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  1. #1
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    Powerline

    Ok, now I know what you were talking about when you said "you better make sure your brakes are good". Next time I think I'll just get up on the pass and come back the same way, no matter how cool it seems to "make it a loop".

    Powerline-img_1046s.jpgPowerline-img_1048.jpgPowerline-img_1062.jpgPowerline-img_1066.jpgPowerline-img_1075s.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Powerline-img_1062s.jpg  

    Last edited by Jayem; 09-01-2014 at 07:27 AM.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  2. #2
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    Thanks MTBR for turning the pictures upside down.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  3. #3
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    Fixed, except I'll leave one in so if this problem ever gets addressed they can see it...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  4. #4
    Anchorage, AK
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    looks like fun!
    two wheel livin'..

  5. #5
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    I recall hearing that the "back" (Indian side) of powerline is not worth riding due to extreme steepness. Sounds like you're in the same camp? Did you go over the handlebars or what? If I drop my seat and just hang off the back the whole time what's the worst that could happen - are there vertical drops that sneak up on you, or anything dangerous? I don't even have a bike with hydro brakes at this point (would be riding my fatbike with BB7s).

  6. #6
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    It's rideable, but sketchy. I rode it a month or so ago, and only had to walk 1 short stretch where I slid out. A fat bike might work great; lots of tire to stop with. It's getting pretty overgrown in spots on the backside; hard to see the trail very far ahead.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willum View Post
    I recall hearing that the "back" (Indian side) of powerline is not worth riding due to extreme steepness. Sounds like you're in the same camp? Did you go over the handlebars or what? If I drop my seat and just hang off the back the whole time what's the worst that could happen - are there vertical drops that sneak up on you, or anything dangerous? I don't even have a bike with hydro brakes at this point (would be riding my fatbike with BB7s).
    No crashes, it's just extremely steep, like you can roll down it with your weight all the way back and seat down extremely slow, but your brakes will overheat in about 100' and you got 2 miles of this stuff. So frequent stops unless you generate too much heat and the brakes stop working, then you'll stop less and die more. You should know how to handle extremely steep (and loose) terrain and your brakes will be insufficient. Any mountain bike brakes will be insufficient. You need a parachute. Based on my experience with BB7s, they are extremely poor at dissipating heat during descents like this and will heat up and glaze over in no time. That was what I was trying to avoid the entire time.

    Would not do it again.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the report Jayem, I tend to err on the cautious side so I'll probably shy away from this one. I actually biked it about 20 years ago and remember going over the handlebars a few times, but this was as a high schooler on a hardtail with V-brakes and a backpack full of camping gear. It's too bad because it looks like a sweet downhill from the saddle looking southeast (where you took your first photo looking northwest).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willum View Post
    It's too bad because it looks like a sweet downhill from the saddle looking southeast (where you took your first photo looking northwest).
    For about a mile and a half, it's great. After a little uphill it turns stupid steep.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  10. #10
    Anchorage, AK
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    Hiked that all the way through last september and thought to myself "i wonder how scared i'd be on my bike!"
    two wheel livin'..

  11. #11
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    I think the descent back to Anchorage is more fun, but there is something cool about riding from town up and over the pass and into Indian. V brakes work, bb7's would be fine. I used to make that trip over and back on a specialized rock hopper with v brakes. Those rims were grooved significantly, but all in all that bike had less maintenance issues than any of the expensive bikes I have.

    Of all the steep sections on the descent to Indian, there is only 1 that is actually dangerous. Very steep and with drainage cutting the trail diagonally in half it makes for a tough maneuver to get through.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willum View Post
    Thanks for the report Jayem, I tend to err on the cautious side so I'll probably shy away from this one. I actually biked it about 20 years ago and remember going over the handlebars a few times, but this was as a high schooler on a hardtail with V-brakes and a backpack full of camping gear. It's too bad because it looks like a sweet downhill from the saddle looking southeast (where you took your first photo looking northwest).
    The backpack was probably a big part of the over the bars thing. We used to do it in prehistoric days with cantilevers. The ease of getting down without coming off the bike was directly related to how low your bottom bracket was.
    Latitude 61

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfbkr50 View Post
    I think the descent back to Anchorage is more fun, but there is something cool about riding from town up and over the pass and into Indian.
    That's basically it. A bucketlist/item to check off, especially since it was starting/ending at my house.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
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    Avalanche and Homicide Peak are quick hikes from the pass as well. Avalanche you can access from the top. Stash a bike and head up riders left. Homicide is down about 1/2 mile from the pass. Keep an eye out for an obvious trail that traverses the hill, and then follow that ridge up. Pretty cool days leaving from Muldoon and bagging those peaks.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  15. #15
    seedub
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    Yah, I did it beginning of August on an almost fat bike, a 29+ w/ BB7s. No OTB, heated disks yes, but they worked fine. The high volume, low pressure worked great (for me). The desire to complete the loop was the motivator, being bear-scared on a steep, fast, overgrown trail took the MTB fun out of the backside. No people though! Which I kinda liked. Blasting down the front side isn't as much fun either if you're going to represent with honor and dignity (not scattering elderly birdwatchers, young mothers and kids, dogs, walkers in fllip flops and pink phones)
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    you may have come before us on no bicycle, but that does not say you know everything.

  16. #16
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    Exciting stuff for a newbie looking to explore

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfbkr50 View Post
    Avalanche and Homicide Peak are quick hikes from the pass as well. Avalanche you can access from the top. Stash a bike and head up riders left. Homicide is down about 1/2 mile from the pass. Keep an eye out for an obvious trail that traverses the hill, and then follow that ridge up. Pretty cool days leaving from Muldoon and bagging those peaks.
    This is great, thanks for the helpful info! I am new to biking in the area, but after reading all the comments here this seems like one that I definitely need to put on and cross off the list quickly. Anyone looking for someone to ride with I'm down for just about any style of riding, despite the couch of a bike I'll be doing it on.

  17. #17
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    Was up there today on an out-and-back from Anchorage and thought I'd post photos. Fall arrived since the thread started...
    Powerline-img_20140920_125557_1.jpgPowerline-img_20140920_125031_1.jpgPowerline-img_20140920_125019_1.jpg

  18. #18
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    Cool, I was riding around on flat paths through the city and looking up at the valley and wondering if anyone was attempting the pass. Did you go over or back out from whence you came? I gotta heal up
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Cool, I was riding around on flat paths through the city and looking up at the valley and wondering if anyone was attempting the pass. Did you go over or back out from whence you came? I gotta heal up
    Out and back from Glen Alps. I wasn't the only one - about a half-dozen more people were on the way up when I was on the way down. Surprisingly good drainage - most of the trail was dry, although the outflow from the lake near the top was strong enough that I didn't want to put a foot down while riding through it.

  20. #20
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    Oh man, you guys missed the point. The brown bear is where a car full of dry clothes is parked and cold pitchers of beer are waiting inside.
    The steepness is rad. I just learned to really power slide those corners on this last time I rode it.
    I would like to thank whoever cleared out the trail corridor. Smooth sailing this last time. It's really bad when you come in hot on a downed tree! A couple years ago, the lower part that is straight and soooooo fast was like an Asian prison: caning our shins with alder branches.
    Memories...

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