Seven days of dirt

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The only antidote to working seven days a week is riding seven days a week.  Of course, you can imagine the resultant sleep schedule, especially as days grow longer than eighteen hours, technically.  On a clear night, the sky never goes completely dark.  On one night after work, I rode laps around the network of trails at Kincaid with some friends. As they turned towards home, I pointed my tires towards the beach to revive a smoldering campfire.  Out of my framepack I revealed a pack of sausages, buns, a bunch of carrots, and a small brick of cheese.  Lael rode out the Coastal Trail after work– after midnight– for a late evening dinner.  We enjoyed a never-ending twilight until turning home past 3 AM.  This is summer in Alaska.

This past week, I’ve chased trails every night of the week.  The riding is different and fun.  Dirt is different than snow.  Everyone I know was riding trails for the first time last week, except I was riding for the second, third, fourth…

Thanks to everyone who joined me last week, including Kevin, Lucas, Rob, Ryan, Henna, Jeff, Dan, Abe, Hobbs, Clint, Daniel, Brian, Charlie, and of course, Lael.  May the season be rocky and rooty for all.

Kevin is especially committed to riding.  We partnered on several rides to the Campbell Tract, Kincaid, and the Kepler-Bradley trails in the valley.  He’s putting some serious work on his new All City Macho Man Disc cross bike.  

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If only so I don’t forget what a great week it has been, and what great fun can be found in town, here is a quick tour of the local trails and characters.

 

Day 1: Work to Campbell Creek Trail, Campbell Tract trails, and home; with Kevin Murphy

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Day 2: Work to Coastal Trail, Kincaid STA trails (round and round and round), home via Raspberry and C Street; with Kevin, Abe and Hobbs

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Day 3: Work to meet at Tastee Freeze for ice cream cone, to Kincaid STA trails (round and round and round), to the Bluff Trail, then home via Middle Earth and the Coastal Trail; with Kevin, Rob, and Ryan (Abe, Hobbs, Erin; Clint and Laura on the trail)

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Day 4: Work to Kincaid STA trails (round and round and round), then home via Raspberry and C Street; with Dan Bailey

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Day 5: Work to Kincaid STA trails (round and round and round), then down the Bluff Trail to the beach at midnight to revive a smoldering fire, roast hot dogs and drink beers with Lael until 3AM, home via Coastal Trail; with Jeff and Henna, Lael meets after work past midnight, walks through intertidal waters to find me

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Day 6: Work to Coastal Trail to Kincaid STA trails (round and round and round), then home via Raspberry and C Street to Campbell Creek Trail, swimming in Campbell Creek; with Lucas O’Loughlin

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Day 7: Work, then catch a ride out to Kepler-Bradley Trails in Palmer to ride melange of trails amongst kettle lakes and glacial moraines, including buff flow trail, rooty singletrack, and wide XC ski trail; with Kevin Murphy, Charlie, Brian, and Daniel  

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Anyone planning to come up to Anchorage for Singlespeed World Championships (SSWC) in July?  The event will be held out at Kincaid, which hosts miles of fun trail and epic in-town scenery.

Anyone looking for a 19″ (Large) Mukluk near Anchorage?  It’ll be for sale next week.

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13 thoughts on “Seven days of dirt

    • The mind is never made up, I’ve learned.

      The initial build will be a steel frame, carbon rims, 120mm fork, medium-wide 29″ tires, wide carbon bar, Brooks saddle. Should be fun. Should be a bike in about two weeks. Until then, I’m working on selling the Mukluk and the Dually 29+ wheelset.

        • Tom, I considered a custom frame, but cannot justify it yet as there are still production bikes that satisfy my basic needs. When describing what I would want out of a custom, I said “mostly like a Krampus”. As such, I’ve got a Krampus frame in the mail. If it feels anything like the Mukluk with the suspension fork, I’ll be very happy with it.

    • Still using Olympus cameras. In fact, I just acquired an OMD E-M5 to replace the broken E-P3. However, most of the time when I am riding I still prefer to pack the old E-PM1 with Panasonic 20mm 1.7 lens.

      • I also find it easier to snap away while riding with a smaller camera. Say hi if you ever come to SA – even better, we can put in some miles.

        • I’m finding my preferred limits when it comes to a packable system camera. The E-PM1 with a small lens is great, but not the easiest to use as a result of limited external controls. The OM-D E-M5 is a great full-featured camera, but I can’t throw it over my shoulder due to the EVF and I often change settings by accident when packing or handling it. The E-P3 was almost perfect, in retrospect as it had a very bright screen, only one small external dial, and a very wearable design. I might pick up another before heading off this summer. I could always add an EVF if I wanted, but I am not sure how important that is to me, especially as I look back on what I have captured in the last few years.

          We have already been talking about visiting SA. I’ve noticed flights from Istanbul to Johannesburg are about $350. Could be a good escape from winter.

          • The E-M10 seems capable too.

            I live and work in the Gauteng province and am planning a trip towards the end of our Winter. Eastern/ Western Cape region. Amazing dirt roads and accessible via Cape Town or George airports. We do have cold days in Winter; the warmer days I’d imagine comparable to summer in Alaska! Summer in Cape & Karoo can be extremely tough. I’ve sent contact info to your gmail account.

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