Monday, December 18, 2006

Solstice with soul

We’re entering the darkest depths, folks. Thursday will have only 5 hours, 26 minutes and 54 seconds of daylight. If you can call it daylight when it comes through the thick layer of clouds that will probably be parked over Anchorage like one of those big-ass, doomsday alien ships in Independence Day.

But the beauty is in the details, because Thursday is the winter solstice, which means it’ll be as dark as it’s gonna get. On Friday, we gain 6 seconds and begin the glorious, light-gaining march to summer. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, what is? And could there possibly be a better way to celebrate than doing something silly on a bike?

That was a trick question. We all know there’s no better way to celebrate than to do something silly on a bike.

So Thursday will be the day of the first Silly Solstice Ride. And you should be there, because who knows if there will ever be another? By next year, the whole organization could fall victim to bankruptcy, fraud, embezzlement scandals and indictments.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re invited. So charge your lights and blow the dust off your bike if you’ve been too lazy to ride so far this winter. Hell, you don’t even need studded tires because the trail is groomed snow—knobbies will get the job done.

The ride will begin at 7 p.m. by Trailwatch Headquarters (the old police substation) at Westchester Lagoon, and head south on the Coastal Trail toward Kincaid Park. We’ll ride south for an hour or so, with all the wine and chocolate breaks we deem necessary, then stop and enjoy the view for a few minutes before turning around and heading back toward the lagoon.

This will be a slow-paced social ride. Anyone attempting a breakaway will be chased down, stripped of their pants and forced to ride back with one hand while trying to protect their goodies with the other.

And because it’s the darkest day of the year, we’ll brighten that sucker up with as many lights as possible. Headlamps, blinkin’ butt lights, glow sticks, disco balls, strobe lights, whatever ya got.

Fire 'em up, folks. Only six months to go until we’re ridin' on dirt again.


Chris said...

Is that a road you are riding on??

Tim said...

No, I took that shot last winter while riding home from work. I was on a paved bike path that was covered with snow. One of the great things about Anchorage is that we have a large network of such bike/ski trails that help us reduce our exposure to traffic while get around town.

D A N O said...

The lack of sunlight up there would most likly kill me.

And I thought I had it bad here.

Tim said...

I always tell people we don't have a shortage of sunlight, we just have it distributed differently. Come June, we'll have a shitload of it!

gwadzilla said...

it is an ugly website with some beautiful pictures

inovation and an amazing moment in time

I am sure that there are some who still bring up in conversation that they were at Woodstock
that was a passive activity

the people of the early mountain biking were living a moment in history as active participants

I think it is worth talking about

Tim said...

I didn't mean to suggest in my earlier post, gwadzilla, that Kelly, Fisher, Breeze and all the others weren't part of a major turning point in mountain biking. I've read numerous articles about them over the years and they were undeniably innovative and influential.

But I have a problem with anyone claiming to be the inventor of the mountain bike when it is well documented that many people were doing about the same thing at about the same time in various places.

Often when innovation occurs in science and technology, people find that others were working on the very similar ideas and were very close to the same breakthroughs.

At the risk of oversimplification, the Marin County gang basically figured out how to put road-bike derailleurs and gears on fat-tire bikes so they could ride more terrain. Others were dabbling in the same thing in those days, and plenty of people had already taken bikes to forest roads and fire roads to goof around.

Guys like Gary Fisher were quick to turn the idea into a product they could brand and market, and they made big money. Fisher, more than anyone, keeps making big money by using persuasive advertising to project an image of being "the guru," the guy who invented it all.

That's good business and successful marketing. But factually, it's bullshit.

gwadzilla said...


the leap from the first production mountain bike to Fisher bikes was more than likely a journey that occured without ease

it was not a get rich scheme that happened over night
nor was it a winning lotto ticket

it was the pursuit of a passion

I believe that these guys deserve the credit they get in mountain bike history

as I mentioned in my email there is a similar idea of innovation/invention with the snowboard

the ski with a metal edge existed
and these guys Sims and Burton independently at the same time made what would be known as snowboards

just as people rode bikes off road since the day of the bike
there had been skurfers and other snowboard like devices
maybe someone stood up on their sled
maybe somebody stood up on the cafeteria tray

but Burton and Sims took it to the next level

the fact that that they failed to see the metal edge on the ski as being vital to the snowboard slowed the evolution for another decade


it took their primative designs to get things started in the evolution of what is today the snowboard

enjoy your day
time to walk the dog and then mount up on the bike and head to work
coffee is in my belly
waiting for caffiene to hit my brain

Snakebite said...

Sounds like fun! I'd come except for the 3210 mile drive to get there.