Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Ride Along Turnagain Arm

Today was so pretty I went over to the MSF parking lot and spent a few minutes practicing tight turns and swerving and emergency stops; pretty much all the drills. I only spent maybe 15 or 20 minutes there at the most, but it helped shake out the cobwebs. Then I headed out of town on the Seward Highway. I was going to stop about two miles out of town at Potter's Marsh, but everything is still frozen so I kept going. My first stop was about 10 miles out of Anchorage.

Farkle was enjoying the day almost as much as me!

I stopped again a few miles further out of town. An older woman, in her late 60's or early 70's came over to admire my bike. She said that 40 some years ago she had a Honda she rode to work on. She got a little misty eyed talking about how much fun she had as a young woman in Fairbanks and how if only she were younger she would get a bike again. We spent about 45 minutes talking. She was curious about every detail of the bike and it was a lot of fun showing her how far technology has come in the past 40 years. She especially liked my heated jacket.

As we were talking another woman and her daughter drove up in a pickup truck. The girl went to throw rocks at the Inlet while the mom stayed and joined in our conversation. She and her husband ride two-up on a Goldwing, but he's military deployed so she hasn't been riding in a while. I told her she should learn to ride the Goldwing herself and take her daughter. She kind of laughed and got a funny look on her face. "you think I could?" Before I could answer the old lady told her of course she could learn to ride. We may have another two wheel female on the road soon!

Aren't those clouds cool?

I stopped again at a park that's about 17 miles South of Anchorage for this one.

One more before turning around just past the 28 mile marker.

By this time it was getting cold, 29 degrees according to my indicator and I decided to turn around and head for home. I wanted to stop at mile 24 for the temporary digital billboard size road sign that warned of falling rocks for the next three miles, but there was already a car pulled over on the side of the road and I decided not to stop.

I rode back toward town enjoying the sunshine.

Right on the edge of Anchorage is a long hill where the speed increases from 55 to 65. I sped up to 65 and all of the sudden I saw an old rusty car coming up fast behind me. This is a four lane road, two in each direction, I was in the right hand lane so I breathed a little easier when he switched into the left lane. No sooner than the car got the front passenger door past me though and the driver drifted into my lane! I hit my brakes hard and he slid in, never so much as acknowledging that he almost took me out.

I am SO glad I spent that little bit of time practicing. I won't say I couldn't have avoided him anyway, but having just practiced my drills sure didn't hurt!

Anyway, Farkle and I made it home safe and except for a brief butt pucker moment had a wonderful day of sMiles.

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