Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lunch Hour Bike Paths and Singletrack

I have a job that I go to a couple days a week.
The best part of having a job is riding a bike to and from it.  In addition to commuting I've been taking advantage of the "lunch hour" encouraged by the company to get out and ride a few miles. 
Just a couple of minutes from the office and I'm on one of the greenbelts that wind through and across Anchorage.
Less than 15 minutes from my desk and I can snag a slice of pizza, a thermos of coffee from the Beartooth and boogie down to sea level to enjoy my lunch with a view of the Alaska Range. 

I've been exploring every little spur of urban singletrack spur I can find off the Chester Creek Trail.  Most of it leads to homeless camps.  Some of it makes for some pretty sweet, creekside cruising.

Not bad for being in the smack dab in the middle of the biggest city in the state.

 If I don't grab coffee from the Beartooth there's a little coffee stand a hundred yards or so from work that can fill my cup before I lockup and go back to staring at a computer for the remainder of the afternoon.  Most of the time I make it back to work without spilling too much hot coffee on my hand.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Winter Trail Hazards

I got out for a ride last night . . .  a sweet, 1,000ft of descending, 97% singletrack, fatbike ride last night.

The last little bit of singletrack is a 0.5mile piece of trail I've been trying to get packed in and rideable for the last month or so.

I'd been out snowshoeing on it the night before (and I only don snowshoes, begrudgingly, for the purpose of better bike riding) and last night it was riding better than it ever has when I came upon open water where there had been none the night before.

It seems a moose approached from the lookers left of the above picture, intersected with the Jumpy Squirrel trail, and punched through to a creek I didn't even know was flowing underneath the trail. 
From the other side.  One moose sized hole in the middle of some winter singletrack. Must have been fairly startling for the moose to suddenly be standing in flowing water, even if it wasn't terribly deep.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Since We Were Together Last . . .

Since I last bothered to update this blog I've done a few things. 
Here's a few of the highlights in no particular or chronological order:

 Little and I spent some quality time together.

He loved going out an rallying dirt trails  on his push bike.

A three year old working on his no handers over the table top in the 
backyard is enough to make a parent worry about what the
 adolescent years have in store.  He also showed off his 
Superman seat grab more than once.

I got the realest job I've ever had.  I'm talking Mon-Fri, 
8am-5pm, shirts tucked in real.  
Did that for a couple months and tried to quit.  
Reached an understanding with my employer, 
now I work part time.

Got LoL to join me for a fatbike beach 
ride I've had on my radar since 2005.

Ever since I talked to Pat after he and Kathy did their pioneering beach ride I've wanted to find this cabin.  
The riding, nor the cabin, did not disappoint.
This little dude mastered the combination of pedals and balance.  
Never had training wheels.  He loved it and so did dad.
Still need to work on mastering the concept of 
speed control through braking.

My parents came to visit and my dad left 
with his first new bike in 25 years.
(A Surly Ogre.)  We went and rode it in 
the mountains, which made him smile. 
He's been taking it out for lots of 
fun adventures since he got home.

We welcomed a sweet little girl into our family in July 
(part of the motivation for my parents' visit.)
She is happy, healthy and awesome. 6 months old this week.

I continue to perform much of my own bike maintenance.
Occasionally with interesting results. 

Did some fishing, but not nearly as much as we'd like.
He wanted to keep every fish we caught that day. 
I let him keep this one.
That kid devoured every last crumb of that little trout

Did I mention fatbiking on the beach near Nikiski?
That was awesome.

My brother came to visit.
We rode bikes.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

My iPhone Tried to Kill This Blog

A new job, a new baby, and a smartphone all combined to try and kill this blog (but mostly it was the phone.)

But I still ride bikes, and I'm hoping to even write a few words and post a few pictures every now and again on this here blog.
So if anybody out there is still interested here's just a little something:

My wife's Christmas gift to me was one simple thing.  A fat, aggressive tire named after me, even though I am neither fat, nor terribly aggressive.  The yin to my yang I suppose.

It seems I change my brake pads even less often than I update my blog.
Stopping power was greatly improved when I switched to some pads that weren't worn down to next to nothing.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Clipped in for the first time in eight or nine months, and I liked it.

Tangle bag isn't mine, but I thought I'd try it out before I gave it away.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Thirty for thirty.

Some short.
Some less short.

But at least one ride, everyday.

Always better than not riding.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Things and Stuff

April has been amazing, and I've been getting some riding in.
Rode to the post office with Little to mail a birthday present to my brother in-law.
I had to hit up 3 different LBSs to find an AK shop t-shirt for a birthday present, but I was really pleased with what I eventually found.

Noticed this sign while I was locking up to the bike rack.
I'm pretty sure it's entrapment to install a bike rack where bicycling is forbidden.

Vic inspired me to experiment with some hose clamp, stem mounted water bottle.  Little saw what I was doing and requested on for his trike.  He and I were both pleased with the results.
LoL came by this weekend with a sweet new fork for his Moonlander.  It's amazing how light this hunk of plastic is.  
Fortunately I have an irrational fear of crabon that keeps me from investing large sums of money in shiny plastic bits.

Ocean Air Cycles had their t-shirts on sale for cheap.  Nice looking shirts, funky, small US bike company, how could I resist.  I was even happier when the package arrived with more than just a t-shirt.  A few stickers and some beautiful postcards were just above and beyond.

Like I said the April riding has been amazing. Blue sky, warm (above freezing) day time temps and smooth snowy trails are hard to beat.

Neither this guy, nor myself were in too much of a hurry this afternoon, so we spent a while checking each other out and sharing the trail before we both went peacefully on our respective ways.

The trails were holding up pretty well, even as the temps approached 50deg F.  Nice to be out riding in a short sleeved jersey and shants.

Things were a little punchy and deep if you had to dab off the packed trail, but there are worse problems to have.

Stumbled across this old run down cabin in the woods.  Less than two miles from our house, but on a little used trail that I had never explored before.  Would have been a pretty sweet place to live back in its day.

I persuaded Little to help me slap the Big Apples back on the Dummy and ride to the park with me.  He did an awesome job hanging on to the back of the Big Donkey.  I still plan to build a proper seat for him or something, so that he and I can both relax a little bit while he's back there.  As it was I was rolling slowly and constantly seeking conservation that he was still hanging on with both hands (most of the time he was).
 It's really fun to have him out of the trailer and to be able to maintain a conversation while we roll along.  4 fun miles together this evening.  His only complaint was that he hurt his bottom when we practiced riding off a curb at low speed.  I'll set him up with a magic carpet or something similar soon.
I'm really excited for this next chapter of family riding.