Why do we ride and race off-road? For most of us, it’s not about glory but for a physical challenge, some adventure and perhaps scenery.
Cyclocross Magazine contributing photographer Dave Mable not only works hard to capture the drama and faces of our beautiful multi-lap sport, but also the ultimate adventures in the form of multi-day, point-to-point events like the Iditarod Trail Invitational.
The Iditarod Trail Invitational has been dubbed “The World’s Toughest Endurance Race.” Since 2002, only 56 have stood beneath the famous burled arch in Nome, marking the end of the one thousand mile race through remote Alaska on the Iditarod Trail.
Mable has just released the culmination of that effort in the form of his new feature-length film, “1000 Miles to Nome.” Here’s the trailer:
“1000 Miles to Nome” follows several adventurous souls (including several prominent gravel racers) as they rode or ran west on the historic trail in February and March of 2019. Mable produced, filmed and edited the film with help from a crowdfunded campaign.
Starting at Knik Lake one week prior to the start of the infamous sled dog race, Mable, in his hired Piper Super Cub plane—a motorcycle with wings—played leapfrog with the participants who would be riding and running to checkpoints along the trail.
Mable gathered images that bring the beauty and history of the Iditarod Trail to viewers, as well as the hardships, challenges and extreme difficulties in traversing a thousand miles through some of the most remote and unpopulated areas in the world.
Steve Cannon, one of the participants who was attempting his first crossing of western Alaska in 2019 on a fat bike, plays a prominent role and also helped make the movie happen.
Mable’s challenges, apart from simply finding a way from one place to another, included filming in wide-ranging temperatures from 40 degrees above to 20 degrees below zero, blinding snowstorms, rugged mountain ranges and vast woodland forests, as well as on a pre-maturely melting Bering Sea.
Mable encountered moose, howling wolves, muskox, seal and bald eagles as he traveled across Alaska, while the riders themselves encountered an early-rising grizzly bear hunting for breakfast as they began a crossing of the Bering Sea.
This full-length movie attempts to not only describe the hardships faced by participants in the event but also give viewers a better understanding of the Iditarod Trail itself, as well as some of the challenges faced by the dogs and their mushers as they seek to navigate through the same terrain during the same period of time. At one point, Mable found himself on the edge of a rescue mission to bring a stranded musher and her dogs to safety in Nome.
“1000 Miles to Nome” will take you on an emotional, gripping modern-day adventure, giving you a glimpse into the lives of those whose curiosity drove them to pack their belongings on a bike or in a sled and begin their own journey on an isolated trail to Nome.
Watch the trailer above. You can purchase and download the full-length movie here:
Until October 9, if you use code “cxmag” you’ll get a free bonus download of Mable’s first film, “Reach for the Stars: Booneville Backroads Ultra Marathon” and will be supporting Cyclocross Magazine and David Mable’s coverage of the sport of cyclocross.
Gather a few loved ones, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the warmth of your couch as you follow these athletes through their ultimate two-wheel offroad adventure.