Sunday, 2 June 2013

Anchored down in Anchorage

I had a few days in Anchorage to explore, get a few extra items and acclimatise before I left for Iditarod. The snow and ice was a novelty, the cold was strangely enjoyable.

Under the snow was the ice. Under the ice was the road. On top of the snow was the bike, on top of the bike was me. Sometimes, the bike was not on top of the snow, but on top of the ice. Then, with seemingly no provocation, I was on top of the ice - HARD. With my hands in the pogies, they were trapped and you'd go down with the ship - shoulder and hip first hubbard style. There was bound to be plenty of that in the coming weeks...

Followed the Chester Creek trail, a great mix of XC ski, walk and bike trail and the best alternative to mixing it with traffic on the road. First experience with overflow - the pressure of the ice forces the water up through cracks in the ice and snow, the water then flows and refreezes into a slick surface, or it can soften the surrounding ice to slush, making the surface very unpredictable. Overflow is not to be messed with, the ice might be a metre thick, or 3mm thick - and you might have still, icy water, fast flowing water, or a black void beneath. Riding over it without studded tyres is fun though.

The trail is very pretty, winding its way along the creek, through some tunnels, ending down at the Tony Knowles coastal trail. The lagoon is popular for ice skating and fatbike ice crits. I caught up with Billy Koitsch from Arctic Cycles, he has his bike hire stand here each weekend. Billy recently went for a longish ride though the frozen North, read a bit more on that adventure HERE.

Heading along the coastal trail straight into snow showers. The trail flow varies, largely due to the big 9.2 earthquake of '64 that dramatically changed the coastline, Alaska is still active in terms of 'quake activity.

The view NNW over Knik Arm. Normally you'd see the other side to Point MacKenzie, but today the snow showers set in with the wind blowing at 20Kn. Yes, they are ice floes out on the sea.

Anchorage sits at about 61 degrees N latitude, so during winter the sun never rises directly overhead, just travels in a low arc, colours of a sunset can last for hours when it pokes through the cloud - this pic was taken at about 2pm (despite what the camera metafile states, I didn't change the camera timezone).


End game today was the Kincaid recreation park - a dedicated multi-use snow park with groomed trails for XC skiers, snowshoers and fatbikers.

Home along the creek trail, the sky was ablaze with light. The Northern Lights activity was at medium, but with snow showers and cloud cover the visibility was zero.

I wanted to keep riding through the night, the atmospheric conditions were just perfect.


  1. Beautiful pics Troy keep them coming! What an amazing place! - Thank you for sharing them with us I can't wait to see more. :)

  2. Loving your ultimate adventure series Troy! What a trip!