Tim Bourcy works on a bike during the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay.
Bike teams conquer mountains in relay
Story and Photos by Elise Giordano
Soft and Supple had readied themselves for defeat.
Their rider for leg seven was nowhere to be found and they weren’t sure if anyone was waiting at leg eight.
Lines at the border grew longer, causing a string of traffic that lasted for miles.
Riders Mike Korsmo and Tim Bourcy saw no end in sight for the eight-person-team.
But as they drove the length of leg eight along the Chilkat River, they caught sight of rider Tim Fairbanks and they saw a light at the end of the tunnel into Haines.
Soft and Supple finished the 148.1-mile Klaune Chilkat International Bike Relay on Saturday, June 15 with a time of 8:44:53, finishing fifth in the men’s eight-man-team division.
Mike Korsmo picked up the race at leg two after his daughter Teslyn Korsmo finished leg one.
Korsmo said that it’s always up in the air as to whether all of their riders will show up.
Because of the holdup at customs, two of their riders weren’t able to make it to their legs in time.
But Cindy O’Daniel picked up the slack and rode leg seven, after having ridden for Totally Tubular earlier in the day.
“There’s no rhyme or reason to the Soft and Supple team,” Korsmo said.
ABOVE LEFT: Spencer Morgan pedals uphill at the front of the pack on leg one of the bike relay.
ABOVE RIGHT: Tim Fairbanks pedals through leg eight during the relay, ensuring that Soft and Supple finished the 148.1-mile relay.
Spencer Morgan, Skagway’s sole one-man-team, finished fourth in his division and seventh overall with a time of 6:15:05.
Morgan was helping lead the pack when he was overcome with leg cramps.
As he crested the hill on leg four, Morgan decided to join riders who had begun to sprint.
As he stood up, his right leg locked solid.
“I haven’t felt pain like that since my last broken bone,” Morgan said.
He said the cramps were due to a lack of hydration and lasted for about 70 miles.
Morgan reached the finish line only seconds behind second and third place, after getting caught in a strange draft.
Though he said he wasn’t able to ride the kind of race that he wanted to, Morgan was still able to finish the race as Alaska’s top team for the second year in a row, cutting two hours off from his time last year.
He said he plans to race again as a soloist next year.
In shadow, Denny Bousson prepares to take off during the relay.
Totally Tubular finished first in the women’s eight-person-team division.
Lara Labesky led the women’s team in leg one and reached the finish line first out of the women’s eight division.
Labesky was surprised that they placed first.
“It seemed like there was a potential to be competitive, but we just went into it for fun,” Labesky said.
Though members of the eight-women-team had competed before, this was Totally Tubular’s first year. They plan to race again next year.
Sofa King Slows finished fourth in the four-man-team division with a time of 6:41:13 and Nahku Bay finished seventh with a time of 7:12:59.
Sockeye Cruisers finished twenty-fifth in the mixed eight division with a time of 8:21:22.
See complete results and individual times at www.kcibr.org.
GLOVE LINE-UP - DJ Hall watches a play during a softball game on June 17. The Skagway Coed Sftball League season is underway with games on Monday and Friday nights. Skagway’s annual 4th of July International Tournament will be held June 28–30. Amak Towing and Bros and Pitches will be representing Skagway, alongside teams from Whitehorse, Juneau and Haines Junction. The winners will be awarded cash prizes. Watch for story and photos in the July 12 issue. Elise Giordano