Each spring, my eyes begin to wonder from my skis to my bike, and then back to my skis, and then back to my bike. It’s hard to transition your forms of exercise between the seasons, the indoors, and the outdoors, but in the spring, I always get the beginning itches to ride my Specialized Crossrail. March is a great month in Alaska and skiing is still fantastic, some of the best of the year usually so it’s just a tease really. The weather warms and I begin to think about bike riding, even though I know I’ll be waiting a bit longer to enjoy. I’ve done one biking trip in the winter, and while that was fantastic, it seems my love rests in the warmer months.
It really isn’t at the top of the line as far as bike gear goes, but I’m in love with my Special. I have owned several bikes, had a couple stolen, lived in situations where biking was my main form of transportation, etc, but nothing has compared to my current infatuation. Over the years of our relationship, I have learned basic bike maintenance, fractured a rib in a wreck, learned the precious benefits of having a female specific saddle, gone where no one should go on a basic hybrid bike, and have taken her to many areas of the state, but have loads to go. One of the tricky things about biking is photography; I find it difficult to capture these trips well and have many that I’ve done without taking any pictures at all. I also have yet to do any bike touring/traveling so that is one thing at the top of my list to accomplish very soon. If you have any suggestions of where to go for that, I’m listening. My friends keep trying to convince me to get a road bike for racing, but I can’t really break down to own two bikes; it just seems excessive to me so instead, I just race slower than most.
I find a pure and simplistic freedom when I’m riding my bike. As Nina Simone once said, “freedom….it’s a feeling.” I can’t really describe it, but it isn’t like what I feel doing anything else. Do you know that feeling? Not grounded. Not anxious; just wide open for life, and taking it all in.
If you’re planning a trip to Alaska, you should know that it is a great state for biking! Not only are there extensive trails, and roads, but lots of types of races as well. Single track advocates and mountain bikers will tell you that we have limited options compared to many states and they would be correct, but much of that is due to our weather. Either way, there are many places in the state where biking is encouraged and respected and there are plenty of areas to explore.
And if biking isn’t your thing, I hope you’ve found that feeling doing something else, and that you nourish that relationship whenever possible.