Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Devil's in the Details

Oscar near Devil's Pass

There’s nothing like an overdue to trail ride to improve my outlook on life, so Saturday was a good day. Oscar the Grouch and I motored down to the Kenai Peninsula and then pedaled up to Devil’s Pass. My original plan was to ride all the way to Cooper Landing, but a one-way ride with the resulting car shuttle didn’t hold much appeal with only two riders, and the rest of our group chose to stay home and vaccum the rugs, or grout the tub, or some such shit.

That’s OK. By the time we finished the 10-mile climb and then tacked on an extra mile or two on the Resurrection Pass trail, I was satisfied, and my legs were feeling cooked after my biggest week of bike commuting in years. Aiming the front wheel downhill and enjoying the descent didn’t bother me at all.

The weather was dry and the ride was sweet. And when we got back to town, the tub grouters made me dinner, and we shot the shit over wine for a few hours.

In other news, today we have a fine new entry into the Fabulous Finger Gallery, courtesy of Dann and his buddy Matt, who flipped the bird during the recent OWL ride, a fund-raiser event in Omaha. Dann said 2,000 riders lit up their bikes and rolled through town for 16 miles. Sounds like a hoot. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Thanks for the pic, Dann.

And in a sad bit of news, several teenage hikers taking part in a NOLS course were attacked and mauled by a brown bear in the wilderness northeast of Talkeetna this weekend. Two of them suffered life-threatening injuries. Keep ’em in your thoughts and wish them a full recovery.

When stuff like this happens, it doesn’t matter who is a hiker, runner or mountain biker. All of us who find our fun in Alaska’s woods and backcountry face the same danger. It could happen to any of us.

May they heal quickly, and grow old with a story to tell.

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