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Ride Report: Anchorage Tidal Flats

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Ride Report: Anchorage Tidal Flats

Old 01-18-11, 10:24 PM
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Ride Report: Anchorage Tidal Flats

Figured I should check 'em out before the snow hits later this week. 0F, no snow for almost a month, nothing to do but go for a bike ride.



The only directions I could find said to descend the bluffs just past Pt. Woronzof, but the ice looked so inviting that I couldn't wait that long and rode out off of the trail and onto the coast before Earthquake park. Smooth ice for a couple of miles until just before Woronzof, where it turned to frozen tidal rubble hard up against the bluff, with the narrow strip between the two covered with downed trees. After about a half mile of carrying the bike through dead brush, I decided to follow the directions next time.



Past all the fallen brush, the beach at the base of the bluffs becomes rideable, with only a few portage points where the tidal ice rubble is piled too thick to ride through, or where large cracks split the ice too wide to ride over.



Yeah, like that. And how do they get graffiti all the way on top of that thing?



Almost into the sunshine! And I didn't know what the sign meant, so I paid it as much heed as the Dangerous Waters and Mud Flats signage that I rode by at the start of this ride. I figured that if I saw any cables, I'd dismount and practice my cyclocross barrier hop.



Sunshine! Oh, hi Mt. Susitna! What's that, tide's coming in and I should keep moving? Will do.



Hard to move too fast when you've got to pick your way through this, though. Good skill building exercise, I suppose.



Success! Made it to the north end of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge, where the ice is smooth and the riding is fast. Sure was glad that I brought sunglasses, as I was riding straight into that glare. And yes, that is where the sun is to be found at 2:30 pm this time of year; only 2 hours away from setting. *sigh*



Well, sometimes the ice was smooth...



...but mostly it was bumpy. Still pretty fast riding, though. Best bet was to build up a good head of steam to bust through the occasional snowdrift and snowy creek drainage.

Last edited by GriddleCakes; 01-18-11 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 01-18-11, 10:25 PM
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Looks like I wasn't the only one with this idea. No Pugsley tracks out here, though.



Hey! HEY!! DO YOU FLY TO HAWAII? YOU DO!? AWESOME!! CAN I GET A RIDE?
Awww...



Whelp, that's as far south as I've got time for. Reputedly there's a fair amount of riding beyond this point, but the tide's coming and I've got things to do in town. Time to push back up the bluff and ride the Coastal Trail back home.



Speaking of the Coastal Trail, the conditions are about the same as on the flats: bumpy ice. Studded tires FTW!
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Old 01-18-11, 11:05 PM
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nice pics, thanks for sharing Do you know what the concrete bunker/tower is?
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Old 01-19-11, 11:15 AM
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What tires do you run for conditions like this?
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Old 01-20-11, 04:15 AM
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@black_box, dunno what the tower is for. It's located just past the end of the longer runway at Anchorage International Airport, so it probably has something to do with them.

@GRedner, Nokian Extremes (the 29er version, in this case). It's really neat that they accelerate hard and that you can go as fast as though you were on pavement, but you still have to corner slowly and carefully (or fast and really wide, and carefully).
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