Tuesday, September 1, 2009
We are on the road and have very little reception. Currently I am using wifi for internet access at a campground in Trapper Creek.
We got our bikes together Friday night after a long day at the UPS store and their hub. One of our packages wasn't delivered to the store, and the young lady working the UPS store offered her car to us so we could drive to the local hub to pick up the missing package. At the hub, we were told we would have to wait until Monday to get that missing package. James and I sat down and said, "Ok, we're waiting." We got the package in 5 minutes.
After we got the bikes together at 10PM, we started our ride in the pouring rain. We set up camp about 30 miles from our start at Eagle River. This was a very good test for us and we probably learned the most from it. When we got to Eagle River, I was in full rain gear, but James tested how he would do without. I was completely dry and James couldn't get warm all night. We learned that if we see any sign of rain, we are going to dress like we're in a thunderstorm. We also knew we were going to have to upgrade some supplies. I needed gloves, rope, propane, and socks. James needed a mummy sleeping bag, and some more rain gear. We would pick this up in the next few days.
Day two of the ride was very frustrating while we were in route, but when we finished, we were more than happy we traveled around 50 miles off route. We started at Eagle River and went north on route 1. There was a bike trail that followed route 1 until we got to Edmonds Lake Park. After riding on the freeway for a few miles in 2 inches of cinders and sand from previous winters, we knew we had to find some back roads. We got off at the next exit and took the Old Glenn Highway east until we got to Knik River Road. That was our best mistake of the trip. We went east on Knik River Road for 10 miles until we came to a dead end. Keep in mind, these roads don't see much traffic, but they are all 55mphs and look the same. We got the best pictures of the trip from this mistake but became very agitated. When we finally got back on track and reached Palmer, we were very hungry. We stopped at a Taco Bell at midnight and found a pavilion off the road about 500 feet and set up camp for the night. Total miles: 68.8
Day three on the road was only 20.8 miles, but we met a lot of great people and were able to stock up on supplies. James and I got our needed bags and gloves from the local shops and we stocked up on groceries as well. While getting groceries, James met Dr. Brian and Brenda who own their own veterinarian hospital in Wasilla. Brian and Brenda are very experienced cyclists and are "fitness buffs" to say the least. They run or bike to work every day and were very helpful with our biking setups. They also fed us twice and let us sleep in their home and use their showers. James and I were very inspired by their willingness to help us, complete strangers. I don't know if before that day, I would have done the same in my hometown. It's amazing how helpful some people are. James just said, "We wouldn't be able to do this trip without the people we have met who have helped us so far." We are very lucky and thankful for everyone's help so far.
Day four on the road started out to be a beautiful day for riding. We ate lunch at a local 3/8mile dirt track which felt like home to me. That lunch was just a small portion of what I ate today (Huge bowl of oatmeal, two apples, one banana, 3 slices of NY style pizza, one bacon burger with fries, a half gallon of V8, one brownie, one Hershey bar, and about 2 gallons of water.)
Trouble at mile mark 101.
We were just over 50miles into our ride for the day, when I broke a second spoke on my rear wheel. I limped the bike to Trapper Creek and we set up camp around 8PM. We traveled 70 miles for the day.
We are currently at Trapper Creek and we are waiting on some help from a local bike shop. We should be back on the road later today or first thing tomorrow. If I don't get a signal the next few days, I will give a wrap up when we get to Fairbanks.
Posted by Steve at 2:32 PM