Record warmth will greet a record number of riders in Saturday's 12th annual Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay.
More than 1,200 riders on 234 teams - many from Juneau - are set to pedal the eight-stage, 148-mile highway course from Haines Junction, Yukon Territory to the old Fort Seward parade grounds in Haines. Sunny skies with temperatures in the low- to mid-80s are forecast for both ends of the course.
The race includes divisions for solo entrants and teams of two, four or the full eight riders. There are men's, women's and mixed divisions.
From the race start in Haines Junction, the course follows the edge of Kluane National Park, passes the shore of Dezadeash Lake and skirts the Tatshenshini River valley. After traversing Chilkat Pass and passing the U.S. Customs station, riders race down the valleys of the Klehini and Chilkat Rivers into Haines.
Last year, Scott Damman of Boulder, Colo. - in Haines to get married - became the first-ever solo rider to win the overall title. He covered the course in 7 hours, 2 minutes, 30 seconds - two seconds ahead of a pair of Juneau squads. Team Rotary International, a two-man team of John McConnochie and Scott Fischer, took second place by a hair over the four-man Les Schwab One squad of Steve Box, Chris Chiles, Joe Sorenson and Dave Bartlett.
The course record is 5:55:55, set in 2002 by a team of Whitehorse riders Paul Christensen and Mike McCann, Henry Irving of Fairbanks and Dan Harrington of Haines.
Complete results from previous years' races, as well as information about this year's race, can be found on the Web at www.kcibr.org.