March 27

March 27 Rite to Anchorage 

Yeah,I know, I am always saying I never ride to Anchorage, But, I was inspired by the ONE reason I ever have to go to anchorage, and that is to visit the great folks at Alaska leather. 

I walked outside in sunny Knik at about 2 30 PM, and decided the heat of the day was upon me and I had to ride. But where shall I ride too? I have had myself convinced that I needed a good set of riding pants now for a while. Believe it or not, My lined carheart bibs have been suiting me well with a couple layers of fleece on underneath. However, eventually it is going to get warm enough to rain, and those bibs will suck when that happens.

I swear, the sun was out and it was beautifull riding weather when I left Knik. Heading east on KGB, I did noticed the hazy/percipitation/ whatever over up against pioneer. I dismissed it as typical weather hold up tight against the chugatch. I would miss it by miles.  I did plan to ride back through the Butte, but that weather would sure be gone by the time I returned.

The road into anchorage was pretty uneventful. It was blowing pretty good on the flats, and the clouds were spitting at me, but otherwise not to bad. I did get a little chuckle when I passed a snowmachine that was running across the flats south of the bridges, and another when I passed a dogsled and team on the trail by the highway in Chugiak. Got to love Alaska!

There were small areas of water on some of the roads fr4om melt, but the rain was not enough to make the roads wet. I had a suspicion that they were slippery though, o, I took it pretty easy. Once in anchorage, I decided to take 4th ave to C street, instead of fighting th traffic on 5th ave. $th ave was very wet with meltwater, and the intersections featured extensive gravel traps, but, the traffic wasn't bad. 

I jockied around a little through the streets to get to Minnesota. Bootlegger cove was wet but otherwise not to bad. I turned left on Spenard, avoided hitting the crack whore, and whipped a uie ( it think that how you spell it) into Alaska leather.  

As always, my experience at Alaska leather was fabulous. They let me take my time, and move into their dressing slash bathroom for an hour trying on different pants. I had a particular brand in mind to match my jacket, but, I ended up buying First Gear pants instead because they were more comfortable, and seemed to fit my unique (ha, ha) body a little better, than the brand I wanted. It is good to encounter salespeople who understand that the customer is not always right, and sometimes needs a little encouragement to make a good decision. 

Before I walked out, they talked me into a great deal on a Large Marci tank bag to replace the smaller one that I simply love. The small one is now for sale on craigslist.  I wore my new pants right out of the store and back on to my bike. I am so glad I did, becausee it rained most of the way back to the valley. 

Gear sure makes riding enjoyable, its not even just about the endorphin laced buying experience either. Good gear is genuinely valuable. When I am n my cocoon of good riding gear, I am warm and comfortable so I can concentrate on the beauty of the ride, instead of the misery of cold days at 80 MPH. I also feel pretty good about myself knowing that I am doing everything humanly possible to mitigate some of the risks of my chosen endeavor. 

I chose to to take the old glenn (again) you would think I would have learned my lesson last week, but, I had a stop to make in the Butte, and it seemed logical. Though the road was wet from melt and rain all the way, I didnt detect that is was overly slippery. I stopped a few times
to take a picture of the obvious winter weather that was taking place on the slopes above me, and rode on, carefully, but enjoyably.

My stop in the butte took me well into darkness.. I was more than a little nervous when I left that the roads had frozen. Within a mile or so, I rode out of the wet roads and had a fairly safe and sane ride back to knik. 

One little issue though, is that my headlight, I think gave up the ghost. I hope it is the light and not the switch. I will take it apart to day, and do the necessary troubleshooting. I may wire up a relay at the same to make my Piaa's easier to deal with.  Thank God, I had my PIAA''s as back up. I know they give a sunburn to other traffic, but people almost never don't see me coming, and the moose run away from them. 

I returned to Knik at about 930 PM, My hands were just starting to feel the chill even with the grips on high. But the rest of my  body encased in appropiet layers of kevlar, balistic nylon, and fleece was very comfortable.

Thank you again to Alaska leather for all their insight and help!

See you all on the trail...