This year, thanks to Phil and Sarah Hofstetter, I got to host iditarod bikers in my home. Phil is an amazing athlete and finished the race in third place and has finished it several times, even placing first one year!
This is definitely one of the highlights if my time in Alaska so far. It takes a super daring, courageous, motivated adventurer to bike over 1000 miles across the Alaskan wilderness. And they were all so down to earth and grateful–for even a bed on the floor, hot running water, a warm meal. It was super fun to hear their stories and experiences. I got to meet people from Fairbanks, Canada, England and the Czech Republic–I felt like my house turned into a hostel and I was traveling again. 🙂 I never expected that in Nome!
This is Jeff Oatley–he killed the previous Iditabike (Iditarod trail Invitational) record, doing it in an amazing 10 days, 2 hours 53 minutes. Here’s a great interview about it. His wife, Heather Best is also a hero–she finished the 350 mile race from Anchorage to McGrath in record-breaking time! They also biked up and down Haleakala volcano (the 10,000 ft volcano in Maui) which blows my mind, but apparently that’s nothing compared to a lot of other races he’s done—like the Race Across AMerica (RAAM), ~3000 miles that he did in 10 days 22 hours, making him the fastest US rider in 2007! I realized in talking with them that I have no idea, no ability to fathom, how hard or much it really takes to do the Iditarod Bike! You would never know from just meeting them how badass they are.
RJ Sauer from Vancouver, BC, Canada and Andy Heading from Matlock, England. They are both super nice people–we had some great conversations! They arrived as the 6th place bikers to come in!
And my new Czech friends: Pavel Richtr and Jan Kopka. I think they are both kind of famous in Czech Republic in bike circles. 🙂 Pavel’s wife is a GP (general physician) too! We laughed a lot that night.