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The Beardcicle Chronicles: Mandril

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From Flikr, photo by PhilB1975 © All rights reserved.

“If we let God into school would we have a budget problem?”

Such are the signs one sees while commuting regardless of mode. I just can’t get behind the logical flaws there, but that is neither here nor there. I think I promised cycling talk and not politics or religion.


From Flikr, photo by PhilB1975 © All rights reserved.
From Flikr, photo by PhilB1975 © All rights reserved.

It is a glorious time for being in the world on the back of a mighty steel steed. The sun blushes my cheeks, the snow pack is firm and fast, and the woods are still open to exploration in ways not possible in the summer.

Even better, all of the winter’s worth of accumulated fecal matter has yet to start melting; getting flung off of tires and into wide open mouths panting for breath as the rider tries for a new PR (powder run) on that one segment of the Coastal Trail. You know the one, the steep downhill right out of Kincaid where the walkers go slow and the cyclists haul ass – I hear you can hit 50+mph on a fat bike if you really try.

All of that is yet to come. For now, though… For now we have the final days winter and it is glorious.

Or at least it is in my present. By the time you read this it will be April and the winter will be ready to surrender, then its on to important things, like getting prepared for dip netting and summer vacations.

March and April are all long sunny days still crisp, but not cold. Perfect days for long exploratory rides. Days perfect for getting in those last rides that have been on your to do list for so long.

From Flikr, photo by PhilB1975 © All rights reserved.
From Flikr, photo by PhilB1975 © All rights reserved.

Two hours exploring the nooks and crannies of Moose Range up by Palmer or four hours trekking across the frozen Knik river getting a nice sun tan. These are the types of rides one can do in March and April.

Skiers are all about the crust this time of year, and I get that. The cold nights and warm days open up even more area to exploration. There’s something amazing about getting out into parts of the woods you’d not otherwise be able to get to. Amazing to get away from other people and just exist in the world for a few hours. Alone.

I wonder, if more people spent a few hours a week alone, if it’d have a positive affect on the world.

Getting inside your own head has a way of quieting the white noise of the world for a bit and gives you time to actually think. Which we could all do more of.

From Flikr, photo by PhilB1975 © All rights reserved.


Read more from Phil B. on his blog, Multimodal Alaska Adventures.