Frequently asked Questions:
* What does "Vintage" mean? This class is for car &
truck models from 1984 or older, the year of our first Alcan. This
is an "appearance" rule, slightly newer vehicles that look the same also
qualify (Audi 4000 & 5000, BMW 320, Omni GLH, Porsche 944, Saab 900,
* How about other classes? Simple enough, enter 3 vehicles that qualify and we'll probably create a class for them. We'll also offer awards for "teams" of 3 or 4 cars or cycles (see the regulations for more info).
* What's the entry limit? We're targeting a starting field of 25 to 30. This means we're getting full, but may accept up to 40 to allow for cancellations.
* How do I reserve a spot? We'll hold a place for a week based on an e-mail or phone call, but no entry will appear on the web till we have both an entry form and deposit in hand. I don't care if half the information says "tba", send an entry form!
* 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, etc. Final starting numbers will be assigned in late June.
* Who starts first, cars or bikes? We realize for desert races it's usually bikes, we'll probably start cars first per the following logic: 1) A higher percentage of our cars have rally experience. They'll have better odometers plus a co-driver, and are less likely to go down a wrong road. This means it's good to let them set an example and/or mark the way on dirt sections. 2) Much dust is unlikely: 3 or 4 minutes between groups is plenty for TSD's, and on highway sections everyone spreads way out anyhow. 3) Mud is likely at some point. Roads where this might happen aren't well traveled, but I'd hate to see cars behind a bike if someone went down. 4) In the unlikely event of a cycle incident I'd like officials close behind. After TSDs we'll have numerous official vehicles in the rear, with hams, sat phones and EMTs. If cycles ran first we'd be 20 minutes farther behind them..
* What are the risks? We've had just one serious injury in 20 years, but a half dozen cars have been badly damaged (enough to be left behind on 3 occasions). This event will cover nearly 120,000 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, expect a ride to the nearest place where commercial help is available.
* How much gear will cycles need to carry? We'll transport one 50# bag of clothing and parts for each cycle, plus 3 spare tires. Tires will be carried in a designated "sweep" truck, your bag will be with a specific control car for the duration, not everyone's in the same truck or van. We'll have a satellite phone along, and emergency contacts in Whitehorse for parts.
* 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 2004 book will run about 30 pages (each day is just 3 to 5 pages), and each team will get two copies on 8 1/2 x 11 paper with one staple in the corner. For cycles we'll also offer a 6 x 11 version to fit in a scrolling holder like the Touratech Roadbookholder RB-01. 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 no night sections are planned.
* What kind of vehicle do you recommend? For summer 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 your 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. (We have had teams in rental vehicles. We can't recommend it, but this isn't a race and as long as the contract clearly shows you may drive in Canada we probably won't object).
* I'm new to rallying, what reading do you recommend? An excellent general rally book is "The Road Rally Handbook" by Clint Goss.
* When is the next Alcan event? Every even numbered year: The next summer Alcan will be in August 2006, the next Alcan Winter Rally in 2008.
Some cycle advice from Skip Faulkner...
Skip is a KLR enthusiast from Montana. He's lived in Alaska, been dual-sport touring for 20+ years (including lots in Northwest Canada), and done the Alcan Highway four times on bikes. Skip was our first entrant in both 2002 and 2004, 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."