July 12, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 28

Bike trek: Alaska to Argentina

Cyclists Dave and Sarah Dalziel stopped in Haines last week as part of their year-long bike trip from Anchorage to Buenos Aires.

The husband-wife pair lives in Topsham, England and stopped in Haines seven years ago during a shorter, six-month bike trip from Anchorage to LA. “We were very taken with Haines,” Dave said.

“There’s a bit of magic about Haines, but I don’t know how to put a finger on it,” Dave said. “As an outsider, I feel it’s special.”

The couple began their current trip a month ago when they flew into Anchorage. From there, they biked to and into Denali National Park, up to the Delta Junction into Tok, north over the Top of the World Highway, through Dawson City, Whitehorse, and Skagway before their stop here.

Their “rough plan” is to continue on to Juneau, Wrangell, Vancouver, Bellingham, and Banff, and take an off-road route to Mexico and ultimately Argentina. They plan to arrive in Buenos Aires in May 2013.

Dave retired from the police force last year and Sarah is on sabbatical from her job as an operating room nurse who also runs the world-renowned orthopedic theatres in England. They said they like traveling via bicycle because they can stop in more places. “It’s a good way to see the world,” Sarah said, adding that another advantage is being able to smell all the flowers while passing through. “You can’t get that from a car.”

Davesaid that truckers generally are the best drivers, giving the most space. Multiple drivers have stopped to offer water, food, and even a place to stay, he said. Sarah added that at one rest stop, tourists on an American tour bus gathered around, handing the couple an assortment of snacks and beverages. “It must have been 6,000 calories of goodies,” from cinnamon rolls to apples.

The couple averages 60-80 miles a day on custom built-bikes. Despite mosquitoes and sore knees, the trip has been “just stunning,” Dave said.