Monday, June 16, 2008

MTB group ride


On Saturday I rode with the Arctic Bicycle Club (ABC) on the Kenai Peninsula at Crescent Lake. The original ride was scheduled for Johnson Pass, but there is still too much snow at the pass (four feet!).


Here is the only snow that my tires came across on this ride:



It sprinkled lightly that day so I wore a bike jersey under a rain coat and that kept me plenty warm. I skipped the yellow rain pants that my friends love so much and just went with full spandex leg things (tights? pants?) I didn't even need a hat (rare for me when it's below 60F). It was in the upper40s to low 50s.


Here is some more snow covering the river/ stream:




Here is the melt water coming all the way from the mountains in the background to where we were:

Friday, June 13, 2008

If Blair witch rode a fat-tire

This is from biking in Kincaid Park yesterday.

I'm still adjusting the helmet cam. It's still a little left:

video

Thursday, June 12, 2008

LA


Saturday: walk on a glacier. Sunday: walk around Manhattan Beach in LA.
I've never read the paper at the beach before. I recommend it.
We did feel a bit overdressed in t-shirts, but that's how our lack of pigment goes.
We slept in (after arriving around 6AM), took the free trolley to the beach, walked around a bit, had a nice meal at a french bistro on the sidewalk, and the return flight went smoothly...except for the bit when we got back to the hotel thinking we had an hour and the Captain had moved up the van time so we only had 25 minutes! It all worked out.

Matanuska Glacier

On Saturday we drove with another couple to Matanuska Glacier. Here's a photo the Mrs. took from the backseat:


Driving in this great state is fun! There is a lot to see and makes the trip go by faster when there is actual changes in the road (unlike parts of the Midwest where I've driven many miles, almost all of them awake).

Here we are posing in front of the glacier which is 29 miles long:


Here is a cool amphitheater (TURBO-PUN!):








After we finished walking out in these parts we stopped at the Long Rifle cafe to have some $4 a slice pie and look at all the dead animals they had posed throughout the dining room.

Not too sure about a "cinnamon" bear. Is it the black one or the brown one? Do I duck and cover or fight it off? Now they tell me that 1 in 12 bears are albino! What then??

That evening I tried to take a nap before I flew the Los Angeles red-eye.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hike to Flattop


On Memorial Day we hiked up a trail to Flat-Top a ways above the city. It was tough going because the wind was over 30 MPH that day!
Here is some of the snow covered trail we scampered up:


Here we had someone take our photo at the top while we watched a bunch of 8-12 year olds climb up the last bit of vertical snow to reach the very top. We chose not to.

Here is a view of the Anchorage bowl from up there (if you click on any of these images they get bigger/ full size):

One the way back down the week before, the Mrs. saw a black bear stealing someones garbage can and haul it into the trees. No bears this day though.

We were pretty tired that night, so we chose to not play in my companies annual Captain versus First Officer softball game. We did enjoy the food.

down facing ride


On Tuesday I went mountain biking on the Kenai Peninsula. I chose Resurrection Pass as my virgin trail and it pretty much kicked my butt.

It was beautiful scenery, and I made lots of noise so as to not spook grumpy furry beasts. I did manage to spook two grouse while biking and watched a porcupine waddle away as I was driving in.

There were lots of campers on the trail for mid-week. I like that when I'm biking solo.


I couldn't go all the way to the pass as there was 4' of snow there. In fact, I never made it to the snow.


I climbed 10 miles, over 1000' in a little over two hours. It only took 1.2 hours to get back down, definitely the fun part!


Here is the mighty steed:



Notice in this one you can see the exorbitantly priced stars and stripes bell (it's next to the bright yellow GPS/ radio):



This photo reminded me of the movie Into the Wild where a boy tries to live in the last frontier with no actual experience.

He tries to learn how to make it by reading books, taking notes as others tell him how to hunt. In other words: he had no experience, just the book-learning. I would compare that to reading how to walk and then thinking you are going to run a marathon.

I won't give away the ending, but it doesn't go well:

Ever wonder what it would feel like if you got injured and had to ride on the back of a bike/ horse/ ATV looking down as the rider tried to get you to help quick-like? Well my helmet cam was pointed a bit down so here ya go:

video

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fairbanks

Today I'm in Fairbanks. I broke out the Dahon folder for an 18 mile jaunt. There is a pretty good bike path along Farmer's Road. Too bad I thought I was still on the highway.

I did manage to find College Road which had the Cosmonaut Cafe serving Russian food. Going to have to check that out next time.

A block or two later I came upon a restaurant called the Food Factory. Might be the winner for least appealing restaurant name...ever.

Right now I'm sipping a Stone smoked porter, listening to my Current via MPR.ORG. I'm thinking it's about time for some Thai food at the mom-n-pop across the road.

Today was the first time I brought the bike to work and it went really well. I may take it to Los Angeles on Sunday and see if I can find any bikeable places in the city of autos.

Later this month I have an overnight in San Francisco and can't decide whether to bring the bike.

Last night I showed up for the Arctic Bicycle Club MTB ride at Hillside in Anchorage. The ride started at 7:00, I was there at 7:05 and they had already left.

I saw another guy there and asked if he was there for the ride, he said yes, I said it's my first time, he said let me show you the place, he didn't know the place and couldn't read a map, I read and interpreted the maps and tried to instruct him, he ignored me, I left him somewhere convinced he was right and me left as he did loop upon loop trying to find his way back. Moral of the story: don't say you can do something that you can't.