12 November 2014

Tropical storm Nuri wrecked our riding

When I looked at the weather forecast and saw how strong Tropical Storm Nuri was going to be I knew we were in for trouble.
Big ass low pressure
The storm was a big one and since the tail end of it hit on Saturday it has been warm and melting all the snow we had and I do mean all the snow. Temperatures have been in the 40's (F) and not really decreasing overnight.
The worst part is that the storm was so big it affected the Jet streams so we are not only stuck with the tropical temperatures they will be hanging around for about two weeks.  Its really annoying seeing people getting nice cold snowy weather and we get the miserable stuff.
Here is a temperature plot which they are predicting for the next two weeks :(
Some purple in Alaska would be nice.
Given any sort of snow riding is now not happening anytime soon and the local in town trails are a mixture of ice and mud Kevin and I did something drastic for Epic Ride Wednesday (ERW) we hit the roads on road bikes, well I was on a road bike Kevin is riding his drop bar bike its almost but not quite  a cross bike.

We met at our normal starting point, Carrs on Huffman and I bought us a couple of donuts, I was running a little late (sorry Kevin) as I couldn't find my gloves.  Riding in temperatures around 35 to 40 is not something we are used to doing , especially on the road.  Its pretty cold on the road and both of us are still working on getting the right layering systems to stay warm.
Road biking in November!
We headed out and cruised bike paths over to Jewel lake where we met up with Jimmy, today he wasn't able to ride with us but maybe next time.  After chatting with him for a while we hit the bike paths again and rode out to Kincaid, this is where we found our first noticeable patches of ice.  We chose to ride the road through Kincaid park which was mostly ice free.

At the chalet we stopped for a picture. 
Snow free Kincaid park
Then we headed off down the trail, there were no real ice patches until we were out by Point Woronzof.  We stopped along the way to reminisce about the World Single Speed Championship which was held in Anchorage in July and check out the trail conditions, other trails we had seen on the way in looked icy and muddy however this section of middle earth looked good.
SSWC 2014
This part of middle Earth looked dry the rest not so much
Passing point Woronzof we stopped again so I could get a photo.

Denali is somewhere in the cloud, probably snow there!
Obviously we stopped at this.
We cruised on towards Westchester Lagoon, stopping to get a couple more photos.
Bubbles under the ice
Bald Eagle 
Next stop was Westchester Lagoon, normally at this time of year people would be expecting to be able to start skating this lagoon, right now its just the ducks who are skating. 
skating ducks at West Chester Lagoon
From Westchester we headed along the chester creek trail to the university area, this is where the trails started to deteriorate.
starting to get icy
It was about now I wished I had studded tyres on my bike or if I was Kevin wished I had not taken the studs out. 
not fun on a road bike
Luckily the trail conditions improved once past Lake Otis Parkway and we were able to knock of the remaining miles fairly quickly.
Ice on Campbell Creek
We finished the ride close to where we started at Paramount Cycles.  In total we rode around 40 miles with a moving time of around 3 hours, clearly not setting the world alight with that time but at least we got out on bikes and both saw things we had not seen before.

With the way the weather pattern is set it looks like next week we will be road riding too.... :(
Take care all and stay safe.


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