Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for August 27, 2013

Cyclists are enjoying their 10,000-kilometre odyssey

It’s a journey of more than 10,000 kilometres that will take Metais Zollbrecht and Carolin Dungs from the top of Alaska at the Arctic Ocean south through B.C. along the Pacific coast through Washington sate, Oregon, California, Arizona and on back to the southern tip of California.

By Stephanie Waddell on August 27, 2013 at 2:35 pm

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Photo by Stephanie Waddell

FROM NORTH TO SOUTH – Carolin Dungs (left) and Metais Zollbrecht are in the midst of a cycling journey that will take them from the northern part of Alaska to the southern part of California.

It’s a journey of more than 10,000 kilometres that will take Metais Zollbrecht and Carolin Dungs from the top of Alaska at the Arctic Ocean south through B.C. along the Pacific coast through Washington sate, Oregon, California, Arizona and on back to the southern tip of California.

The couple has now been cycling on the road for the better part of a month.

The two set out Aug. 1 after finishing up their current university studies in Germany.

They expect their trip to take them until October.

They have now made their way through Alaska and the territory,  arriving in Whitehorse last weekend.

They say there have been a number surprises along the way on their adventure.

They had packed well for the journey with clothes and down sleeping bags they thought they would need in the North.

During much of the Alaska portion of the rolling adventure, those things turned out to be too warm.

They had also thought they’d see more wildlife in Alaska, but that was limited to a couple of moose. It wasn’t until they were in the Yukon that they saw a bear last Sunday.

“It was scary,” Zollbrecht said as he and Dungs recalled crossing the road once they spotted the bear on their side.

While they had bear spray with them, the headwind at the time meant that if they sprayed it toward the bear, it would have just come back at them.

The bruin stood up on its hind legs and looked, but remained where it was.

“It was really big,” Dungs recalled.

And of course, there’s the equipment maintenance that comes with any bike trek, but in one case, that meant meeting some new friends.

In Fairbanks, Dungs had to wait a few days to get new shocks for her bike. A local resident offered them a place to stay.

While there have been other offers as well from those who learn about their journey, for the most part, they have been camping along the way.

The have brought their accommodations with them, packed in bags fastened onto their bikes.

And the North has proved the perfect place for camping.

“It’s a lonely place,” Zollbrecht said, referring to the distance between communities and noting that they’ve been able to camp wherever they choose.

“There’s some beautiful spots,” Dungs commented.

The travellers have meant a number of people along the route and have heard comments like: “Oh my God, are you crazy?” when they tell them about their plans.

While the journey began at the beginning of this month, it’s been a full year of planning.

As the couple recalled after deciding their route, it took a great effort to find sponsors.

One of Dungs’ neighbours was able to get an initial sponsor through a bike shop in Germany, which donated equipment.

It was only after that that more sponsors – totalling 17 – came on board.

As Zollbrecht and Dungs continue their journey, anyone interested can keep up on their adventures through their website at http://www.biketour.tandemfliegen24.de

The website includes a live tracking option that can let viewers know exactly where the pedallers are on their journey.

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