January mileage: 460.7
Temperature upon departure: -10
Today's ride was sponsored by Shawn in Arizona. Shawn's site has some great pictures of desert places that I miss, especially when the temperature is -10.
Today I did a quick highway ride in the morning, rolling alongside the Matanuska River 11 miles from Palmer and back. But I finally succeeded in impressing my friend Craig with my biking prowess when I told him I rode by "The Butte" (which is about eight miles from his house.) "You rode all the way out there?" he said. He was amazed.
I had to finish up early because I had a lot to do today, but we did make it out to Goose Lake in Anchorage to catch the last few laps of the Frigid Bits race. I met Tim at the end of his 10-mile race, as well as a few of Anchorage's hardcore winter cycling enthusiasts. It was funny to meet so many people that knew "of" me, because of this blog.
But Frigid Bits looked like a fun race - about eight cyclists on the course when we arrived, all spread out across a small lake, tearing around hairpin turns and huffing and puffing through their neoprene masks as they went by. It was especially fun to watch this guy (photo), who raced 15 miles of lake ice on a track bike. He was cruising, too. Look how fast he's going! I couldn't even get the guy in focus, he was going so fast (OK, OK, so that's actually an effect of my camera handling skills and not his speed.) Still, he's cool. The only way I could ever dream of being cooler than him is to show up to the next Frigid Bits race on the yellow banana-seat huffy I rode as a 6-year-old. I wonder if I could get my mom to pull that out from storage.
This seems like the kind of race that could be huge in Alaska in a few years. They definitly have a good start. I actually used to work for the guy who started the whole Lotoja concept (he went to school at Utah State University, liked to play in Jackson, Wyo., and wanted to see if he could bicycle between the two in one day.) So I know it dosen't take much to build a real world-class event if you have to right mix of unique concept, dedicated organizers and a core group of rabid participants. So keep up the good work, guys.