From Mountain Man to Cyclist

Over the last couple of days here in Anchorage I have been transitioning from “mountain man” to cyclist. First I packed up all my mountain gear and cold weather clothing and shipped it back home to Florida (USPS Parcel Post, via ferry to lower 48 and then via truck down to Florida). Then I went to the Anchorage REI store to pick up my Bob Yak trailer and the Ortlieb panniers (which I had bought online several weeks ago). There was some assembly required, but after about 1 hour I was ready to roll. Here is a picture of me just outside the REI store:

With new bike trailer just outside the Anchorage REI store

The next day I went on a short test ride with the trailer to the South end of Anchorage. I wanted to see the Cook Inlet.

View towards Cook Inlet at South end of Anchorage

Riding with the trailer takes some getting used to; especially the added weight makes for very slow going uphill. And maneuvring in the city with the trailer is clumsy and difficult – not recommended for short city rides, but required for the long trip.

Since I couldn’t change the bus schedule to Fairbanks and later to Prudhoe Bay, I have a few extra days here in Anchorage. I use them to sleep, eat a lot to regain some weight, and update my Blog and emails.

Finally I take a longer test ride with nearly full weight on trailer and bike rack. I ride down South along the Seward Highway right next to the Chugach Mountains and State Park: Ocean, Railroad track, road and mountains.

Riding along the Seward Highway South of Anchorage

There is even a display of the 90 year old Seward railroad with a huge snow plow locomotive making for a good photo op:

Old Railroad locomotive with snow plow

Tomorrow I need to get up early to catch the bus to Fairbanks; then one more day of preparation, followed by the bus ride to Prudhoe Bay on Tuesday, and then the long bike journey can begin in earnest on July 1st!

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