Kitchen Pass Rider Series (KIPRS)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Kitchen Pass Rider Series (KIPRS)

    Wish I could have been with the Frigid Bits last night but it's tough to get permission to leave the nest in the evenings, so a group of us with wives and kids have found that the off-peak hours of 6 am to 9 am on Sunday mornings are pretty easy to get Kitchen Pass privledges for. So this morning we had our first unofficial gathering of four KP'rs at about 6 am. We left from my house about 7 am and biked a mile to the foot-bridge on Birch and Abbott where we cut into the trail system, once again on Rental Fat Bikes from Arctic Cycles Fat Bike Rentals (907) 351-8545. www.arcticcycles.com (They don't sell 'em but they rent 'em).

    I was jonesing for some single track so we got on Viewpoint Trail then cut through the woods above the middle bench where I was surprised to see 5 or 6 little orange flags that I assume demarked the Frigid Bits trail. I love that section of single track and being new to fat-biking, I thought I would have to wait until Spring to ride it again. Not so! a few skiers and several fat-bikers (sorry, not you...the bike) have ridden it and it seems lke it has a rideable crown to it. Our tire pressure was a little high and we didn't have a pump to fill them back up (oops, live and learn!), so we just rode them with full pressure. I kept blowing off the trail because of it, but we were still able to ride a lot. It gave me a permagrin I couldn't get rid of (maybe it was just frozen).

    We popped out on Moose Meadow Trail or Rover's Run or some trail with a name, went down to the Campbell Creek Bridge, then came back up whichever trail goes right beside Campbell Creek, then did half of Spencer Loop. It started out at about 3 below zero when we left my house and ended at about 8 below zero by the time we got back at around 10 am.

    Loads of fun, again thanks to Arctic Cycles Fat Bike Rental for hooking me up with a great bike I can't afford to buy yet.

    Next week, if it doesn't snow too much between now and then, the plan is to hit even more single track at about the same place, same time. If there are any other people who like the idea of taking an early Sunday morning trip so you can get back home while everyone is still lounging in their PJ's eating eggos and reading the paper, just chime in and we can all ride together. We take it easy like a Sunday Mornin', so expect a laid-back ride.

    If you don't own a Fat Bike and would like to rent one, call Arctic Cycle Fat Bike Rental 907-351-8545 to get one. It used to be easy to get one at the last minute, and you can still get lucky, but fat biking seems to be catching on so if you want to guarantee that you'll have one for the weekend you'll probably need to reserve it 3 or 4 days in advance.

    You can join us on our ride if you'd like to, the more the merrier.

    I've got pictures, but I still don't know how to make them small enough to post.

    Has anybody ridden Black Bear Trail or (dare I hope) Brown Bear Trail lately? I'd like to check those out next week and would appreciate some feedback.
    Last edited by Alhansen; 01-14-2008 at 10:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    Spencer Loop

    Please be aware that Spencer Loop is NOT open to biking during the winter. This is a ski-only trail. Also, if you are riding Black Bear (since you were asking about it), also be aware that the Richter and Ridge loops are ski only as well, so once you get to the top of Back Bear, you would have to turn around and backtrack to the bottom unless there is another single-track that I am not aware of.

    I love to bike in the winter along with my skiing, but poaching the trails will only get the bike access restricted further in the future.

  3. #3
    Diaskeuast
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    Some of the local bike shops sell a map that shows which trails are multi-use and which are ski-only. Anyone who is riding the Hillside and isn't sure about which trails are open to bikes should definitely get to a shop for a map and some advice from the staff.

    We've been working for several years now to improve relations with the ski community, and poaching their ski-only trails will set us back.

    Since all these recent posts from customers of Arctic Cycles are heavily promoting their rental service, I would hope the folks there would take time to mention some basic guidelines about the trails before sending their customers out on bikes.

  4. #4
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    Sorry, I had no idea. I was just riding. I don't even know if I got the names of the trails right (except Black Bear and Brown Bear) because I didn't have a map and the ones on the posts out there are confusing.

    I'll pick up a map and make sure it doesn't happen again.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhansen
    Sorry, I had no idea. I was just riding. I don't even know if I got the names of the trails right (except Black Bear and Brown Bear) because I didn't have a map and the ones on the posts out there are confusing.

    I'll pick up a map and make sure it doesn't happen again.
    If it would help, I could post a brief description of what trails are designated as "ski-only". There are only a limited number of trails that have this designation, but it might help to avoid them. Let me know and I will type something up.

  6. #6
    Diaskeuast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhansen
    Sorry, I had no idea. I was just riding. I don't even know if I got the names of the trails right (except Black Bear and Brown Bear) because I didn't have a map and the ones on the posts out there are confusing.

    I'll pick up a map and make sure it doesn't happen again.
    Good plan, Alhansen. And good on ya for gettin' out at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning. I've got a wife and kids, too, but the only exercise I'll be getting at that hour is stretching, pulling up the covers and going back to sleep.

  7. #7
    Billy--Arctic Cycles
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    Maps & Links Of Trails Are Available Online

    As a courtesy, on my website, www.arcticcycles.com, I have a link posted for Campbell Tract Trails (home page--top right hand corner--click on Maps & Links). I will definitely recommend my customers check this out before they head out onto unfamiliar territory. Thanks, Billy

  8. #8
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    Any help you guys can give would be great. I looked at that Campbell Tract map link and it doesn't list any trails as 'ski-only', nor does it show the Spencer Loop or any of those trails in that area. So if you could post a list of those for me, that would be great.

    What I could see on that map was the fact that I definitely don't know the names of the trails. I thought Homestead was actually called Viewpoint, for instance. Is the map I can buy at the shop better than any of the other maps I've seen? These others seem to leave out a lot of detail.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Wow.

    Ski-only trails? Pretty much the most ridiculous thing ever. What a bunch of hoity-toity NIMBY snobs.

    Sheesh.

    MC

  10. #10
    Diaskeuast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhansen
    Any help you guys can give would be great. I looked at that Campbell Tract map link and it doesn't list any trails as 'ski-only', nor does it show the Spencer Loop or any of those trails in that area. So if you could post a list of those for me, that would be great.
    The map on the Arctic Cycles site doesn't really help, because it shows only the Campbell Tract, which is a sliver of the Hillside Trail system. The big map available in bike shops will show you the larger system with color-coded labels for the main trails, but even then you'll need to make note of any confusing or renamed trails (Rover's Run, for example, is now Mellen's Way).

    The best way to learn your way around the smaller trails that aren't shown on the map is to do a few rides with some other folks who know the network. It might not be easy to lure them out at 6 a.m. on a weekend, but it's easy to round up riders on this forum for evening and weekend rides.

  11. #11
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    Head on over to the REI or AMH store. You can get a nice weather-proof, tyvek-type map of all the trails in the Anchorage Bowl. The trails are color-coded, and the legend indicates which trails are multi-use, ski-only, and other.

    I'm an early riser too. I'll reserve a Pugs and join you and the gang. Sound like a great time!
    Kevin Turinsky
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  12. #12
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    Grow up

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Ski-only trails? Pretty much the most ridiculous thing ever. What a bunch of hoity-toity NIMBY snobs.

    Sheesh.

    MC
    Wow, you just lost any respect I once had with that little childish rant. Have a nice day in your "there's nobody else but me" world.

  13. #13
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    Quick description for Hillside

    Quote Originally Posted by Alhansen
    Any help you guys can give would be great. I looked at that Campbell Tract map link and it doesn't list any trails as 'ski-only', nor does it show the Spencer Loop or any of those trails in that area. So if you could post a list of those for me, that would be great.

    What I could see on that map was the fact that I definitely don't know the names of the trails. I thought Homestead was actually called Viewpoint, for instance. Is the map I can buy at the shop better than any of the other maps I've seen? These others seem to leave out a lot of detail.

    Thanks.
    Here is a quick description for Hillside "ski only" designated trails (winter only):

    1.) All lighted loops (whether the lights are on or not), including Besh, Hillside, Service, and Randy's Loop.
    2.) Richter and Ridge - classic only trails that head off to the northwest of the Besh lighted loop from the top of the first set of hills. Richter drops down the hill and continues straight, Ridge is the trail that takes the hard right at the bottom and has some good rollers. Ridge is also the trail that the Black Bear trail connects with on it's east (uphill) end.
    3.) Double Bubble (short two-hill trail that makes two bumps to the west from the gasline and comes back to the gasline midway between Hilltop parking lot and the drop down to the creek).
    4.) Spencer Loop - trail that takes off from the east side of the gasline at either the middle or north end. If you are heading south across the bridge from the Bivowac trailheads, to the left (east) is Spencer Loop, to the right (west) are the multi-use trails.

    Note that there is a multi-use trail that connects from the north end of the gasline to the bridge across the creek and Rover's Run. This is the northernmost of the two trails dropping from the gasline down to the northeast (also is two-way traffic, so please watch for people coming up or going down as it can get a little hairy at times with the corner at the bottom).

    Hope that helps.

  14. #14
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    That's a lot of help, thanks everybody, I'll swing by the shop and pick up a map.

    Tarnac, I look forward to meeting you next Sunday morning. Maybe I can talk Mrs. Hansen into having hot chocolate (and breakfast!) ready for us when we're done riding...

  15. #15
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    singletrack

    There are some other fun trails that will take you away from the "ski-only" routes. Try the trails off the N. Bivouac trailhead, such as Moose Ridge. Also, if you want to ride more trails like Speedway/Area 51, try the Blue-Dot trail. Sorry, not on the maps, but I can tell you how to get there.

    Now that we're getting more snow, you'll have to also be more aware of which trails are designated "mushing-only." A wrong turn onto one of those & you could get tangled with a dog team that doesn't want to stop.

    Mountain Bike Anchorage (shameless plug) lists primary routes that are multi-use in the winter but doesn't have some of the newest trails or unofficial trails. I can fill you in. I work @ Paramount. Like the guy in the tutu said, we've worked hard to build good will among the user groups, so it's important to know where it's ok to ride.

    rose

  16. #16
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    Pot + kettle = black?

    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    Wow, you just lost any respect I once had with that little childish rant. Have a nice day in your "there's nobody else but me" world.
    Perhaps you'd care to rephase that? I don't mean the part about lost respect--since you don't know me I'm not too concerned about what you think of me.

    I mean the part about "there's nobody else but me". After all, y'all are the ones that are refusing to share. How is it that I'm the one that needs to grow up?

    Are y'all not competent enough on your skinny skis to be able to pass another human being on the trail?

    Again I say "Sheesh". But this time it's directed towards you.

    MC

  17. #17
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    Blue-Dot? Please, do tell!!
    Kevin Turinsky
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  18. #18
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    Hmmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Perhaps you'd care to rephase that? I don't mean the part about lost respect--since you don't know me I'm not too concerned about what you think of me.

    I mean the part about "there's nobody else but me". After all, y'all are the ones that are refusing to share. How is it that I'm the one that needs to grow up?

    Are y'all not competent enough on your skinny skis to be able to pass another human being on the trail?

    Again I say "Sheesh". But this time it's directed towards you.

    MC
    Let's see, the "ski-only" designation was put in place my the city of Anchorage, not by the ski community or "y'all" as you seem to imply. It was done after consulting with many of the different user groups. You obviously don't understand much about cross country skiing if you can't understand some of the reasons to have some trails with such a designation.

    I can pass people just fine. The physical aspect of getting past another person is only a very small aspect of the issue (however, getting by dogs is a part of it). Mostly, it is the damage to the trails that is caused by other users. I know that some bikers are responsible (including probably most of the people that read this forum), however, if it were open to biking, you would have many others out there on the 2.nothing tires, locking up their brakes on the down/corners or spinning out on the ups leaving deep ruts throughout the trails.

    I frequently hear the claim of "but I'm not causing any damage to the trails today." They may be correct when there is only that one person out there, but if that activity was allowed for everyone since you can't just put a rule that, for example, only 5 bikes are allowed on the trail a day or you can ride only when the trails are firm, significant damage could/would result from a high amount of use or use in the soft trail days. This is the same for runners/walkers, horses, etc... (I just used bikes as an example).

    Fortunately, people more reasonable than yourself from the other user groups could see and understand this and allowed the designation for a specific set of trails.

  19. #19
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    Anchskier, thanks for the explanation as to how the trails became "ski-only", it makes sense.

    Akrose, thanks for the heads-up on the "mush-only" trails. That is exactly where I would have ended up on my next ride, guaranteed. I was actually PLANNING on it. That's all I need is to get run down by a team of barking, happy, defacating sled dogs. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate it either.

    Are there any other groups I need to be concerned about, special interest-wise? I'd like to proactively avoid any future transgressions. Come to think about it, I'll bet I know of another place I didn't belong. Last summer, I was riding my regular no-suspension 1986 light-blue bike with black tires (not rented from Arctic Cycles and Fat Bike Rentals this time) on the trails between Abbott and O'Malley, Elmore and Lake Otis. There is some great mud and super-root bashing in that area, and I rode there 4 or 5 times. They seemed to be horse trails and had equine-themed trail names. I had a great time and have been planning on going back.

    Does anyone know if these trails are also off limits to bicycles?

    Also, while I'm thinking about it, there are a few places on the Hillside that don't have actual trails, but they are rideable, depending on the conditions. Some of these places I've ridden on enough times that part of the vegetation has died and dirt is beginning to be exposed. Is it okay to make new trails through the woods, or are we supposed to remain on the designated trails? I heard something second-hand last summer about orienteering groups and how they don't appreciate new trails through the woods, but I thought (much as I once thought about the "ski-only" trails), that it wasn't something I needed to really worry about.

    Any further heads-up on these issues would be appreciated.

  20. #20
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    First, I'd like to apologize to the original poster--I am very sorry that we've made a mess of your informative and light-hearted post. Still, I am not sorry that this issue has come to light. The only thing more ridiculous than the idea of a ski-only trail (it's snow!) is the snobby attitude prevalent among the bulk of the Anchorage Nordic crowd.

    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    Let's see, the "ski-only" designation was put in place my the city of Anchorage, not by the ski community or "y'all" as you seem to imply.
    Right. And I have no doubt that you were there at the planning meetings fighting for the rights of cyclists.

    It was done after consulting with many of the different user groups.
    Right! I'm sure the cyclists all voted to have their access restricted as much as possible.

    You obviously don't understand much about cross country skiing if you can't understand some of the reasons to have some trails with such a designation.
    You know nothing about me. Nothing. In addition to the time I spend cycling in winter, I also spend a lot of time backcountry and skate skiing. Know what else? I donate money to the local xc trail grooming group, even though they are getting to be as closed minded and NIMBY-ish as the Anchorage Nordic group.

    The physical aspect of getting past another person is only a very small aspect of the issue (however, getting by dogs is a part of it).
    Are you suggesting that all MTB riders are also dog owners?!! Or that if they didn't have dogs then MTB riders would be allowed on ski-only trails?!?

    What kind of ridiculous argument is that?

    Mostly, it is the damage to the trails that is caused by other users. I know that some bikers are responsible (including probably most of the people that read this forum), however, if it were open to biking, you would have many others out there on the 2.nothing tires, locking up their brakes on the down/corners or spinning out on the ups leaving deep ruts throughout the trails.
    So now you're suggesting that common sense can be legislated? Think again.

    Novice skiers do every bit as much "damage", if not MORE, than any level of cyclist. If a novice skater heads out directly behind the groomer on a warmish day, or immediately following a snowfall, what happens? That's right--soft, freshly tilled snow gets 'skate marks' in it that freeze shortly thereafter for all to enjoy. And what if a novice skater (raises hand) augers in? Big divots from elbows, head, butt, etc... More divots from the extraction process. Are there "expert skier only' trails so that the unwashed skiing masses don't F up your precious snow?

    You do realize it's only snow, right?

    I frequently hear the claim of "but I'm not causing any damage to the trails today."
    Define "damage", keeping in mind that it's just snow that we're talking about.

    They may be correct when there is only that one person out there, but if that activity was allowed for everyone since you can't just put a rule that, for example, only 5 bikes are allowed on the trail a day or you can ride only when the trails are firm, significant damage could/would result from a high amount of use or use in the soft trail days. This is the same for runners/walkers, horses, etc... (I just used bikes as an example).
    Heaven forbid that recreational trails should get recreated on! The horror!

    And there you go with "damage" again. How exactly does one 'damage' snow? Does it bruise if you drop it?

    Fortunately, people more reasonable than yourself from the other user groups could see and understand this and allowed the designation for a specific set of trails.
    Clearly you have no concept of what reasonable truly is. I understand that nothing I can write here will change your mind about 'ski-only' trail designation. So, in an effort to foster some goodwill from the reasonable/logical side of this argument, I'll go ahead and let you have the last word with your next response.

    Cheers,

    MC

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I'll go ahead and let you have the last word with your next response.
    Cheers,
    Oh come on! I just popped a bag of popcorn......................

  22. #22
    Caveman
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    Actually you can hurt snow - When Horses use the trails it physically hurts the snow. We've all heard the sobbing snow on the tour trail... Thankfully more white snow cells often fill in the voids but more often than not surgical methods by means of groomers are needed to for the damage to heal.

  23. #23
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    ad hominem

    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    Mostly, it is the damage to the trails that is caused by other users. I know that some bikers are responsible (including probably most of the people that read this forum), however, if it were open to biking, you would have many others out there on the 2.nothing tires, locking up their brakes on the down/corners or spinning out on the ups leaving deep ruts throughout the trails.
    This is an ad hominem argument. Explain to us the grooming schedule and why it needs to be done so frequently? Hint, because skiers, especially, skate skiers push tremendous volumes of snow off the trails not to mention the divots left behind when they auger in. But, of course this isn’t called damage in the minds eye of the skier. It’s only called “damage” when non-skiers leave irregularities.

    From my perspective, damage is inevitable and with a fleet of groomers constantly refreshing the ski trails I think more of them should be open to different users groups – especially fat-bikes. I agree that 2.nothing tires are problematic, but as winter mountain bikes continue to evolve and gain popularity so should the trail sharing. Why not maximize the use of the equipment and trails?

    It’s really easy to talk down to people when your out-of-doors experiences are held at higher a regard than others.

    Regards,

    EndUser
    My advice and $3 will buy you nothing more than a tunafish sandwich

  24. #24
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    Alhansen,

    The bike is reserved, I got a hall pass from the Boss, so we're on for Sunday at O-Dark-Thirty.

    I'll bring the map, so we don't get run over by doggies, foot warmers, and extra batteries for the headtorch. PM me w/ location info.

    Roger Wilco, Over and Out!
    Last edited by Tarnac; 01-14-2008 at 10:15 PM.
    Kevin Turinsky
    RUSA RBA - Alaska
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alhansen
    Also, while I'm thinking about it, there are a few places on the Hillside that don't have actual trails, but they are rideable, depending on the conditions. Some of these places I've ridden on enough times that part of the vegetation has died and dirt is beginning to be exposed. Is it okay to make new trails through the woods, or are we supposed to remain on the designated trails?
    It's best to remain on existing trails because vegetation is easy to kill and very hard to grow back. Also, as areas are stripped of vegetation and bare soil exposed, dandelions, (a designated invasive weed) move in and out-compete the native round cover.

    Catch a tailwind!

  26. #26

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    skinny skiers are wimps! go fat skiis

  27. #27
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    See you there, Kevin. Looks like we may have a couple more people climbing out of their holes to ride with us. I need to see if Arctic Cycles FB Rental has any more rides available for this weekend.

    I forgot to ask the missus if she would make us all breakfast, but I'll wait til this afternoon when I ask her if I can buy a Fatback from Speedway Cycles. See which one she goes for.

    Allen

  28. #28
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    blue dot

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarnac
    Blue-Dot? Please, do tell!!
    This trail has a few entrances. I "found" it a few times from different locations. You can access it from the Old Rondy portion of the Tour trail, from Moose Track or from 66th & Elmore.

    One way to find it is on Old Rondy. Go one mile from Campbell Airstrip trailhead bridge, headed toward Tudor. Just after a fork in the trail (where you stay left) it's on the left. There's a small sign kind of high up that's very easy to miss. You might be able to see faint lettering that says "ski trail." I know! It's only skied by those of us who don't prefer to ski the groomed stuff.

    You'll come to a dilapidated bridge over the Campbell Creek, then eventually cross the Woodway mushing trail - several times. After one trail crossing, you'll see some blue dots painted on the trees. They go toward Elmore. There's a branch of the trail that splits & comes out on Moose Track, just east of Smokejumper trailhead.

    I keep meaning to get out there to gps it. Soon, soon.

    The more people ride it, the better it'll be...

  29. #29
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    Powerline trail and...

    gasline trail? They had groomer marks on them earlier this year, and I didn't think they were skier only trails. We rode up to glen alps via powerline trail in December and passed several skiers. Were we allowed to be on the powerline trail? Skiers were pissed at us, even though we weren't leaving a trace on the frozen ice snow groomers. I felt bad, but should I? I stay off of Spencer and all of the other trails anchskier writes about. What if the trail sets up after a melt/freeze cycle, and you can't kick a divot into the trail? Can we ride everywhere then? In the summer, a muddy trail is ruined by riding on it. It's not even that great to ride a real muddy trail, or soft snowy squishy trail for that matter. It seems like common sense goes a long way on this one.

    I think horses need to be banned on all of these trails. Even in the summer, on the driest days, they crap all over the place, kick large rocks that keep the trail together out, leave large divots, and did I say, CRAP ALL OVER THE PLACE? How is it that dog owners are asked, and provided with sacks, to clean up their 1/4 lb dog turds from the trails and horse riders leave their 15lb crap scattered all over the place without a 2nd thought. WTF?

  30. #30
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    *

    Powerline and Gasline are all considered multi-use. There was grooming up in the park during some of the time when there was no decent skiing available in town, but just because they are groomed does not mean that they automatically become ski-only. The NSAA grooms a number of trails that are multi-use, such as the Tour trail, Gasline, Powerline, Bike Path out to Kincaid (I am sure there are others that I am missing). The trail grooming update page for NSAA (http://www.anchoragenordicski.com/Tr...mingupdate.htm)
    actually states in bold that the Powerline trail is multi-use since there has been some confusion among skiers.

    Like you said, common sense goes a long way. The problem is that there is far to little of it running around these days. We can try to say that it would be okay when the trails are rock hard, but then it is going to end up being a judgement call by the user. Just like your example of riding in the mud in the spring. It is common sense to avoild doing it as it results in solid ruts the rest of the season, but there are still those out there that either don't care or don't think they are really doing anything to the trail and go anyway, to the detriment of the responsible users.
    Last edited by anchskier; 01-19-2008 at 06:19 PM.

  31. #31
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    After this whole thread popped up I have been thinking about the situation in Anchorage where the core Nordic community, restricts all activities other than skiing on a large portion of the trails around town.
    I've always just accepted that there are miles of trails I have to avoid for a huge chunk of the year and that I'm going to get ugly looks and angry little comments from skiers that I pass on the multi use trails, but I always wonder why its OK for the NSAA to groom the multi use trails into an unrideable surface that many of us use in our daily commute. If they can keep us off their trails, what trails can we keep them off?
    I'm not convinced that the heavy use of bikes on groomed trails really causes that much trouble. Right now, being restricted to a fraction of the available trails, the winter bike traffic is heavily concentrated in a small area like around Rover's and the Tour trail, yet I don't think it has adversely affected the skiing in these areas. If we could ride on the lighted loops and Spencer's it would only help disperse the bike traffic and reduce the impact, which I think is insignificant, anyway.
    When Mike got on here and challenged the the whole Anchorage nordie vs every other trail user, my reaction was, dude you have no idea what you're getting into, but I think as bikers we have a raw deal, but just accept it.
    I'll continue to respect the ski only designation, but reluctantly.

  32. #32
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    [QUOTE=pbasinger]After this whole thread popped up I have been thinking about the situation in Anchorage where the core Nordic community, restricts all activities other than skiing on a large portion of the trails around town.
    I've always just accepted that there are miles of trails I have to avoid for a huge chunk of the year and that I'm going to get ugly looks and angry little comments from skiers that I pass on the multi use trails, but I always wonder why its OK for the NSAA to groom the multi use trails into an unrideable surface that many of us use in our daily commute. If they can keep us off their trails, what trails can we keep them off?
    I'm not convinced that the heavy use of bikes on groomed trails really causes that much trouble. Right now, being restricted to a fraction of the available trails, the winter bike traffic is heavily concentrated in a small area like around Rover's and the Tour trail, yet I don't think it has adversely affected the skiing in these areas. If we could ride on the lighted loops and Spencer's it would only help disperse the bike traffic and reduce the impact, which I think is insignificant, anyway.
    When Mike got on here and challenged the the whole Anchorage nordie vs every other trail user, my reaction was, dude you have no idea what you're getting into, but I think as bikers we have a raw deal, but just accept it.
    I'll continue to respect the ski only designation, but reluctantly.[/QUOTE


    Damn Right. Now, where do we go from here? I'd say there ain't a chance in hell of getting approval for riding the ski trails, damage or no damage, but I'd support any effort in trying. One accident between the two users would end it all. There are approximately 60,000 skiers in Anchorage (taken from a Muni study in the 90's.) If we did a roll call of Endomorph clad bikes, I'd put the number between 40 and 60. Nordic skiers are a cohesive group, with the pioneers of the local ski trails retired, they have lot's of time to volunteer, are very respected in the community and still very proactive (the new Kincaid.) One of our problems is that we are a hell of a lot more fun than they are, and while we are out having fun, they are out planning and building new trails, or leveling and widening existing single use ski trails. Join SingleTrack Advocates and donate time, and if you have it to spare, money. STA is making headway on the new dedicated singletrack park above the North Bivouac parking lot, thanks to huge efforts by Janice among many others. The headaches involved are endless, but this is how it starts.
    If I were to pick a trail system to legalize for riding, it would be the mushing trails. The trails often go unused, and remain ungroomed for the first half of winter. A schedule could be worked out to minimize conflict.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  33. #33
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    Good points....

    Pete has a good point that there may be some room in the future to open things up for other uses. As Thirsty said, it won't be easy by any means. As the number of winter bikers increases as it has in recent years, there will be more congestion on the multi-use trails.

    It might be worth pursuing the issue about grooming of the multi-use trails with the muni. There may be some room for flexibility on that. Maybe they could reduce the frequency of grooming so there are less times when it is soft from the grooming. With more and more bikers, this is a fair question to pose and carries more weight than it probably did 10 years ago.

    FYI - It only took one person on their 2" tires this morning to put some nice 2" deep gashes in the lighted loop trails on Hillside. Those are the people who are going to make it really difficult to get any sympathy with the ski community.

  34. #34
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    Well, this thread has been totally hijacked.

    I doubt that at this point there's any way of redirecting it back to its original subject, but I'll try anyway.

    On Alhansen's invite, I met up w/ him early Sunday morning in front of the mini White House (was the Secret Service hiding in the trees?) for my inaugural Super Pugsly FNBP trail-poaching ride. First, kudos go to both Billy, for renting full-kit Pugslys to guys like me, and to Greg for those mammoth 80mm rims. Pork Chops like me can get floatation only one of two ways: chop off my head to lose a quick 40lbs, or ride 80mm rims! Many that know me well will argue, but my take is that the rims are the better choice.

    Anyway, Allen and I rode around for about three hours on multi-use trails and had a grand time. He got me off of the TOA and onto trails I've heard discussed on this forum, but had never been on. The widest tires I'd ridden thus far were my 2.7 29'ers. Well, I don't have to tell most of you, but there's a world of difference between those skimpy things and Greg's 80mm rims mounted on Billy's #8 Rent-a-Pugs. I felt like the bike would nearly go anywhere I pointed it. I have a nice raspberry on my right forearm to prove it too.

    Temps increased as the morning got later. And just as the sky hinted a lighter shade of DARK, the tweety birds began chirping. After buzzing around the trails tormenting skiers ;-) and I ran out to tea, we called it quits and headed back to the ranch. At that point I had totally run out of gas and Alhansen was good enough not to leave me wandering around the Hillside neighborhoods alone searching for his house and my car.

    All-in-all a great ride. Riding the Rent-a-Pugs was a real eye opener!

    Hasta,
    Kevin Turinsky
    RUSA RBA - Alaska
    www.rusa.org
    http://alaskarandonneurs.blogspot.com

  35. #35
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    Sunday KIPRS

    Yeah, Kevin, that was fun! It's my fault this thread has been hijacked, the whole "Spencer Loop" debacle. I'm just not sophisticated enough to perceive the delicate nuance associated with concealed territorialism. Won't make that mistake again. This kid only has to get beat up once on his way back from the 7-11 to learn his lesson.

    Well, Kevin and I dropped onto a game trail from Abbott Road (has anyone told the wild game about erosion control and the documented invasive species known as the "Dandilion"? Dandy-Lion. Dan D. Lyon? What language would those signs have to be written in? Perhaps they could be darted and fitted with ankle bracelets and the trails could be equipped with invisible fencing. After an electric ZAP! is administered (voltage level directly proportional to the level of traffic restriction legislated), then a slightly unfriendly voice could give a 10 second informative monologue as to why moose should keep from straying off the paths and dandilions are bad and please donate money because ankle bracelets are expensive, etc.), then rode on XXXXX until it intersected with XXXXX. We then rode on the XXXX of XXXXXXXXX Trail until XXXXXX'X Way. We cut through the woods and crossed the XXXXXXXX Creek Bridge. We rode the XXXX Trail to the X.X km Loop and ended up pushing for a little while so we jumped out on XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX Road for a couple hundred feet until we got to the lower parking lot. We crossed XXXXXXXX Creek again and got onto XXXXXXXXX Trail so we could go back up XXXXXX'X Way because I wanted to check out the access at the top of the XXX Line Trail where XXXXX Bear Trail kind of starts. It was almost rideable. Now after this wind and hot weather, it's probably perfect. We turned around and did a fun rolling downhill down XXXXXX'X Way, back up the XXXX of XXXXXXXXX Trail and back home. We saw a ski-jouring friend of mine on the trail towards the end of our ride and we let his dog chase us to the XXXXXX XXXX parking lot. It was a really good workout.

    I'm just sorry the breakfast didn't happen this time, Kevin. It will be there next time, I promise.

    Once again, Arctic Cycles Fat Bike Rental was there for me. The bike rode great, thanks a lot!

    We might do Saturday morning next time. Kevin, I know you're out for several weeks, see you later and thanks for getting the Kitchen Pass!

    I might be in the Big Lake neighborhood next week, riding some Susitna XXX trailage. So we'll see how the Kitchen Pass goes. If so, it might be Saturday and it might be EARLY!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarnac
    The widest tires I'd ridden thus far were my 2.7 29'ers.
    Do tell.....what 29er tires are out there at 2.7 width?

    Rando
    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndoRando
    Do tell.....what 29er tires are out there at 2.7 width?

    Rando
    FALSE ALARM! Oh, MAN... I CAN'T believe I said, "2.7!". I'm a Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire! Jeeze! What got into me , spreading vitriolic rumors like that?! I was never very good at math. Maybe that's why the 3 turned into a 7.

    So sorry to have done that to you. I don't know WHAT I was thinking...maybe I was dreaming about 2.7s. Anyway, I was originally referring to my WTB Exiwolfs (w/ the side knobs shaved off) which are, as you likely know, only 2.3s. Sorry to have led you astray, and got you all excited. I must've been caught up in the moment.

    This season though, I've only been able to fit my 2.1 Nanoraptors on my bike. I think I need to get my 29er SnowCats re-dished. The poor Exiwolfs have been spending the winter folded up in the garage. They need to be liberated.
    Kevin Turinsky
    RUSA RBA - Alaska
    www.rusa.org
    http://alaskarandonneurs.blogspot.com

  38. #38
    Billy--Arctic Cycles
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    Photos of first ride !
    Attached Images Attached Images

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarnac
    FALSE ALARM! Oh, MAN... I CAN'T believe I said, "2.7!". I'm a Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire! Jeeze!

    Eeeeeeeeer......that's the sound of deflation. I'm keeping my fingers crossed though, because momentum is gaining. No sweat Tarnac.

    Rando
    Deceleration Trauma is my middle name

  40. #40
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    Thanks for the photos, Billy. I forgot it was -8 degrees that day. Brrr. It didn't feel as cold as that looks. It must have been a dry cold.

    Look how there's no imprint from the tires. Wow. I didn't realize how little impact those tires really make. Looks like you can see ski tracks but not tire tracks. Bizarre.

    Just to let everyone know, that is NOT Spencer Loop in those pictures. Because that's wrong. It is only a bicycle-approved Hillside trail.

    Oh, I'm the one with the perma-grin. That picture was taken before my "education", when I thought I was just "riding my bike in the woods". SO naive.

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