Let me start with giving credit where it’s due. Adam is the king of good ideas and encouragement this weekend.
Friday, I got a text from the White Man suggesting we bike the Bird to Gird trail along Turnagain Arm first thing Saturday AM. Catch the sunrise, stretch our legs a little and get a long ride in. I love the Bird to Gird trail, so we made the plan.
Despite a few extra beers between Happy Hour and bed (including a stop by at the new Resolution Brewery in Mountain View) we were up at 6:30 AM and on the road by 7:30.
We decided to add a breakfast stop in Girdwood into the ride, so we rode straight up to Jack Sprat. By this point, we’d biked 14.6 miles (11.8 from car to the Alyeska Highway) and we were starving. A nice slow breakfast of french toast, bacon and the best soy latte I’ve ever tasted… We were warm, full and ready to bike on.
After Jack Sprat, Adam suggested we bike up Crow Creek Mine Road as far as we felt. Here he was with the great ideas again – the sun was coming up and it was getting warm and really, it was just too nice to head back to the car.
So we turned up Crow Creek and pedaled until the pavement ended. And the gravel was too bad, so we kept pedaling up the road. And it got warmer and sunnier and we were having fun and eventually we found ourselves at the Crow Pass trailhead! Roughly 4.5 – 5 miles up the road, plus a mile from the restaurant – phew, we were around 20 miles already.
We laid in the sun for a little while at the Crow Pass parking lot (one very warm and dry picnic table, perfect!) and began the ride back down. It was a blast bombing down the road.
We made it up to the Pass parking lot in about an hour and a half. We were back to the main road in 30 minutes (not including pushing my bike through some slush at the top of the road). It was so fun.
No trip to Girdwood is complete without a pit stop at Chair5 for beer and wings, so that’s what we did! One pitcher of IPA, some wings and a salad and we were happy. It was warm and sunny in Chair 5 too, so we took our time eating and drinking.
Over lunch we were talking that we really weren’t that hungry, but a quick check of a food diary app told us that we had burned well over 1,500 calories so far and hadn’t eaten more than a third of that. Science says ‘you’re gonna bonk if you don’t fuel!’, so food was a good choice. The beer… Maybe not so much. In all honesty and laughter, Adam & I had a really silly time for the first few miles of biking after the pitcher. I could hardly swing my leg over the saddle and he was a little wobbly too. Whoops! Thank goodness for helmets and bike paths to protect us from ourselves.
The ride back was fantastic. Some light clouds were just starting to roll in and it stayed warm the whole ride. No wind on the arm to slow us down, we made it back to the car in good time. We were loaded up and headed back to Anchorage sometime between 5 – 6 PM.
Total mileage? 40 miles biked.
We were sore and tired by the time we got home. We made a quick pitstop at Redbox and rented a few movies and went home to relax. You can maybe imagine the evening wasn’t rambunctious: we gorged on food, drank a ton of water, Adam fell asleep on the couch around 8, I laid on my yoga mat and some props for a while… We were beat.
We slept so well last night, right up to a beautiful sunrise in the bedroom window around 9 AM. Yesterday’s bike ride was so awesome, a friend called it a ‘Shake Down’ and I think that phrase nails it.
The unfortunate side-effect of a trip like this is insatiable hunger. Last night/today reminded me of Sunday’s when I was training for Mayor’s Marathon… We’d finish a long run, I’d eat something and then I’d still be eating an hour later, an hour after that and so on. I snacked hard this afternoon, not necessarily well. Whoops!