Alcan 5000 Rally logo
2018 FAQ - Updated 1/16/2018

ENTRIES & START ORDER
What's the entry limit?  We'd like a starting field of 50 to 60, but may accept a few more.
How about auto & cycle balance?  It's roughly an equal balance this year.
What if I ran past Alcans?  We'll find room for previous entrants if we receive your paperwork & deposit by January.
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, some are reserved for past winners, long-time entrants, sponsors & press.  Final numbers will be assigned in June.
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 autos have rally experience.  They also have better odometers plus a co-driver and are less likely to go down a wrong road, so it's good to let them mark the way on dirt sections.
   2) Serious dust is very unlikely, and on highway sections everyone spreads out well.
   3) Mud is likely somewhere.  Roads where this might happen aren't well traveled, but we'd hate to see cars behind a dropped bike on narrow road.
   4) In the unlikely event of a cycle incident this puts officials with Sat phone & Ham radio much closer.  If cycles ran first we'd be 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 others 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)  A daily GPS "hotel route" will be provided in MPS and GDB formats, see 2016 example https://alcan5000.com/16WB/.   
Do cycles need a scrolling roadbook holder?  The entire route book will be about 28 pages, roughly 3 per day.  It's your choice, but a Touratech or Aerostich 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 August registration.  The first day's route will be available on line 1 week in advance.
Where can I find more GPS info?  Try these links from Touratech USA (Cycloactive) in Seattle:
  http://www.touratech-usa.com/instl/instl_GPSroute.html
  http://www.cycoactive.com/gps/extras_gps/mapsource_instr.html
  http://www.cycoactive.com/gps/default.htm

VEHICLES & EQUIPMENT
How much gear will cycles need to carry?  We'll transport 40# of clothing & parts for each cycle, plus 2 spare tires.  Tires and spare parts will be carried in a cycle support truck, and "overnight" bag more readily available.  We'll also have three satellite phones and local contact lists.
How about additional lights?  Don't bother unless you plan long days driving home. Daylight hours are pretty long up north (about 6am - 9pm) and little night driving is expected.
What kind of vehicle do you recommend?  Summer choices are wide open.  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.  
What kind of cycle?  We no longer do Whitehorse "technical" sections, so there's no premium on a "small" bike and any good dual-sport could work.  For opinions, join our Yahoo group and check old postings..

GENERAL
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 34 years, but even a small one can spoil fun and a half dozen autos have been badly damaged or left behind. This event involves 300,000 vehicle miles, and caution is expected of everyone.
How much help can I expect?  Our first concern is personal safety,  equipment is second.  In practice this means 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 & location to spend hours helping a broken or badly "stuffed" vehicle.  At a minimum, expect a ride or tow to where commercial help is available.
When is the next Alcan?  Every even numbered year. The next summer Alcan will be August 2022, the next Alcan Winter Rally February 2020.


Old cycle advice from Skip Faulkner.   Skip is an enthusiast from Montana.  He's lived in Alaska, been dual-sport touring for 30 years, ran the 2002 Alcan, and done Alcan Highway five times on bikes.  Skip was our first cycle entrant in 2002 & 2004, and the one who first proposed a cycle class.

"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 or derived from several Alcan trips I`ve made".

 * 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 (there 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 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 gravel is very large.
 * Tie wraps and/or duct tape - I have seen fairing sections cracked by flying rocks on two trips

"This 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 so 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 can of course be added to if I`ve left off something of vital importance. FWIW."

   Skip   msfaul@digisys.net