I've complained in the past when gravel added treachery to biking around Anchorage, but this year both the State and the Muni were out early cleaning the trails. I noticed it first on A and C Streets. One day, the trails were full of gravel, and a few days later it was gone. Lake Otis and Providence/36th got cleared. Even Benson and Northern Lights have gotten attention. Thanks! [I checked out the bad trail link above and it has pictures of very sandy Dimond trails. Dimond was still pretty bad this year when I was out there a week ago. Midtown and downtown are good.]
With $4+ gas, a lot more people are likely to discover that biking is a reasonable alternative to driving for many of their short (under 4 miles) trips. You have to think a little differently - I like side streets with little traffic, you aren't going to make big Costco purchases by bike, but you can park right at the door without paying. And you get your exercise as you save gas and reduce Anchorage traffic.
I challenge everyone to think about which trips they can do just as well by bike instead of car this summer. And for those within 5 miles of work, get your bike out, maybe even serviced if you haven't used it a while, do a short recreation ride or two to get your butt and other muscles back in shape, then target at least once a week riding to work. It's ok to push the bike up a hill at first. Eventually, you'll feel great when you make it all the way pedaling.
Next Friday (May 20) is Ride To Work Day. They even have registration and teams - I guess they've found people need some peer pressure to help them do this. Whether you do it officially or just on your own - try it. From the Muni Health Department website:
Anchorage Bike to Work Day 2011 is Friday, May 20th!
Back with the features you've come to know:
- team registration
- drawing for tee-shirts among registered teams
- Bike to Work Festival (May 6th)
- our generous community sponsors
- on-line survey
- trail count on Bike to Work Day morning
The League of American Bicyclists named Friday 'Bike to Work Day 2011' and many Anchorage events will take place that day. But more than half the cyclists in 2010 also rode another weekday, so ride to suit your schedule!
Link to Bike to Work newsletter