Man is first ever to bike 1,000-mile Yukon Quest

Way to go Jeff! Congratulations on your 1000 mile ride on the Yukon Quest Trail from Fairbanks to Whitehorse!Image Derek Crowe Photo www.derekcrowe.photo

Posted by Iditarod Trail Invitational on Monday, February 15, 2016

Alaska resident Jeff Oatley just became the first-ever person to bike the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest trail.

The Yukon Quest trail is one of the most difficult races in the world, often taking dog sledders two weeks to complete.

It starts in Fairbanks, Alaska, and heads southeast to Whitehorse, Yukon, in Canada.

Oatley rode the entire length on his fat bike — without even a tent — in a little over 16 days, finishing Tuesday.

Temperatures can reach minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit, although Oatley said he was lucky that it never reached below minus 30.

He called the whole experience pretty humbling.

“Very, very few people will ever get the opportunity to experience what I just got to do,” Oatley wrote on his Facebook page.

Since he didn’t have a tent, Oatley often found cover in abandoned shelters or with people living along the trail.

Can't say enough about how cool everybody with the Yukon Quest was to me. Lots of support from everybody I saw along the way.

Posted by Jeff Oatley on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

“A lot of the philosophy of the Yukon Quest is based on the ‘Spirit of the North’ and I really appreciate that they extended that to me,” Oatley said in his Facebook post.

He is no stranger to long fat bike journeys. He holds the record for the Iditarod Trail Invitational which is also 1,000 miles. He completed that in 10 days 2 hours and 53 minutes.

Oatley said he nearly didn’t complete the Yukon Quest, although not due to freezing temperatures or weather.

He nearly wasn’t allowed to cross the border into Canada but eventually spoke with a Canadian-border official.

“Once he was convinced that my story was likely true, or at least mostly true, and that I really did ride my bike there on the Yukon Quest Trail, it didn’t take him long to figure out that no drug smugglers or terrorists could possibly be so stupid, and that I might represent a danger to myself, but not really to the general Canadian population,” Oatley continued.

He was eventually allowed to cross the border to complete his quest.

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