Clean Air Challenge 2013

21 05 2013

I woke up Saturday, May 18, to snow and ice covering my truck and the streets of Anchorage. Perfect weather conditions for a 120 mile bike ride! The Clean Air Challenge is a benefit for the American Lung Association and the ride is from Houston, Alaska to Talkeetna, Alaska and back the next day.

Ryan, Kasey, me, and Tom at the start in Houston, Alaska.

start

We were definitely questioning the safety of the riding conditions, and Kasey had been really sick. We decided that she would drive support crew to Talkeetna while the rest of us tried to ride. We ended up taking turns driving there (thus I only ended up riding 100 miles) and leaving the truck in Talkeetna the next day.

Ryan riding on one of the better parts of the bike path. Ice, ruts, snow, and strong headwinds plagued us for the first few miles, where the going was extremely slow. Then the roads were wet enough (but no longer icy) which made riding on the road less dangerous than the trail. After that, strong headwinds and wet conditions were all we had to deal with 🙂

Ryan Snow

Ice build up on my bike. We had one or two gears left by the time we got to Willow, even after stopping to chip ice from our bikes.

ice build up

Mike Morgansen from REI working on de-icing my bike in Willow. Thank heaven Dan & Mike brought a propane heater to help with the process! We really appreciated their (and all the volunteers) help and good cheer (Fulvia)!

Mike

Kasey excited about the ride!

kasey snow

We arrived in Talkeetna to a band playing, an awesome spread of food, sweet hotel, and I got to catch up with friends I missed on the trail. I was excited that Gayle joined us for dinner-it was great to catch up! Then we headed into town to celebrate Kasey’s birthday with friends in the area at the Fairview and West Rib…..you can’t go to Talkeetna and not and enjoy the local flavor!

The weather started clearing Saturday night and as I went to bed I saw Denali peeking out from the clouds. Sunday, we woke up to bluebird and sunshine!!!

Only 6 more weeks of winter since I saw my shadow?

deck

A view of the Alaska Range & Denali from the deck of the Talkeetna Alaska Lodge.

denali

The whole ride back was bluebird, NO WIND!, and warm-well relatively speaking 🙂 We enjoyed great views of the Alaska Range and the Talkeetnas the whole way back. Even with sore muscles, we made great time on the way back to Houston. Without the wind & snow/ice it was physically and mentally easier…..

Kasey riding with a view of Denali and the Alaska Range behind her.

Kasey Denali

We had an amazing ride! Thanks to everyone that volunteered and sponsored our team! Can’t wait till next year!

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One response

21 05 2013
Ike Waits

Thanks for braving the elements to support a great cause and making some images to share the experience.

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