2002 Alcan 5000 Rally Q&A
(Updated 4-1-2002)

Frequently asked Questions:

* What is the entry limit?  We're targeting a starting field of 30.  This means we're about full, but will book 40 (20 motorcycles) to allow for cancellations.  More spots may be released on a case-by-case basis.
* How do I reserve a spot?  I'll put you on the list based on an e-mail or phone call, but no one is confirmed until we have both an entry form and deposit in hand.  I don't care if half the information says "tba", send an entry form if you want to attend!
* How are starting numbers assigned?  Enter early and you'll get an earlier number.  As usual, however, there will be a few numbers reserved for past winners, long-time entrants, and factory teams.  Final car numbers will be assigned by June 10, 2002 (please pay in full before then!) .
* What are the risks?  We've had only one serious injury in 18 years, but a half dozen cars have been badly damaged (enough to be left behind on 3 occasions).  With 30 entries we're talking nearly 150,000 vehicle miles, and cautious driving is expected of everyone.
* How much help can I expect?  Our first concern is everyone's personal safety, worrying about equipment is a distant second. What this means in practice is that radios, planning, a "buddy system", capable teams and experienced official crews make immediate response to any problem the rule, but we may not have enough resources at any given time and location to spend a lot of hours helping with a broken or badly "stuffed" vehicle.  At a minimum, you should expect transport to the nearest warm place where commercial help is available.  We will also do our best to help with temporary repair or extraction, but not if this would in itself be a hazard or limit resources needed to insure the safety of others.  (For an example of this in practice, see the end of Mary Lowry's article from 1998.)
* Who are the 2002 staff?  Jerry & Colleen Hines (Chairman), John & Linda Alkema (Cycle Chair), Jim & Suzanne Elder (Media Coordinator), Pete & Joanne Schneider (Scoring God), Wayne Moddison & Kevin Barrows (rear communications & sweep), Eric Horst & Steve Willey (advance communications), Jamie Gleason & Dyrck McClellan (cycle support).  Probably 7 official vehicles, including 2 sweep trucks.
* Can you carry some gear for us if we have 3 people in an Impreza? Yes. Officials will not carry your parts, tires, or safety equipment, but will transport one bag of personal items per "small" vehicle (just be sure it's not mandatory items for your overnight comfort, an official vehicle could be hours behind assisting someone else...).
* How much gear will cycles need to carry?  We'll transport one 50# bag of clothing or gear for each cycle, plus spare tires (3 or 4?).  In most cases your bag will be with one designated control car for the duration, not all in one truck or van.  We also have cycle stores in Whitehorse (Peter Jocob at Northern Equipment Rentals ) and Yellowknife (Art Young or Jason Clark at Force One) on notice to obtain special order parts within 24 to 48 hours in an emergency.  Full contact details will also appear in the regulations.
 * What about 2002 film and promotion?  We have a 2002 film agreement with Don Beck, of Toolbox Productions in Los Angeles.  Don is planning a 30 to 60 minute TV film on our Alcan Rally for the Speed Channel, and has entered 4 BMW cycles plus a film car.  The mix of cycles is still being determined, but includes at least one new 1150 GS Adventure.  Watch www.alcan5000.com for the latest, and we'll have a press release out soon.
* Do we need a roadbook holders for cycles?  Our route instructions include a mileage at each instruction but almost no "Alpine" intersection diagrams (here's a sample) The standard 2002 book will run about 30 pages (each day is just 3 to 5 pages), and each team will get two or three copies on 8 1/2 x 11 paper with one staple in the corner.  For cycles we'll also provide a special size to fit in a scrolling holder.  I've ordered a Touratech Roadbookholder RB-01 for testing and expect to recommend it and offer this size book. It's your choice, a clear map-holder on the tank would probably work.
* How about additional lights?  Probably not. Daylight hours are pretty long (about 6am - 9pm) and we have no night sections planned. You will want headlight protection, which is provided by sponsor StonGard.  These will be mailed in advance if full vehicle information is provided by July 1, otherwise available August 13.
* What kind of vehicle do you recommend?  For summer Alcan the choices are wide open.  I'd look for comfortable seats, good fuel range & economy, and ease of maintenance.  If it isn't mainstream, bring along the important minor parts.  If tires are an odd size, bring two spares.  For the most reserve capability and least preparation, choose an SUV or full-size truck (Ford trucks and Chev Suburbans are really popular up North).
PS: We have had teams in rental vehicles.  I can't recommend it, but this isn't a race and as long as the contract clearly shows you may drive in Canada we'd probably accept the vehicle.  (Haven't had a rental win the event yet, but one was 2nd place in 1998...)
* I'm new to rallying, what reading do you recommend?  An excellent TSD & general rally book is "The Road Rally Handbook" by Clint Goss.
* When is the next Alcan event?  Every even numbered year: The next Alcan Winter Rally will be in 2004 (no cycles), the next summer Alcan in August 2006.  Entries will open for the 2004 Alcan Winter Rally on 8-24-2002 (at the 2002 awards banquet).
* Why is your web site so basic?  We're trying to make information quickly and easily available, not impress with html tricks.  The lowest common denominator web browser out there probably still doesn't support frames, so we'll stick with the basics for now.  (OK if you have bandwidth to spare, here's some music to read by (would you prefer Bach or "North to Alaska"?).



Some cycle advice from Skip Faulkner...
Skip is a KLR enthusiast from Montana (though he's riding a BMW this time).  He's lived in Alaska, been dual-sport touring for 20+ years (including lots in Northwest Canada), and done the Alcan three times on bikes. He's also ridden a Honda XL500 to Yellowknife.  Skip is also our first 2002 entrant, and the one who suggested this class and bugged us till we agreed.

"Here is a small list of recommendations for the cycle entrants. This is not a complete list , nor am I wanting to preach to the choir. This is to help the cycle entrants who've never made a ride like this and /or ridden in the areas we will be in. Most is common sense and derived from several Alcan trips I`ve made, including this past summer".
 * Proper engine protection (quality bash plate that will also protect lower engine sides)
 * Radiator protection, and radiator line protection (ruptured one on my 01' Dakar this summer in B.C.)
 * Headlight protection
 * Fork gators
 * Some exhaust header tubes have been cracked due to gravel
 * Slime in tires ( their are mixed views on the use of Slime, but I`ve used it for over 70,000+ miles of mixed riding from Moab to Alaska)
 * Good tire repair kit with good aluminum irons
 * Quality chain cleaner and lube (the chemicals used for dust control along with the clinging mud will cut your chain life in half)
 * If you wear a full face helmet, get one of the finger squeegees from Rider Accessory Warehouse, you will need it to keep the mud film off on the gravel sections if the road has been sprayed.
 * If you wear an open face helmet with goggles, get goggles that will accept tearoffs.
 * Replacement shields for helmet and/or goggles
 * Hand guards/brush busters.  Yes, the gravel from a passing vehicle will hit that high, and some of the gravel is very large.
 * Tie wraps and/or duct tape - I have seen fairing sections cracked by flying rocks on two of my trips

"The above is by no means a total of what should be carried (electrical, tools, spares,etc.) but just items specific to this route. As you`ve figured out, the large gravel and the roads with dust control chemicals can do a lot of damage and it`s best to be prepared. I`ve come off the Cassiar Highway totally black with wet dust mud and have seen many a bike on these routes with broken headlights, turn signals, cracked fairings, punctured radiators, flats,etc.  This list can of course be added to in case I`ve left off something of vital importance. FWIW."