Why he's interesting ... Bahniuk rode his bike across the continental United States to raise $15,000 for Parkinson's research after he was diagnosed with the disease in 2002. Last summer, he raised $33,000 with a 382-mile trek through Alaska and will return for a grueling 900-mile journey this summer.
The biking bug ... A trip Bahniuk made in his 20s — pedaling from Portland, Ore., to Boise, Idaho, before flying to St. Louis and then riding to Cleveland — made an indelible impression on him. "I've always remembered that. It was quite an accomplishment."
America in stages ... Following his Parkinson's diagnosis, Bahniuk made the Portland to Boise ride again, twice. After that, he started using his rides to raise money for research. He pedaled 900 miles from Boise to Denver in 2007 and rode from Denver to St. Louis and then from Cleveland to Boston in 2008.
But why Alaska? ... During a 2009 vacation there, Bahniuk realized an Anchorage to Fairbanks ride was doable. "I had one of my most brutal riding days ever on that trip." The third day brought mountains and a 25 mph headwind. "I was crawling along at 6 mph. I was so tired, I'd ride two miles and stop, ride two miles and stop."
Road supplies ... Four inner tubes, patches, a spare tire, extra spokes, tools, freeze-dried food, candy bars, water, tea, sugar, a change of underwear, a bedroll, a tent, an extra T-shirt and a warm jacket that doubles as a pillow. "I travel pretty light. I plan on not being comfortable."
Ice road biker ... This summer's trip will start in Prudhoe Bay and wind south to Anchorage. The first 400 miles are a gravel road, so Bahniuk will be doing this ride on a mountain bike. "After 200 miles you get to the city of Cold Foot, which has 28 people in it. Ever watch Ice Road Truckers? It's that road."