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Old 01-10-2013, 04:55 PM   #16
Mackie Mouse
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The way back is all down hill. Some of it is rather steeply downhill.
Is it manageable, or am I going to be saying, "Well...that waterfall was awfully nice, except for the part where I felt like I was going to go careening off the road and fall down it..."?

Also, for those who have done the Chilkoot trips - has making the excursion departure ever been an issue? I e-mailed them and they talk a good game about you having enough time to get to them, but 7:30 AM just feels like it'll be cutting it close.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:19 PM   #17
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We did Chilkoot, and no trouble with the departure. I THINK this is the port with the little red roofed shelter...we got off the ship and went over to the shelter and within a few minutes, the guide drove up and identified himself. He had our paperwork and addressed us by name.

It is possible that I'm mixing up the ports, but I don't think so....in Juneau we walked over to the other area (a 5 minute walk) to meet up with the whale watching tour and we did Ketchikan on our own ...so Skagway had to be the little red shelter port.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:15 PM   #18
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We did the bike part at the end of June 2012. We had a great time and would do it again. The weather was drizzly. Cloudy at the city level, but as the van drove up into the hills, the road became wet and drizzly. The tour people offered us raincoats, rainpants, knit caps and gloves to wear if we wanted them. If it's cold, at least get the gloves. Not sure I need the rest of the gear despite the drizzle.

It's basically down hill 95% of the time. There is one short up-hill that can be challenging unless you are regularly riding a bike now. A few in our group ended up walking the bike up the small incline. The remaining part is really flat into town.

As others say, the scenery is great without a piece of glass between you and the surroundings.

If you haven't ridden a bike within the past few months to a year, I would not recommend the biking. You are riding a bike down a mountain road along with cars, busses and vans with one lane in each direction. Being a mountain, one side of the road goes up the mountain and the other side goes down the mountain. Sometimes you are riding on the side that goes down the mountain. That can be enough to give people the willies without all the cars and busses zipping by. You ride in a group single file with no passing allowed. Not too fun if the person in front of you becomes scared and goes really, really slowly
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:31 PM   #19
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Can you clarify "freefall on a bike"? The description on DCL's website seemed to indicate something a little more leisurely...that said, DH and I are both young and kidless at this point, so neither of us is afraid of something active.
Freefall meaning very downhill. Almost no peddling, very much braking. If you have good brakepads, I did not.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:43 PM   #20
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Freefall meaning very downhill. Almost no peddling, very much braking. If you have good brakepads, I did not.
Oh my!

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Old 01-10-2013, 08:41 PM   #21
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I will pass on the biking! I would be the annoying slow person freaking out the busses on my side!!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:51 PM   #22
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Going to bump in case anyone has other input...we still aren't totally decided, but the responses here are making me want to pick Chilkoot Charters...

Here's another way of phrasing it: Past cruisers who have taken one or both excursions, if you were me (knowing what you know now), which would you pick? Would you do the same excursion again, or pick the other?
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:58 AM   #23
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We took the bike tour in Aug. 2002. I had not ridden a bike for a couple years prior and it was still doable. It was kind of scary since you're starting out at the top of a mountain there is really not a chance to start out slow. They do give you the chance to change your mind and hop a ride in the van down to town a couple minutes into the ride, and one girl in our group took them up on that offer. You really are riding the brakes for the entire trip down. I really enjoyed riding around town on the bikes once we got down off the mountain. It was raining on the mountain the day that we went so there was water being thrown up into my eyes the entire time we were going downhill, which was not fun at all. And it was really foggy so we couldn't see any of those awesome views. The views from the train on the way up were still wonderful though.
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