ENTRIES & START ORDER
What's the entry limit? We'd like a starting field of 40 to 50. This means we're about full, but may accept 60+ to allow for attrition.
How about auto & cycle balance? It looks like a cycle majority, but we expect about 30% autos. As of February 2005 auto entries will be accepted immediately but new cycles will be placed on a waiting list to preserve balance (we'll add 2 or 3 cycles for each new auto received).
What if I ran 2002 or 2004? We'll find room for previous entrants if we receive your paperwork & deposit by December 2005.
How do I reserve a spot? We'll hold a place briefly based on an e-mail or phone call, but new entrants won't appear on the web till we have an entry form and deposit in hand. Even if half the information says "tba", send a form!
How are starting numbers assigned? Enter early and you'll get an earlier number. As usual, however, some numbers are reserved for past winners, long-time entrants, etc. Final numbers will be assigned in June 2006.
Who starts first, cars or bikes? We realize for desert races it's usually bikes, but we start cars first per the following logic:
1) A higher percentage of our cars have rally experience. They 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) Serious dust is unlikely: 2 or 3 minutes between groups is plenty for TSD's, and on highway sections everyone spreads 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 this puts officials close behind. After TSDs most officials (hams, sat phones, EMTs) will follow immediately. If cycles ran first we'd be 20 minutes farther behind them.
ROUTE BOOKS & GPS
What route book formats are available? Our printed route instructions include a mileage at each instruction but almost no "Alpine" intersection diagrams (here's a 1998 sample) There are 3 route formats. Everyone receives two copies of #1 and the other two are available:
1) 8 1/2" x 11" paper version with one staple in the top left corner
2) 6" x 11" paper version intended for a scrolling holder like the Touratech RB-01. (We supply the pages, you tape it together as needed).
3) An electronic GPS route for each day. For 2004 we provided 3 GPS formats: GPX, MPS, and GDB. Here's a 2004 day 1 sample you can download.
Do cycles need a scrolling roadbook holder? The entire route book will be about 25 pages, roughly 3 pages per day. It's your choice, but a Touratech or kayak Map Case would probably work.
How far in advance do teams get daily roadbooks? You will receive route books (all 3 formats) for the entire event at registration August 13. The first day's route will be available on line 1 week in advance, in formats 1 & 3.
Where can I find more GPS info? Try these links from Touratech USA (Cycloactive) in Seattle:
VEHICLES & EQUIPMENT
How much gear will cycles need to carry? We'll transport 50# of clothing & parts for each cycle, plus 2 spare tires. Tires and spare parts will be carried in a designated "sweep" truck, and your "overnight" bag in a vehicle toward the front of the group. We'll also have a satellite phone, and a contact list for emergency parts.
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).
What kind of cycle? We won't do a Whitehorse "technical" section in 2006, so there's less premiun on a "small" bike and any good dual-sport could work. For opinions from 2004 teams, join our Yahoo group and check old postings..
I'm new to rallying, what should I read? An excellent general rally book is "The Road Rally Handbook" by Clint Goss.
What are the risks? We've had just one serious injury in 20 years, but in only takes a small injury to stop or spoil your cycle riding fun. A half dozen cars have been badly damaged in this time, enough to be left behind on 3 occasions. This event will involve 200,000 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 clearly second. This means in practice that radios, planning, a "buddy system", capable teams and experienced officials make quick response normal, but we may not have enough resources at any given time and location to spend hours helping with a broken or badly "stuffed" vehicle. At a minimum, expect a ride to the nearest place where commercial help is available.
When is the next Alcan? Every even numbered year: The next summer Alcan will be in August 2006, the next Alcan Winter Rally in February 2008. There should be a summer 2008 event also, we'll announce this in August 2006.
Some (old) cycle advice from Skip Faulkner...
Skip is an enthusiast from Montana. He's lived in Alaska, been dual-sport touring for 20+ years (including lots in Northwest Canada), run the 2002 Alcan, and done the Alcan Highway five times on bikes. Skip was our first entrant in 2002 & 2004, and the one who first suggested a cycle 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."