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  1. #1
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    Black Artery of Alaska, bike tour.

    Last summer I rode from Deadhorse to Valdez on a route we termed the Black Artery of Alaska.
    Here is a short video I put together of the ride.

    Black Artery of Alaska, bike tour - YouTube

    Bjørn
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  2. #2
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    Looks like a fun adventure.
    and shouldn't it be "Black Gold Artery..."?
    I'd bet your plane ride to deadhorse and ferry home burned it.
    tailwinds,
    andy

  3. #3
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    It's funny how often people like to point out to me my role in the fossil fuel industry. If I ride my fatbike on a snowmachine trail, people say "you know that trail was made by a fossil fuel consuming, combustion engine?" or "you know if you hitchhiked back from your ride you were using fuel?". If there were alternatives, I would use them. I do make a point to reduce my consumption of fossil fuels, namely by riding a bike. That said, I do partake and am very aware of my own consumption. Not sure if you maybe thought I was unaware. If so, I am. Thanks. And by the way, there was no gold in the Prince William Sound when Exxon Valdez ran aground. What is pumped out of the ground in the North Slope is highly toxic to biological life; Black Artery it shall remain.
    Mjölnir of Bjørn dot com is my active website.

  4. #4
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    Oh good; nice to know I'm not alone in my views. Sometimes I worry I'm just turning into a cranky old man. :^)

    We all have alternatives in life. If we choose to take them. You could ride to Deadhorse and back. Of course most of us wouldn't see a fraction of the world if we limited our journeys to those we rode to. Trade offs trade offs.

    I respect and thank you for your efforts to reduce consumption of fossil fuels.

    And I figured you are aware of your consumption. Given that, I was curious if the insidious caption was, as you confirm, intended. IMO it comes across a little hypocritical. Certainly nobody's going to argue that EVOS wasn't a horrific tragedy. At the same time, Alaskan oil production, barrel for barrel is less environmentally harmful than oil production elsewhere. IMO. Look at the environmental standards in other oil producing regions. It’s a dirty business. :^(

    It's certainly your prerogative to call it what you like. And, once again, IMO, this is part of the problem, not the solution. Too many folks think they're being good environmental stewards because they vilify Big Oil. On their way to the gas station. I call it the Blame Somebody Else (and feel good about yourself) syndrome. Take the conspiracy theorists that think that Big Oil and/or the Big 3 Detroit auto makers somehow conspire to keep vehicle fuel efficiencies low. Instead of questioning why individual consumers insist on buying gas guzzling SUVs and big a*s pickup trucks, while refusing to pay extra for new technology to improve efficiency and reduce our footprint on Earth. Detroit will build whatever people will buy. Unless and until we change the way we view the situation nothing will change.

    I'll get off my soapbox.
    Tailwinds,
    andy

  5. #5
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    [


    It's certainly your prerogative to call it what you like. And, once again, IMO, this is part of the problem, not the solution. Too many folks think they're being good environmental stewards because they vilify Big Oil. On their way to the gas station. I call it the Blame Somebody Else (and feel good about yourself) syndrome. Take the conspiracy theorists that think that Big Oil and/or the Big 3 Detroit auto makers somehow conspire to keep vehicle fuel efficiencies low. Instead of questioning why individual consumers insist on buying gas guzzling SUVs and big a*s pickup trucks, while refusing to pay extra for new technology to improve efficiency and reduce our footprint on Earth. Detroit will build whatever people will buy. Unless and until we change the way we view the situation nothing will change.





    I agree completely with Andy
    But after all that maybe we can save some dinosaurs and hitch a ride with Al in his private jet and hear how he invented the internet as we go to pick up our new electric car with its lithium batteries so we can haul are bikes to the trail head to ride and video it with are lithium battery powered camera. We all are useing the worlds resources nobody has a good answer yet so it’s nice to not be so hypocritical.

  6. #6
    is buachail foighneach me
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    On a more serious note, who made your earflap had, Bjorn? The black one with the brim early in the video. Looks like an enjoyable tour.

  7. #7
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    I do not believe my title is strong enough to warrant "vilify" status. More like calling a spade a spade.
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  8. #8
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    Sean, I wish I knew the name of the brand of that hat. I bought it a a ski swap years ago and love it. Nomar in Homer makes a decent mushing hat but I have never found one that I like as much as that one. Sorry I could not be better help. Hope you are well.
    Bjørn
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  9. #9
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    So within the first 36 seconds, Deadhorse is called a sh!thole...well, so are a fair number of places in "pristine" Alaska...I worked on the Slope for most of a year a little while back...the oil companies pay people to walk around on the tundra and pick-up trash, anything that does not look like it is there naturally...

    Of all the road/trail accessible places I've been in Alaska in my 39.8 years, the Slope is by far the cleanest. That can't be said for the areas surrounding the villages up there...and definitely can't be said for urban areas and the areas that Alaska's weekend warriors go play. How many times have you found some bluff somewhere thinking..."...Wow...I bet almost nobody has ever been here!"...only to look down and see a budweiser/pepsi can or a cigarette-butt laying there...That won't happen in the areas leased/developed by the oil companies. A worker can't even pee on the tundra...A friend working up there used to fly up and down the gathering lines with a thermal imaging camera looking for leaks. She told me about flying over a drill pad when Greenpeace was up there protesting...Endicott?...anyways, all the foot prints in snow on the pad led from building to building or outhouse...meanwhile at the Greenpeace camp, there was a virtual starburst of footprints radiating out from the camp to privy holes out on the tundra.

    ...just sayin...

    now back to the movie

    PS-for the record, Deadhorse is neither owned nor operated by oil companies...it is it's own community...
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  10. #10
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    Deadhorse is a bit of a shock to the system the first time you arrive there. I think I probably said the same thing about it within my first thirty seconds of being there. You see it on a map and think - Oh, it's a town. But then you get there and it looks like no other town I've ever seen before. I'll complete agree with damnitman that the slope is cleaner than most of Alaska, but it is certainly not pristine.

    I'll say that regardless of my thoughts about big oil and their presence on the slope and in the state, the guys working up there on the front lines take great pride in the work they do, keeping the slope safe, and keeping each other safe. Can't say that about many work places.

    ---Edit----
    After watching the video clip I'm not sure that I understand the point of it? Is it supposed to be an anti-oil thing or just a video showing a couple of dudes going for a bike ride on a road that wouldn't be available to them except for the fact that there are the oil fields up there?

    I didn't get any big environmental message out of what I watched. That said, I turned it off about thirty seconds from the end, so maybe that's where the payoff was.
    Last edited by blockphi; 02-14-2013 at 05:28 PM.

  11. #11
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    Yep, no big message. Refer to earlier post where I clear my POV on why I titled the trip the way I did; calling a spade a spade. It is a pipeline that carries north slope crude, which is black, hence Black Artery. As for calling Deadhorse an "industrial shithole", that was my impression. I did not see any sign of civic, cultural or artistic life in my few short hours in town. What I did see was an industrial town that had one function; namely to support and supply the oil industry. Therefore, to my eyes it looked like an industrial shithole. As a lifelong Alaskan I had never been to Deadhorse or the North Slope. I agree completely that the surrounding environment was pristine and enjoyed every second of my time on the slope. I would never dream however of buying vacation property in Deadhorse. Would you?
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  12. #12
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    ...some people do call it home...




    p.s.-I look forward to screening your "Where the Heck is Donlin" with Martin and some other folks this weekend after a ride...
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  13. #13
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    Bjorn, what time of there year did you ride this?

  14. #14
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    Pete, your not offended by anything in the film?? You only want to know what time of year I did it in?
    August, is the answer. We flew on the 9th. Pretty decent time to go by my reckoning. The bugs were not too bad and there was still plenty of light for riding into the evening.
    It frosted twice but just barely.
    hope you are well.
    Bjørn
    Mjölnir of Bjørn dot com is my active website.

  15. #15
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    Black Artery of Alaska, bike tour.

    I guess there are now two of us that weren't offended by you sharing your experience with us. Thanks for documenting your trip and posting the video for us to watch.

  16. #16
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    I was not Offended by your trip it looks great thanks for sharing that part. The part that offends me is your ignorance that this is a bike form, that the place you call a sh’t hole and the black artery is what makes your trip possible and all the good it has done for Alaska and the world with the least amount of damage. As for all the civic, cultural and art that you see in the places you like it was paired for by the things you claim to stand up against but of course that’s OK if it’s done in some third world country with no over sight, no labor laws, where you cannot see it and it’s a cheap cost to you.

  17. #17
    is buachail foighneach me
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    I really don't see why you guys are making such a big deal about this. Dead horse does look like a **** hole. Some people do live in **** holes. It's ok. Even in America. Black artery isn't even an insult really. As Bjorn pointed out, crude is black. Arteries are important. They're what provides life to whatever they travel through. I know Bjorn's usually pretty big on activism, but the video above really didn't come off as that to me. It just looked like a documentary of a bike tour. I'm going to take a bike trip through all of your neighborhoods and call it the whining ninnies of Alaska bike tour.

  18. #18
    Fat!Drunk!Slow!
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    Another not offended, enjoyed watching vote. Thanks for the share, was a great start to finish story.

  19. #19
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    I love this film! Bjorn is really progressing in his ability to create engaging shorts. Unlike so many short cycling films that show riders pedaling along to dramatic music, this has character and personality and dialog.

    I didn't see it as any kind of activist statement. But in response to the thread, do we have to absolve ourselves of fossil fuel use before we can criticize it's impact? The use of fossil fuels is so engrained in our daily lives, that to escape it would be to completely remove oneself from society. No one who rides a bike doesn't depend on the petroleum industry. Does that mean that we have no place taking a step back and contemplating our overconsumption and the repercussions?

  20. #20
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    "wwhhaaaa! I'm goina make a movie too! and you can't be in it! it's goina be soo cool. your movie stinks," cried the whinny ninny.

  21. #21
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    Cool movie. I think that this type of project, and your Donlin project provide an important public service. I spent about 5 weeks in Crooked Creek in 2007, I left with very little insight into the Donlin Gold project. Call it advocacy journalism, a bike movie or whatever you want, the bottom line is that we need as much information as possible in trying to form opinions about resource extraction projects. Yes we all use resources, yes our state is funded by oil, that doesn't mean we have to bow down to industry. Projects like this stimulate important conversations and provide solid first hand information to the public. The more information we have the better. For example, consider the Pebble Mine, if not for the work of Ground Truth Trekking, and Frontline we would have very little to base our opinions on. Keep up the good work, and say whatever you want- it's your movie.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankM View Post
    Cool movie. I think that this type of project, and your Donlin project provide an important public service. I spent about 5 weeks in Crooked Creek in 2007, I left with very little insight into the Donlin Gold project. Call it advocacy journalism, a bike movie or whatever you want, the bottom line is that we need as much information as possible in trying to form opinions about resource extraction projects. Yes we all use resources, yes our state is funded by oil, that doesn't mean we have to bow down to industry. Projects like this stimulate important conversations and provide solid first hand information to the public. The more information we have the better. For example, consider the Pebble Mine, if not for the work of Ground Truth Trekking, and Frontline we would have very little to base our opinions on. Keep up the good work, and say whatever you want- it's your movie.
    Well said!

  23. #23
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    How bad was the truck traffic from Deadhorse to Fairbanks?

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    Pete, I actually looked up the number when I got back and this is what one source said about traffic on the Dalton: Approximately 160 trucks drive the 414 mile long Dalton Highway every day in the summer months and about 250 a day during the winter.
    All and all the truckers are pretty cool. There were a few that blew past at full speed but most were courteous.

    Read more: Black Artery of Alaska -
    Mjölnir of Bjørn dot com is my active website.

  25. #25
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    Great adventure, it's amazing country up there. Thanks for sharing.
    "but you are a jerk, google it!" anonymous negative feedback 09-18-2012 09:07 AM Keep is positive folks!

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