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  1. #1
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    Snowmachines, broken legs, photos

    Mark, an old buddy and I hit the Love Rd trails at about 11:30 am this morning. It was starting to clear, about -10F, calm, lovely. We rode the 1/2 mile or so down the pipeline pad to the crosstrail and hung a left to do the east loop; did the west loop yesterday. The first 1/4 mile or so is often somewhat of a challenge, then it crosses Steele Creek (there's a stretch, it's usually about 6 inches deep, 4 ft. across) and quickly connects to a mushing trail. From there it's pretty good riding. It's been calm since the few inches of powder fell so everything is covered with a nice white aura. The next part of this trail was tunneled wonderfully. Mark was out front and as usual when following someone I was hanging back a ways to avoid branches dropping their loads on his passing and to allow the leading biker to get going again after a dab so I ideally don't have to stop. Once he hit a branch that started a chain reaction that went for 4-6 seconds, I just cleared the tail end of it. This photo was taken near there.
    http://new.photos.yahoo.com/awinterb...804138557352/2 This trail runs east-west so this time of year gets no direct sun. There were small open areas where the sun hit the top of the trees to create amazing, pinkish spots which opened and closed quickly with our passing. Again, lovely.

    We rode on down to a main trail, turned right to head back to the pipeline and complete the loop. Nice section which opens up to a swampy area, we stopped here to catch our breaths, drink and take pictures. Here's one.
    http://new.photos.yahoo.com/awinterb...804138557670/1

    Back to the pipeline pad, pumped up tires and started back to the trailhead. Mark's hands were getting cold so we set a nice pace enjoying the sun lighting the tops of trees and the distant ridges. After 10-15 minutes we came to the corner where the loop trails cross the pad. Wow, big bunch of snowmachiners, 7-9, most wearing matching red parkas, which meant it was a commercial outing and they were Japanese, I'd run into another group a week or so ago. One started waving from a distance and as we approached it became obvious something was going on. We stopped and there was a guy lying flat on his back in the middle of the pad. Got closer and one of his legs was going every which way, femur broken and tibia-fibula looked broken too. Some blood so maybe compound too. The guy running the tour was on the cell phone to the fire department and asked if Mark and I could take two of their snowmachines back to the trailhead, meet the ambulance and bring back two medics. We got on the machines (it had been 30 years since I'd last ridden one, ditto Mark) and buzzed back to the trailhead. It took a few minutes 'til they were ready and then we hauled them back. I took this photo as we left.
    http://new.photos.yahoo.com/awinterb...804138557775/0

    We were never quite sure if the injured guy was with the group or not; the tour leader said something about a track breaking, but we don't know how it happened, not a priority. We were struck by the fact the tour had no sleeping pad or sleeping bag for the injured man. Seems like if you take inexperienced people out for snowmaching tours on out of town trails, you'd be better prepared.

    Just to rub it in for all you folks down around Anch. Fairbanks-interior trails are in great shape. t

  2. #2
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    nice

    Nice write-up and I've been thinking of a trip up your way to check out the trails. My neighbors make a yearly ski trip to the White Mtns and it looks like a good bike trip, too. Any thoughts?

    As for your ride, what amazes me is I can't take a big tube of toothpaste on an airplane, but I can take a group of inexperienced foreign snowmachiners armed with tons of toothpaste along the pipeline that supplies the bulk energy to the entire U.S.

    Hmm, hope I didn't give anyone any ideas.....

    Pat

  3. #3
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    Awinterbiker,
    Where in fairbanks are you? I lived there a few years ago. If you could tell me, how are the trails in the summer? I have asked here a few times and there seems to be very few mtb riders in fairbanks on here. I am in the army and tring very hard to get back up to where I call home. Thanks.

    M.
    I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction-B. Hussein Obama

  4. #4
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    Reply to Pat and Tanker, links.

    Pat the first link is to the White Mtns. page of the BLM website in Fairbanks. Lot's of info on the White Mountains here. You can talk to someone there and find out about trail conditions, mention you'd be on a bike. Randy Goodwin at BLM used to provide good information.
    http://www.blm.gov/ak/whitemountains/default.html

    This link is to a page on my website about a week long trip into the White Mtns. on a bike. This was one of my favorite trips. Went cabin to cabin. http://home.gci.net/~winterbiker/white.html

    This is a day trip into the White Mtns. from mile 57 the Elliot. http://home.gci.net/~winterbiker/colorado11-97.html

    It used to be easy to book cabins in the White Mtns 10 years ago but it's so popular now that cabins for spring trips can be hard to get unless you pay weeks if not months in advance. This is obviously a big problem for biking trips. While we don't get lots of snow all it would take is 4-6 inches to make a nice trip a nightmare. I got skunked about 4-5 years ago. Had cabins for a week, pulled a trailer in to a trail shelter and sat up half the night watching an unexpected snowstorm dump 6-8 inches. I didn't even think about going on and bailed in the morning. Had to walk that fully loaded Bob back up about a 900 ft.hill and slog back to the Wickersham Dome trailhead at mile 28. It was sort of funny as the plan was to drop off that hill and spend a week going cabin to cabin. I was going to come out at the 58 mile trailhead and so lose almost 1000 ft. over the course of the trip.

    If you plan on coming up drop me an e-mail and we can get in touch. We can put 1-2 people up for a night or two if you need a place to stay.

    Tanker we live 4 miles out the Hot Springs road up above Steele Creek. Don't ride as much in the summer but when I do I usually go out of town. Either out the Chena Hot Springs road to the State Parks trails out that way or out towards and into the White Mountains. Livengood has some good riding too, and there's some hidden treasures up the Steese Hwy. towards Circle. I'm a solo rider and a hermit so don't know local riders but am sure there are lots.

    Went out for a couple of hours today and got some photos. They're at the top of my Yahoo Photo Album. http://new.photos.yahoo.com/awinterbiker/#page1 t

  5. #5
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    Thankyou for you info. I do know the area were you live. I am in the Army and hope to get back up there. Thanks again.

    M
    I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction-B. Hussein Obama

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