Thursday, September 5, 2013

Welcome Home to Alaska

IA month back from an epic bike tour of a lifetime though Iceland and Spain, the last 4 weeks of acclimating to city life in Anchorage was feeling like a drain on my soul.  Fortunately, one redeeming quality of Anchorage is its geographical proximity to the "real Alaska."  

Time to head south to Homer to see good friends, and leave the traffic, sirens, and crowds behind.  God was on our side and despite the predictions of rain throughout the Kenai Peninsula for the holiday weekend, blue skies and sunshine were a warm welcome to Homer after a 4 hour drive though relentless downpour.  

Within minutes of pulling into Homer I wa on my Surly Moonlander sprinting up the coast through sand, coastal mud, seaweed, and weaving through the rocks.
A solitary ride on a beach is good medicine. 

  Laying down turns while the girls went berry picking...

After the rejuvenating time on the beach, I rode back up the bluff to the Happy Cabin for a feast, shared with old and new friends. 


It looks so good; Fresh blueberry, raspberry, rhubarb crisp. 


Loaded up everyone's bikes to meet for a group ride the following day.

The next morning we set off for an omniterra* tour of Homer and Surrounding areas.

I tried out the fancy computer-phone-program called Strava for part of the ride.

Began the day with some road riding out of town.
Getting extreme on the bike path.

Climbed the East Hill Road out of town to rise about 1,300 feet in 5 miles of pavement and gravel. 

 Gravel gave way to mud and puddles winding through tall grass and fireweed just past its prime, signaling the end of summer.

 Cruised down past the reservoir, Homer's drinking water.

The faces of fat-bike envy.

Another series of paved climbs to access the trail head of narrow single track winding through the the thick late-summer foliage.

 Breaking for lunch at the overlook.
The mountains are getting smaller in the distance.

 "Slow down, what's the hurry?" Good call Reuben.

Good old fashioned Alaskan single-track. 

 Strategic boardwalk over the marshland.

At the end of the Diamond Ridge trail system, full of challenging  technical obsticals defined by the muddy root ridden terrain, Jesse and I split from the girls.   Rode a few miles up the Sterling Highway to meet up with some of the Homer Bike Club trail crew cutting some new single track on the bluff above the Diamond Creek beach access.

We misses the rea crew by about ten minutes but lucked out as the Guinea Pig  test riders for this vergin trail.
 Drop the seat post, it's gonna get techie.

Freshly cleared single track...then onto a steep  muddy descent to the beach.

The beefy Surly Lou tires kept me safe in a fast downhill trail to the coast, the same can't be said for the Jesse's less aggressive Knard tires, as he suffered two front tire wash-out crashes, once almost going over the edge...

Reaching the cost as the tide was letting out, revealing a seemingly endless playground to ride back to Homer.

Eagles galore.

Slept well that night.

Got to top off the trip with another fun challenging ride through marshy forest in town on Monday before we hit the road back to Anhorage. 

I love you Homer.

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