Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A long way to go

Leonardo on Paper Plate.

I was watching sunlight on the Kenai mountains yesterday, and thinking about the massive amount of snow in the high country. That’s when it hit me that we might not be riding over passes until July. Hell, I’ve walked across big snow patches on Resurrection and Devil’s passes as late as Fourth of July weekend, and that was after winters milder than this one.

It’s been a big snow year in Southcentral Alaska. Anchorage averages 63 inches per winter, and we’re over 100 inches so far this season. That’ll mean wet, sloppy conditions for road biking this spring. And unless we get a couple of months of freakishly warm, dry weather, we can pretty much forget an early taste of riding Anchorage dirt on Memorial Day weekend. We’ll be lucky if the Hillside trails are dry enough for the traditional June 1 opening.

Right now, singletrack conditions might be the best we’ll see for the next four months. March is usually the greatest snow-bike riding of the year, and we’re primed for a great month as long as Mother Nature doesn’t hit us with a bunch of nasty, late-winter storms.

I plan to savor the conditions while I can, because the snow trails will be fading in a few weeks, and we’re still a hell of a long way from summer singletrack.


Phil B said...

Agreed. I hit up Far North last weekend and the trails were awesome. I can only imagine that after this week they will be even better. Being a skinny-tire guy, I could handle things getting a bit more packed, but I'll take anything I can get. In a way February and March remind me of getting ready to fly somewhere when I used to be a smoker instead of a biker. I'd smoke as much as a could before getting on the plane, hoping to squirrel away enough of the drug to keep me over until touchdown. Yup, I'll be smoking the miles this month and next...

MrDaveyGie said...

I hear ya, the snow riding is leaving us in Iowa too, and it wasn't much of a season. But tomorrow gives me one more day of snow under my tires.