No transit today… Just talk of the joys of riding a bike. Or maybe some transit talk. I don't know.
The first time riding new terrain is always fun. Which is what makes winter riding so amazing. While the scenery might be the same, or nearly so, from ride to ride, the terrain itself can vary significantly from one ride to another. Ice or powder. Crust or hard packed paths. Each time out requires a slight alteration to riding style and approach. And when it's good, it's great.
Friday was one of those great ride days when the terrain seemed fresh and new. I started out the day in Anchorage taking one of the dogs for a quick three mile bike-jour while waiting for the state high school ski meet to start for the day. It was cold and the groomer was out giving us blessed souls some great cord to ride. We rode and ran, but my itch for a ride was not sated.
Later that afternoon, I buttoned up my work for the day and decided to head out to the college and greenbelt to see how the riding was. It was amazing. Where there had been traffic since our most recent snow things had bonded nicely to the ice underneath, making for a solid, grippy surface. I got to ride some trails I've not ridden before, explore some areas I hadn't in the past, and didn't do much pushing at all. The only problem was in the areas where there had not been traffic. The snow was still powdery and loose over top of glare ice. No riding that, but it was such a small percentage of the riding that it didn't even bother me.
The day was prime for riding, too. Sunny. Calm. In the 20s and no one else was around. I spent about an hour and a half out there just putzing around. Brilliant.
Then comes Sunday. And whoa! It ended up being one of those days that just can't be beat. We volunteered to watch the GPRA chalet for the day as a way to give back and to be forced to disconnect a bit and relax in a beautiful location.
The morning started with some work - getting papers graded and all. Then the fun began. I decided to ride some of the snowshoe trails instead of heading down to Moose Range. And I am so glad I did. The riding was good but hard. Hard because it was all up hill. Good because the trails were awesome. It was in the mid thirties, probably and I was out there in the sun with a tee shirt on and just gutting it up hill, walking when I had to, then bombing back down the trail.
I got to where the trail stopped being flat at all and went into 'up we go' mode, where I figured I wouldn't be able to ride much at all, so I stopped to catch my breath and unzip my vest and noticed I had my work phone with me. So, I guess I decided a couple of pictures of the scene would be good.
Clearly, it was one of those perfect days to be out for a ride. Perfect.