Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cranking Up the Hype Machine

It's been a week since Rando Info night already, and the roads are that much drier. Thanks to Rose for the kick in the butt to do it. Without her persuasion, it wouldn't have happened. Anyway, it was such a good idea, we're going to have to do it every spring. The turnout was good, and I got hit with some great questions. I think the big take-away for the night was that now all the attendees understand a randonneur's fixation with things like low trail, taillights that don't blink, and fenders with mud flaps.

Today I had to make a run up to Wasilla, so I made sure to stop by the Valley's cycling nerve center to see what was up: Tony Berbeirch's Backcountry Bicycles. It's been almost a year since I've been up there, and boy was I surprised to see that they've doubled in size! The shop looks really great. I guess there are a lot of cyclists up there in the Valley! Good for Tony and the gang. Good for Valley riders!

So, we all chatted it up a bit, but mostly talked about the upcoming Homer and Kenai rides. I'm still really excited about these rides, and am so looking forward to them. Or maybe it's just the thought of a perfect blueberry muffin and latte from Two Sisters. Anyway, from the sounds of it, Palmer and Wasilla will be very well represented at the inaugural End-of-the-Road 200K and the North Kenai Peninsula 200K brevets. If you're a Valley rider looking to join us on these rides, you might want to hurry and check with Tony to see if you can hitch a ride with 'em. I think there's going to be a pretty significant caravan heading down.

Oh, and on the way back to Los Anchorage, I saw Bobby V heading home from REI. He was fighting a ferocious headwind just before the Eagle River weigh station. Good form Bob! From the looks of it, I don't think he's going to have any problems with those Homer hills.

I got news this week that Alaska now has its first permanent course! It's the 300K Denali Road Permanent. Permanents are sort of like brevets, only different. You set the time and date for when you want to ride them. There are other differences too, but that's the short explanation. Now that graduate school is behind me, I aim to get permanents all over this state. Anyone can submit a route for a permanent, and I encourage you to submit a route or two, or three. For more info about permanents check out the details on the RUSA website.

And two more things! Check out what's happening over at the BCA. There's Bike Summit this weekend here in Anchorage, with Mia Birk headlining, and Bike to Work Week/Day, and a very short survey regarding bicycle commuting and alternative transportation here in Anchorage. You may find the survey HERE.

Number two is, be sure to read Bob Mionske's new column in Bicycling Magazine. If you recall, Bob wrote the legal advice column for Velo News until just recently. Anyway, it's totally outrageous. You're going to find it really hard to believe. Do not miss it. Bob is always a good read.

More later...

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