This is not a news item, but it was news to me.Yesterday I was in Anchorage preparing to ride across town to visit Mitch Seavey’s newest tour attraction; a downtown Anchorage based sled dog exhibition. We will get to that later.I had 1 hour to ride across Los Anchorage, the town I most despise and most fear. This town is growing too fast and too wide, and I, being a Fairbanksan have learned to loath the big city. I had just purchased a new road bike, a product of my second job – working at a local Fairbanks bike and ski store (Goldstream Sports). I was attempting to find my way downtown through the bike paths. One thing this town has going for it is great bike paths.As I started riding, I had my GPS attached, I realized that the road bike was so efficient on the trails. My GPS would constantly blink and tell me to Slow Down – a product of my sprint race training, never wanting the let to young dogs run over 20 mph. The scenery is what grabbed me. Flying through the trails, the mountains and coast on my left and lush forest on my right, I had a strange feeling of happiness – this is a beautiful city. Forget all the 4-lane one way streets and 8-lane highways; this was a slice of joy. People were running, walking and cycling, smiling and saying hello. I was riding for gold. I rode as hard as I could to make it to the sled dog performance on time, and made it in the nick. The performance was brilliant, something never really seen in the sled dog world. It was like a circus act but very entertaining and educational. I will not go into the tour here, rather see the next issue of Mushing for that story.On the way home, pleasantly entertained and soothed by the beautiful view I rode just as hard, trying to beat my time. The airport is right next to the Coastal Trail and seeing the enormous jumbos land and take-off over head is thrilling. It looks like their wheels will skim your head, or take out a fence. But they glide on over elegantly, as elegant as a million ton beast can be.As I was riding through the forested part of the trail I turned a corner and on the trail was a young male moose. I stopped dead; thankfully my brakes had worn in enough for such an occasion. Being the former Moose Magnet, I saw the moose had lowered his head, laid back his ears and looked at my through the corner of his eye. I turned and high-tailed back to a pull-out. I waited for more riders to come. A couple went past the moose without realizing he was there and we all waited patiently for the moose to leave the trail. My only close encountered with moose on trails recently has been aggressive moose in Fairbanks, so I had my fear sensors working overtime. The other riders were taking in the beautiful beast. He moved and I continued my ride, racing an older guy up the “hill of death”. Every trail has a hill of death, it is either very exhaustive to ascend or dangerously thrilling to descend. This was the former. The old guy had a muscle base to challenge Lance Armstrong, and although I got him on the flats, he smoked me on the hill. I thanked him for the drive he gave me, and continued home.This city has so much to offer. I guess I will have to explore more parts to knock the stigma out of my head. It may be a big city, but like all big cities, it has a lot going on.
Racing in the ACE Race with Tonya Helm On this episode of the Mushing podcast,