The Mike Curiak Syndrome

Last month I interviewed 36-year-old Mike Curiak right before he left to bike 1,100 miles through the Alaska snow. Yep, 1,100 miles. Through the snow. And he did it self sufficiently. Pulling an 80-pound trailer.

Yep, no outside support. Just Mike against the deep depths of an Alaskan winter. Alone on his bike.

For 1,100 miles.

Through the snow.

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Well, Mike is back, and things did not go quite as planned, though he put up a courageous effort. As reported by Craig Medred in the Anchorage Daily News, Curiak ran into 30-below-zero weather combined with 70 mph winds. The windchill reached 80 below, according to Medred.

Said Medred: “Only the tough or the foolish challenge wind like this. Curiak is among the former.”

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Here’s Medred’s full story, which is a fine piece of Far North outdoors journalism, including references to wonderful things like “that venturi through the Alaska Range” and senseless back-of-the-pack Iditarod mushers from Michigan who become baffled by common alpine nomenclature like “treeline.”

Anyway, as for Curiak and his trailer, I am still highly impressed. He hauled this thing—a metal-frame, single-wheel custom contraption—for several days and for about 200 miles, stocked with all the food, gear, fuel and shelter he needed to survive alone outdoors for nearly a month.

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I asked Curiak about the trailer’s performance in the snow. “The trailer was great,” he said. “No way to not notice an additional 80 pounds being pulled behind you, but insofar as being an easy-to-pull and neutral-handling 80 pounds, I can’t complain.”

Curiak’s summer project includes shaving weight from the total trailer package and making his systems more user-friendly.

Couple more pics from Mike’s saga are below. Nice work, man!

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