Art and Science

Wheels on Ice: Stories of Cycling in Alaska

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Anthology edited by Jessica Cherry and Frank Soos

University of Nebraska Press, 2022

ISBN: 9781496232472

About the Book:

Wheels on Ice reveals Alaska’s key role in bicycling both as a mode of travel and as an endurance sport, as well as its special allure for those seeking the proverbial struggle against nature. This collection opens with the first bicycle boom and the advent of the safety bicycle in the late 1800s, at approximately the same time gold was discovered in Alaska and the Yukon Territory. As bicycles evolved, Alaskans were among the first to innovate: the fatbike, for example, evolved from the mountain bike in the late 1980s into a wider-framed bike with fatter tires, making snow biking more accessible and giving birth to the Iditabike race. More recently, ultra-endurance cyclist Lael Wilcox rode all the major roads in the state, totaling more than 4,500 miles of gravel and pavement.

Jessica Cherry and Frank Soos’s diverse group of stories covers cycling both past and present. From riders commuting in every kind of weather to those seeking long-distance adventure in the most remote sections of the United States, these stories will inspire cyclists to ride into their own stories in Alaska and beyond.