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In The News: Iditarod rider smashes course record

Iditarod cyclist rides fat-tired bike to mind-boggling race record — Alaska Dispatch

Jeff Oatley of Fairbanks, Alaska, smashed the previous course record for bikes in the Iditarod Trail Invitational Wednesday when he arrived in Nome after 10 days, 2 hours, 53 minutes. According to Alaska Dispatch, Oatley’s 1,000-mile ride would have placed him 25th in the 2013 edition of the Iditarod sled dog race.

“I didn’t know what the record was,” Oatley told Alaska Dispatch.

The previous record was 17 days, a mark Oatley nearly halved. But his arrival to the Beiring Sea wasn’t without incident; Oatley lost his way late in the solo journey.

“It was obvious it could have come to a screeching halt anywhere along the coast,” he said. According to the Alaska Dispatch report, Oatley “got lost on the ice of Norton Bay at night, miles outside the village of Koyuk in wind and blowing snow. He wandered around trying to decide whether travel was better on the overflow water or the pressure ridges, decided on the former, then gave up on the trying to find the trail and just went in the direction where he knew he would find shore.”

The rider called the episode “intense” and said he “had no idea of where land was.”

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