Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Breakup is the worst time to be a cyclist in Anchorage. The riding surfaces vary from dry pavement, to wet pavement, to ice, to slush, to pools of water containing chunks of ice the size of basketballs. And that’s only in the first block.

The picture above? That’s the entrance to my cul-de-sac. Every spring when the first warm weather hits, water pools and threatens to flood a neighbor’s garage until a city crew shows up with a steam wand to open a drainage ditch that they’ve clogged with a winter’s worth of snow from the street.

Even if I wanted to try, I couldn’t pedal out of here without submerging my feet. And before I could get far, I’d be swamped by a wave of muddy water thrown up by car or pickup. (Maybe I should quit whining and buy a wetsuit.)

This is purgatory. No-man’s land. The big thaw. The great unrideable goo. There’s nothing to do but bide my time on the trainer and wait for conditions to dry out. If the weather holds, it should take only a couple more weeks. Things should improve just about the time I have to leave for a bikeless week in Juneau and Sitka.

Inspiration for the blog might suffer during these difficult days.

Bear with me. Be gentle.

I’m fragile right now.


the old bag said...


Those of us who can...

WE WILL band together to ride outside for those who can't.

WE WIll take-in the smell of warm sunshine on the damp snow-free earth for those whose nostrils are taking-in...ummm...nothing!

WE WILL turn the cranks for hours on the sandy pavement edge for those cranking away on the trainer.

WE WILL revel in the first shoots of weeds poking through the grime in the roadside ditch just for those forced to ride while looking at the cement blocks of their basement walls.

It will be tough but...

...I'd probably better stop now....


Seriously, peace. It's a tough time of year!

Shawn Kielty said...

The break up has already happened here (during the precambrian period). It will be nice when the snowbirds go home. So I hope the breakup is quick. The temps here rise, but right now it's just paradise. I wish I could offer some sympathies. Come for a visit.

Anonymous said...

Hm.. I have yet to find a puddle on an Anchorage road deep enough to submerge the BB or to prevent me from keeping my feet dry cranking with small rocking motions. YMMV.

Tim said...

Good for you, anonymous.

Yeah, maybe I could ratchet the pedals through 40 feet of water and ice chunks and then hop up the ice ledge.

Silly me. Why didn't I think of that?

Maybe because I was just trying to make a fucking point.

Tim said...

TOB: I guess after all my humorous "support" of Jill and others in their winter races, I deserve the payback!

Ride for me, baby!

Have a good time in Arizona!