Thursday, December 27, 2007

Anchorage in Winter - Downtown and Biker

I went to a meeting at the train depot today. Here's a shot from the third floor looking south towards downtown Anchorage. The big building on the right is the Hilton Hotel.

With the advent of the mountain bike, the availability of studs for bike tires and bright flashing bike lights, and the increasing price of gas, more and more people are discovering that winter biking is doable. Cold isn't the issue - people are outside skiing and snow machining, so why not biking?

The biggest problem is cars. I'm NOT a biker who goes out in the street if a decent sidewalk exists. Claiming your biker's right to use the road is like Timothy Treadwell playing with grizzlies. The cars might miss you most of the time, but all it takes is one to ruin a perfectly good life. (And if you're contemplating suicide, go biking. Maybe it will change your mind.)

But that said, trips where there is a plowed bike path or sidewalk, of less than a mile, are easy to handle. Then start going further. And you can usually find a bike rack or no parking sign to chain it too. And you can always take a bus back - they have room for two bikes in front.

Did I take my bike today? Nooooooo. I don't have studded tires, so don't go out too far, especially on a tight schedule. But I try to use it when I'm going within a mile or two of home and back rather than the car. I never claimed to be perfect.

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