Winter biking is getting some nice exposure in the winter issue of BLM Alaska Frontiers, a newsletter about public lands administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management.
A copy of the newsletter was passed along to me because of the cover story with the unfortunate headline, “Winter Biking—A Possibly Crazy Alaska Tradition.” I call the headline unfortunate because the story, written by BLM staffer Craig McCaa, makes the case that winter biking isn’t so crazy after all.
McCaa points out that winter biking in Alaska dates back to 1897, when participants in the Klondike Gold Rush had the idea of riding hard trails packed by dogs, horses and foot traffic. But even better, he writes about the White Mountains 100, a race that debuted last winter on BLM lands north of Fairbanks in the White Mountains Recreation Area.
Positive coverage of bicycling is always good, but it’s a rare treat when it appears in official government publications mailed to land managers. Those are the people we need on our side. Or, at the very least, we need them to see mountain biking and winter biking as popular and legitimate uses of public lands.
Eventually, they might stop thinking of us as crazy.