Meet the Couple behind Arctic Cycles: Pioneers of Winter Biking in Anchorage

Meet the Couple behind Arctic Cycles: Pioneers of Winter Biking in Anchorage

Many people shy away from the mere thought of biking in the harsh winter conditions of Alaska. However, there is a pioneering couple in Anchorage who have embraced the concept of winter biking with open arms. They not only brave the freezing temperatures on their bikes, but are also on a mission to introduce fellow Alaskans to this unique and exhilarating passion. Billy and Corrie Koitzsch, the founders of Arctic Cycles, are showing adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts that winter biking is not only possible, but also enjoyable and eco-friendly.

The Journey From Real Estate to Winter Biking

Before his love affair with biking began, Billy Koitzsch worked as a Realtor in Anchorage. He enjoyed occasional bike rides with his son on weekends or vacations but hadn’t yet discovered his true passion for the sport. In 2006, when gas prices skyrocketed to over $4 per gallon, Billy and his wife Corrie began evaluating their spending and came across a viable solution to save money – riding bikes more often.

They started riding year-round and discovered that biking was not only cost-effective, but also a great way to stay fit. The couple decided to take their recreational hobby and turn it into a career by creating Arctic Cycles – the first dedicated bike rental company in Anchorage.

Arctic Cycles introduced fat-tire bikes as a way for people to ride in the snow. These bikes make it easier for riders to navigate over snowy or icy terrains safer than traditional bicycles with wider tires providing more grip and stability on slippery surfaces.

Championing the Art of Fat-Tire Riding

After realizing the potential for this specialized niche market, Billy became an advocate for winter biking in Anchorage. He was determined to prove to people that fat-tire biking could be just as fun as skiing or snowboarding while being more accessible and affordable for everyone. According to Corrie Koitzsch, “Billy was unstoppable. He just started showing up and introducing people to this great way of experiencing Alaska’s winters.”

Seeing a need for education and access to safe trails, the couple began teaching clinics in local bike shops and worked with Anchorage parks to develop a network of groomed, multi-use trials.

The Challenges of Promoting Winter Biking

Despite the increasing popularity of winter biking, there are still challenges that come along with promoting this unique activity in Alaska. Access to safe, well-maintained biking trails is limited due to budget constraints and limited local government resources.

To further promote winter biking in Anchorage, Arctic Cycles has teamed up with several local businesses and organizations, hosting events such as Global Fat-Bike Day and the Fat-Bike Expo. These events aim to bring awareness and excitement around winter biking in Anchorage.

Looking Ahead: Expanding Winter Biking Horizons

As winter biking gains traction in Anchorage and around the globe, so does Arctic Cycles’ mission to encourage more people to discover it. The couple continues to champion for better trail maintenance and exploring innovative ways to make winter biking more accessible and enjoyable for kids – their next target demographic.

Billy’s passion even extends to philanthropy. He plans on setting up a non-profit organization where used fat-bikes would be refurbished and donated to underprivileged kids, giving them the chance to join the exciting winter sport.

In conclusion, Billy and Corrie Koitzsch are not only pioneers of winter biking in Anchorage but are also making significant strides in expanding interest in eco-friendly outdoor activities within their community. Through Arctic Cycles, they are fulfilling their ultimate goal – creating more opportunities for people to experience Alaska’s incredible landscapes on two wheels no matter the season.