By Kyle Clayton

The Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay (KCIBR) race will open for registration next month after being canceled for the past three years due to the pandemic and Canadian border restrictions.

Registration opens on March 15 for the June 17 race.

“We really are looking forward to seeing everyone back in the saddle again,” said KCIBR president Rob Welton in a press release.

KCIBR race coordinator Mia Lee said organizers are hoping the three-year hiatus won’t impact participation and that they have reason for optimism.

“People are excited. The word is out, and I would love to see it full,” Lee said. “Fingers crossed.”

New to the race this year include the addition of e-bikes. The electrical powered bicycles are allowed on eight-person teams only, but are not required for every rider on the team. Any team with an e-bike is prohibited from placing first, second or third.

Registration for the race that draws riders from across Alaska and the Yukon typically fills up within days for the 1,200 available slots. There’s a 95-team limit in the eight-person category. Solo rider registration closes May 12.

Other rule changes include the removal of “non-traditional” categories. Rules, start times and other logistical information is available at

The 2023 event marks the twenty seventh year of the 149-mile race that starts in Haines Junction and ends in Haines. The relay race is divided into eight “legs.” Riders on leg 7, which includes a border crossing, must show a passport at U.S. Customs.

While concern over the pandemic caused the race to cancel for two years, uncertainties over Canadian border crossings caused the KCIBR decision makers to cancel the race last summer.

“We just didn’t want to take the chance of getting held up at the border,” Lee said. “We talked to border officials and whether they would be able to manage such a large number of people going through. We just decided it was too much of a risk.”

The race was also canceled in 2017 when late-spring snows obstructed the course.

KCIBR board member and long-time racer Chip Lende said he’s excited to race worry free.

“We’ve had to cancel four times in five years. Everybody that’s connected with the race is really looking forward to it happening,” Lende said. It’s going to be a great year. And now that we have shot down everything over the Yukon and Alaska, we don’t have to worry about falling debris.”