whatever I do. It is hard to describe what it is; basically just unbelievable customer service. This is maybe the first time I have ever experienced that. Great day, and again, just an amazing little cabin we are staying the night in.

September 12th, Day 6
50 miles.

We could have gone much farther with today’s conditions, but Mohammed’s knee was really hurting him. Most of the day we are normally quiet and riding apart from each other, but today the traffic was super slow, so we could go next to each other. We have come up with a few good nicknames for each other: Mohammed is Packie Chan, Dad is the Flying Scottman, and I am Bike Tyson. We laugh quite a bit and have fun with everything. We had incredible views today of the Wrangell–St. Elias National Park. Just an amazing day! I hope the weather stays, but I think it will probably go back downhill soon. As long as our spirits are up, we will be fine. We will just keep on struggling forward.

©Gordon Scott

We hope you’re enjoying Gordon’s stories from his Wabi adventure. Next time we’ll continue to feature journal entries from the trip.

1 thought on “Alaska to Mexico on a Wabi—The Journal Entries, Part 1”

  1. I am Phil, Gordon’s dad. My bike was also a Wabi. A friend asked me “what’s with the single-speed? Why would you want to do that?” My answer is that a single-speed is more fun, and I am wanting to embrace the fun aspects, even at the expense of a little of the “go fast” aspect. More importantly, after the bike ride with Gordon, I had friends my age respond to my story of returning from our bike ride with something like: “I wish that my son would do something like that with me”. Also, I had friends that are Gordon’s age that responded to my story of returning from our bike ride with something like: “I wish that my dad would do something like that with me”. One more comment…our family adventures are continuing, and our bicycles are our primary tools to make them happen.

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