Monday, November 28, 2005

Susitna dreams

Scenic drive back down the Peninsula today. A blanket of frost gave the trees a skeletal look and new snow oozed down evergreen branches like frosting; the air was as clear as a cold day and the sunrise sent steams of pink light down the whitewashed mountains. A rather rough freeze has transformed the Turnagain Arm into a boulderfield of ice. I looked out at the tortured seascape and instantly thought of Death Valley, a beautiful, rocky desolation born of heat, not ice.

We stopped at a bike shop in Anchorage and bought studded tires for our mountain bikes. And it looks like we'll have snowcover to practice on for a long time now. We returned home to nearly two feet of new powder on everything, as demonstrated by this photo - I call it "Geo Prison." We spent a better part of the clear and cold evening stamping through thigh-deep snow to find the snowshoe trail we've been working on.

Anyway, Geoff and I were so giddy at the prospect of extending the cycling season indefinitely that we picked up a brochure for the Susitna 100 and began planning our training regimen. We thought we were all bad because we even had thoughts of participating in a winter bike race that crosses snow-covered tundra during the deep freeze of subarctic night. But then we discovered the prohibitive entrance fee, regulating the races to those who have, well, a little bit more than blind gumption and gear. But (wink wink) if anyone out there - anyone at all - feels inspired to sponsor us in our efforts as virgin ice bikers tackling a decidedly hardcore bike race in the frozen north, we will proudly display your logo and our gratitude on this blog for as long as it takes. I'm not joking. Really. Why are you laughing?


  1. Jill

    You will love the studded tires. They work really well and given where you live, should be fun. At some point, you may have to upgrade to a Pugsly
    Now that would be the ultimate Alaska bike.



  2. I'm really interested in some of your packing and living details from your cross country cycling trip.

    My husband and I just did the Seagull Century ride in Maryland. Now we're entertaining the idea of a bike-and-camp-do-it-yourself trip.

  3. it would be really cool if someone paid your entry - that shynola's prohibitive.

  4. $20 from me! Seriously. Maybe you can be the All Bicycle Bloggers' sponsored team...heck, we're all into cycling whether it's real or whether it's in spirit.

    - TOB

  5. I recall snowboarding about a decade ago
    maybe longer
    on the days where we did not feel like the stress of trying to sneak past the lift operators we would just hike to the halfpipe
    this was extra humerous as I was a free rider not a halfpipe rider
    at the standard east coast hill there is not much all mountain free riding going on
    you make the best of what is offered
    that was the half pipe
    this was just before the day of the terrain park
    once we hiked onto the hill up to the snowboard park
    there was a contest with a five dollar entry fee
    the fee

    now I am a little more adult and just buy a life ticket
    the days of sketching and scamming are long behind me
    you may be able to volunteer for the event in one way or another and they may waive the entry fee
    stuff envelopes?
    design the t-shirt?

  6. your snow looks more enticing than the wavy, melting blacktop outside in front of my store.....I prefer the cooler climate over the oppressively hot. Snow fun.


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