15 January 2015

For my birthday I went riding

Another year older and possibly wiser, hmmm maybe not.

As the "winter" rolls on here in Alaska (it doesn't feel like winter when its 40+F) I am continuing my steady riding schedule in preparation for the Su100.  This week Kevin and I took a ride out around the trails in Willow, AK.  

Adam and Angie have recently moved out to Willow and Adam very kindly offered to guide us around his local trails.  The trails he lives near are maintained by the Willow Trails Committee and are currently in great shape.  It seems Willow has somehow managed to escape the chinooks that have been slamming Anchorage and the Kenai peninsular and they still have frozen trails with some snow, they could do with more snow but at least we were able to ride on some whiteish snow.

Adam took us for a 25mile loop from his house taking in a bit of everything the local trail network has to offer from open lake miles, swamp miles with some overflow to undulating wooded single-width snow machine trails.  We also managed to ride part of the Su100 course which means at least I know what the trail will be like at around mile 60 of the race, albeit riding from the opposite direction.
red line is the part of the Su course I have ridden, although the opposite direction to when I race.

The route we took

A couple of things I noticed about the area out there;
Its flat, I'm so used to riding with a little elevation change but out there not so much, a couple of undulations but mostly flat, there was very little freewheeling. 
There are a lot more trees than I was expecting, 
The trails are all marked and the maps are available online to download and print off or from the local gas station.
It was easy and fun to rack up the miles. 
The area is home to a number of dog mushing teams and whilst out on the trails we bumped into two different teams.  Also all the trails we rode were groomed which made for very pleasant riding, if we ever get any more snow the trails will just get smoother and faster according to Adam.

Now for some photos.
Long Lake

Route explanation from Adam

Wood pecker has been here

Trail discussion

Fantastic groomed trails

Lunch stop lean

Part of the Su 100 course 

the second dog sled team we saw.

more lake miles

exit from the lake

one of the small sections of overflow

homeward bound on long lake

We finished the ride and got to share some beer with our hosts, thanks for having us guys and hopefully we will be back again soon.

When we arrived back in Anchorage I spent the evening with my family, we had a great meal and I even got to blow out some candles from my dessert, thanks for not putting all of them on Amanda wouldn't have wanted to burn the house down or set off the smoke detector again. I got to open my gifts and cards.  All in all a wonderful birthday.  I am already looking forward to seeing what the next year has install for me. 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great birthday! Have biked a couple of times out there - miles of trails! And it's always a bit colder in Willow, thus the better trail conditions. Maybe that's why the mushers like it.