1. Adventure Rider Print Magazine!
    We're doing a print magazine this November - 128 pages of high quality adventure riding stories, photography and interviews!

    Click here to purchase a copy for $9. Limited copies still available.
    Dismiss Notice

Alaska track days 2020

Discussion in 'Alaska' started by Tim McKittrick, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,380
    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    Hi everyone! The 2020 Tanacross track day schedule is out and just in case any of you want to come up and play here it is:

    May 16-17
    June 6-7
    June 27-28
    July 18-19
    August 8-9

    P5210010.JPG

    The Tanacross airfield is the ONLY pavement in the north that has access for track day use. We have a cone track set up and operate the above five weekends: the May event is officially "Test and Tune" and there will be no timing equipment or official timings offered. The rest of the weekends are broken into open practice sessions and timing runs made in the late afternoon. On most Saturdays we have the "Endurance Race", an event wherein everyone antes up $5 and the "winner" is whomever passes the start and stop flagger at a random time chosen before the ride, and the winner gets the cash. Its got nothing to do with skill or speed- and is the only time everyone is out on the track at the same time.

    Open practices are set up in two lap time categories, over 2:50 lap times and under 2:50. Sessions are about 20 minutes each and alternate throughout the day. You will be able to get a LOT of riding in over a weekend- most folks clock in 100-150 miles.

    At the end of the day we do the timing runs, with riders arranged in order of their lap times collected during open practice. Riders get sent out in groups of five or six and are flagged out in 20 second intervals. You get one warm up lap and two flying laps, with your official time being the sum of your flying laps. Each rider has essentially a clear track to themselves, so it's really not "Racing" in the traditional sense- but a time trials event. Small awards are given to whomever posts the best times in their class for the day.

    So here is the super cool thing: there is no real pressure to be the fastest or the best and everyone up there is there to ride and have a terrific time. There is no better place to hone your riding skills and you DO NOT NEED A DEDICATED RACE BIKE to come up and ride. We have had everything from Yamaha 200 enduros to vintage TZ750's show up, and all are welcome and all have had fun. Track day fees are about $110 for the weekend, which pays for the porta-potties, track rental, and the corner flaggers and EMT. Camping is free and if you want to just come and spectate we would all love to have you.

    Bikes should be in good nick and the riders need to have appropriate safety gear. We do not have a tech inspection or require belly pans or safety wiring, but we do ask you use your head and display a modicum of common sense. If you have a machine that is obviously dangerous and unsafe you will be parked.

    fullsizeoutput_70f.jpeg #77 _Tessa.jpg


    The Tanacross airfield was made during WWII and operated as a lend-lease stopover and refueling location- its a typical 1940's triangle with two long runways and a connecting taxiway. The pavement was produced on site from local aggregate, and as you can see in the pictures above, it's not terrific. It has been repaired but never repaved, so there are plenty of bumps and cracks, as one would expect on something made nearly 80 years ago. But it's what we have, and it's still a ton of fun- 3.25 miles in length and about 40 turns. It's a tough track to learn and a weekend of riding here will improve your skills more than a full year on the road.

    Please feel free to PM me with questions- any an all new riders are welcome!
    #1
  2. Tom S

    Tom S Can I ride it? Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,421
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    Nice write-up Tim! :thumb
    #2
    wilfred likes this.
  3. jathkajoe

    jathkajoe Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    E WA
    Have you thought about putting this info in the area where Outsiders look to plan their once in a lifetime trip north? Planning in a stop at Tanacross should appeal to some. Shoot, make stickers and I bet many would participate.

    I would have enjoyed a Tanacross Track Day on my trip. My goal was to ride as many roads as I could that I hadn’t ridden when I lived there ‘57-90. Next ride up I’ll be looking for the Tanacross Track Day schedule.

    jathkajoe
    #3
    X-wing fighter likes this.
  4. Tom S

    Tom S Can I ride it? Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,421
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    I have no idea of where or what this area that you speak of is, but if you have a mind to you could certainly post a link to this thread there yourself.
    #4
  5. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,380
    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    Well, given that the Isle of Man TT was cancelled today I wouldn't be surprised if our season is shortened, if not scrubbed. No word yet from the principals, but I wouldn't be too surprised if the May event is stopped. As for the rest, time will tell.

    I will post any new information here as soon as I get it.
    #5
  6. jathkajoe

    jathkajoe Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    E WA
    TomS,

    Trip Planning, Americas.

    Usually a few threads there, folks planning their trip north. Although this winter it looks to me like less discussion of it. Now with recent developments it wouldn’t surprise me if many slow down their planning waiting to see what actually develops.

    If I knew how to post a link there to this thread I would.

    Jathkajoe
    #6
  7. Tom S

    Tom S Can I ride it? Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,421
    Location:
    Anchorage Alaska
    #7
  8. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,380
    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    Hi all-

    The May event has been officially cancelled, but there is some hope being held out for the remaining weekends. Updates will be provided when they are available.

    In the meantime, the suns been out and the roads are clearing. I have taken my least racerish bike out for a trot to celebrate the new season- I hope the rest of you can do the same!

    Attached Files:

    #8
  9. X-wing fighter

    X-wing fighter Do or Do not, There is no try!!!!!! Supporter

    Joined:
    May 11, 2017
    Oddometer:
    548
    Location:
    Ester, Alaska
    I busted my road bike out of her winter prison yesterday. if things get moving again and the border hasn't opened, I will be checking out a track day.

    This was yesterday at the Parks highway memorial just outside Fairbanks. It was around 1pm and around 35 degrees.
    IMG_20200425_135208_7.jpg

    Not a track bike, but sometimes I ride like I'm on a track.(or I think I am looking like Rossi pulling out of a corner!)
    #9
  10. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,380
    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    The Buell would be a fine ride to learn Tanacross on- good suspension travel for the lumps, reasonably sticky tires, and plenty fast enough to have a ton of fun.

    I do a track orientation ride with all of our new riders to familiarize them with the layout and help them see how to read the course, which can be tricky. The first time you ride the track it can seem like a bewildering sea of cones, and a session of follow-the-leader at a very slow pace has proven to be super helpful. I have been using my 1972 Yamaha 360 enduro for this as it is clearly not something that will be speedy, and this sets expectations properly low and lets new participants focus on where the track is going and how to follow it, with no concern about going fast.

    When (if) we get to play this year I’m thinking of bringing the R69s to be the introductory pilot bike. Still slow and stodgy enough to make the pace acceptable.
    #10
  11. Beezer

    Beezer Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,992
    Location:
    Anchorage, formerly Spenard (hub of the universe)
    "a session of follow-the-leader at a very slow pace".... ooohhhhhh I like that plan... I'd go just for that (well... and a bonfire)(and a Manhattan)
    #11
    Fast Idle and AKDuc like this.
  12. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,380
    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    Well Beezer, if we get to play this season I’ll be happy to give you a track tour!
    #12
  13. Tim McKittrick

    Tim McKittrick Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,380
    Location:
    Wasilla Alaska
    Hey all- word came out today that the rest of the seasons events will proceed as planned. Bring your helmets and bikes!
    #13