Cycling probably isn’t what first comes to mind for most people when they think about Alaska, but Greg Matyas at Speedway Cycles in Anchorage is trying to change all that. The biggest city in Alaska, Anchorage is home to roughly 400,000 people and has built up a reputation as a great Nordic ski town.
But as bike technology has evolved over the years, things have started changing around Anchorage. It should come as no surprise that fatbikes are popular in the area, but this has even challenged the more typical ski town persona and cast light on two-wheeled recreation as a new way to enjoy the beauty in Alaska. Just a note, Greg is an avid winter biker himself having raced the Iditarod Trail Invitational and even finished third in 2011!
In spite of winter riding grabbing the early attention, Greg notes things are changing and there’s some great summertime mountain biking right in town. As a board member of the local Singletrack Advocates he’s also working to get more trails built both around Anchorage and into the Chugach area too.
Greg says that while they’re trying to add variety to their trail inventory, most of the trails aren’t super technical yet and short-to-mid travel mountain bikes like the RKT and JET are great choices. And Greg heeds his own advice, having ridden the JET as his daily driver for the last three years.
But he’ll admit that something like the new, longer travel RIP can be a great quiver builder if heading outside the metro area. The bucket list riding over in the Yukon would warrant a bigger bike, says Greg, and he recently raced the Trans BC Enduro where he might really have enjoyed the longer travel. He did get the chance to check out Alex Petitdemange’s new RIP at the race, but he’ll have to wait until next year if he wants to complete the race on one of his own.
Greg and his team at Speedway Cycles are an amazing resource in the Anchorage cycling community. If you’re ever looking to head up for an unforgettable northern adventure, then do yourself a favor and stop by the shop for the best local advice.