Thursday, August 27, 2009

Singletrack Diva

We may have to dub Lori the Singletrack Diva. Two weeks in a row she volunteered to lead a singletrack ride on the Hillside. Last night's ride was not as long or as adventurous or as calamitous as the previous Wednesday ride. No one's bike broke, no body parts broke, no accessories broke as we pedaled around the STA trails again. The rain did start falling in the latter half of the ride.

We were treated to that phenomena that so many of us on the east side are familiar with - rain drops falling as the sun breaks through under the clouds from the west. We made it back to the parking lot in a down pour at 9:00.

Friday, August 21, 2009

singletrack & bad derailleurs on the hillside (w/ pix)

see the derailleur at the bottom of the wheel,
instead of the center?

Lori and Gloria had an aggressive singletrack route mapped out for our Wednesday ride. From Campbell Airstrip trailhead, they led us up Black Bear. Lori claimed this was the shortest route (other than the closed Rover's Run) to reach the STA trails by Hilltop. The first derailleur literally bit the dust on the lower portion of Black Bear when Bev's popped off. We helped her loop her chain around her pump to hold everything up for the long walk back to the trailhead. (Thanks, Anne and Wendy, for assisting her out).

Bev is still smiling, even though we've wrapped her chain
around her pump to keep the deraileur from dragging
as she walks back to the trailhead.

Maggi already knew that her derailleur had been bent but hoped to make it through the ride. Somewhere on the Queen Bee Loop, with a slipping seat and grinding gears, she realized the bike wasn't going to make it easy. The rest of us pushed on; and that did mean pushing the bike up and over some rooty and/or steep sections on the climb toward Prospect Heights.

With the various delays, the evening was getting late and the sun low. Lori and Gloria conceded a little bit of their plan and when we reached the Gasline, we headed down the Red trail instead of continuing up and around on the Blue. Jo-Ann said she did all the rock obstacles (but not the half log bridge). We reached the Hilltop parking lot at 9:30. Jo-Ann and I headed home on the street and the other five Divas pedaled back to Black Bear to descend to Campbell Airstrip.

Thanks, Lori and Gloria, for a challenging and fun ride!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

will climb for brownies

Maggi serves Wendy's special brownies to Junior Diva Graylin

If the ride starts at Jodhpur trailhead, you have to expect to ride some hills. And we did. Without touching the Lekisch trails, we hit all the Kincaid Hills* on the Wednesday ride. The only thing that kept some of us going were two plates of fudgy brownies that Wendy made that were sitting back in my car. The siren call of those brownies, however, tempted us to drop Horseshoe Loop as a cool down and we finished off the Jodhpur Loop and hit the tailgate.

A few pedaled all the way to the top of Stairway to Heaven - here's Maggi doing it

and Bonnie worked it out, too

Katherine on the Hairpin

Thanks for the brownies, Wendy!

* so dubbed in Mountain Bike Anchorage, the best bike guide to the big city

Saturday, August 8, 2009

shout out to Singletrack Advocates

Another happy face on the STA singletrack trails on Hillside.

Every time I ride the trails that Singletrack Advocates (STA) built near Hilltop, I can't believe I'm riding such quality singletrack less than 2 miles from my house.

A few Divas met on Friday morning to ride the STA trails. Lori said "Wow, was that ever a fun ride! Thanks Glo and Bev for showing Dawn and me the way. What a treasure to have this group of trails right in our own backyard, I feel so proud that we were able to contribute to it being built!"

I rode the trails with my husband today. He said it was like being on a ride at Disneyland, with the banked switchbacks and the short steep downhills that provide almost enough momentum to get up the next little hill.

If you haven't ridden the STA trails yet, what are you waiting for? Divas' next Wednesday ride will be there on August 26th, and watch the email list for other pick-up rides there. But don't wait -- go ride them and see for yourself what great singletrack is.

If you want more singletrack like these trails, there are 3 ways to get it:
1. Pay your Divas dues so we can make a club contribution to STA. Alaska Dirt Divas did contribute to STA to help build these great trails last year.

3. Go to a Parks and Rec Commission meeting this Thursday, August 13th, at 6:00 at the Spenard Rec Center (2020 W. 48th Avenue) to say that you support the construction of more singletrack trails on the Hillside. These trails are not only great fun for biking but also for hiking and snowshoeing.