Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hiking at the beach

So we made plans to go camping this weekend. After a nice lie-in this morning we thought better of it. We have just a few more weeks until the baby is here which makes sleep for the Mrs. difficult in a bed so we surmised that it might be worse in a tent.

So after a nice brunch of blueberry pancakes, we packed a picnic and headed out to Kincaid park for a hike on top of the ridge looking over the sea.

There she is after I scouted out the top of a sand dune to find the correct path.
The hound LOVES the sand dunes. She was very tired after a lot of running today.

This was our view for our picnic. Some folks saw us and decided we wanted company and hung out while we finished our food?!?!?! It's a big park and not a lot of folks are here: MOVE ALONG!

More playing on the beach. We were going to get some rays, but it was cloudy so we kept our windbreakers on.
Tonight it's fresh halibut with garlic/ lemon sauce: mmmmmm

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I've found some friends to MOUNTAIN Bike with and have been enjoying getting my legs back into Alaska shape. My commute this summer is a mere 10 miles round trip so it is not cutting it like it did last summer: 38 miles round trip.

It's amusing to me as a newbie up here again that folks will complain about an 11 mile slog up a dirt road when you get to look at views like this. This is the day we went down to the Kenai Peninsula to ride up the south side of Resurrection Trail, back down the Bean Creek trail, up the 11 mile slog of a dirt road so we could finish coming down the Russian Lakes trail: 3750 feet of elevation gain in 45 total miles with less than 2 miles on pavement! My legs were feeling it that day: some cramping.

This shot is out of order: it was taken around midnight the Friday before the 45 mile ride. This night we rode up Johnson Trail from the south side for 10 miles and then turned around because even here you can loose your daylight at some point. That was the night I got to ride with Jill. I was pretty intimidated having followed her blog for a few years, but she is a very cool cat and a pleasure to ride with. She has left Anchorage for a better job and will be missed.

Shortly after I took this shot I had a baby moose stroll out onto the highway in front of me. I slowed, saw an oncoming 18-wheeler, flashed my lights frantically, and the truck was able to move over just enough to not hit the moose but its draft blew the animal over. The moose got up and ambled back to "safety" (this is prime food for many of the big animals that roam these parts).

Here is my steed all happy in its element. This year it is sporting a new Cane Creek headset, rebuilt front shock (from 2001 YIKES!), and I built up a set of all mountain wheels: DT Swiss 480 rims, double butted spokes (2.0-1.8), with XT hubs. Might have to break down and buy a new seat this year because the original from 2001 is struggling to give up the ghost.

This is one of the gorgeous lakes that you can see from the Russian Lakes Trail.
I've been supplementing my commuting with some excellent single track riding on the east side of town above the Hillside trails (STA trails: Single Track Advocates) but you have to be careful when you are in that area: last week a guy (who gets to commute on dirt!) got mauled by a momma brown bear when he came zipping around a corner on Rover's Run and scared her and her cub (same place that happened several times in 2008). He is fine, but I'll be sticking with my bells and not riding near the stream where the bears like to eat. Tonight I managed to surprise a momma moose and her little one. They are not the brightest animals (no matter what my boss says) and they don't seem to know what bells are until you wave your arms around and start shouting at them. Of course then she proceeded straight down the trail so I had to turn around and leave the lame way out instead of the gnarly fun way. Oh well.

This week begins my first of consistent 2 days off a week at the bike shop. That will be nice and hopefully lead to more riding and more time with the Mrs.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

It's been a while

So I've had some time away from the blog (FB is getting most of my snarky attention). I'm back in Alaska and happy to be here. It's shaping up to be a gorgeous summer and I'm slowly getting back into fighting (MTB) shape. I've been back for less than three weeks and have already ridden with someone I have greatly admired from afar: Jill who writes the Up in Alaska blog.
I'm back working at a bike shop and that is going OK. I always want to be faster, which makes me tense thinking that those around me are faster, which leads to back pain. Fatigue usually calms things down and forces a weary relaxation that allows my body to heal. Meantime I'm enjoying the 5 mile one way commute (19 mile one way last summer!). And I think I'll be able to ride Sundays and Wednesday nights with groups which is somewhat unusual for me. Usually I ride solo, but this group thing is better in bear country. More later with pix and stuff.