One pedal push at a time, traveling the Iditarod Trail by bike

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RUBY, Alaska (KTUU) - 495 miles down the Iditarod Trail, a cyclist gets ready to ride on the frozen Yukon River.

A cyclist competing in the Iditarod Trail Invitational taking a break at the Cripple checkpoint.

Casey Fagerquist has ridden his fat tire bike to McGrath before but never as far as Nome.

"The wildlife has been pretty unreal," Fagerquist said. He's seen moose, lynx and walked over a hill to see three wolves eating a bison carcass.

"And they didn't even know I was there," he said.

Fagerquist is based out of Anchorage and is competing in the Iditarod Trail Invitational, a race to Nome done exclusively by human power.

"It takes an incredible amount of focus to keep moving forward," he said.

Deep snow blanketed the early part of the race. The competitors left before dog mushers started running the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, meaning they didn't have trail breakers to compact the trail in front of them.

"We figured we walked 125 miles of the 350 miles to McGrath," Fagerquist said. "So, that's a lot, that's slow."

Despite the challenges, Fagerquist has been amazed by his epic journey, saying it's different to see the Alaska wilderness up close than from the air.

"You don't ever get to touch it, smell it, and hear it," he said. "And that's super interesting to me."

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