It was 2018, and we were halfway through our Alaskan bike packing trip, from Seward to Deadhorse. The upcoming stretch, along the Dalton Highway – 8 500 metres of elevation gain over 800 gravel kilometres – was notoriously gruelling. As we looked over our slightly damp gear, a tour van pulled up nearby. The passengers got off; some took photos of us, as the guide loudly proclaimed that not many people successfully bike the Dalton. “In fact,” he said as he looked at me, “I just saw two very athletic men barely finish the ride.” Very athletic, I thought to myself. He means thin.
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