The Six Wheeled Bike leads racers in the 1990 Nome Odyssey
In 1989, four men wondered if it would be possible to ride the Iditarod Trail by bicycle, in the middle of the Alaskan winter. They decided the only way to find out, would be to try. Now fast forward to 2010, where we can purchase snow specific bikes at any one of a number of local bike shops. But twenty years ago, if you wanted a snow bike, you had to build your own. And that’s just what Roger Cowles did. A four wheeled snow bike. The quadracycle performed so well, he built a six wheeled bike the next year, and raced skiers in the 1990 Nome Odyssey.
It was the precursor to the worlds longest winter ultra race, which became an annual event starting in 2000. Since then, only thirty racers have made it all the way to Nome.
On March 6 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at the BP Energy Center, the BCA will host a Winter Bike Festival, featuring a presentation by winter extreme cyclist pioneer Roger Cowles about his trips to Nome on the Iditarod Trail. It’s a fascinating story of innovation, adventure, and determination. It’s also a story about the impact of the incredible powers of Mother Nature during our intense Alaskan winters.