Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Waiting for dirt

It's spring on the calendar, but this winter has lingered, receded then resurfaced to remind us we are still in Alaska.

With May comes the season of waiting for the trails to dry. The snow on the dirt trails is slushy, tumbling over the tops of my shoes when I'm walking in Far North Bicentennial Park. More gravel and mud is revealed each day.

Mountain bikers who ride the trails all winter know how quickly conditions can change - we're in the park every week and sometimes watch it from day to day. Frozen one day, slushy the next. Now we have to be patient stewards. Riding on the trails when they're extremely soft can cause ruts that can last all season. It's a good time to pull out the road bike or hybrid and build some distance on the pavement.

If you're not keen on being on the road, this just in: Parks & Recreation has cleared much of the greenbelt trails, but water remains in low spots. I'm sure you'll still find ice in the tunnels. Check this forum to stay in the loop.

Normally the trails in Anchorage open between Memorial Day and June 1st. Pretty soon we'll all be counting the days.

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