Saturday, July 2, 2022

Anticipate your body's needs

The riding season has heated up and each ride has felt dryer, dustier, and hotter than the last. We were talking about the heat after Wednesday's Kincaid ride and how 70 degrees here in Anchorage feels much hotter than in the Lower-48. Long daylight hours, the angle of the sun - this article in the Alaska Beacon touches on some of the reasons. It also talks about the impact the current conditions have on our bodies.

Not only is it hot and dry, but we also have had wildfire smoke originating in or drifting into Anchorage. I could smell it while riding at Kincaid, but not until I had been riding hard for a few miles - maybe not the best approach for a poor air quality day. What's a mountain biker to do?

We're often told to listen to our bodies, but sometimes our bodies don't send us a message until we've gone too far: dehydration, fatigue, cramps, and worse can result. I'm not going to tell anyone to not bike while it's smoky, but we shouldn't aim for a personal best in those conditions!

Some electrolyte mixes from my cupboard.
(Not an endorsement of any one product.)
 

What I will recommend is that you be careful to hydrate. I carry two kinds of hydration: in my Camelbak, I carry fresh water - enough for the expected length of the ride, plus a bit more. On my bike I carry a bottle filled with an electrolyte drink that helps restore some of the sodium, potassium, and magnesium lost through sweat or urine. When you are low on these, you're more likely to develop muscle cramps and possibly have other physical issues like headaches and muscle spasms, according to this article. (You can consult any number of articles to learn more about this topic.) When you begin feeling fatigued from a long ride, you are also more likely to crash - and none of us needs that!

As we enter another week of warm sunny weather, don't just listen to your body, anticipate what she will need for the activities you have planned. Bring water, an electrolyte replacement drink, and extra snacks on your rides or hikes. If you drive to a trailhead, have more cold drinks waiting in a cooler. Don't worry about setting a personal best on a trail - take time to enjoy the views and snack breaks with friends. Your muscles will thank you!


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Ride the Burn! Thanks to you and you and you!

The Hemlock Burn Trail in Chugach State Park has been approved by the park and is open to ride from top to bottom! The new singletrack connects Glen Alps with Prospect Heights and then to the network of Hillside singletrack trails. 

Learn more here.

This is just one of many trail projects that your membership has supported through disbursing funds that exceeded any ride permit fees, insurance, or other expenses (such as prizes). So, thank you for becoming a member and helping to support the fantastic trails we get to enjoy here in Anchorage!

Riding the lower Burn. Photo by Nancy.

A mellow section of the lower Burn. Photo by Rose.

Check out the ride schedule on this site and RSVP on the Meetup for a Solstice loop ride (June 22) from Prospect Heights, up South Rim and the Powerline and then back down on the new Hemlock Burn!


Friday, June 3, 2022

Dirt riding schedule!

 June is here and the dirt riding is great... if a little dusty! It has been fun to have so many people show up for the Wednesday evening rides, and so far we've had enough leaders to divide into different skill levels. We do have a couple of requests:
    1)    If you can lead a ride, please contact Jo-Ann through the Meetup site so she can sign you up to lead.
    2)    If you are a member and plan to attend a ride, please RSVP that you will be there.

These two things help us plan the rides for everyone. Plus, the more we have organized early in the season, the more time we have to ride!

The rides are posted on Meetup. Here's the schedule from June - September:  

 

RIDES BEGIN AT 7:00 pm

June 1     7:00 pm
Jodhpur Trailhead: Kincaid Park singletrack ride!

June 8     7:00 pm     Dirt trails: wide and singletrack mix
Abbott Loop Community Park Trailhead: explore Campbell Tract and Far North Bicentennial Park

June 15    7:00 pm    Hillside singletracks
Far North Bicentennial Park: meet at the bottom of Drone Lane

 

June 22     7:00 pm    South Rim - Hemlock Burn loop.
Prospect Heights Trailhead in Chugach State Park (State Parks sticker or day-use fee required)

 

June 29      7:00 pm    Singletrack trails
Jodhpur Trailhead: Kincaid Park 

 

July 6    7:00 pm        Hillside singletracks
Far North Bicentennial Park: meet at the bottom of Drone Lane

 

July 13    7:00 pm    Mix of wide and singletrack trails
Abbott Loop Community Park trailhead: explore Campbell Tract and Far North Bicentennial Park

 

July 20    7:00 pm    Singletrack trails
Jodhpur Trailhead: Kincaid Park 

 

July 27    7:00 pm    Hillside singletracks
Far North Bicentennial Park: meet at the bottom of Drone Lane
 

 

August 3    7:00 pm South Rim - Hemlock Burn loop
Prospect Heights Trailhead in Chugach State Park (State Parks sticker or day-use fee required)


August 10    7:00 pm    Singletrack trails
Jodhpur Trailhead: Kincaid Park

 

August 17     7:00 pm    Hillside singletracks
Far North Bicentennial Park: meet at the bottom of Drone Lane

 

August 24    7:00 pm    Singletrack trails
Jodhpur Trailhead: Kincaid Park

 

August 25    7:00 pm    Hillside singletracks
Far North Bicentennial Park: meet at the bottom of Drone Lane
 

 

RIDES BEGIN AT 6:30 pm       

September 7    6:30 pm    Mix of wide and singletrack trails
Abbott Loop Community Park trailhead: explore Campbell Tract and Far North Bicentennial Park

 

September 14    6:30 pm    Singletrack trails
Jodhpur Trailhead: Kincaid Park 


RIDES BEGIN AT 6:00 pm

September 21    6:00 pm    Mix of wide and singletrack trails
Abbott Loop Community Park trailhead: explore Campbell Tract and Far North Bicentennial Park 


September 28    6:00 pm    Singletrack trails
Jodhpur Trailhead: Kincaid Park


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Ride and Event schedule: Spring 2022

(Originally posted on 4/27/22)

May is just around the corner and the snow is melting fast! That means it's time to prepare for the dirt riding season - hopefully to begin by late May this year. As always, our official rides are on Wednesday evenings, with events on other days added by members. Please add events to the Meetup site.


 

Before you ride:
Use the Alaska Dirt Divas Meetup site to RSVP the rides you plan to attend (links included)
Sign up to lead or co-lead a ride - we always need leaders and sweeps!
Have your bike and yourself ready to ride at the scheduled time
Remember to bring your helmet

May 11     6:30 pm     First ride of the season!
Chuck Albrecht fields parking lot: pavement ride

May 18     6:30 pm     Spring fling!
Delaney Park Strip near 10th and P (west end): dress-up pavement ride on Coastal Trail

May 25     6:30 pm     Dirt or Pavement? (remember to stay off dirt trails until they are dry)
Chuck Albrecht fields parking lot: Far North Bicentennial Park (dirt) Or Campbell Creek and Chester Creek Trails (pavement)

May 25    6:30 pm   (note the revised location!) Hit the dirt!
Jodhpur Trailhead: Kincaid Park our first dirt ride of the season will be on the singletracks. (revised on May 19, 2022)

June 1     7:00 pm (note new time!)     Hit the dirt, part 2!
Jodhpur Trailhead: Kincaid Park singletrack ride!

June 8     7:00 pm     Dirt trails: wide and singletrack mix
Abbott Loop Community Park Trailhead: explore Campbell Tract and Far North Bicentennial Park

Monday, January 3, 2022

Winter days and nights

I love when people post up winter rides on the Meetup page. First my brain says: "ooh, I really should do that," and then it might say "but it's cold and dark out and you work tomorrow." I might follow the temperatures and then just say: "you have the gear; now charge that light and bundle up because you need to ride with the girls!"

And that is usually the best answer.

While the number of holiday season gatherings I attend has shrunk to near zero, I especially miss the Solstice rides we used to do, so when Gloria posted a ride for December 19, I made sure my light was charged!

Just four of us rode that night down trails that were sometimes a bit squirrely, but mostly had soft landings. Few people were out. The temperature hovered around 20 degrees: perfect in my book. And a perfect way to enter the holiday weeks. With whoops and laugher - the voices of familiar friends.

Bev with her colorful bike in the reflected light.
Taken by Gloria


My wish is that we will seek out opportunities to ride, hike, ski, snowshoe and just enjoy the outdoors together this winter. Go ahead. Post up. See who joins you. Maybe a new friend. But if we don't see you on the trails this winter, I hope we will all be riding together when our official season begins the first week of May. Watch for it. We'll be here for you.

posted by Rose



Thursday, November 4, 2021

The 2021 season recap

It has been over a month since we had our last official ride of the season, a ride on sometimes snowy trails in 40-degree temperatures in Far North Bicentennial Park and the Campbell Tract. Unusual conditions during this uncertain time, but with good friends who enjoyed every moment of a beautiful fall evening that also looked like winter.

Michele and Maggi enjoy a crisp evening.

When the organizers made the decision to delay the start of the scheduled rides this year, we hoped that our community would have a higher vaccination rate by early July. It was not to be, yet we pedaled on anyway. Because after 2020, we missed riding with friends. We missed meeting and welcoming new  riders into our little group. We missed the energy and, for some of us, we really missed the post-ride treats and social time!

Even the mud loves our bikes!

Normally, we end our season with a party filled with prizes for the people who show up to lead, sweep, and ride - among other things, but we'll just need to wait to get together at another time when people feel more comfortable sharing indoor spaces. We do have some statistics for you - thanks to Gloria who kept the tallies again this year (we need a prize for her!).

Though our group experienced a short and somewhat rainy season, it was also filled with fun rides with friends. Most rides had small group sizes, but on July 14th, 15 riders showed up for our largest group of the season! The next largest group sizes were 11 people on both August 18 and September 22.

The Divas who attended the most rides were Michele with 10 rides, followed by Rae and Kirsten who both attended 8 rides! Way to go, Divas!

Clockwise from Michele in front, Rae, Nancy, Rose, Kirsten, and Maggi

Tour of Anchorage Trail

Tour of Anchorage Trail

High water at the bog


Campbell Creek

The Divas who led the most rides were Jo-Ann with 4, followed by Lisa K., Nancy, and Rose (with 3 each). We didn't do a tally to see who posted up the most unofficial rides, but these were great opportunities to ride on weekends or other days when people were available.

Nancy and Michele

 Now that we're heading into the winter riding season, be sure to post up rides on the MeetUp page. If you want a small group, post a ride size limit (a smaller group is a bit easier on the coldest days). And if you want to post up for a hike, ski or snowshoe outing, you can do that, too! Let's do our best to keep connected and active in the outdoors this winter. 

Be sure to post photos!

As for next year, in 2022 we expect to start the official riding season sometime in May. For now, it's time to dust off the winter bike, maybe take the mountain bike into your favorite mechanic for any maintenance you were putting off until end of season, and make plans to meet with friends soon.

Hello Sunshine!

 

posted by Rose
photos by Michele Murphy


Monday, July 26, 2021

Support Hemlock Burn trail

Hi Divas -

If you have not already heard, Singletrack Advocates (STA) is urging their members to support changes in state park regulations that will open more areas to mountain and fat bikes - including electric assist versions on certain trails - specifically, the new Hemlock Burn Trail.

You can send your letter of support to dpor.regulations@alaska.gov Letters are due at 5pm on July 29th. 

Read the new proposed regulations here: https://aws.state.ak.us/OnlinePublicNotices/Notices/View.aspx?id=203004

View the detailed version here: http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/misc/newsrelease/2021/propregchange062821.pdf   

Below is a copy of the letter STA sent in support of the regulation changes:

To: dpor.regulations@alaska.gov 
STA's Letter of Support
Singletrack Advocates (STA) supports the Alaska Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) proposed regulation changes regarding the use of Alaska State Parks.  STA is Anchorage's local mountain bike trail nonprofit that preserves, maintains and creates singletrack trails in our community. Specifically, STA supports the regulation change to allow bicycle use on the Hemlock Burn Trail.  Bicycle use on this trail is specified in the Chugach State Park (CSP) Trail Management Plan, and adopting DNR's proposed regulation changes will finally allow bicycle use, which will meet the trail plan's intent.  STA and CSP have partnered to develop this amazing trail for our community for biking, hiking and skiing. STA led the development of the trail, raised the funds to build the trail, managed the construction of the trail, and will maintain the trail.  Considering STA funded, constructed, and will maintain the Hemlock Burn Trail, this regulation change is necessary to allow bikers to utilize this asset. We are excited to develop this successful partnership with Alaska State Parks to bring world-class recreational opportunities to our community.  

Sincerely,
STA Steering Committee