Sunday, September 6, 2009

Road trip

Here's a few photos from my weekend trip north to Anchorage and Palmer to explore some local mountain bike trail systems there.
Being a holiday weekend, I did the opposite of everyone from the big city, many of whom fled south to my backyard.
I went up to theirs while they were all gone. Pretty sweet how that works.

On Friday Chris and I rode the hillside trails in Anchorage. Anchor town has miles of bike trails, but the sweetest bunch zig zag their way up the gas line trail from the base of the Hilltop Ski area, swooping back down with lots of banked corners and switch backs. Along the way we met up with Ethan and Josh, who'd ridden from across town. They were about ready to do battle with the bears for some rotten berries, so we made another lap or two and went back into town for brews and food at Josh's.

Anchorage Bowl.

Looking down the gas line trail.

Saturday was another unbelievably gorgeous day. Ethan, Chris and I loaded up the suby and drove north to Palmer where we went to my friend Tony's shop.
Tony gave us the 401 on some Mat-Su Valley trails he's been talking up for some time.
The goods were better than good, lets just say. The Palmer trails are one of a kind in these parts. The single track portions connect high speed sections of double track. In the woods the narrow trails whip between tight boreal forest growth and open hardwood sections. The end of the loops passes though the University of Alaska Fairbanks Matanuska Experiment Farm (LINK) sends riders through lush grassy green field with panoramic views of the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains.
With all the fall foliage nearing peak and the pastoral backdrop I felt like we should be going to pick apples and drink cider after the ride.

The trails are complex and pretty well marked, but we had to stop at many an intersection and re-orient. Chris kept us on track.

Tearing through the narrow little trails the colors all blur together like some kind of two wheeled psychedelic trip, man.

Could almost pass for a trail system in New England on an early fall day.

Except the views are definitively Alaska.

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