Bud Light -- that's its own blog post. An internet search reveals nothing online about the Anchorage event, although there is some historical writing on a six-city Pacific Northwest Bud Light Triathlon Series from the mid-1980s.
On Sunday, July 28, I decided to explore some pavement I didn't know or didn't know well, so I joined the Coastal Trail (again -- maybe my sixth foray out there for this Alaska trip!) at Westchester Lagoon and pointed north. The trail has been redone from Westchester to downtown and is beautiful smooth black pavement. I pedaled past the Comfort Inn of BWR notoriety and out the Ship Creek trail, judging my direction by going opposite the BWR arrows Damon had followed home earlier that week.
|Ship Creek Trail -- from the Coastal Trail to Mountain View|
Aside #1: A Google search seeking a picture of Mountain View turned up this intriguing factoid: Mountain View is the most diverse neighborhood . . . in America! It's also a crime-ridden 'hood; other Google results had "man kills elderly couple" and the like.
North Bragaw to Mountain View Drive and you find the Glenn Highway Bike Trail. As described by the Arctic Bicycle Club, this runs from Muldoon Road past Eagle River -- "up to 37 miles round trip." The trail has been under construction but is rapidly coming to completion. Much of it is beautiful riding -- flat, fast, and low traffic.
The trail passes Elmendorf Air Force Base and the Fort Richardson Army installation. The latter is responsible for my family's being in Alaska: Dad was posted to Fort Rich in 1970 as a lawyer in the JAG Corps. Faced in 1973 with returning to a job in Kansas, he balked -- and the rest is history.
The Old Glenn Highway is a delightful 19-mile country road that cuts through the heart of the original Matanuska Colony Farmlands and provides a scenic alternate route between Anchorage and Palmer, Alaska.
One wonders, after Damon's disappointment with the closing century of the BWR, whether a route through Palmer and returning to Anchorage via the Old Glenn Highway might not be a good choice for a course revision.
Aside #2: Such a re-route, if it were undertaken, might cross from the Parks Highway to the Glenn via Hatcher Pass. That would offer tremendous views and a final climb of some real note.
|Hatcher Pass, Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska.|
I did follow the Old Glenn to the east of downtown Eagle River, then turned right on the Eagle River Loop Road, up a steep hill into the Chugach Foothills. From there a left turn to the auspiciously named Skyline Drive . . . and 1500 feet of ascent over the three miles to the Mount Baldy Trailhead.
|Mount Baldy, East of Eagle River, Alaska.|
|View from Skyline Drive. This gate opens to undeveloped properties for sale . . .|
And here's the great part: the Old Glenn Highway trail continues north -- well north -- at least past the town of Chugiak (a bedroom town of Eagle River!) and Peters Creek, into a mountainside neighborhood a good 30 miles from Anchorage. Somewhere there was Ski Road, at the top of which climb I heard a slow leak from the rear tire. The tread on my trusty Grand Bois was worn through, but the tube was easy to patch and a boot cured the problem with the tire.
|Bike Bridge over Peters Creek|
68-some miles and 4200-some feet of climbing. This ride was an A+.