02 November 2015


A good friend of mine introduced me to this.  The basic premise is that whilst on your way to/from work you meet up with a group of friends and have a coffee outside, enjoying nature and the company of other people. For me the location is not exactly on my way to work but getting a little ride in before work never hurt.

FYI you don't have to bring coffee to join us... and we really don't care if you brew your own or come with pre made.... its more about hanging out with people.

I have been going to these on and off since the 19th August 2015
My first #CoffeeOutside

My second #CoffeeOutside
As ever here in Anchorage we loose daylight rapidly as we approach winter and now when we meet for #CoffeeOutside its pretty dark. 

pre warm of the stove

showing off the reflective jackets

the dark doesn't stop us

reflections in the lake
The nice thing about not starting work until 11am is that when I meet with people for #CoffeeOutside I can get a nice ride in before work.
making a ride out of the morning

still riding on a chilly morning think it was around 28F on this day. 
Hopefully we will continue throughout the winter though I am sure not on a weekly schedule like we had been doing in the summer.  Who knows maybe I will see you out there. 
Another week another coffee. 

10 October 2015

Cyclocross round #7

Round #7 and the final round of the season took us out to the Jodhpur trailhead at Kincaid park.
This part of the park is very sandy and as with a lot of Kincaid has a mixture of singletrack, ski trials and social trails.  The course took in a mixture of all of these trail types and also included the always fun sand dune (may not be seen as fun after lap one).  This year the race directors and course planners managed to secure the use of a new section of flow singletrack at the edge of the motocross track. 

Course description

The course started off on a grass field and made its way over a set of barriers and through a couple of hairpin bends, we then headed out onto some ski trails with a couple of short climbs.  After negotiating a small hummock into some singletrack we continued on singletrack past the motorcross track and into the sand dune. This was a run up this year and for me a run down.  We then hit singletrack again and through some great bermed corners out onto another ski trail.  The ski trail had a few undulations and more hairpin turns before a short section of singletrack back onto ski trails and around to the start finish straight.

Christina managed to put together a short video which covers most of the course so you can get an idea of what we ride.  I even appear in it a couple of times.  Thanks Christina, great tunes too!

Last Race Arctic Cross from Christina Grande on Vimeo.

The kids race

Once again the kids race was split into balance bikes and pedal bikes.  Fiona had a great race, her best of the season so far.  She rode more than she has done in any of the other races. The course was mostly on ski trails and was a really long one with a couple of longer downhill sections which she managed to negotiate without drama.  I was very proud of her today. 
Fiona coming out of the final singletrack - photo credit Bria Johnston

The open race

Following the kids race it was time for the grownups to race, today I managed to get much better start however someone ahead of me going into the first singletrack section got held up and fell off effectively blocking me and many others, frustrating but all part of racing.  Once I had managed to pass this person (in the first dune run) I had a really good race and for my first time ever in a cross race I didn't get lapped. 
The course today was a fast one and I was battling it out for the whole race with my usual cross racing friends.  I managed to finally pass David after he thought it would be funny to brake check me at the top of the rise into the first section of singletrack.  I had also been chasing Ryan hard from the start of the race when I was held up, once again and lucky for me Ryan misjudged a corner allowing me to get really close to him.  I passed him then he took back over me and I finally passed him almost within sight of the finish line where we had a great sprint for the line.
I was pretty tired at the end. - photo credit Nathan Able
Race data from Strava

Lap data, 1st lap is not a full lap so time is way faster than it should be

Season round up

With a seven race series (only 5 of 7 races count) spread over 5 weeks there really isn't much time to change anything as you go along.  If you get sick and you race there is a good chance you will not be able to recover for the following weekend especially if you keep racing, this is exaggerated even more so with double header weekends.  I was lucky this year I had no mechanicals and only a minor cold which didn't seem to affect my racing.  
I came into this season on a cross bike rather than a mountain bike and I am still learning how the bike handles and where I can push it.  My technique on tight slippery corners and over barriers (dismount/remount) definitely needs some work but I am improving.  I was faster this year compared to last year, (looking back at who I have been racing against) however it would seem everyone else also got faster too.  My early season goal was to manage one race where I didn't get  lapped.  I think if i had not had issues with my lights battery at round one I may have managed it there but today on the final round I did manage it.

Points going into the final round

Going into this race I was sitting in 17th place in the points, as I write this I have no idea if I will have moved up or down but I do know I have had a lot of fun racing against Chris Jung, Erik Mundahl, Kevin Postma, Oscar Lage and David Henke (he has been making it harder for himself by choosing to race a singlespeed bike).  See you all next year for a fun packed season.

Finally I want to say what a great community we get to race in, I would not have been able to race as much as did this season without the support of a great bunch of racers and friends who helped me manage Fiona whilst I raced when Amanda was away or working.  Thank you all, you know who you are.

Finally, finally,  a huge THANKYOU to all the course designers, timers and great people who are Arctic Cross, you really make the season and all the events fun. Even when it was cold and wet you were all there with a smile and a cheer for seasoned racers or the person out there trying this sport for the first time. I don't think we can say thanks enough for that. 

05 October 2015

Winter is fast approaching

As we are fast running/riding into the end of cyclocross season here in Alaska it means the fun is about to change again..... Here comes WINTER!

Here are my photos from the 18th of September 2015.  The snow was up high so I drove up to Glen Alps and took a short ride from the trail head before work with Paul.
Looking at the view

watching for moose

big tyres

having a wheelie good time

more looking at the view
The next pictures are from the 1st of  October 2015, when I went on my second ride on snow for this years early season snow. I rode with Andrew and Josh, the snow had come lower down by this point, it was wet (the ground has not frozen up yet) and a little icy in places.  I am now really looking forward to when full winter arrives rather than this tease.

short cut on ski trails before we are banned from them

Singletrack means fun climbing

Singletrack climbing

regroup before more climbing

go go go!

and off we went

the trail was a little less used from here onwards. 

To get everyone in the mood and a little excited Andrew also put together a short video of the ride on the 1st October 2015.

Until next time happy trails everyone.