Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bike ride - Day 7

I spent Friday riding through the gold stream hills from Nenana into Fairbanks. They really aren't kidding about the hills, but it was a beautiful day and my legs had a week of practice behind them. I also moved the clips on my shoes forward a notch and that seemed to help my knees on the long climbs. 

The gold stream hills are more pleasant green forest than impressive panoramic views like the mountains of the Alaskan range. 

Far off across the tanana valley are the snow capped peaks of the Alaskan Range. It was a little crazy to look back and realize I was riding through those mountains only two days before... I seemed to lose my sense of time on the bike. The individual miles often feel like they take a long time, but the hours and the days go quickly. I don't wear a watch and the sun is little help this time of year. I've found myself sitting down for supper at 11 pm a couple of times. I guess that's about an hour before sunset here in Fairbanks, so maybe that's not so late... Still it's a bit of an odd feeling to have no idea what time it is after all the years I've spent striving to be ontime to everything. I lost track of the days on the trip around the world, but I didn't really lose track of time like this.

376 miles including the side trips.

I decided to spend the weekend in Fairbanks before heading to Valdez. After crawling up the hills pedaling at a lower cadence than I like. I decided to take my bike by the new REI and see if it could be fitted with lower gearing. I was lucky enough the catch Simon on slow day, so besides getting a 26 tooth chainring for the front and help tuning the derailers I also absorbed as much of his forty years of experience as I could in an hour. He seemed happy to have someone interested in the details of what he was doing and the bike shifts as good as when it was new. 

Now my legs are rested and I've caught up on the blog so tomorrow I will head for Valdez. It's another 360 miles with lots of mountains and two passes to cross. I'm going to leave a few pounds of stuff that hasn't seen any use here with Corrie. I feel like I am getting a better idea of the things I would bring on a long ride. I think this will be valuable experiance if decide to do a serious bike trip someday. 

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