Posts Tagged ‘goofing off’

An afternoon on the snowbike..

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

With a Monday free of family and work commentments, I loaded the snow bike up in the truck and headed out to the White Mountains NRA. The trailhead was largely empty, besides a ranger from BLM who was unloading his snow machine. I unloaded the bike, let Remus out, and headed off to go have some fun.
The trail was a bit soft, but ridable.

It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, though a bit breezy at times. Several weeks of snow and wind have made an interesting snowscape..

By the end of the day it was pretty windy on the hills, with a fair bit of blowing snow. It was fairly warm, perhaps 15f or so, so it was not cold, and very beautiful.

Wind in the Whites from J C on Vimeo.

I ended up biking about 30 miles in 6 hours or so – so nothing particularly epic nor fast, but a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. The trail softened up quite a bit in the late afternoon and I ended up pushing a fair bit, but it was not the end of the world to push for a while.

This was my first long day trip with my new 100mm Flattop rear wheel. I got this rear wheel built up for cabin trips and so for it has been a bit of a mixed bag – they add quite a bit of float in really soft conditions, but the price you pay for this is a fair bit of extra rolling resistance. They also are a bit tricky to get the bead seated on them correctly. It took me several tries to get the tire mounted on them in a somewhat round manner with the seated fairly evenly on the rim – not really the experience you would expect from a $120 rim.. I ended up gluing the most troublesome side down as with the loose fit I was not confident that they would not slip when I was running low pressures. Also a bit disappointing – perhaps my 70mm UMA IIs from speedway have spoiled me, but it should be unnecessary to glue tires on these days.

A Change of Seasons

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

A couple of days ago I went for a ride and it was still Fall…

Then Winter arrived..

And is apparently here to stay.

Here’s to a fun and full winter! There is snow outside, go play in it and have fun!

Blah,blah, blah.. and so I went biking

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Spring in Fairbanks is a mixed blessing – its nice and warm with long days and tons of sunlight, but the snow is mostly gone so no skiing, but there is a still enough to make hiking (at least on the interesting trails) marginal, and the trails are still too wet for good mountain biking. The road biking is pretty nice though, as so when I ended up with a idle Thursday away from work I decided to go for a mid length bike ride of around 50 miles and go explore some roads I have not been on before. I am a fan of gravel roads, and tried to plot out a route that included ~20 miles or so of gravel. My plan was to take Sheep Creek Rd to Murphy Dome road, then take Spinach Creek Rd to Old Murphy Dome road across to the Eliot highway, then back on Goldstream. This was Google’s suggestion for my route. The first 13 miles or so were fun and fast and after several steep climbs I reached the end of the asfault and the start of the dirt. Just before the end of the pavement there was a road crew making repairs of some sort…

Soon after passing the road construction I reached the end of Spinach Creek Road and turned onto Old Murphy dome road. I had not been out this way in quite a while, and the last time I was out this way I was skiing on trails that parallel the road, so I was not sure what to expect. The views from the road were fantastic – besides the weird clearcuts that is. There were lots of cleared land off the side of the road, in strange places… very odd as the trees are all black spruce with a “large” one being about 6″ around – not exactly the sort of tree loggers dream of.

Old Murphy dome road was is great shape, with lots of nice gravel and had some really fun descents. I Eventually reached what appeared to be the end of the road, or at least were the road turned from gravel to mud..

There was however a really nice well maintained road heading off north, so I took that on the off chance it hooked up with Murphy dome road again. Alas, it dead ended after several miles, leading only to a number of small houses. A dog jumped out at me and gave me a start, but he turned out to be quite friendly, as did his owner. I talked to him for a moment and got conformation that the muddy road that I decided to skip was actually the road I wanted, and headed back out to find it again. The road turned out to be not that bad – there was only 4 miles or so of mud and it was mostly bikable except for a quarter mile or so were I ended up pushing as my slicks were just spinning out.

I did not feel too bad, as I could see tracks from a mountain bike and they ended up pushing about as much as I did on my road bike. Eventually the mud disappeared and the biking sped up – wahoo.

The dirt road continued on for a while, and then turned back into a maintained gravel road.

The gravel continued on for a short distance until I reached the Eliot Highway and then it was back to pavement.

The final 20 miles or so were mostly on pavement and not all that exciting as I have had biked them lots of times before – they zoomed by fairly quickly and after a snack at Goldstream General store I was back home. All in all it was a great way to spend my mid morning and mid afternoon.

First road ride of the season without studs

Monday, April 5th, 2010

As the ski season is winding down, I decided to get on the road bike and go for a spin. I ended up with a morning 30 mile loop on the road bike Monday morning with Tom. This was my first ride of the season without studs. I don’t have a “real” road bike, but have a cross bike and it can run large (~40mm) studded tires which are nice for the shoulder seasons when the trails are too soft or bumpy for good snow biking. Alas, the studs are super slow on ice free pavement and as the roads are mostly ice free now I took them off for the ride. It was hard getting out of the driveway but the rest of the ride was ice free and fun.

It was really nice to be back on the road bike – I had forgotten how fast and fun it is. We did a fairly mellow loop – 30 miles in about 2 and half hours.

Our ride took us by one of Fairbanks many oddities – a partially dissembled plane parked in a vacant lot.

Its rumored that the owner is planning on turning the plane into a rental unit. It would make for a unique place to life, thats for certain.
The trip back down my driveway was a lot more traumatic than going out – the driveway is on a slight hill and with narrow slick road tires it was a bit tricky making it down without wiping out.

I made it down with only one wipe out, which was success of a sort.

Happy spring everyone!

The End of Autumn and the Beginning of Winter

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Winter is descending on Fairbanks.  We have our first snow and it appears to be sticking until spring.  Time to put away the packrafts and get the skis out.  

The first snow is a exciting time for the dogs.  They know that soon ski season will arrive and with it lots and lots of dog trips!

Tom and I went on a 2 hour bike ride around part of the Scarland Ski trail with a side trip to KUAC tower.  The Scarland trail is OK riding but a bit “rooty” in some sections, but makes up for it with the fast narrow sections with are quite a blast on a bike.  This was the first time in about 6 years I have biked the Scarland trail – its normally something I only do on skis, and it whet my appetite for skiing.  Hopefully in a month I can do it again on skis.. More snow!