Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
A bit of a planning snafu by yours truly in regard to this weekend's populaire. I didn't get the Potter-Birchwood-Potter course submitted in time to get approved.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I just spoke to the Rangers up at Denali. The forest fire smoke up there is too heavy to ride in, so I'm postponing the Denali Dirt Road Randonnée until later in the summer/early autumn. It'll still be a beautiful ride; just healthier.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
If you have lots of long-distance riding experience, are really strong, self-sufficient, can handle 300K of huge hills on dirt roads in Alaska's remote wilderness, with the possibility of truly awful weather, consider riding the July 18 Denali Dirt Road Randonnée.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Where the Bread & Water 100K populaire embodied the light-hearted, fun nature of rambling on a bike from point-to-point around the city, the Alaska 600K brevet, that travels from Gakona to Delta Junction to Tok, and back to Gakona, is absolutely mammoth in scale, scope, and adventure-factor.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Summer is finally here, and we've had a great randonneuring season with 1,300KM of brevets so far. So we're going to throttle it back a tad this weekend.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Bore tides, beluga whales, eagles, mountains and more are why the Seward Highway holds the All-American Roads designation. The route also holds significant historical and cultural qualities.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
"Thank you, you came here." That's the translation of the control clue found on the sign at Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church in the Native village of Eklutna, north of Anchorage.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Now that the three 200K brevets have loosened the legs up a little, let's turn it up a notch. This Saturday is the Anchorage/Palmer/Anchorage 300K brevet.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Another fantastic 200K in the bag! As you can see from the photo above, the views were butt incredible!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I am amazed at the high quality of road riding available on the Kenai Peninsula. Throw any stereotypes you may have of the area out the window, and do yourself a favor. Go down and explore those roads. Some of the best road riding in Alaska can be had down in Homer and Kenai.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Here are the details for next weekend's 200K brevet on the north end of the Kenai Peninsula.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Thanks to all the riders who showed up and rode the inaugural End-of-the-Road 200K brevet in Homer, Alaska!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
So, on Thursday, April 16 at 7:15 PM, you’re invited to join us for Rando-Info night at Paramount Cycles in South Anchorage.
I’ll cover the basics, including a bit of randonneuring history, why there are so many French words, how brevets are organized, a bit on training, how to eat for brevets, bikes and equipment for randonneuring, and more. Come join us and let us answer your questions about randonneuring in Alaska and the rest of the world.
Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
April Fools Day is tomorrow, but this ash isn't a joke.
Due to the persistent, residual ash on the brevet courses, and the related health concerns, this season's brevet schedule has been revised.
Since last Thursday, I’ve received numerous e-mails from riders voicing their concerns about volcanic ash on the roads. Initially it was difficult finding a definitive answer regarding ash exposure, as most of the advice from local and federal agencies only addresses exposure typical to a residential cleanup scenario, not an all-day athletic event. However, after discussing the situation with several physicians, other cyclists, state health officials, RUSA officials, as well as hearing from an occupational medicine physician, I believe it's prudent to let this stuff settle down for a month.
Notwithstanding another volcanic eruption, there are two areas of concern specific to ash exposure to cyclists. First, is increased lung ventilation during prolonged vigorous exercise; in our case for periods exceeding eight hours for a 200K ride. Second, is the risk to the eyes. One of the official recommendations was for all riders to wear goggles. I can’t imagine riding 200K while wearing an N95 facemask and goggles.
While the real-time air quality readings, according to state officials, in the areas of our rides are currently not showing any immediate problematic levels, state officials confirmed that they are not taking into account the ash and dust that street-level, long-distance cyclists are exposed to by 1) stirring the ash up themselves when riding on the sides of the roads where ash accumulates with gravel, dust and other debris, 2) cars and trucks passing cyclists and kicking up clouds of ash dust that riders ride directly into, or 3) simply by winds on the course.
The good news is that we still have a big variety of new rides available. I haven't canceled any rides from the schedule. I've just moved them around and pushed them together, trying to be as accommodating as possible while minimizing conflicts with other events on the calendar.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Your bike is in tip-top condition, and you're not in such bad shape yourself for the beginning of the season. Yet, with no brevet this weekend you find yourself knocking around the house, checking hourly for volcano updates on the innernet, in need of some direction. Well, I have the solution! I urge you to spend some time listening to The Bike Show podcast. Download a few shows, or all of them, as they're available in the archives. They're great to listen to, especially while on the trainer.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
It's funny that some people still think it's winter here in Alaska. Not the hardy riders chomping at the bit to christen the inaugural End-of-the-Road 200K brevet in Homer though. Sure, at this time of year, and at this latitude, we Alaskans expect a bit of snow, ice, wind, cold, etc.; key ingredients for character building. (Lord knows, we need some character.) And while we knew Redoubt has been grumbling for some time now, frankly I didn't think it would come to this. Remember my post about "Randonneurs for Global Warming?" I really didn't mean it! Honest!!
Monday, March 23, 2009
We're droppin' anchor in Homer next weekend folks, merely one week after SIR's 200K opener. I just can't resist those soft ocean breezes down there this time of year, when we're still surrounded by snow here in Anchorage.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Just a few noteworthy items...
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I just created a new forum group as a place to discuss and ask questions about the Alaska Randonneurs brevets. I probably should've done it sooner, but I'm just starting to get this website stuff figured out.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Homer begins our bicycle Odyssey. You won't have ten years to complete this one though, and you have to use a bike, rather than a boat. RUSA regulations give you an ample 13.5 hours. It’s early in the season, but as my friend Bob says, “Any reasonably fit cyclist can ride 200KM in a day. The recovery the following day might be tough, but it’s certainly do-able.”…and worth it, I might add.
As far as global warming...all I want is just enough to insure the roads will be clear for riding the inaugural "End-of-the-Road" brevet.
You won’t want to miss this ride. Homer is Southcentral Alaska’s banana belt, so I’m counting on the temperatures to be about ten whole degrees warmer than Anchorage. I’m also counting on the weather to cooperate enough to keep the roads clear. However, the 7 inches of snow we got here in Anchorage yesterday was quite a reality check. We're still locked in winter, but the grip is loosening fast. Keep the faith, folks! We’ve got nearly four weeks for it to melt. That’s plenty of time.
Get a preview of the route HERE. It's going to be a beautiful ride, with sweeping views of Kachemak Bay. For those riders into geographic superlatives, this ride will not only hit the “End of the Road”, but it will also reach the western most point accessible via the continuous North American road system.
As March 28th approaches, preparations for the Homer ride are solidifying. So make sure your RUSA membership is current.
Two Sisters Bakery is on board to ‘host’ the start. I got an e-mail from them the other day assuring me that there will be enough biscuits and assorted victuals on hand so riders are well fed and caffeinated before Le Grand Départ. I’m still waiting to hear specifics about parking there at the bakery. Please check back here at the AK Rando blog for updates regarding parking. We don't want to jeopardize their hospitality by taking up spaces in their entire lot for the whole day.
I’m also working on some nice accommodations for non-Homer riders so you can be well rested before the ride, and for the long drive home. I’ll post an update to that here too.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I'm not a sports fan...conventional, American-type sports that is. Stuff like football, baseball, basketball, golf, etc. And bars? I've never done the bar thing either. I mean, there was college of course... So the 'sports bar' is something I really never got. Sports + bar = wrong. That was until today! Today I had a short e-mail correspondence w/ a cycling advocate here in town who asked if I knew of any place in Anchorage where a person could go to watch the Tour on television. Of course I was dumbfounded. How would I know any place like that?! TV?! Watch? I got rid of my TV back in 1982.
But the question reminded me of one of my favorite podcasts by Jack Thurston of The Bike Show. A couple of years ago one May, Jack recorded his weekly podcast whilst (d'ya like that?) watching the Giro from Bar Italia in London. They rode their bikes to the bar. It was a great show. They were really having a grand time, you could tell. Anyway, you can still download and listen to it.
So I reached for the phone book, flipped through the pages and immediately called the Peanut Farm. And you know what? The have Versus. AND...if you ask, they'll put it on for you! Right on! I'm heading to the Peanut Farm! Just like Chauncey Gardiner, "I like to watch."
Will they let you bring your trainer? It's a sports bar, isn't it?
(By-the-way, if you get a charge out of watching bicycle racing, check out this trailer for Road to Roubaix)
Here's the Versus schedule:
Tour of California
Feb 14 @ 5PM ET, Feb 15 @ 6PM ET
Feb 16 LIVE @ 12:30PM ET, Feb 17 LIVE @ 5PM ET
Feb 18-20 LIVE @ 4PM ET and Feb 21-22 @ 5PM ET
Paris Nice - Mar 8 and Mar 15 @ 5PM ET
Criterium International - Mar 29 @ 5PM ET
Tour of Flanders - Apr 5 @ 5PM ET
Paris Roubaix - Apr 12 @ 4PM ET
Liege Bastogne - Apr 26 @ 3PM ET
Fleche Wallone - Apr 26 @ 3:30PM ET
Tour de Romandie - May 3 @ 4PM ET
Dauphine Libere - Jun 7, 9, 14 and 15 @ 5PM ET
Tour de Suisse - Jun 14 and 15 @ 6PM ET and Jun 21 @ 5PM ET
Tour de France - July 4-26
Vuelta A Expana - Oct 11 @ 5PM ET
Paris Tours - Oct 11 @ 6PM ET
Tour du Faso - Nov 8 @ 6PM ET
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Once again, your loyal RBA is making it easy for you. It's time to renew your RUSA membership. Click on the link, download the form, fill it out, mail it off, everything is good. Next thing you know, you'll be road-trippin' down to Homer w/ your friends for the End-of-the-Road 200K season-opener.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
We've heard the Sirens' call from the "cosmic hamlet by the sea!" Behold, Homer is certified!! ...The 200KM End-of-the-Road brevet course that is. The guy in the photo on the right with the red nose, however, looks like he's spent a little too much time at the Salty Dawg.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I realize that many of the Alaska brevet rides are dedicated, serious athletes with their sights set on high-profile competitive events such as the Fireweed 400 or RAAM. That's great, and I'm delighted they ride the brevets. I believe they bring a lot to randonneuring that's important. As they say, randonneuring is a big tent, and there's plenty of room for all sorts of riders. To be sure though, I'm not ignoring the dedication and training necessary to finish the longer brevets or any of the big 1200s. It's just that there are a lot of other brevet riders up here who are just out for a personal challenge and a fine adventure. And they may find that challenge and adventure in the shorter rides, just as many others do in the longer ones.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Our new website hasn't had it's official debut yet, but it's picking up a little traffic, guessing from the feedback I'm getting from some of you. I'll make the formal launch soon. Just working on the finishing touches.
Friday, January 23, 2009
How are those garage spin sessions going?
Here's a suggestion...between workouts, do some active resting in front of your computer and upload your photos of your Alaska brevets to our Flickr site:
Well, I've been working on a zillion new brevets and permanents all around the state (Kodiak 200KM, Cordova 200KM, Glennallen...). I've got loads of exciting, scenic, and challenging new routes submitted, and I'm just waiting for final approval from RUSA.
Our calendar is shaping up nicely, but if we hope to actually put all of these events on, we're going to need more volunteers on event days. So, if you or someone you know is interested in spending a nice day out on the course this spring/summer, please pass their contact info on to me, or just have them get in touch with me directly.
Here's the tentative brevet schedule for 2009:
March 28 Homer 200KM
April 11 North Kenai Peninsula 200KM
April 18 Matanuska Valley 200KM
May 9 Anchorage/Palmer 300KM
May 23 Bread & Water 100KM populaire (Great Harvest to the Moose's Tooth)
May 30 Anchorage/Seward/Anchorage 400KM
June 20 Gakona/Delta Junction/Tok/Gakona 600KM
July 18 Denali Dirt Road Randonnee 300KM
August 1 PBP (Potter-Birchwood-Potter or Palmer-Birchwood-Palmer) Populaire
September? (When the leaves change color) Chugiak/Talkeetna/Chugiak 300KM
Please stay in touch. Let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions, questions, etc.